By Chyrisse Tabone, Tampa Correspondent
Rock At Night recently had the pleasure of speaking with James Hart and Dean Silk of Jupiter Falls on how they formed the band, their musical influences, experiences while touring, song-writing process and their debut album Revolution, which will be released by Broken Road Records on August 10, 2015. . Their style is “in-your-face” rock n’ roll in the vein of 80s bands like Guns & Roses. You can listen to teaser song “Chasing the Dragon” and definitely hear the influences.
Members of Jupiter Falls: James Hart, lead singer; Deano Silk, lead guitarist: Zachari Daniels, rhythm guitarist; Dan Clark bass, guitarist; Lewie Lewington, drummer; Genre: Hard Rock; Home Town: Leeds
GETTING THE BAND TOGETHER
Dean: We got the band together around September 2013.
ROCKATNIGHT: How did you two meet?
James: I saw Dean on YouTube doing a cover song. I wanted to do a sing-over so I in-boxed him on YouTube and asked him if I could use it. About three weeks later I got a mail from him and we started working together and writing some stuff. But Dean lived about two hours away . We never actually met but we wrote most of the first album—Revolution—without even meeting each other.
ROCKATNIGHT: Oh, wow!
Dean: I heard James’ voice and thought, ‘This is just too good for doing YouTube covers.’
James: Yeah, so we did a few songs. We clicked, really.
ROCKATNIGHT: So, Dean, you don’t live in the same area? You had to come down for this interview?
Dean: I did live in London but I moved back up in October. I moved back to Leeds just to be in the band, really.
James: We live together now.
ROCKATNIGHT: So, you got together and then added the other members to the band?
James: Yeah, I was in a previous band and we got a couple of guys from that. We got a new guitarist and bass player.
ROCKATNIGHT: So, you’ve gone through different members since you originally started?
Dean: Yeah. Zach on guitar and Dan on bass guitar.
James: Yeah, it’s much better than it was.
ON THE NAME JUPITER FALLS
ROCKATNIGHT: How did you get the band’s name “Jupiter Falls”? Tell me the story behind the name.
Dean: It’s a bit weird. I was working down in a warehouse in London and it popped in me head. I texted it to James and then it just stuck, really. It’s just one of those names that sticks in your head.
ROCKATNIGHT: It has a nice ring to it.
ROCKATNIGHT: Tell me about your musical background. Have you been playing music since you were a kid?
James: I used to sing in my bedroom when I was about 12 years old. My parents were like ‘you need to go on Pop Idol.’ And I thought, ‘I’m 12 years old. I can’t do that.’
About three years later I was doing karaoke and I got a great response from singing. From then (about 15) I was in a band—and I’ve never been out of one. I only sang for about a year (15-16) when I began to play guitar for about 12 years—and then I met Dean and went back to singing.
Dean: For me, I was brought up around Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath. I was growing up thinking ‘What’s that noise on the radio?’ For my 12th birthday I bought a guitar. The first week I learned Nirvana’s Nevermind album. And then I just carried on from there. I had lessons for about six years. I decided I didn’t want to learn from the book anymore.
ROCKATNIGHT: Dean, did you play electric guitar right off the bat or did you play acoustic?
Dean: I started electric but after four years I got an acoustic. I’m still not confident on acoustic. Electric is still my stronger point. It where my heart is, really.
ROCKATNIGHT: So when you both started playing as a teenager, did you have your sights on ‘Oh, I want to be a rock star’? Did something click like that?
James/Dean: Yeah! [both shaking their heads)
James: I got to the point where I had been in about 12 bands and said ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ And then I met Dean and thought ‘I’ll have to go for it here. If it don’t happen now I know I’ll be finished.’
Dean: I had been in bands and they really didn’t work. That’s why I started my Youtube cover channel. The bands weren’t working so I thought I’d enjoy covering Guns & Roses…stuff like that.
ROCKATNIGHT: You all do original music now?
Dean: Yeah, we do. Once in awhile I’ll do a couple of cover tracks. Predominantly, it’s all J.F. stuff now.
ROCKATNIGHT: What type of music did you listen to growing up?
James: Guns & Roses. (Dean agreed).
ROCKATNIGHT: You like 80s rock music? Big hair bands?
James/Dean: Oh, yeah!
James: There’s nobody who could touch Guns & Roses for me! The first album I ever listened to was Live Era. It’s the best rock album!
ROCKATNIGHT: Do you typically listen to British bands or American bands?
