Since bringing out their first CD Shake in 2013, The Get Right Band have been championed by several music outlets including Relix Magazine and amassed a considerable fan-base. Now, as they prepare to release their new album Who’s In Charge tomorrow (August 5) and head out on an extensive tour, they kindly agreed to this interview to chat favourite songs, social media and dream shows.
PW: Please introduce yourselves.
Silas Durocher: Hi, I’m Silas, and I play guitar and vocals.
Jesse Gentry: I’m Jesse, and I perform vocals and play bass.
JC Mears: And I’m JC, I’m the drummer and perform vocals.
PW: How do you know each other/how did you meet?
JG: Silas and Jesse grew up in MD together playing music throughout high school. Parting ways for college, Silas eventually settled in Asheville where his band Soulgrass Rebellion needed a bass player. He called Jesse and convinced him that Asheville was the place to be and to join his band. Shortly thereafter the band breaks up and in its ashes The Get Right Band is formed. Needing a new drummer for our band, JC wandered into the gig we were playing and said, "I heard you guys are looking for a drummer." He was new to Asheville and a perfect fit, so we hired him and it's been glory ever since.
PW: How would you sum up your music in a few words?
JG: We call ourselves rock/funk/reggae. We want our listeners to be engaged as well as entertained by our songs, our presence, and our performance.
PW: Which bands and artists did you grow up listening to and how did they influence your musical career plans?
JG: Silas and Jesse, having grown up together, had a similar musical upbringing by hippie parents. So a lot of Beatles, Zeppelin, Jimi, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, etc. We take a lot from our influences, especially the song based approach. We may jam out and improvise long sections, but always to serve the song. JC brings a lot of fusion and prog rock influence to the band, creating a heavier funk and rock element which we feed off of nicely!
PW: Is there a band or artist you might say you're similar to?
JG: Listening to live Led Zeppelin shows is about the closest you might get, but we try our best to stand out and be different.
PW: Tell me about your upcoming release Who's In Charge. How would you sum it up?
JG: It's really a culmination of all of our collective hard work, as well as a bit of a reflection on the current state of affairs. We recorded at Echo Mountain here in Asheville with Julian Dreyer as engineer and co producer, which was a dream come true as it is the premier studio in the region, and one of the best in the country. We are quite proud of our hard work going into the album and the material itself. Silas is the primary songwriter, and many of the songs capture the frustration, anger, confusion, and temperament of the times at hand, politically and socially. But it's balanced by lyrics about love and hope.
PW: Who or what most influences your song-writing?
S: It can really be anything. Whatever is moving me and capturing my thoughts or my heartstrings. My band influences and inspires my song-writing a lot... thinking about us on stage and the other guys' interests and strengths. And of course listening to other great songwriters is an endless well of inspiration... Lennon/McCartney, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Wood Brothers, Dr. Dog, Fauilre, Tripping Daisy, Outkast, Damien Rice, Damian Marley, Bob Marley... it's endless!
PW: How easy or hard do you find the song-writing process? Can it depend on the subject matter?
S: I generally find song-writing to be pretty easy because I don't ever force it. When inspiration comes, I drop whatever else is happening and I follow the muse until I can't get anything else. Sometimes that's a full song in one sitting, sometimes that's just one line or one short idea. Sometimes it develops into a song that I love and the band plays live, sometimes it doesn't develop into anything, and sometimes it develops into a song that I don't feel that excited about and then I just let it go. Certainly some songs take much longer to write than others... it doesn't seem to be connected to the subject matter though, it seems somewhat random actually. The muse can be a fickle friend.
PW: In your opinion, which is the greatest song ever written and why?
JG: “Claire de Lune” by Debussey. I heard it as a small child and it has always struck me as the most beautiful melody I've ever heard.
PW: What are your upcoming performance plans?
JG: We have the album release show as Isis Music Hall in Asheville on August 5th, then we are hitting the road for the Northeast for a couple weeks. After that we will spend the next few months bouncing around the Southeast to promote the new album. After that we would love to make it West.
PW: If you could share a stage with three other bands or artists who can be living or dead, who would they be and where would you play?
JG: I would love to play the outdoor stage at Pisgah - near Asheville in Black Mountain - with Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Orange Peel in Asheville with Led Zeppelin, and Weather Report - Jaco on bass - anywhere.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media and how has it helped boost your career? Would you agree it's a necessary tool for bands and artists today?
JG: Social media is a must. Everybody uses it and it has basically replaced print media as the source for information. So yeah, for better or for worse, it's an irreversible trend and absolutely necessary.
PW: You've been championed by the likes of Relix Magazine, but how much does support and praise like that matter to you?
JG: It matters a whole lot! We love praise, and if it's coming from a source that we love and trust, it means that much more! We will still rock regardless of who sings our praises, but it certainly feels good to get some validation that other people value what we're doing.
PW: Are there any other plans in the pipeline you can tell me about?
JG: We have pretty much been consumed with this album for the entirety of 2016 so far, so that is where our minds are right now. We will release the album, release some videos, and just keep on rocking and spreading the love!
PW: Finally then, what's your ultimate ambition as a band? At what point would you be happy to call it a day?
JG: We just want to be able to devote ourselves to the music. And we certainly want to have an impact on the world and make it a better place. We don't have delusions of grandeur with brandy glasses full of brown M&M’s playing stadiums, we just want people to enjoy our music and be happy. It's been such a great run that if it ended today I would be happy, but I don't think any one of us wants it to be over any time soon. We will just keep playing and let it happen naturally.