Another ICQ interview with a very nice guy called DKO and he is a bassist and vocalist in the english band Jesse James. He comes from Ireland and here we talk about things from his childhood to the future.
S=Skrutt DKO=Jesse James bassplayer and vocalist in Jesse James
S:Yeah we begin
Please tell me a little history
DKO:Hi hang on a sec
DKO:Ok, fire away!
S:I can take the history from your website( www.jessejames.co.uk ) but isnīt it a little bit tiring of being so many members in the group?
DKO:Haha.. yes! When we started it was just 3 of us, then we got the brass section but out of the 6 people who played the first gig, there are now only 2 left.
S:Isnīt it tiring?
DKO:It's tiring having to find new brass guys - theyre all a bit flaky, and it's going to be hard to get someone in the band who u dont really know that well
S:What do you mean with flaky? Express the word
S:Why are they flaky?
DKO:Brass players are usually from richer families, they have other agendas and ambitions. It seems to be the same for all bands, also when we started, all the brass guys were 16 so they didnt really know what they wanted from life yet i guess
S:And you come from poorer families and working class families?
DKO:Yeah, me and Rich.. All we've ever wanted to do was play in a band.
S:How old are the other members in the band, please tell me a little about the other member and about yourself, age, family, interests and something bad about every one?
DKO:I'm 27, I'm from Dublin, I ran away to London when I was 15 and stayed here, eventually I learned bass and started playing in bands, something bad about everyone? Haha; that wouldnt be fair!
S:Why, is it so much to tell?
DKO:No, but i don't think it's for me to say bad things about my band members - theyre my best friends too! But if you want some gossip about me - I came to London at 15 and became a rent boy for 2 years and did just about everything fucked up you can imagine, hehe
S:Why did you ran away from Dublin at so young age, what did your parents say?
DKO:I didnt ask my parents! I ran away because it was very hard growin up for me. I was beaten a lot by both my parents and was always in trouble at school and I just wanted to get out ,London seemed like the easiest place to go.
S:I understand....Now back to your music? You have a good name on your CD Punk Soul Brothers, itīs describe your music well, what other comments have you got?
DKO:We get really pissed off with people who call us a ska band. It's unbelievable that music journalists in Kerrang and Rock sound and NME etc in the UK don't understand music enough to know that`s not what we play, We're all big Dexy's Midnight Runners and Clash fans so the sound is sort of based on that but obviously there's a lot of other influences coming into play.
S:But you can understand the ska comparements?
DKO:No, there's absolutley no ska rhythms at all in our music
S:Enough said about that.
Whatīs your strength when you play out as a liveband?
DKO:We're very tight I guess and we always try our hardest to put on a good show and have fun, if we have fun, the audience has fun too.
S:And you have good contact with your fans?
DKO:Yes, we reply to every email and we always come out before or after the gig to talk to people, we really love the kids that come to see us.
S:How much does a group like Jesse James sell?
DKO:How many cds?
DKO:Well right now i think we've sold about 11000 in the UK
S:Itīs really good and abroad?
DKO:I have no idea how well its sold abroad - we havent actually played outside the UK yet, but we will be going to the rest of Europe in october and to the USA and Canada in november so I guess it will pick up more then. Do you see our videos in Sweden?
S:No, I havenīt seen any yet but I donīt look so often at TV.
S:Where in Europe are you going and are you going by yourself?
DKO:We dont know exactly what the tour is yet or who we will be with, but I doubt we'll be headlining yet
S:I read in an interview in Uncut with 10cc about their name and that 9 cc was the quantity of sperm ejeculated at any one time by male homosapiens and they wanted to be better, itīs nothing like that behind your choice of name?
DKO:Haha, no. We just saw an article in the paper about Jesse James when we were rehearsing and we were foolish enough to take the name!
S:Youīre on Golf Records now, is it good, your were on another one before and relased some singles, how does it work out with Golf Records?
DKO:Um, well, Golf is the biggest punk label in the UK so we're pleased to be with them and they have allowed us to do things we wouldnt have been able to otherwise
S:What for example?
