@skopemag Q&A Featuring JRTheBand Q and A

JRTheBand isn’t exactly a band, nor is it a one-man-band. It’s JR (real name, Jeremy), along with a drummer, Jeff Stanley. However, JR is the driving force behind this music, and took a little time to tell us about himself.

Skope: What was the “significant life event” that happened to you in the summer of 2018?

JRTheBand: I was fired from my Corporate Job. I have a corporate career that I am proud of, but I’ve always had a secret, almost hidden identity as a songwriter. Little have my corporate colleagues known how much of my free time is spent writing music. For too long I had been thinking about getting into the studio “one day” to record one or two of them but never had the time due to my career. Getting let go from my job was the kick in the ass I needed to say, “it’s now or never.” That was the summer of 2018. Flash forward, and I’ve released the first 9 of my original songs with my tenth coming out on November 13.

Skope: Before deciding to put your own music out, had you been in other bands? If so, what were those experiences like?

JRTheBAND: I enjoy jamming with other bands, but I’ve always been a lone wolf when it comes to music. I hear things a certain way, and I have my own process for writing songs. I have always been a songwriter first and performer second. If I had my dream, I could make a real living writing songs.

Skope: Your website states you’re a multi-instrumentalist. Which instruments do you play, and do you have a favorite?

JRTheBand: I will always be a guitarist at heart. Started there, learned other stringed instruments like the bass and mandolin, and then dabbled in the harmonica from time to time.

Skope: Is JRTheBand a one-man band, or an actual band? What’s the thinking behind the name?

JRTheBand: I am a one-man-band plus a drummer, Jeff Stanley. I am the composer, the writer, the performer of all the music besides drums, and the producer for all my songs. Since my initials are JR and I am doing everything my way, the name wasn’t too much of a stretch ;)

Skope: What’s the story behind your song “Blind Eye Beholder”?

JRTheBand: They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. When it comes to pandering, when do you finally realize your insanity, and cut bait with that insufferable fish once and for all? I wrote this song after a collaboration with another artist went sour. It was such a monkey off my back to not have to pander to this person anymore and it felt so good, so freeing to put it behind me and move on. So, it became a song about the perils of pandering and the euphoria of canceling the pander-ee. It’s a great story about the perils of kissing ass and NOT taking names!

Skope: Your music has been compared to Mountain Goats. Are you a fan, and if so, what are some of your favorite songs by that act?

JRTheBand: Never heard of them but I will have to check them out for sure!

Skope: Are there other bands you think your music sounds like?

JRTheBand: I get Train, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band, Soundgarden, Goo Goo Dolls, The Who, The Decembrists, it’s all over the map! I like to say my music sounds familiar but new, because my influences span the entire rock spectrum from the 60’s through the 90’s. I call my songs modern classic rock anthems.

Skope: Which artists most inspired you to make your own music growing up?

JRTheBand: I started out as a guitar player thinking I would become a shredder just like Eddie Van Halen. So, I spent my early years practicing the guitar a ton and writing guitar solos. Then I found myself wanting more – over the years I wanted to hear the acoustic guitar as well as the electric guitar in the mix. I wanted to hear a melodic bassline and I wanted my lyrics to be profound. So, I spent less time shredding and more time on my lyrics, bass, and other instrumental parts I have to write in order to comprise a song. So, my influences range from Zeppelin to the Stone Temple Pilots and everything rock in between including the album rock bands of the 70’s, the hair bands of the 80’s, and the grunge acts of the 90’s. My favorite band of all time has to be the Stone Temple Pilots.

Skope: Have you ever met any of your musical heroes?

JRTheBand: If so, describe one encounter. I did get to meet Kris Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets – I was in the studio one day and he stopped in because he heard the mix we were working and wanted to know who’s making that kick-ass sound! That was pretty cool considering the Puppets have been performing together for 40 years and are one of the early 90’s staples for me.

Skope: What are your career goals for, say, the next year or two?

JRTheBand: My dream is to be able to financially make a career out of writing songs. I have 10 releases out, with another 12 already “in the can”. I will keep releasing songs as my hope is to get my music heard by as many folks as possible so it can find a home among the people who “get” my type of music. Once it starts getting noticed more, I hope to get on the radar of a major publisher who will swoop in and license my entire catalog for millions of dollars. Delusions of grandeur aside, I always say “go big or go home”!