By Michael Cerio

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “I bet in a few weeks I’ll look back on this as the calm time” says Jukebox The Ghost singer Ben Thornewill as he readies their new album Off To The Races and prepares for their tour.

That tour kicks off Tuesday April 10th in Philadelphia, the former home of the piano-pop band Jukebox The Ghost.

“We did the college thing and built the band in D.C., and then we got serious in Philadelphia” remembers Thornewill. “That was our home base for touring. Probably the first four or five hundred shows were touring out of Philadelphia.”

“We came in not knowing where to go or what to do. For that first year, I think we all remember thinking, whoa Philly’s tough. Who do we even talk to? And then, we found our way into the community and made some really great friends and since then it’s just been this warm loving wonderful place to return to.”

jukebox the ghost Interview: Jukebox The Ghost Learns To Lean Into Queen

Jukebox The Ghost | Credit: Shervin Lainez

This trip back the band returns with their new album Off To The Races, a batch of tunes that feels like a “reinvention” to Thornewill and company. It also feels like the band has pinned some of their new inspiration to the legendary Queen – a group that usually gets brought up when dissecting the sound of Jukebox The Ghost because of their pop theatrics and soaring sensibilities. 

After years of not seeing the connection aside from pounding piano paired with big voice vocals, Jukebox The Ghost stopped fighting the tide with a Halloween show honoring the band. “HalloQueen” as they called it, allowed the music of Freddie Mercury to sweep into the creative process on Off To The Races.

“That was both so much fun, and such an education in performing, and in Queen songwriting, and what you can do in a pop song, that when it came around to this record we’re like let’s just embrace it. We’re already getting the comparisons let’s just see what happens if we really own up to it and make a record and say this sounds like Queen and that’s great.”

Off To The Races is available everywhere March 30th, and the band plays Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Tuesday April 10th. To hear more from Ben Thornewill of Jukebox The Ghost, listen to the full interview above or click here.