James: I’d much rather listen to American bands. There’s a couple of British bands that are alright but…
Dean: I’m a mixture. I go for stuff like The Who to American like Hendrix or Alter Bend.
ROCKATNIGHT: So no Def Leppard?
Dean: I actually love them!
James: They are alright.
ROCKATNIGHT: I talk to a lot of musicians in the UK and they usually say they listen to American music—yet I listen to British music. What’s with that?
James: I think you can tell—like in the reviews—we’re very American sounding. Like the style, and production, the vocals…everything.
ROCKATNIGHT: I agree!
James: I’d rather listen to American music because, to me, it came from there.
ROCKATNIGHT: Do you ever listen to blues?
Dean: I do. I love the blues.
James: I’m not really into blues.
ROCKATNIGHT: Yeah, because that’s really the root of it all. Do you have any tours?
James: Now that we have the publicist we’re going to put the album release back . It’s no longer June but it’s actually the 10th of August when the album (Revolution) comes out. We’ll be touring in September and doing the Legends of Rock Festival in October. And then, as soon as that is done, get a second album out. It’s done already, pretty much.
ABOUT REVOLUTION and SONGWRITING
ROCKATNIGHT: So, you are releasing your first album worldwide in August? And you have already written a second. Wow!
James: We’ve got 14 tracks finished (well, they are all demoed). We’ve got 30 to 40 tracks still to put vocals on so we’ve got a massive collection to choose from.
ROCKATNIGHT: Just out of curiosity, do you think your style has changed for the second album? Have you matured?
James/Dean: Yes, definitely.
Dean: The first album was written about two or three years ago. It was such a long process. We’ve grown into a playing style. We’ve improved both technically and emotionally. Even with Revolution, everything is about things we’ve been through in life. And the second album, even more so. Some of them can pull on your heartstrings a little bit. We’ve got ballads—we’ve got everything, to be honest. We’ve got some stuff that is heavier than the first album but then we’ve got that’s a bit lighter.
ROCKATNIGHT: So the themes are pretty much autobiographical?
James: Yes, pretty much.
ROCKATNIGHT: How do you write the music? Do you all get together?
Dean: I’ll write about something that has happened to me either in the present or the past—or in the future. I might just be taking the trash out to the bin and a riff will pop into my head. I’ll just lay it down and then James—he does his magic.
James: He does all the music! Once he has it demoed, he’ll give it to me. I’ll put my headphones on and if I’m in the right frame of mind at the time, I’ll pick a subject. Generally it will be ripped and recorded in two hours?
ROCKATNIGHT: That’s really quick!
James: Yeah, if it don’t flow for me when I’m writing lyrics and melodies then I’ll stop and not do it. I’ve got to be right there in the moment at the time. Like the songs on Revolution the songs “Where Are You Now” and “End of the World”—I wrote them together side-by-side within an hour and a half and then recorded them.
ROCKATNIGHT: So, Dean you develop a guitar track and send it to James?
James: Dean does it all. He adds the bass and drum tracks.
Dean: Yes, full orchestration, piano, everything.
ROCKATNIGHT: When you listen to the music James, you develop words that you feel goes with the melody?
ROCKATNIGHT: If it’s aggressive sounding, then you develop aggressive lyrics?
ON THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
ROCKATNIGHT: What’s the best thing and worst thing about being in the music industry today?
James: The best thing is doing what you love. The worst thing is (can I swear?)..
ROCKATNIGHT: Uh huh….
James: The industry is shit. We saw things on tour last year …I mean, we’ve seen a lot already , what bigger bands can do…It’s just a very weird industry where people do things behind your back .
Dean: Yeah, there’s a lot of money grabbers out there…
James: Yeah, money grabbers.
ROCKATNIGHT: Would the problem be management or other bands (like competition)?
James: Not the bands. At the end of the day we’re all lads trying to do what you love. There’s no competition with me. To me, we’re not like everybody else at the moment because we’re trying to do a bit of everything. So I don’t really care about other bands. Let them do what they want.
We now manage ourselves as well. We used to have a manager but we’ve decided to manage ourselves. I find it to be the easiest, to be honest, because we are in total control.
ROCKATNIGHT: It’s hard to trust people. If you look at the history of rock bands, how many companies have stolen music from artists?
James: We’ll never sign anything where we don’t own our music. The name “Jupiter Falls” is even trademarked, as well. Everything belongs to us. Even if somebody offered us a lot of money, I wouldn’t sign something that said songs aren’t ours.
