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Q&A: Uncle Jesse

Uncle Jesse is a Fraser Valley hardcore punk band consisting of Daryl, Ben and Caleb. According to the band, their genre is best described as outsider or avante-garde. I got the chance to interview the entertaining group about their origins, inspirations and plans for the future before their recording session which will take place next weekend. Once recorded, their music will be available on their Bandcamp page.

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By Griffy Vigneron (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: April 10, 2013

Uncle Jesse is a Fraser Valley hardcore punk band consisting of Daryl, Ben and Caleb. According to the band, their genre is best described as outsider or avante-garde. I got the chance to interview the entertaining group about their origins, inspirations and plans for the future before their recording session which will take place next weekend. Once recorded, their music will be available on their Bandcamp page.

Where does the name Uncle Jesse originate from?

Daryl: We watch a lot of TV, and we were just sitting around just trying to think of stupid names. If you’re going to be a band, [your name] doesn’t even matter. There’s a band called Korn, [and] there’s a band called Limp Bizkit. They’ve sold a lot of records, those guys. I got into a John Stamos kick and I was like, “Dude, let’s call our band Uncle Jesse.” Then I remembered that there’s [also] the Uncle Jesse from the Dukes of Hazzard. That’s two uncle Jesse’s that are awesome, and we’re going to be the third one.

How did your band get together?

Caleb: I got a cheap drum kit to just practice.

Ben: I moved into the place where he was living … and he brought his drum kit over.

Daryl: We’d known each other for like two years already at that point.

Ben: Then we just sorta started jamming.

Daryl: And then sat in a basement for a year telling each other it wasn’t good enough.

Caleb: It was horrible. The way that it actually happened was our friend had a birthday show. We weren’t actually originally going to play that day, but [Daryl and Ben] had a different band that was supposed to play. [Unfortunately] the drummer screwed off.

Daryl: Well, he was working.

Caleb: They texted me randomly. It was like “Dude, you gotta come here. We’re going to practice, we’re going to write a set and we’re going to play tonight.” And I was like, “no, screw you guys. Just definitely no.” I ended up showing up anyway, and we wrote four 30-second songs.

How would you describe your music? 

Caleb: We were actually just arguing about this.

Daryl: It’s just insanely fast and loud.

Caleb: [We try] to do as much or as little, depending on the song, in a short amount of time or a long amount of time. It’s like the calm before the storm [with] the storm in the last ten seconds.

Daryl: Our songs consist of [about] a minute and a half to 45 seconds of slow melodic intros. Then 10 to 15 seconds of just shrill intense chaos.

On that note, what kind of animal would you compare your musical style to?

Daryl: You know what it would be? On Avatar, the bear-grizzly-moose thing, when it’s the little baby one and it gets stuck …

Ben/Daryl: and when the mom comes in!

Daryl: So like an angry mother moose bear/grizzly.

Caleb: It starts out when you just see the cute little one but then somewhere near the end the big one comes out.

Ben: The big one comes in and messes things up.

Daryl: A baby moose bear that transforms into an angry mother moose-bear.

So it’s kind of like the life cycle?

Ben: Yah, the life span of a moose-bear is a song by Uncle Jesse. Definitely.

Where do you get your inspiration for your musical style or lyrics for what you have written?

Ben: Most of the lyrics we are just sort of nonsense we think of.

Daryl: Ben does lyrics in Japanese.

Ben: I just scream out “tacos” in Japanese, [and] how much I love them.

Daryl: I’ll just find somebody that’s in front of me that I don’t think something awesome about, and just scream at them. You can’t really hear what we’re saying anyways. I mean you can hear it but you can’t understand it.

Ben: It’s the perfect place to vent out. It’s like your venting out in the company of people you enjoy the company of. It’s much more cathartic then just yelling at the walls or something.

What future plans do you have for your band?

Daryl: Write and record and play shows. We just want to take over the world.

Caleb: Short tour, couple recordings, taking over the world …

Ben: … opening for Lady Gaga next year.

Caleb: Small leaps, baby steps …

Daryl: Producing a Paul McCartney record!

So are you aspiring to greatness, or are you content with being more local?

Ben: As it is, were not doing this so we can become superstars or anything.

Daryl: It’s so we can get in there [with] all of our friends. We can grab them and scream in their faces, things that we like about them or dislike about them. And [so] we can just be in basements and [be] sweaty and be the people we want to be. [Without] the judgement of the outside world being like, ‘Oh, you are different, you look different, you speak differently, you read different books and watch different TV shows, so you are unlovable.’

Anything else you want to add?

Daryl: People need to expose themselves to other things that are not normal.

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