DKO:Well, when our bus broke down, they immediately hired us a tour bus to finish a tour last year and we just went to San Francisco to record our new album - which is now the most expensive UK punk album since the Clash broke up!
S:How can I get your old singles?
DKO:Well you can buy them from our website or email Deck cheese records and ask them to send you copies for review or something. Our favourite recording thats out now is Hotwired
S:When Joe Strummer died, did rock died with him or what?
DKO:Well, Joe was one of my heroes. I went drinking with him a few times about 8 years ago, he was a great guy, very funny. But his new band - The Mescaleros were rubbish, it was horrible seeing them try to play old Clash songs, they didnt really know the stuff or care or understand about it. It's shame. I think the best thing he did after the Clash was th soundtrack album "Walker" - I love that. He was a hugely passionate man, and there's not a lot of that passion and integrity left in rock these days.
S:When weīre talking about dying, how did you felt when the terrorist attackwas and when Blair said that England weīre into war with Iraq, were you afraid? Or do you donīt care about politics?
DKO:I care, I was a bit worried about terrorist attacks in London during the war - especially because I live in a very jewish area. And I was totally against the war - mostly because of the way we were all lied to about the reasons for war, it's good to get rid of Saddam but, as usual, he was just another dictator that was created and supported by the west until it didnt suit America any more.
S:Does music and politics go hand in hand do you think?
DKO:I think music and politics do go together but its very hard to write good political lyrics, any time I try I have to compare it to the Clash lyrics and it can't be done - they wrote the best political rock'n'roll ever
S:But when youīre doing music, what is most important is it the lyrics , the music or to have a refrain that people remembers?
DKO:Well, that depends on what kind of song ur writing, if you're writing a single, you need a catchy chorus but ideally all 3 should be in the same song : good lyrics, good melodies, passion and energy!
S:Is it you who do the songs or do you do them together or how do Jesse James do a song?
DKO:Me and Rich write some stuff together because we live togther and Ben writes some songs. Mostly we just turn up at rehearsals and show everyone how the song goes and then work it from there. I write just on an accoustic guitar at home
S:And then it turns out this good? From an accoustic guitar?
DKO:Yeah, if you can't play a song on an accoustic guitar on its own then its not a very good song!
S:I cannot play any instrument so I donīt know.
What does the word punk mean to you , is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
DKO:Punk... hmm. It means a lot to me, I grew up with punk music and as a big Clash fan, I adopted punk ethics and learned a lot. It`s not a particular type of music or a certain way of dressing. Its about the atittude you have to what you play and wear and do in life. It`s about trying to do the right thing I suppose and trying to change what is not right. It`s about passion and energy and change.
S:But many poeple havenīt understand this?
DKO:Well, the original punk thing was 27 years ago so that means nothing to kids now, a lot of people into more modern punk dont even like the older bands. And a lot of the kids who listen to pop punk like Bl,ink 182 and Sum41 etc havent got the message because the bands don't really talk about it. But by listening to those bands, they will hopefully eventually start to listen to NOFX and then maybe start to understand. But largely, people as a whole are too selfish to really care about anyone but themselves. For a lot of people its just a fashion.
S:But the fashion maybe is going to be a serious thing for them too?
DKO:I dont think fashion is ever a serious thing!
S:I meant that the fashion thing punk is going to be a serious punkthing for them to and as you said get them to listen to good old bands like me and you are listening to?
DKO:Yeah, I guess thats their entry point into the rest of the punkthing.
Is it any good bands in England right now?
DKO:Yeah, there are som reall;y good UK bands right now, the best band in the country (live) is Adequate 7, there's also Lightyear and Consumed.
S:Where do you stand when weīre talking about mpī3 and all the talking that the record labels is going to be bankrupt and so on, what is bad and what is good with mp3?
DKO:It`s good that people can just get an mp3 to see how the band sounds and then maybe go to the gig and buy the cd and t-shirts etc. I dont care about the record labels losing money. But it sucks that almost half the people who have our music have just downloaded it and not bought a cd - we're not rich, and the extra sales would really help!
S:Are you downloading music for yourself?
