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Ninth Floor Mannequin: “Creating Music is the Activity that Gets me out of Bed in the Morning.”

November 6, 2017


Jarrod Pedone was hit by a speeding car in Fishtown in 2012, leaving him in a coma for 12 days. The longtime musician and Berklee College of Music graduate lost months of his life recovering, going through speech and occupational therapy to regain his sense of self.

Making music became his own therapy. He started a personal project, Ninth Floor Mannequin, and launched an album, Green & Blue for Blackness, four years later.

Pedone recently released his sophomore album, 5 Characters (In Search of An Exit), so we caught up with him to learn more about him and his work.

What’s going on in this new album? Why are you looking for an exit?

The majority of my songs are based on my favorite episodes of the original The Twilight Zone series. There is a famous episode, titled “Five Characters in Search of an Exit.” The EP title pays homage to that episode.

These five songs were written about different subjects (explained in the lyrics sections of Bandcamp & Soundcloud) and I felt that they all belonged on the same release despite being varied in subject matter, much like the episode.


It materialized much quicker than Green & Blue for Blackness. And under much different circumstances, right?

Yes, it materialized much more quickly. Green & Blue for Blackness was more of a retrospective project.

On the new EP, with the exception of “Understudy,” these songs were written, recorded, mixed and mastered from scratch within a few months in a small room by myself. Though that seems like a slow turnaround, it’s much faster than is normal for me.

I wanted to record an EP quickly with Ninth Floor Mannequin in mind and make it more cohesive than my debut album.


The lyrics are very interesting, as though you are sending a message to people. “In a brand new way, we relearn to trust?” What’s on your mind, Jarrod?

That song is based on an episode of The Twilight Zone, titled “Two.” The episode is about a man and woman who meet in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, wearing opposing military uniforms. They cannot communicate but relearn to trust each other through actions, despite their fear of each other.

As with all of my Twilight Zone-themed songs, the sentiment of the episode can be contorted to fit your personal experiences. This can be applied to the events in relationships and altercations in your own life…or it could merely be a commentary an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Here’s a music video for clarification:


How is your recovery going? Are you still impacted by the accident?

It’s going well. I still struggle with the standard after-effects of my injuries – memory loss, anxiety, mental exhaustion, balance, lack of smell/taste, weakened sense of touch, sleeping issues, etc.

I live a normal life, though. Creating music is the activity that gets me out of bed in the morning. I can’t complain.

Who are you away from Ninth Floor Mannequin? What do you do with yourself?

Away from music, I’m kind of a boring guy.

I run a lot. I just broke 2,500 miles on my running app. I just finished The Stand by Stephen King and I’m now in the middle of 1984 by George Orwell. I teach about 50 young drummers. I play drums for The End of America. I attend shows occasionally.

I just quietly live my life.

What comes next?

More performances and new music come next. As I said, I don’t exactly churn out new music at a feverish pace. So, it might be a bit but I’m already getting the itch to record new stuff.

As soon as I release music, I tend to think that it’s not too great and that I could do better. So, I try to cover my mistakes by releasing better music than I did the last time. If the music draws some interest and people enjoy it, I’d be happy to hit the ground running with performances.

I just hope that people enjoy the music to the point where live performances would be necessary. If not, I’m sure that I’ll play more shows regardless.

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