Musicians Of Queens: Ballroom Jacks


While brothers may argue and their personalities can appear to be miles apart, they often comprehend each other better than most people.

When that sense of understanding is used to work towards the same goal, those individuals have a distinct advantage. This is the case for Ballroom Jacks. BallroomJacks2

Ballroom Jacks is an alternative rock and roll band based in Astoria. The group is composed of Will Arland (singer/guitarist), Ben Arland (bass) and Conor McGlone (drums). While the two Arlands have been writing together for a few years, the addition of McGlone helped the band to really come together.

“I had been writing songs since I was 17, then Ben and I started playing in our parents’ garage in high school,” Will said. “Ben and I started playing with Conor in 2009, but we started calling ourselves Ballroom Jacks after a month of playing in the garage in 2006.”

While being in a band with a sibling is tough sometimes, Will said their work is helped out by the fact that all three of the band members have the same vision for their music.

“It has ups and downs, we argue constantly, but at the same time, we are really on the same wavelength, all three of us are actually,” he said. “But with all the back and forth, it allows you not to have to tip-toe around each other so our work can develop in a way that’s uninhibited.”

That work has developed into a sound similar to the band’s influences, a mix of 1980s new wave, 1960s girl groups and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. Whether it is in the studio or onstage, the band enjoys the process of sharing these tunes with their audience.

“We really look forward to playing our music for people who are right in front of us, that’s the feeling we chase after,” Will said. “But it’s really romantic to think that what you are recording will be experienced by someone on their headphones when they are going to work, or in their bedrooms.”

Based in Astoria, the neighborhood is where Ballroom Jacks finished its first EP, giving the band members a strong connection with the area. As they are immersed in the community, Will said it is tough to tell what impact it has had on the band, but at the very least, it has offered them the opportunity to play showcases like the CMJ Music Marathon.

“We feel really lucky to have two showcases and that so many people come out to see rock and roll music and everything else,” Will said.

Ballroom Jacks will be playing at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan on Oct. 25 and Meade’s Pub on Oct. 29. Keep an eye out for a new EP and possibly a Christmas song in the coming months.