Originally salvaged from the ashes of the much loved Spokaine by co-founders Andrew Powell and Grant Ferstat mid-2002, the Jayco Brothers alt-country, orchestral, Telecaster-driven, sonic bar-room pop notched up a WAM Song of the Year award 12 months later for the song "Asbestos Fibro".
The debut EP, "Asbestos Fibro" (released in October 05 on Treadmill Records/MGM) received rave reviews across the country and overseas. Drum Media's Ross Clelland called it "eminently tasteful... (The Jayco Brothers) arch and weep like country purists, but then add some sonic or pop twists to set it apart". Grok Magazine crowned it the "local release of the year". Seminal Americana on-line store, Miles of Music.com in the USA, thought so much of it they gave it their "It's A Cracker!" mark of approval and guarantee.
The Jayco Brothers are currently in the studio recording an acoustic-ish EP for German label JellyFant Records sleighted for European release this year.
Following the completion of the EP the band will put the finishing touches on their debut full-length album that was recorded in Nashville last year featuring the drums and production talents of Ken Coomer (Wilco/Uncle Tupelo ).
Andrew Powell - Vocals and Guitar
Grant Ferstat - Guitar and Vocals.
Glen Brabham - Bass
Jamie Harskamp - Drums & Percussion
Asbestos Fibro (Treadmill Records/MGM Distribution) - 2005
Groove Review Issue No 13
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Groove Magazine Interview. "We want to make music that can withstand the test of time, that you ca...Groove Magazine Interview.
"We want to make music that can withstand the test of time, that you can listen to in five years time and not cringe," says Andrew Powell, singer and songwriter for alt-country band The Jayco Brothers. Powell needn't worry about the cringe factor, as with one listen to the band's debut EP 'Asbestos Fibro' it is clear that these honest heartfelt tracks are here to stay. Recorded in the late summer of 2003 'Asbestos Fibro' has been a long time coming. "We won the Best Country Song at the WAM Song of the Year awards and that gave us a little bit of money to start with and a free days recording at Revolver. So we started chipping away and I guess we just had to go out and gig, save some money and go back into the studio. But we had a few line-up changes during that time which made it hard for us to play live, limiting our band income," Powell explains.
The band took nearly a year to track the EP, taking months off in between visits to the studio. With Chris Havercoft (drums), Andrew Bright (piano) and Lee Musto (bass) leaving throughout this time, Powell and Grant Ferstat (guitar) brought in musicians such as Ian Simpson and Adem K to help out. " There's a lot of instrumentation on it, it's very ambitious. There's strings, double bass, banjo, pedal steel and even a moog, " says Powell. Once completed it was Kevin Russeth, owner of Treadmill Records and a long time friend and supporter of Powell who brought the EP back to life after the band had completely ran out of money. "He's not really in the business of putting out records anymore, but he's someone who has invested in me for a long time now and he came to our aid."
A few weeks were spent mixing at Kingdom Studios, with mastering completed by Alan Yoshida in the US. The result of all the hard work is an EP that gets better every time you listen to it. Ferstat says that the band is just looking for good honest tunes and performances, and though alt-country may not be for everyone, it's the unpretentious nature of the music that helps to set the Jayco's apart. "For about 10 years Andrew and I have been banding around this term of being real-fi, in that the songs are about the songs, and the instruments about the instruments, rather than trickery," Ferstat says. "That's what I love about this genre because it's so encompassing of over fifty years of music history and so it comes down to songwriting first. I mean it was never fashionable so it can never be unfashionable, because in a lot of genres it's about style over substance and with alt-country and Americana music it's about substance first," Powell adds.
No matter where they may or may not fit into the Perth music scene the boys have set their sights on branching out this year. With 'Asbestos Fibro' having taken longer to release than the boys would have liked, they plan to quickly follow up with a full-length album this year. They also want to break into the overseas market and hopefully take in some tours as well. All this and there may be a line-up change with the current foursome, including Shane Bender on bass and Pat Thompson on drums, looking for a fifth member that could add to the diverse musical nature of the band. However the year pans out for The Jayco Brothers one thing is for sure, they certainly have the ability and talent to do anything.
Live Review Club Capitol
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Dinosaur Junior Support. Sunday, March 5, 2006 Certain members of The Jayco Brothers laughed wit...Dinosaur Junior Support.
Sunday, March 5, 2006
Certain members of The Jayco Brothers laughed with the audience about how much their former band Bucket used to cop comparisons to Dinosaur Jr, though the very fact that such crowd interaction was taking place ensured no such comparisons were to again be made. If things were taken back to a level playing field, where names and history mean nothing, then an audience unfamiliar with both the support act and headliner would most likely have left feeling the night belonged to the openers. A lot more alt than country, The Jayco Brothers were a great choice of support act as their musical sensibility appears shaped by the era of music in which Dinosaur Jr (and Sebadoh) rose to prominence. From that point, the stylisation and execution of each song just seemed fitting. Nice tunes, nice delivery, and the appearance of really enjoying being on stage... The Jayco Brothers did well to win over the huge crowd.
Country Rock-Slacker Style
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Surviving fifteen years of Perth's local music scene, The Jayco Brothers A.D.M. Powell speaks to Gro...Surviving fifteen years of Perth's local music scene, The Jayco Brothers A.D.M. Powell speaks to Grok about hard trail living down the long and winding road to an EP release.
How's the EP release coming along?
Yeah good mate, the EP is coming out September 24th.
It's been a long time getting this baby ready hasn't it?
Well yeah, it has been a while, see we actually started recording in late December 2003 at Revolver, and we've been mixing it this year, in Kingdom Studios, probably the best studio in town, with our good friend Dominic Montelleone. We're waiting for the master to return from LA which we did with Alan Yoshida, whose list of credits is long and distinguished, like Paul McCartney and he's just done the new Big Star record of late.
