Thursday, July 22, 2010
When Aaron Jones pitched an idea for a reality television show to E! Television, he came armed with an advantage: His cousin is Stefani Joanne Angelina, aka Lady Gaga.
Jones – the singer-guitarist of the Los Angeles indie band Parents – was given a green light to shoot a pilot for a show about growing up in a showbiz family, told through his life as a struggling musician. Filming began more than two weeks ago and follows them as they tour the country, including a stop at Jose’s Lounge Underground this Friday. If picked up, the show is tentatively scheduled to air in the summer of 2011.
There’s no denying that Jones’ cousin sweetened his pitch. “It definitely got their attention,” he says, “and pretty much sealed the deal.”
The formula fits the typical reality show archetype: young people struggling to make it in an ultra-competitive entertainment machine known as Los Angeles. The producer involved also produced Living Lohan, about the perpetual travesty/embarrassment that is the Lindsay Lohan Empire.
“We’re nothing like that,” Jones says. “We’re all good people and it’s different because we’re not hot chicks.”
Long before Stefani went Gaga, Jones and his family were immersed in the thick of the entertainment industry; he acted in commercials and sitcoms as a kid and his father was a roadie for the metal hair-band Warrant.
Ultimately, Jones wants this opportunity to be a stepping-stone for Parents, which he formed about a year ago with longtime friend and drummer Isaiah Hernandez. The group recently added bassist Steve Albertson.
The band’s music is a bouillabaisse of post-punk, ’90s grunge and ’80s new wave. The tune “Balderdash” begins with a boombastic and lengthy New Order-like intro exceeding a minute before any vocals come into play.
Jones stresses that he isn’t relying on his famous relative to give the band a boost. He wants to make it on his own terms and isn’t looking for any free handouts.
“I try not to mix business with family,” Jones says. “If [Angelina] hears us and likes us, she’s going to help us out.”
She must like what she’s heard so far, because she’s scored the band sessions with a big-name recording engineer and producer to help them make their debut album. They’ve have also played hot L.A. venues like the Viper Room and House of Blues.
Jones says while Angelina supports the reality television gig, it remains unclear if she’ll be able to be a part of it.
Meanwhile, camera crews will be following Parents on its upcoming tour, which includes Friday’s show on Cannery Row.
The Trees, Reggie Ginn and Grenade Jumper also play.