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Jesse James Dupree doesn’t really care what you think about him but he wants you to have a good time during his show as anyone can attest to who attends a chainsaw-blazing performance. ‘Rock Me, Roll Me, Jackyl Me Off,’ the band’s motto pretty much sums it up so be prepared for what Jesse calls ‘the dirty-dirty’…a whisky-sippin’ rock and roll party that doesn’t stop until the chainsaw has left the building…
Wearing a baseball cap with a cock (the bird) embroidered on top, Jesse sat down with Musicpix after his show to talk about why his band simply rocks for the pure pleasure of it, as well as the controversy surrounding the title of his song “Just Like A Negro”. There’s nothing hidden behind Jackyl’s lyrics; no sacred text to unfold within their music. Jackly is raw, booty-shakin’ southern rock and roll that you’ll either love or hate. But that’s okay with Jesse because his philosophy is: ‘turn it up or turn it off.’ Listen in…
Musicpix: Your band is the only rock and roll band that plays a chainsaw…
Jesse: Why is that? Why are we the only ones who play a chainsaw? It’s the most definitive instrument for rock and roll. Its loud, it’s aggressive, it’s stanky…it reeks of rock and roll. Why doesn’t everyone play one…that’s the question. Not why do we but why doesn’t everybody else?
Musicpix: Today’s performance was off the chart with DMC…
Jesse: Thank you. What an honor to have DMC on stage with us here in Indianapolis. I consider this my hometown because my wife is from here….I have family here…to be able to share in this experience with DMC, it was a banner night for us.
Musicpix: You climbed the scaffolding today and thrilled a huge crowd!
Jesse: Yeah, I had to get out there where the cool people are…You know at 4:30 in the afternoon, we kind of had our work cut out for us but it filled in and I couldn’t be more proud. If it’s that off the hook at 4:30, this place will be against the wall at 8:30 tonight when Ted Nugent takes the stage. We just talked to him in the dressing room and he let us know that he’d wipe the stage up with us so…he hasn’t lost it a bit. What an inspiration he is to us. He should be in the rock and roll hall of fame ten times over.
Musicpix: We’ve caught your show several times but this summer you’re celebrating the release of “When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide.”
Jesse: The slots have been great…it’s just a big slam of 2010 rock and roll. I couldn’t be more proud of the record. From beginning to end, it’s proven itself. We road tested this record before we put it out..
Musicpix: You don’t candy coat anything and you say exactly what’s on your mind via music…
Jesse: That’s the way my Momma raised me…my Daddy didn’t have a filter on him either…still doesn’t.
Musicpix: Talk about your involvement with Sturgis, the annual bike rally in South Dakota…
Jesse: Just like Dick Clark on New Year’s Eve, we’ve laid claim to Sturgis. They’ve been rolling for over 70 years now and we’ve got a full ten of those years under our belt. Full Throttle Saloon is not only a home for when we play but I’ve partnered up with Mike Ballard and we executive produce a show called “Full Throttle Saloon” on the truTV Network and we’re in the editing process now and it will air in November.
Musicpix: You have a philosophy: either turn it up or turn it off…
Jesse: Radio has gotten so homogenized and television is just as guilty. They are trying to appease the masses instead of excite any one group and I think that’s what’s missing. Make people make a decision. Jackyl is one of the most polarizing of bands…either they love us or they don’t get it. They can sit at home and listen to their U2 records and try to save the world and God bless ‘em if they can do that. I’ve seen the footage from way back in the 50’s…and all the press. Not once did I see a kid say that rock and roll music is going to save the world, nor that Rock and Roll is going to bring about world peace! No, they were getting their glands stimulated, they were knockin’ out the dirty-dirty in those old oversized backs seats ….those are the fundamentals of rock and roll. If you’re over analyzing, you’re missing out. I’ve stopped apologizing…no, hell I never have apologized. I’ve stopped sugar-coating it. If you don’t get it, stay out of our way. There are tons a people…like you saw here today. It’s about a party for the people who bust their knuckles every week and we’re here to jam and do it right.
