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Jesse Dupree (Jackyl)

Interview with Jesse Dupree from Jackyl
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 29 November 2010, 5:11 AM

JACKYL is an American Hard Rock band that is mainly known mainly to the old-timers here in the US. But, it would be such a shame for all the youngsters out there who can see past the current music trends not to get a whiskey taste of it. This is an honest band with hard hitting music and nice chainsaw solos… METAL TEMPLE just reviewed the band’s latest album and had the privilege to speak to JACKYL’s frontman Jesse James Dupree about the latest news and more.

Hello Jesse, how are you?
Fine, thanks man how are you and from what town are you calling?

I am fine too, Jesse I am calling from Chicago.
Great, that’s cool.

Well, “When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide” has been out for a while, so what is the reaction you are getting from the fans and the media?
There are people that love it and there are people who don’t like the fact that we are working with DMC. As you can imagine “Just Like A Negro” that we did with DMC has a title that many don’t like. But, if they get some time to really listen to this song then will realize that is not a negative one; it is a positive song. It is something that speaks for itself and having DMC on this one is really cool and an honor for us to have him.

Did you have any second thoughts before getting this track on the album?
We’ve been playing this one live for quite a while and to tell you the truth we never worried about the criticism. People who are passing around that kind of judgment are the same who do not admit they are masturbating. I am not claiming that this song will bring world peace nor did I write it to try to bring world peace. I leave that to Bono and U2. This is a fundamental Rock song that pays tribute to the great black artists who have invented it.

Do you think that this type of reaction will also reach Europe? Since I believe this is a US thing.
I really do not know but can you please tell when “negro” became a bad word? And I think that the only reason that people take this song in the wrong way is that I have a Southern accent. People believe that if someone comes from the south then he has to be a racist. And that’s bullshit.

Ok, I think we have to move on… the new album comes almost 8 years since “Relentless”; why did it take you that long?
I don’t think that it has been that long… we just did the album we felt it was the right time, you know. There wasn’t a specific reason why we didn’t.

How long did it take you to write the music in the album
I have been working on a lot of different stuff like the reality TV show that actually is gonna be on the air on the 16th of November, Also, I did a lot of touring so whenever we had time we went on the studio to write and record.

You also did a cover song on Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”; how did you come up with it?
I was in the studio one night by myself with my voice in a little tattered state and I kind of felt in a Janis Joplin state (laughs). So, I just went for it and my son Nigel happened to listen to my singing and he thought that it was great. Since, my son did not know that song I thought it would be a nice way to introduce Janis to some young people.

By the way you sound really good on that and I don’t understand how your voice was tattered…
Well, thank you! With tattered I meant that I had the kind of harshness that Janis had.

Ok, now I know what you mean. What about DMC? Who had the idea of bringing him for to do a song for the new album?
He called me and asked me if he could be part of this song. He heard this song and just loved from the start. He said “Give me some room to sing on it!”. So, we sent it to him and he worked it out and I am really proud of it! We also did a video with him about this track that is totally cool.

Who had the idea for the concept of the video clip?
We just wanted to pay tribute to all those guys who started the Rock scene, you know.

Yeah, I see what you are talking about. But, Jesse you didn’t add a chainsaw solo on the new album. Why?
Nah, we did not think that there was a reason to use one on this album. And we did not want to force using one. In the past there was a place for it and that’s when we used it.

How was the idea of using a chainsaw as an instrument was born?
Well, we were playing at a club before the release of our debut album and I had a chainsaw with me that night. So, I thought it would look nice to have it on stage and cutting some things to impress the people from the record label who were present. And when we were jamming some blues stuff I thought it would sound nice and there you go the Lumberjack was born. In the end the club owner sued us for 100,000 dollars…

Is it true that you have two Guiness records?
Yep it is true. The first one was doing 100 show in 50 days…

(interrupting) How did you pull that out?
We had everything loaded at the back of a truck, hit the road and played two shows in a day.

That’s at least interesting… and the second one?
21 shows in a 24 hour time period.

…and again, how did you do that?
We were set up in a radio station and they were advertising that we were doing live shows. People were coming down to the station in a small room and we were playing 30 minutes sets and then a 15 minutes meet ‘n greet and 15 minutes break and repeat this cycle the entire day.

That’s sounds totally exhausting… Speaking of live dates you have scheduled some starting around Thanksgiving. What can we expect from JACKYL onstage?
The equivalent of man been shot out of a cannon. And this year I was actually shot out of a cannon as a part of the reality show!

What is this reality show about?
We are documenting what it takes to run the world’s largest biker bar. It is in Sturgis at South Dakota and this event is being going on for 17 years. This bar is open for two weeks every year.

Thank you Jesse for your time I hope we will see you in Chicago with your chainsaw.
I will being in Chicago. Will you be there?

Actually I will and that will be my first time watching JACKYL onstage
Well, then please come and shake my hand Dimitris I will be looking for you…

I will do so. Any last words?
Just enjoy this record and crank it up ‘cause this is the only way to play it!


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Edited 06 July 2022

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