And you've added some new editions[sic]?
We have a new bassist Shane Bender and new drummer in Pat Thompson. And we don't have a keys player at the moment, but that won't be for long.
For people who don't know the legend of the 'The Jayco Brothers', can you tell all the readers out in Grok land how the band came into being?
Well, I guess 'The Jayco Brothers' kinda started in 2002; I had sorta quit playing live in 1997, but kept writing tunes and was doing the odd solo gig and some session stuff. Then in 2002 I was asked to join 'Spokaine', only to play three gigs, because we disbanded after Simone decided to relocate to Melbourne, needless to say I had caught the playing live bug once again. So 'The Jayco Brothers' rose out of the ashes of 'Spokaine' with the help of Grant Ferstat with whom I have been recording and writing with since quitting my first band 'Bucket'. And around the same time I started playing with 'Show Bag' which started to get really busy, so for a little while 'The Jayco Brothers' took a backseat. So since 2002 the lineup has changed three or four times because we've been trying to get the right lineup, and now I reckon we've got one that's gonna work.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I've sorta come full circle in terms of inspiration; see in the early 90's I was listening to Dinosaur Jr. Now days I'm listening to the stuff that Jay Mascis listed[sic] to back then, like Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash and other great 70's singer songwriters that are very vogue now.
Why do you think alt-country is withstanding the test of time?
I dont know if its already peaked, some people think alt-country peaked in1995/96 with Wilco's record a.m. The reason I reckon its still around is because people in my age group and maybe a little younger who grew up with bands like Pavement, Nirvana, The Pixies, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., like all those great seminal alt-rock bands of ten to fifteen years ago. So we've all grown a little older, started family's[sic], established careers and so forth, and so I think those same people still want those qualities in the music they listen to, but want something far less fashionable than what a 20 year old is listening to.
And the best thing about country is its depth and history, like drawing on forty or fifty yers of influences, you see I reckon Hank Williams has been in some ways an influence on my generation as much as somebody like Kurt Cobain. Where alt-country is today I dont really know, but its been diversified into a big bucket sub genre called Americana. And you can chuck [repeat paragraph edited out for easier reading] anything in there like Pet Sounds, Harvest, Funhouse, and the Banana Album by Velvet Underground and so on. People are speaking more in terms Americana rather than alt-country and I dont know if thats a reaction to anglophile pop music.
So what can people expect from the EP?
It's really big. Like a wall of sound, but theres only five tracks - it is an EP after all. There is two songs on the EP that people might be familiar with; 'Asbestos Fibro', which is the title of this EP, but also won us us the best country song Wami in 2003, and 'Jump That Flight', which gets a bit of airplay on RTR's Big Star program, special thanks to Marcus and the RTR gang for keeping' the faith by the way. And theres a song that we used to play live but we havent for a long time, 'Up Til Ten', which has over forty tracks, [laughs] its fair to say it's my most epic song I've ever written. I mean its complete with strings, Hammond organs, Wurlitzer piano, Moog, AdemK from the Burton Cool Suit helped out and played Moog on it and it has the most personal lyrics I've ever penned. This EP is the most ambitious project I've been a part of. We wanna push the envelope by adopting a no rules policy to country and by using sounds not associated with country, so sorta like alt-country with a pop sensibility. I guess the only song thats an out and out country song is 'Asbestos'. Oh yeah! We also had Ozzie legend Ian Simpson play pedal steel and banjo.
What do you think of the Perth scene now compared to the 90's and what do you think the future holds?
Well it's hard to look back without rose tinted glasses, but there certainly seemed to be more opportunities for bands in the 90's, more venues, more international acts coming through with chances to support, the odd festival. But apart from that the scene hasn't changed too much. I think the quality is still there, but it's a lot more competitive which probably pushed the par level up a bit higher. But I reckon it's harder to be a young band now than ten or fifteen years ago. As for the future, well who knows.
What other art forms are you inspired by?
I'm a big Jack Kerouac fan. Like I went through a stage there for a while, well I own all his novels now. Umm, I love Spaghetti Westerns, Sergio Leone is so cool. But nothing really inspires me to write a song more than listening to a great song.
What are some of your favourite songs of all time?
Oh geez, 'God Only Knows' by The Beach Boys, 'Bye Bye Pride' by The Go-Betweens has gotta be in there, 'Poor Places' by Wilco, oh man you're really putting me on the spot.
That's alright. 'Like a Rolling Stone' by Bob Dylan and I think I wanna have the Flaming Lips song 'Do You Realize' played at my funeral. laughs]
And probably 'Hot Burrito (I'm your toy)' is it number one or two? By 'The Flying Burrito Brothers'.
What about songs you dislike?
[thinks for a bit]
Ummm, geezz, ummm 'The Only Way Is Up (For you and me now)' by I cant even remember now.
Thats a great song! [laughs]
(and its by Yazz, for those scratching their heads at home)
Oasis really shit me.
Not a big fan of geezer rock then?
No, and I'm not a big guy for dance music either, but I'm a big fan of Folktraonica.
(We apologise for all the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes - they were all p
Our Typical set length for multi-band rock/alternative country shows is approximately 1 hour.
Songs currently performed can include:-
Noth Mole Rocks
Jump That Flight
Any Other Type
Even The Sweet Things Die
Up To 10
Bridges Are Cool
Time Don't Wait
Go Get Murphy
Live This Much
Erase A Debt
Your Longest Day
Don't Know Yet
Sebastopol(Things Don't Seem The Same)
Alternatively we can play up to three 40 minute sets incorporating covers of songs by:-
The Flying Burrito Bros/Gram Parsons
There are no upcoming dates at this time.