DISCLAIMER: I am biased because I love this band’s music. JEERK is a Rock band, a Tap dance act and a Rhythm group originating from Sweden. In today’s music, they are a new breed of entertainment: Versatile, Unexpected, Innovative and Clever. However, whether 70's, 80's, 90's or 2000's+, my opinion is JEERK is a classic. Their sound is timeless.
Famous is JEERK’s first full-length album and demonstrates the group’s versatility and impressive vocal ability. Reminiscent of the clean and original sound of classic rock, JEERK brings a new and
authentic quality to the music scene. Based on the raw live music tradition in which they were raised. The members of JEERK are all musicians, singers, tap dancers and rhythm artists. They have been performing in Europe and the US since 2002.
JEERK’s second album is in the making and will be released in the fall of 2015. I finally caught up with the band and here is what they had to say:
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
Don't really wanna label our music, others do it so well! We listen to a lot of music, from jazz to metal and we probably fit somewhere within that range...
The album "Famous" is definitely on the classic rock side of the spectra, though.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
Originally, JEERK was the initials of the five members´ last names. There has been some swaps in the line-up since then, but we thought it was a fun name to keep. It seems to stick.
What Are or Have been Your Musical Influences?
We started out listening to Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Van Halen, Electric Banana Band, Stevie Wonder, Tracy Chapman, Nat King Cole... wow, there's just to many to mention. If it's good, it's good!
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
We are currently working on another album which will be out after the summer. One of those songs will be a collaboration with Alexis Grace, the former American Idol finalist. We have been producing and co-writing with her for her solo stuff before and there will be more of that to come. Moreover, all the JEERKs are working on different projects all over the world. Nikke is a tap teacher at PAS in Gothenburg and he will also be performing in the Gothenburg Opera´s production of Crazy For You 2015-2016. Thomas is musical director at Playhouse On The Square in Memphis, TN and Reggie produces shows in Branson, MO. We are definitely planning to get JEERK on a tour in the US soon, as well!
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
As long as you´re always striving to develop and make something new, you don´t really need an ultimate goal. We just love to work consistently and see where it leads us. The best experiences seem to be the most unexpected ones. Less of a definite plan and more of an open mind have always worked best for us!
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live?
Probably differs in the group, but since Thomas is answering the question, he´d say "Famous". It’s such a fun and silly song.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus far?
It´s always rough financially when you're producing everything yourself. Our stage show is very complicated technically because it involves so many different elements. So, whenever we go into a production, it´s a complete gamble. The paper work when you work in many different countries is quite extensive, too... Funny enough, it´s rarely been the show or the music that was the problem for us. It´s usually administration. I guess because we´re not very good at that... :D
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
It usually starts with a melody, either from just fiddling around on the guitar or something that just sticks in your head. Generally some kind of feeling comes with it, what kinda story it should tell and then it's just a big puzzle. Trying to fit in how many syllables a word should have to fit the melody, etc. Once in a blue moon the lyrics comes first and you have to reverse the puzzle. By the time we're done with that we usually have an idea where we wanna go with the arrangement.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
It has been extremely useful in regards of keeping in touch with our audience. It´s so much easier nowadays to market yourself, given that you already have a base crowd that will pick up your threads.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
The members of JEERK have a variety of backgrounds; carpenter, chef, bandy player and an aspiring literature scholar.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
If you think it´s good, someone else will too. Nurture positive feedback, assess negative but don´t dwell on it. Your own opinion is worth as much as anyone else´s. Avoid opportunists. Hard work pays off but not always the way you thought it would. Make music because you love it. Gain experiences. Enjoy life.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
We realize it's hard to change stuff, but we wish they'd stop chasing chewing gum hits with auto-tune artists and became vested in the music again. I guess that's what we would try to do. Focus on the music long-term instead of chasing 3-minute hit songs.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
You are what you are. What you create will be as original as you. If you try to copy, that´s what the product will be - a copy. If you let yourself be inspired, that´s what your product will be - inspired.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
Just that we are extremely grateful to all who have helped or supported us during our career so far. Anyone who is creative is really nothing without their genuinely interested audience.
Band Line Up:
Nikke Karlsson: Lead Vocals, Guitar Thomas Bergstig: Bass, Piano, Accordion, Back Up Vocals Kristian Lindin: Lead vocals, Guitar, Bass Johan Regnell: Drums, Percussion
Check Out JEERK At The Following Social Media Sites: