Preachers — the sophomore album from indie-rock outfit My Jerusalem, playing Thursday at The Conservatory — is as much indebted to a certain ’80s horror sequel as it is any musical influence.
“I was at my usual coffee shop, and I saw this guy that looked like the creepy old guy from Poltergeist II. I couldn’t get that image out of my head,” front man Jeff Klein said. “I had just gotten this bass guitar, and I went home to tinker with it with that encounter in the back of my mind. That song became ‘Preachers,’ and that song really just set the tone for the whole album.”
Preachers comes three years after My Jerusalem formed out of many other established indie bands, including The Polyphonic Spree, The Twilight Singers, Bishop Allen, Great Northern and The Gutter Twins. That wealth of experience has helped in every way imaginable, be it nabbing spots touring with bands as big as The Wallflowers, X and The Psychedelic Furs (all coming this season) or just functioning in a healthy way.
“Music is a lot like relationships: My previous relationships taught me what to do and what not to do … how to treat band members and not treat band members,” Klein said. “My past — and everyone else’s — load the groundwork for this, and now we can focus more on having fun.”
And with the respective members having dissimilar (even conflicting) backgrounds — poppy and fun with The Polyphonic Spree and Bishop Allen; conversely dark, dramatic and moody with The Twilight Singers and Great Northern — the end product from My Jerusalem is always delightfully diverse.
“It’s a great thing. None of us are coming from the same place, and everyone has something different to offer,” Klein said. “It makes things interesting.
It’s why we have a variety in our songs. No two are too much alike, and it makes things more palatable, to me at least.”
“It’s a much more mature record and a little darker. I have a lot more fun playing these songs, and I feel like it’s a more honest record. Sonically and lyrically, it really fits our personalities a lot better,” he said. “It started out as a half-assed bunch of friends making a record. Now we are all on the same page. It’s a family, and it feels like home.”