Central Islip, NY group MJT presents “One Way”, their first single from their forthcoming EP Hour Glass. Formerly known as the Michael Jazz Trio, twenty-year old bassist Matthew Godfrey, eighteen-year-old vocalist/multi-instrumentalist David Godfrey and fourteen-year-old drummer Jo Jo Godfrey blend funk and r&b with a jazz foundation, have multiple wins at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre under their belts, and have performed on the Jazz on the Vine Series. “It’s about the way I view life,” David says of the new record. “It’s about how easy it is to lose yourself in any industry or job. I wrote how I felt at the moment and off personal experiences.”
How do you think listeners’ perceptions of MJT changes between the time they lay eyes on you and the time they hear your music?
Well I guess it’s not everyday that you see a group of black guys playing rock music, and especially for Jordan, you don’t see someone that age playing as well as he does. We actually kind of like people not really knowing what’s going to come from us after just looking at us. Even for people that have seen us before, we try to play something new so every show is special. Even if it’s a minor change, keeping things fresh is a good way to avoid ruts.
How did you guys come to encompass so many styles of music in your playing?
When we first started we wanted to play music all the time, so playing different styles was also another way to stay out of ruts. Being self-taught gave us the freedom to explore without someone telling us what to play, so if we saw something we liked we tried to do it. Music is so diverse and never-ending that if you keep your eyes open you’ll find things you didn’t even know you were looking for.
What was the band’s motivation to skew more in an alt-rock direction lately?
As we grow older and started to find things that inspired us and moved us, rock came to the forefront. So much so that as we started to write music, as we always had, alt-rock was what came out. We still believe that our style of music is something new and fresh that hasn’t really been heard before, but the best way to describe it would have to be alt-rock.
Who do you guys think has been the most influential rapper of the last year and why?
I’m not really sure. I’m not going to pretend like I know a whole lot about hip hop or rap but my favorite artist at the moment is Kendrick Lamar. I think he’s the most talented rapper right now and his albums are definitely very well done. Again though, my knowledge of hip hop is not enough to give a good answer on who was most influential.
What are the band’s plans for 2015?
We just want to get out on the road and tour. Playing live is the thing that drives us most and we haven’t really toured outside of New York that much. We still want to record a bunch of music this year, but our main focus is spreading our music across the country, and eventually across the world.