Michael Marefka Vocals, Synth, Guitar
Stephen Ovak Guitar, Bass, Drums, Synth
Years Active 2018 – Present
Latest Release Pennsylvania (single), June 4, 2021 & Lowlands, April 2021
Current Album on Repeat
Modern English – After the Snow (Michael)
Deerhunter – Weird Era Cont. (Stephen)
2666 – Roberto Bolano (Stephen)
Oxford History of Medieval Europe (Michael)
The best kept secret in the city
Rockefeller Greenhouse – Located off the Cultural Gardens on MLK Blvd. The Greenhouse is free to the public, historic, and has actual fruiting lemon and orange trees. (Michael)
Szechuan Gourmet – The dry pot is literally the best thing I’ve ever eaten. (Stephen)
Favorite Venue to Perform
This one is really tough. There are a lot of great venues in Cleveland run by lovely people. We gotta do a top four: Happy Dog, Maples Lanes, Now That’s Class…, Mahall’s.
Tell us about how this project got started?
We started playing music together over a decade ago. The two of us have been best friends since high school, and used to play together at our friends’ house in Kent, though not really in a structured way. We both moved out of Northeast Ohio for some years, and started Jaite in the Fall of 2018. We released our first EP, Primal Head, that year as a two piece. We realized that some of the songs required an energy in a live setting that we couldn’t really capture just the two of us. During that period, we expanded into a four piece with a couple of different line ups before the pandemic hit. It took almost a year before we started writing again. Lowlands, our most recent release, is back to just the two of us.
Are you working on anything new / specific at the moment?
Because of COVID-19, we’ve begun exploring the music writing process as a two-piece. We’re currently experimenting with more electronic elements like synthesizers, drum machines, and sampling. As we write new material, we hope to have another EP worth of songs out in the coming months.
What does Cleveland or Akron have to offer aspiring musicians?
Cleveland and Akron have such awesome music histories past and present. There are tons of venues and excellent people who want to participate in the scene and help you out as a musician. Music in our region is very collaborative. There are artists from all different kinds of genres working together to give both cities a unique identity.
What has your recording experience been like?
Ha! It’s tough. We’ve been experimenting with home recording, which has been a great learning experience and has definitely saved us time and money, but moving forward, recording elsewhere would be a great opportunity. The creative control has been a really rewarding process but we recognize our own limitations in producing. However… we are happy with how Lowlands turned out 🙂
What’s the next move?
We want to expand our sound. We’re not necessarily sure where that will lead!