Bassist Adam Kubota talks playing in the unique band buzzing to Delaware on Aug. 18.
Postmodern Jukebox says out with the new, in with the old.
Born from the imagination of New York pianist Scott Bradlee, Postmodern Jukebox is a project where modern tunes are reworked into a vintage style.
This includes transforming Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” into a funky Stevie Wonder-style cover with a ‘70s vibe, Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” into a ‘50s doo wop number and giving Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” a ‘20s jazz accent.
Bradlee and PMJ have become a pop sensation on YouTube, racking up over a billion views and 3.5 million subscribers. PMJ boasts a rotating roster of musicians and has toured internationally.
The band will arrive at The Freeman Stage at Bayside in Selbyville on Saturday, Aug. 18.
Postmodern Jukebox bassist Adam Kubota, who’s been with the gang since the beginning, dished on rockers Nickelback playing a big role in the band’s success, befriending PMJ’s founder in college, and a song he’d like to cover.
How did you and Scott meet?
We went to the same school. Then we ended up dating these girls who are sisters. I sort of knew him through the girl I was dating. She didn’t like the fact her sister was dating Scott and vice versa. The other sister didn’t like that her sister was dating me. It was a weird thing. But both sisters moved on to much more stable, boring people than me and Scott.
In the early days, what signs did you see that PMJ was going to be a hit?
Even just playing little gigs around town in New York City, whenever you’d play a jazz standard and then go into some Lady Gaga song, or something like that, the look on people’s faces when they recognize what it is that you’re doing, that you’re sort of seamlessly transitioning into a song that they know — it sort of blows their mind. Once we started to get some of the more minor viral hits, we had one that was before Postmodern Jukebox called A Motown Tribute to Nickelback. We were doing Nickelback covers in the Motown style. Then we did [Macklemore’s] “Thrift Shift” video and we got over 1 million views in about a few weeks or a month. That’s when I knew something could happen.
What’s an idea for a new PMJ song you’d like to make?
I’ve always wanted Scott to do a version of — since I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area — Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance.”
What are some of your favorite songs to play?
I always thought “Royals” [by Lorde] was pretty funny. It was cool, especially with the clown and the vibe we brought out in that one. It went really well. We don’t play that enough anymore.