Influences, goals, and making a difference
Alt Philanthropy recently had the opportunity to talk with Cody Fitzgerald of Stolen Jars! Stolen Jars is a band based in New Jersey that recently reached out to us via email! Part of the reason we admire Stolen Jars so much, is their strong efforts in social activism!
The band’s history goes back to high school in Montclair, where they all first met. Now you might be thinking what we were thinking: why name a band ‘Stolen Jars’? Cody explained that “the first songs he wrote felt like they were manifesting themselves in new ways, as if they were held in small jars opening one at a time, each letting out a new riff.” The sounds in these songs were all impacted by the music he grew up listening to, along with the different music genres he was introduced to by his older brother. Elvis Costello and Dirty Projectors are said to be two of Cody’s biggest inspirations, who he always returns to during his creative process. In addition to childhood influences, Molly and Cody were both also heavily influenced by some of the local bands within the music scene in Montclair. The city is filled with many shows put on by various local bands, such as Pinegrove and Half Waif.
Stolen Jars’ has many dreams they hope to achieve in the future such as collaborating with artists like Chance the Rapper and David Longstreth. However, one goal they will always have is to “give people an outlet or a space to feel connected” and to “try to use Stolen Jars itself as a platform to do whatever they can to help out”, in ways like donating, spreading awareness, or whatever else is called for at a given moment. Looking around, Cody names many different people who inspire him whether they are just “trying to end racism and sexism, working to reverse global warming,” or “really anyone who is making a difference in their communities and making an effort to make the lives of the people around them better.” Cody recognizes the importance of protecting “those most targeted and most vulnerable” in the current political state, such as transgendered individuals. That is why Stolen Jars decided to donate 25% of all sales of their EP, Glint to The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization that serves aid to people of color who are transgender, intersex and/or gender non-conforming. Some of the ways they protect and fight for the LGBTQ communities rights are relating to immigration issues and prison injustice.
One of the nicest things about starting a band so early is you can always look back and see your improvement. Over time Stolen Jars has evolved rhythmically and harmonically as has Cody as a composer. The band’s “finishing process has really come into it’s own,” says Cody. His advice to those of you who hope to oneday start a band is to just “start writing some music! Maybe it will be good and people will like it and then next thing you know, you will have done it!” I mean, really, what do you have to lose?
Of course like any band, you will always need a support system. Cody confessed that he didn’t “think that [he] would be able to make any of the art [he] creates without the constant support and love of [his] parents, brother, and the other people around [him].” Whenever he has any worries, he can always count on them to keep his feet on the ground.