Dean: We actually had a label approach us a few months ago that wanted to take the rights to our music, and that was an instant ‘No.’ We’ve slaved hours and hours throughout our music for somebody to take it and make money on it…. It’s just stuff that can’t happen.
THE TOURING EXPERIENCE
ROCKATNIGHT: What would a typical band be like when you are touring? (The band toured the UK and France in 2014).
Dean: It starts with trying to get asleep on the tour bus with seven or eight guys. Trying to get some room in there.
James: You gotta’ have a laugh. It keeps spirits high. When we went to France it took us 18 hours to drive on the tour bus from the UK. The first venue was virtually to Germany (it was that far into France).
We stop off, get your food, get what you need….get to your venue and get treated royally.
ROCKATNIGHT: Let’s talk about that. How do you get treated royally? Aren’t there sometimes contracts about what kind of food should be distributed? Was there anything quirky or weird?
James: No, we didn’t want to push it the first time. (laugh). Just general things. We’d have a fridge full of beer, tables with fruit, sandwich stuff …
Dean: A shower…
James: A shower! A shower with clean towels! Next time I go, I’ll say I want a live turkey in every changing room.
ROCKATNIGHT: (laughing hard)
James: I’ll stick to it. One day we’ll have a live turkey. The reason I say this is because if they do this, you know the rest of it will be right.
ROCKATNIGHT: Um huh…yes…like they are actually listening to you…
So you have to set up everything yourself? How does it work?
James: No, we have technicians….drum tech, roadie..So all we had to do was get off the bus, get to the dressing room and have a drink. We did the sound check and went back to our dressing room.
ROCKATNIGHT: So at 2 in the morning you’d have to tear down everything. What did you do?
James: We’d just chill. To be honest since it was our first tour there wasn’t much sleeping going on. We were just really excited! I got about five hours of sleep in five days.
Dean: Yeah, about that.
BEING ON STAGE
ROCKATNIGHT: That’s not much! So, it was probably a real adrenaline rush. What’s it like being on stage with all those people cheering and dancing?
Dean: I can’t find the words to describe it. It’s OK when we play around here…around Leeds because there are familiar faces. When were in France and there’s like 200 people who haven’t even heard our name…and they’re moshing and rocking out to our tracks…it’s just ….
James: For me, when they come up afterwards and tell you how much they enjoyed it…to me, that’s the best thing.
Dean: Yeah, it’s just mind-blowing.
James: And Dean will get a guy or woman stand in front of him just like that (James makes a “deer in the headlights” look on his face).
ROCKATNIGHT: Star struck! (laughter) Now does that go to your head?
James and Dean: No! (shaking head).
Dean: I’m never, never happy after a gig. I’m always critical of my guitar playing. If I miss one note I start beating myself up over it.
James: (Shaking head) No, he shouldn’t do that.
Dean: That’s just how I am, really. I always want to improve.
James: I’ve got to just kick his ass if he does it.
ROCKATNIGHT: There’s people that don’t know you are making a mistake. Only you know!
James: That’s it! The only place a person might see an error is for me, the singer. It’s happened before when I was in cover bands. I just stopped.
ROCKATNIGHT: Yeah, if you forget the words, that’s noticeable. Actually a lot of bands play their music differently at various concerts. It’s OK. It’s just a different version [of the song].
Are you ever scared when you go out on stage?
Dean/James: Nah. We’ve done it too often to be scared.
James: I love to be on stage. I’m a different person on stage. You’ve got to have a ‘stage persona.’ I’ve been called ‘arrogant’ when I’ve been on stage but offstage, I’m not like that at all. But to me, when you walk on stage, you own it.
Dean: You’ve got to have a little arrogance. It’s rock ‘n roll. It’s how it’s ‘in your face.’ The stage presence has got to follow with the music. Now, offstage, if I see a musician is arrogant, I can’t stand him.
James: Offstage I’m totally different. Everybody that knows me says that as well.
ROCKATNIGHT: Don’t you think people expect you to act ‘rock ‘n roll’? You have to put on a show.
James: If I had to stand there, I’d be bored.
ROCKATNIGHT: So would the audience…
James: That’s it. If I saw an asshole standing there, I’d tell him to fuckin’ move!
ROCKATNIGHT: (much laughter)
So do you like to jump around and put on a show? Jump on speakers?
James: I don’t really jump on speakers. They’re too high, really. I might jump off the drum riser.
“Chasing the Dragon-LIVE”
Link to ROCK AT NIGHT’s review of Revolution
I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse
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