The story of JOLLY starts with four guys growing up in New York City. They attended public school, shared an affinity for 90s rock, and were all fans of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
On an average temperature day in November 2006, all four guys separately decided to start looking to form their ideal band. One Craigslist reply, one high school reunion, and one awkward conversation later, JOLLY’s current lineup, Anadale, Joe Reilly, Anthony Rondinone, and Louis Abramson, was established. They began writing and recording songs, and posting their material on Myspace. A label owner in Switzerland dropped his piece of cheese when he heard JOLLY and offered them a record deal, and suddenly the band’s plans to record an EP transformed into recording a full-length album.
In July 2009, JOLLY released their debut album, Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music, under Galileo/ProgRock Records. JOLLY created a small buzz, and one person even said it was one of their favorite albums of the year. The album contained binaural tones, which sound like “woo-woo-woo-woo,” sound, but scientific research shows that they actually can enrich feelings of relaxation, focus, creativity, and happiness.
In April 2010, JOLLY flew over an erupting volcano to get to Europe to play a small tour with Riverside and Pure Reason Revolution. The airplane food was salty and the flight was long, but despite the hardship, JOLLY created a buzz, which led to a record deal with InsideOut Music/Century Media Records.
In March 2011, JOLLY released The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part 1), the first of a two-part series that is scientifically designed to bring a listener to a state of true happiness. The band collaborated with a professor and a few grad students at a nearby university, who conducted studies on over 5,000 subjects to perfect the usage of binaural tones to optimize the JOLLY listening experience. It was the peak of the band’s pretentiousness, but also a very rewarding undertaking.
After releasing part one of The Audio Guide, which received critical acclaim and was deemed by two people one of the top albums of the year, JOLLY toured the US and Europe. Again, the airplane food was salty and the flight was long, but the band watched reruns of Friends on the small screens on the back of the airplane seats to pass the time. Shortly after returning from tour, Mike Portnoy asked JOLLY to open for his band Flying Colors at Best Buy Theater in Times Square. He even said: “I am a big fan of the last two Jolly albums and handpicked them to open the Flying Colors show in NYC.”
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck New York City hard, including JOLLY, destroying Louis’ home, which also functioned as the band’s practice space and recording studio. All of Louis’ possessions and a lot of the band’s equipment were ruined. Needless to say, the members of JOLLY were devastated, but they tried to remain positive. The timing couldn't have been worse; the band was in the midst of finalizing The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part 2), and had to break away from the album to throw out Louis’ belongings and completely gut his home. Louis even moved in with Joe temporarily, and they watched Wheel of Fortunate almost every weeknight. In need of new equipment, JOLLY started a fundraising campaign, and their incredible fans came through in a big way to help the band rebuild after this major disaster.
The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part 2) was released in March 2013, along with a European and US tour with Riverside. The two bands had an instant connection and the Riverside guys would often given JOLLY wedgies, swirlies, and wet willies. JOLLY went on the tour with Scale the Summit in the fall, and played some more shows with Mike Portnoy's new band The Winery Dogs.
In February 2014, JOLLY was lucky enough to be part of the Progressive Nation at Sea 2014. The festival firmly marked JOLLY's place in the progressive rock world. They will be taking the stage this fall to headline one night of ProgPower Europe.
Over the years, JOLLY has cultivated a number of musical styles and abilities. It's unknown what JOLLY will do with the wide range of possibilities in their creations. Maybe polka, maybe death metal, maybe TV themes, maybe a fusion of the three. Only time will tell.