On tour with a super band
Vail, CO, Colorado
The Jackmormons, Denmark Vesey and Stockholm Syndrome ” perhaps three of the strangest band names ever. Jerry Joseph, a very busy singer and songwriter, is attached to all three of the oddly-named projects. Brutally frank and honest at every turn, Joseph took time out to answer some questions about those bands and, of course, his current tour with Stockholm Syndrome ” a mega-jam band that also includes guitarist Eric McFadden, Danny Louis, drummer Wally Ingram and Dave Schools of Widespread Panic.
Jerry Joseph: It just started on Friday. It’s kind of a short run, seven shows. We just did two nights in San Francisco and it was really good. Good turnout, I thought we played well.
JJ: I don’t think it’s hard for me. It’s probably hard for guys in my other bands who have to wait around. I’m getting older so I’ve got a lot of songs, so it keeps it interesting.
JJ: I think I was reading an article about how the general population of the United States is suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome post 9/11 where it’s willing to give up its civil liberties and just intelligent thinking in general for the sake of being safe.
JJ: Me and Dave (Schools, bass player for Widespread Panic) were really good friends. We’d worked and produced Jackmormon’s record, we worked together for a long time. We’ve been writing. We wrote two songs on the last Panic record and three songs on the new Panic record so we’ve been working together a lot. We’ve been talking since the early ’90s about doing some kind of project. And for me it’s very cool because it gives me an opportunity to play with musicians of a caliber that I don’t normally get to play with in my life.
JJ: You know, they’re such different things. Jackmormon is the people I’ve been playing with for 15 years. The Stockholm thing is pretty fresh because … we don’t do it all the time. This Denmark Vesey project is pretty difficult because it’s hard to pull off a duo. So it’s not like there’s one that takes precedence over the other. Not to sound too magnanimous but, you know, the only one I really give a (expletive) about is the one that I’m walking on stage with (that) night because that’s my job.
JJ: I’d be an (expletive) to think that’s not what lures them in. That’s probably the biggest hurdle that fans have to make is because I’m a lot more controversial and darker and … I don’t always sit well with your average jam-band fan. I don’t have any songs about the snow or mushrooms or good times in the sun. I’d probably be a lot more successful had I written a few of those, so yeah, whatever gets ’em in the door gets ’em in the door, hopefully. I think it’s a pretty good band. I think the music is awesome and I think the material holds up for itself.
JJ: For me as a writer, again I’m getting older, you know, I’m a little less interested in songs about getting laid than I am in spirituality or theology or political stuff or how that all mixes up with sex. You know, at this point I’m probably 300 songs into it. I just try to write honestly if I can and have a hook if possible.
JJ: This is what I do, you know, I don’t have another job, you know. If somebody offered me a bunch of money to write a screenplay that’d be great. But at this point this is my job. You talk about the future and health willing … I think we live in a time that it’s been shown that you can age and do this thing with grace and dignity so perhaps I can do that too.
High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.