Gentleman’s Corner: Jesse Boykins III Talks ‘Purpose or People,’ Romanticism and the Reemergence of Quality Music

jesse boykinsYou mentioned you have an upcoming  album on the horizon. When is that happening?

I can’t even say. I have no idea. All I know is that I took four years to do it, so I don’t want to rush and put it out. I want it to be right and the way that I have it packaged is that I shot a documentary on women as well for the past two and a half years. I was shooting everywhere I went and I was interviewing women around the world. I was in Tokyo, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Africa, L.A. The age range is from 17 to 65 and it’s 300 women. That is tied to the album. They’re both called the same thing, Love Apparatus. I’m making sure I map that out right. That’s why it took me long. I took a break from the album and I started doing the documentary and I was touring a lot. I took a step back from it. When I came back to Love Apparatus to finish it, it was pretty cool because I had a different perspective from interviewing all these women. I ask them all the same eight questions.

Oh wow, what were the questions?

I can’t tell you that. But what I realized is that when I went back to it and wrote three new songs for the album, it was just cool to hear what I wrote when I was 25 and then what I wrote when I was 28. And then have them both on the same album.

When you’re performing onstage, what’s the energy level like between you and your audience?

You get what you give with anything. When I perform, I give all that I have in hopes that I receive it. And even if I don’t receive it from the audience, it still makes me feel good. That’s how I like to look at it. I don’t ever think there was a time when I’ve gotten on stage and it’s like, I don’t really feel like doing this right now. I look forward to that part. All the other stuff before, I’m like ugh. I ghave to wake up at 7 in the morning and board a train for 13 hours to play for 45 minutes? I complain a little bit, and then when I get on stage I say, “It was worth it. Shut up.” Especially when I play with my band, we vibe off each other so crazy that it doesn’t even matter what the crowd is doing. We’re gonna go in regardless. That’s what I love about performing.

You consider yourself a romantic. What does that mean for you? What are some of the qualifiers?

I feel like the word romance has so many different definitions. To me, it just means to be passionate. And compassionate. Some people say it’s so romantic when they get roses. I think that’s cool and romantic but kind of cliché and pretty easy. Romantic to me is when you do something that caters to someone and specifies for that person. It’s like wow, this person really loves classical music. Take her to this concert. Not just saying there’s something cool going on so let’s go and then hold hands. It’s more so the simple things. If you spend the night at a girl’s house and you make her bed, I feel like that’s romantic. People don’t really do stuff like that. Or if you offer to cook food and you guys go grocery shopping together and get the food before you do it. Moments like that. I don’t think that really happens a lot in society but I like to do that. That’s what makes me feel good and I feel like that makes the person I’m with feel good too.

If you could pick the background music to a perfect night out, what would be playing?

It depends on who that person is. You can’t just generalize like that. And I can’t just say that I would pick based on what I want because that might not be what they want. We would have to come to a middle ground. You pick a song, then I’ll pick this song. I can’t just say you know what, put on that D’Angelo Voodoo and it’s over. She might like listening to The Beach Boys for all I know. It all depends on who the person is.