Where does the name “Levitation Jones” come from?
Levitation Jones’ daily name is Brian Gardner, and introduces the story behind his stage name as “kind of boring.” “Basically …. ‘Levitation’ is very big and boisterous, and ‘Jones’ is very bland, maybe the most boring thing you can think of. It’s like our shows can be very amateurish sometimes, and also very professional. We’re very DIY but somehow, altogether it all comes off.”
How did Levitation Jones get started?
Gardner recalls “not taking my music very seriously” while playing mostly clubs in 2013, when he was 20. He experienced a “kick in the face:” an arrest for selling acid. Equipped with the wake-up call, Gardner “begged my parents to let me go to one last festival.” That next performance ended up being his big break. “Four different promoters said, ‘What’s your name? You’re awesome!’ One of those ended up coming through. I drew a crowd of 150 people in the campground in the middle of the woods…. There are a lot of people who deserve a lot more credit than me, but I deserve just a little pat on the back as a true fan. I’m right there in front of the sound system along with everyone else. I love taking it in. I’m always paying attention and love supporting underground music and finding new artists. I give my heart and soul to the community and I think it shows in my art and my longevity.”
What words do you use to describe yourself?
“I’m pretty much ambiguous and androgynous as a human being and I try to reflect that in my art. I try to be inviting for anybody that feels a little more misunderstood, or more into niche things…. I give my heart and soul to the community, and I think it shows in my art and my longevity.”
What does The Impossible Threesome tour include?
Levitation Jones, aka Brian Gardner, will DJ along with Beardthug, and the show also features lights and lasers by lighting and stage artist v. Kash. Both LJ and Beardthug are based in the northeast and have long-term and growing names in the “soundsystem community,” also sometimes called the “festival community,” Gardner says.
How does Gardner describe the soundsystem vibe?
It started in the 1940s and ‘50s with roots reggae music, evolving into subwoofers and a focus on “the low end,” transforming into massively loud bass sounds through soundsystem battles in Jamaica throughout the 1950s, and then “blending with different cultures like house and Detroit, and New York and Grateful Dead jam culture.” “I’m skipping a lot, but that all became what we know now as soundsystem and festival culture, or bass music culture.”