So new, they’re barely out their wrapper, let’s give them a warm Moshville Times welcome! Canadian band Feel Good Jacket are our band of the day.
How did you meet?
Rob (guitarist) and I, met at a jam and started working together very soon after. I joined his band when their singer quit and then we created a duo when we left that band and spent the next 2 years and 9 months playing in that project. Jon (drummer) is my brother, so I’ve known him for quite some time. Jacob (bass) was found when we put a notice out on Facebook stating we’re looking for band members. Someone tagged him on the post and we’ve been best friends ever since.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Literally less than a month. We all played in different projects prior to this, but finally started shows in October 2018. Rob and I started the album in January 2018 and in June, Jacob joined the band. Jon arrived in September. I guess it’s kind of weird that we started the album and for the most part finished it before we had all our members. For Rob and I, this project has been a long time in the making but the band as a whole is very new.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Honestly, I can’t remember. I was in a “band” when I was in college, but we weren’t really a band. We were two people who played a few songs in the other guy’s living room and went to shows and wrote songs and mostly drank a lot of beer. We were called Feel Good Jacket, but never did an actual show. So when it came time to find a name for my new band 10 years later, we looked up a lot of different names, but I always thought FGJ was a good one, so we ended up using it again. Names are tough.
What are your influences?
We’ve literally played every style of music over the years. We’ve even been told by people that you can hear a country influence in certain songs. I think, however, that the music we feel most strongly connected to is classic hard rock like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC. Rob played all the instruments, wrote the songs, and produced them so you hear that for sure. He was all about being slow and heavy like Black Sabbath. Then I come in. I have always loved music that is fast, punky, and full of energy; basically the opposite of what he was trying to accomplish. Bands like Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and The Offspring. We also love the nerd rock that came out of the late 90s-early 2000’s like Weezer or The Odds. We’re so all over the place. I think these bands influence us because we saw people not taking themselves seriously and embracing their inner geek. This is more about our performance style.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We initially described the album as the product of “Metallica and Blondie getting high with David Bowie”. Whatever that means… It’s heavy in areas, though it’s punk and it’s dance and it’s fun. It even goes out to space! It’s riff driven like a lot of the classics with a fuzz bass on everything. If you were to isolate each instrument, you’d find each is featured throughout the songs in different ways. It’s meant to be complicated, but wisely produced so it’s not just noise. There’s a lot going on, but everything works together to allow space when there needs to be.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The album was written in a time when we were feeling particularly deflated and beaten down by the world. The songs “Bully”, “Power Trip”, “Heavy Metal Superpower”, and “Lead Hammer” are about being pushed around and resisting that. Essentially “we’re not gonna take it”. The songs “Playing with Matches”, “Monkey See Monkey Do”, “Money For Our Gods”, “War”, and “What I’ve Not Forgot” in one way or another touch on the conformity of civilisation or government control. There are so many things that are wrong in the world, but we continue to look the other way because how am I, as one person, supposed to change the way things are done? Futility and hopeless are definite themes, but with the prior theme coming in to say, fine, push me around, but I am strong enough to take it and give it back in some form.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live show consists of a full night of cover tunes from the 90s and early 2000s as well as our album. We play the entire album every night, seamlessly fitting our songs in with the covers. We don’t stick to a set list, but have a big list of songs we can play depending on our audience. We have a high energy show. I have played guitar in past projects, but chose not to with this band so I don’t feel stuck behind a mic stand. My goal is to interact with the audience as if we’re doing a show in our living room and always have a lot of fun. We play well, but try not to take ourselves seriously.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Once Rob was playing a bar and an 80 year old came up to the stage and flashed the band. That’s pretty wild!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Rob plays a 1978 Peavey T60 and sometimes 1997 modified Fender Telecaster. His amp is a Mesa Boogie F-50.
Jacob has an 800 watt mesa subway with a 4×10 mesa cab. He plays a 5 string ESP F-5 with an ebony fret board and purple zebra strap. The bass is fondly referred to as “Ernie”.
Jon has a Pearl kit and prefers Zildjian cymbals.
The album however was recorded with a Yamaha Stage custom kit and random mix of cymbals from a bunch of brands. The bass was a 5 string SDGR 6 Ibanez. Amp was an Ashdown EVO 500. Guitars were the same, since Rob recorded everything.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our Battle Rock album release date was October 12, 2018. We are definitely trying to get the word out about that.
What are your plans for 2018?
2018 for us is all about getting people to know about the album. We have 31 shows from now till the end of the year in which to do so. Because this is a brand new band we want to really polish our stage show and find the people who are really going to love our tunes. Rob is also going to be starting the next album before the end of the year, so we will have our second album out sometime mid-2019, likely.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
There are a bunch of bands we’d love to open for so I’ll give you everyone’s choice here.
- Jacob – Foo Fighters
- Rob – Weezer
- Danielle – No Doubt
- Jon – Metallica
A great opening band would be local friends of ours the Railtown Park band. The singer, Jackie, is phenomenal. She sounds like a cross between Eddie Vedder and Grace Slick.