Interview with The Uneasy
The Uneasy is an independent collaborative collective of like and unlike minded artists creating emotionally charged music and visuals. The Uneasy assembled in the Fall of 2020. Because its birth took place during one of the most uncertain and unprecedented times in our lifetime, the progression of this group is just as unorthodox as the time of its creation. We are influenced by all art, not just music and are inspired by what all genres of music have to offer. The brain, heart, and soul child of singer songwriter/creative director Emily Jean, The Uneasy isn’t any ordinary band. We are a vessel for unbridled creative expression. Touching on topics and themes dealing with the complexities of the human condition.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music played a huge role in my house growing up. My father is a bass player, my mother and stepmother play guitar and sing. Both my grandmothers were singers and performers and my siblings as well. Making music is my purpose, I am very sure of that now. I’ve had a lot of jobs and have done a lot of different things in my life. Nothing has ever come close to the feeling I get when I’m on stage performing or writing. That is when I really feel in my element. I wouldn’t be who I am without music. It’s the core of everything.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
The human condition is very interesting to me. I love having big talks with people who are open to engaging in them. Small talk is NOT my strong suit. I love to discuss dreams, aspirations, even fears and limitations. It may seem intense but it’s easier for me than talking about the weather. Discussing music and art with people who have completely different tastes than me is a huge influence. Keeping an open mind and not limiting your writing to what feels familiar or safe is key.
How long has music been your career?
To be honest I’ve been trying to make music my full‐time career since I was a teenager. I’ve written a lot of songs, played with a lot of bands, and performed on many stages but I’m still trying to make this my livelihood. I’m sure many aspiring musicians will agree with me when I say it’s extremely hard to live solely off the income you make as an artist when performing your own original music. That’s why it’s so important to support your favorite independent artists in any way you can (buying merch, show tix or even just telling your friends).
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are all from NY/NJ. I don’t think geography is nearly as important as the different musical influences we all have. Between the 5 of us (Emily Jean/singer songwriter) (Kevin Grewen/bass) (Johnny V/lead guitar) (Travis Smith/rhythm guitar) and (Max Yassky/drums) there isn’t a genre of music we haven’t been inspired by. It’s really apparent when you listen to tracks off our new album “Time to Kill”. We go from doo‐wop to thrash (in one song). Industrial pop rock with Latin drum break (also in one song) and lots of orchestral goodness. It is a complex but euphonious ride.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The worst shows were the ones I played in active addiction. I used to get so in my head about performing, believing I wasn’t good enough I would get so high I couldn’t feel anything. How could you possibly make other people feel a certain way when you feel nothing? How do you connect with your audience when you’re not really present? The best show was my first show with The Uneasy. It was the first show I played since I stopped using heroin and I felt EVERYTHING. It was an entirely different experience. Now the high I chase is the one I get when I’m on stage connecting and whole heartedly meaning every word I’m singing.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Arlene’s Grocery in NYC has been my personal favorite venue thus far and I think my band would agree. Fantastic sound, dedicated staff, and the people that frequent are die hard lovers and supporters of original music. There are so many places I would love to play but there is something special about these small venues that provide original music almost every day of the week.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Radiohead, St.Vincent, Queens of the Stoneage, Turnstile, LCD Soundsystem and System of a Down.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Stay true to you. The minute you start consciously or subconsciously changing yourself to fit what you think other people might like is when you get lost, and your art will suffer. Don’t second guess yourself. Your first instinct is usually the right one.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Surrender to divine timing. Follow your intuition and be patient.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The last song on our new album is called “Heart of Hearts”. It’s the song I really needed to hear when I was in the depths of my addiction. It’s reassurance that things will get better if you’re willing to make a change. It’s a call to the people that feel they have lost everything and are quickly losing hope in themselves. It is never too late to turn your life around. Sometimes you just need someone to have a little faith in you. This song represents the faith I have in the people who really want to change.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Dangerous Expectations” it’s dark, sexy but still playful so I have fun getting into a type of character when we perform it on stage. Plus, I get to play djembe! The most requested is a fast‐paced punk song I wrote called “Patriarchy” . We haven't recorded it yet so you can only hear it when we play live. I’m sure you could guess what it’s about.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
The highs and lows inspire me. When I am going through an ordeal and processing a lot of emotions it just pours out of me. I will write a bunch of songs about the same thing but from a bunch of different perspectives just to sort out what I’m thinking and feeling. It’s like therapy for me. I used to think I could only write well when I was going through something painful. The older I got the more I realized it had nothing to do with it being something positive or negative as long as there is real emotion and clear intention behind it.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Hope and perseverance.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Always. It’s a very natural part of working in a group. The trick is to find the right group of people. When we are working on the album, we leave our egos at the door. This is easier said than done for a lot of musicians, especially good ones. Nothing gets accomplished if you are working against each other the whole time. I’ve worked with a lot of people that doubted my capabilities as a writer because I’m not classically trained and have an unconventional approach. I’ve also worked with people that have said I wouldn’t be able to hold my own on stage because I took some time away to get my life in order. Getting back into music after taking such a dramatic pause was so scary especially considering how personal these new songs are and because performance anxiety was a real trigger for me. It’s really all about the people you surround yourself with. I am beyond lucky to have found some incredibly talented and supportive musicians to work with. Find people that truly respect what you do, lift each other up and the possibilities are endless.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We will be releasing our new single “Bad Bad Love” in a few months!! Until then you can see us LIVE at The Delancey in NYC Friday October 7th!! Follow us on Instagram and Spotify for more show dates, info and new music.
Social Media to include:
(Video for Slave)
(Video for Inside)