DKO:Yes, but never a whole album, I look for bands I think I might like and download a few songs, if i like it I'll probably buy a cd. I do download old stuff mostly, where the band has broken up or are dead or just dont need the money!
S:Please rank your five favouriterecords all time? I understand that Clash and Dexys will be on the list?
DKO:I know, itīs a tricky question, wow - 5? thats not easy! but i'll try!
It takes a while before DKO answers this question....
S:Did you ran away to look among your CDīs and LP:s?
The Clash - London Calling
Dexy's - Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
Ramones - It's Alive
Nofx - Punk In Drublic
number 5 hmmm...
DKO:maybe Face to Face? Or the Walker Brothers? Or Give 'em Enough Rope?
or Social Distortion?
S:Give em enough rope I will say
DKO:or some Wilson Pickett?
S:We can do this all night...
DKO:Yeah, the first few are easy but then its just wow,.... too many great records have been made to count!
Foo Fighters - the colour and the shape
Green Day- Nimrod
S:Ok, lets stop there, hehe
S:No,you said you will be online til 19.30 and that have been a while since then , some last questions maybe....
DKO:I got more time its ok
S:Is it many interviews, is it boring to be interviewed?
DKO:Some interviews are very boring; we now answer stupid questions with quotes from South Park but some are good. Like this one, real questions!
S:Which is the question you want to have but you never get, please ask it and answer it?
DKO:Haha.. I really don't know. I dont have the kind of ego that thinks about that sort of thing!
S:Is it many interviews with dumb questions, what sort of questions do you hate to get?
DKO:The usual when did you start, how did you meet etc etc whats your favourite colour...
S:Which is your favourite colour(hehe).
Now back to yourself for a while (I know youīre not an ego) but do you have any family? Me myself I have two children.
DKO:No I have no family except my friends.
S:Thatīs a good family...
Do you sometimes miss Ireland and Dublin( I have been there once, it was a nice city but so is London too)?
DKO:I hate going to Ireland - I sometimes have to go to visit my sister. Dublin is not a very nice place to be - it's ok to visit if you have friends and some money and just want to get drunk though.I love London, you can do anything here, be anything you want, you can fuck your life up and start over again and never meet your old life, if you know what I mean.
S:Yeah I understand but something I donīt understand how can you drink Guinness?
DKO:It`s an accquired taste - and yes, it does taste much better in Ireland (but personally I like the African bottled Guinness best)
S:Yeah, and now to something else, what do you know of Sweden , what is typically swedish as you would say it?
DKO:My mother lived there for a year, studying , she speaks swedish now... I nearly went for a day once when I was in Copenhagen. I guess I have the usual stupid international image of sweden - Lots of good looking blonde guys and girls, saunas, expensive alcohol, good cars, ABBA, dark for 6 months in the north, Modern, liberal. I'm sure some of that is very true but I'm also sure there is a lot more to Sweden than just those things.
S:Have you heard any good swedish bands?
DKO:Bombshell Rocks, The Hives, Hellacopters... are they swedish? I know there must be more - isn`t Burning Heart a swedish label?
S:Burning Heart is swedish but Turbonegro if you like them on that label is norwegian.
DKO:I've heard of them but ive never heard the music yet (maybe i'll donwload some!)
S:Now we have come to the end of this interview, do you have anything fun to tell us about the group, something that have happened during a gig on stage or in the audience?
DKO:Well, Dan sometimes has wrestling competitions with kids from the audience. We have a great fan in the north of England who brings all his friends and they go to the front and play "air trombone" - theyre nuts! We constantly take the piss out of each other but we're really good friends, thats what makes it so much fun i guess
S:Any wisdomword here at last?
DKO:Hug people more often. Everybody needs a hug
S:Futureplans for yourself and for the band?
DKO:The new album is out in september, were quite proud of it. Hopefully it will be popular enough that we can just tour all over the world and have fun making music and be able to not worry about paying the rent!
S:Something to add? Thanks for the interview and hope we can meet here again sometime, I try to get the interview out as soon as possible .
DKO:Thanks Skrutt! I hope we see you in Sweden sometime soon!