Interview by the prolific Chris Snyder. Photos by Samuel Watson
CS: Your project JMMY has new music on the horizon. How would you describe the new songs? Is there anything different that you went into with the recording process this time around?
JK: First off, JMMY is my outlet to literally just calm down. With everything going on right now…thats what that is first and foremost….its for me to calm down.
The new songs do reflect that. Super droney, hardly any drums, pretty organic I hope. Maybe releasing some snippets of music as the northeast begins thawing. Probably with video. The music goes well with a visual element.
The recording process is always different…every time.
How did you connect with Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band?
Funny story.. I think… I was somehow unable to return home all of the sudden at a festival. These guys were playing and basically at first was like…”no, we cant.”
Fast-forward to the torrential downpour/lightning storm during our set that cancelled our set halfway thru (Kat had played earlier or just before us). We all had to run off stage and take cover in this farm house on site.
I am really wanting to go home at this point…really badly… only because I think I had to. Like I had something to do very soon after this festival. I started making friends and realized that only half the band had gone home and the other half (still there) could totally give me a ride.
Side note – once the rain stopped, Turkuaz and London Souls threw a party in the basement. I was switching off from kit to oxygen tank to beer bottles with Carubba (Turkuaz) and Chris (London Souls). That was a super fun night.
Fast forward: Kat and Co. took me to see some amazing artists in the hills of the Northeast Kingdom called “Bread and Puppet.” The ride home turned into a seriously fun deep connection these folks I had just met. I was so grateful for this cause I had just moved to Vermont and didn’t know too many people. so I thought, amazing…they feel like my friends.
Not even a week later I think I started filling in, learned their record and since have been making memories with them as often as possible. 🙂
You spent some time on tour in Japan. Is there a huge difference between the response to the music than in The United States? Did you have a chance to check out any music while you were there?
There is a stark difference between Japanese audiences and American audiences.
In my experience (so far) the Japanese audience are with you the whole time. Ups and down… they are quiet and attentive during delicate moments and rage hard when its a pinnacle.
Its not to say an american audience can’t (or don’t) act this way….but mostly there is a healthy chatter through-out. The show is a meeting place and people tend to socialize more in the states. Its fine…it is what it is.
No didn’t get to check out anything 😦 hopefully next time.
As a teenager, you grew around a slew of musicians. You hit the road on tour shortly after. How has life on the road changed from than to now?
More traffic/anxiety… hahah
You will be a part of Voodoo Dead during New Orleans JazzFest performing an epic Grateful Dead show. What are you most excited about for this show?
I am excited about everything for this. Incredible musicians exploring the depths of the Dead, the Meters, and some Kimock originals. It will be fun for sure. It’s a chance for all of us to come together and just have our way with the music and laugh and enjoy each other cause its only 2 days!
I’ve been playing with George Porter Jr. since I was a teenager (lucky to say) and I have a very special connection with him. I get what he is doing even if we are just sort of finding our way through the moment. Great rhythm section intuition going on that I can’t really explain. That also goes without saying for me and my dad. I’ve also got a fair amount of shows with Chimenti under my belt and now have great musical banter with him. Jackie pretty much leads us and is fucking great at that. and Papa. love Papa Mali.
Are there any groups on the rise right now that you think will be a household name in the next few months?
Umm yes. My friends in Brass Tracks who just racked up a bunch of Grammys. Andy Shauf who is literally just one of the best songwriters on earth right now to me and I’m gonna have to say Maggie Rogers if you dont already know who she is, def check her out.
[Editor’s note: fuck yes to all three of those]
Who are your favorite drummers in the scene
Fav drummers are:
- Michael Bell (Lymbyc Systym) – passed away recently and will always be one of my favs
- Al Smith (American Babies) – for his spirit and dedication to totally being in the moment
- Jimmy Macbride (Nir Felder) – incredibly capably of blowing your mind in a town near you
- The entire band of Square Peg Round Hole (out of philly) – incredible