Musicpix: Well you do it hard that’s for sure. You hold a couple of Guinness Book of World records to prove it…
Jesse: Yeah, that’s one of the toughest things we’ve done. We’ve got a little plaque and that and a dollar will get you a coca cola…in some machines.
Musicpix: Your audience just adores you…they really like your new material.
Jesse: Thank you….I think that in this climate, and it’s a proven fact that in economic down turns, people revert back to straight-up rock and roll. I think that it’s a record that right for the time. They’re ripe to love music and share the bond with people who love music. Everybody’s got a sense of community and are coming together. Especially with all the networks battling back and forth…the far left and the far right. I don’t think the American people give a dam about being far left or far right. We don’t need a third party to come about, we need to do away with the two we’ve got and become a party of one…the best man gets the gig you know?
Musicpix: Maybe they should just HAVE a party?
Jesse: Exactly, let’s start The Beer Party. The Tea Party or The Beer Party, which one do you want?
Musicpix: I know that you’re a big supporter of American armed forces because you speak of our soldiers during the show…talk about how you feel about some of our troops coming home from Iraq…
Jesse: I’m not one who people want to hear politics from but unfortunately, the reality is that the powers at be, don’t want our troops to come home. They’ll stir up some mess to keep us over there because their plan to keep us there…I think it’s the worst thing that we can do is to announce that we’re pulling out. I think we should just adjust especially if we’ve got a President that won’t claim victory. If that’s not his motto or philosophy, he should just keep his mouth shut. Once again, it’s not about either a Democratic or Republican side. At the end of the day, we do have troops over there and I think that’s just asking for all hell to break loose. [Looking down at his wrist band] I do support our troops. I’ve got a soldier very close to me….his name was Bryan Clemmons and he was a huge Jackyl fan. His platoon had this made for me and they gave it to me and I wear it every day.
Musicpix: Talk about “Just Like A Negro” and the sparks that have flown…
Jesse: “Just Like A Negro” is only controversial because I’ve got a southern accent. If Patti Smith would have done this song, she would be getting another induction into the Hall of Fame. Let’s not sugar coat it…”Just Like a Negro” is abrasive because I have a southern accent which just fuels my fire. I wrote it with three black friends of mine on a project called “Dent” and they were in a band called Mother’s Finest, who invented funk-rock. It’s a tribute song where music makes all colors run together and it gets people’s attention. It’s taken slack from folks on the internet…criticized and whatever. DMC calls and says “I want be a part of it”…not one single sorry, son of a b!&@h went back and rebutted what they said or apologized or taken any other position and it really proves the caliber of those sons-a- b!&@h’s …those self-righteous people who sit on their laurels and have a crap because I have a southern accent. Sometimes being nice gets mistaken for weakness or whatever. I’m as nice as I can be but I’ll slap the teeth out of those people. If somebody wants to crap on me about that song title just because I have a southern accent and not take the time to read or listen to the lyrics…especially with DMC validating it and standing beside me, it just fuels my fire. I want to chase them down and ring their f^(@!ng necks….[rolls his eyes] What was the question? [BIG laughs]
Musicpix: We love the song….it’s ironic that you mention Patti Smith because she’s one of our favorite artists…
Jesse: Yeah she’s a bad ass and she gets away with. It’s the accent man. It’s that stereotype against me being southern! Let me tell the whole story…The song “Just Like A Negro” was written and being performed by a band called Mother’s Finest and I did a record with three of the guys from Mothers Finest and I said “I love that song.” The bass player said “why don’t you rewrite the lyrics as a white guy singing it and see what you come back with?” So I did that and he said “That’s bad as hell” so we started doing it. The guys in Jackyl came out and saw us play it and they said we love that song so we started playing it. You start to realize how retarded it is when the message is so clear. So we did it. We stepped up and we put it on the record. DMC is one fine artist and he celebrates the history of black artists with us. We’re shooting a video next week so stay tuned…it will feature all black artists and DMC is in it too.
Musicpix: Well you said it best Jesse….music does make all colors run together.