Dave Cook Interview
(Cousin Jake)

“Cousin Jake” is a Syracuse, New York band.
Dave Cook is the founding member of “Cousin Jake”.
Outside of that, this writer admits he doesn’t know all that much about “Cousin Jake”.
Dave Cook fills us in.

Q – Whenever I hear the name “Cousin Jake” I think of Homegrown Radio’s Dan Dunn. He was one of your biggest supporters wasn’t he?
A – Yeah. He had us on there quite a bit.

Q – I have to be honest with you Dave; there isn’t too much information on the band on your website (www.cousinjake.com). Are you the guy who put the band together?
A – Yeah.

Q – What year did you put the band together?
A – ’96.

Q – Where did you debut the band?
A – Let’s see, it was probably Legends (North Salina St. Syracuse, New York).

Q – What other types of places do you play?
A – We do a lot of biker functions. We also headline out to Long Island at the Bike Fest they have out there. We’ve done a lot of stuff at the Island in Baldwinsville. We warmed up, for a Led Zeppelin clone band, ‘Cashmere’, I think. We also opened up for the Nighthawks out there.

Q – How would you describe the music you’re playing?
A – It’s Classic Rock, but, it’s real high energy. It’s only 3 piece. We play a little behind the beat so everything sounds a little bit bigger, and sits there a little bit longer. You get more power vocals and phrasing on your guitar. We do more like a cross between Hendrix, Trower and Foghat. We sound like us. It doesn’t sound like anybody us. Plus, we do a lot of originals.

Q – So, you do write your own material?
A – Oh, yeah. Always have. That’s our strong point-----our originals.

Q – How many CD’s do you have out?
A – We got two out right now and a ‘live’ 6 Pack we call it. We just give it to people. It’s from a concert we did, and we got another one coming out. We’re working on it right now.

Q – You distribute this beyond Syracuse don’t you?
A – Oh, yeah. We have it on CD Baby which goes international. They sell ‘em for us. We had a couple of radio stations in Germany playin’ our CD’s. We had interviews out in Norway, a website magazine, bluesrocker.com. I don’t know if they’re still around. Out in Seattle there’s a webzine out there called the cutting edge that did a nice write-up on us. We played out there in Spokane, Washington before. Of course we’ve done Daytona a few times. It’s kind of a pain.

Q – That’s a long drive.
A – Yeah. We play twice a day-----for what? (Laughs). We got our stuff all over the place. Taiwan. England. But, our main thing is originals.

Q – That’s got to be a tough sell.
A – Oh, yeah. When we get a concert situation, that’s our forte. No matter what happens, concerts is where we shine. We never sold out and did all the Top 40 crap. We’re geared for more of a concert situation. But, we’re comin’ back in town a little bit. We’ve been outside of town a long time. Most of the clubs you have to pay to play there. They have a built in sound system. So, the money comes right off the top for a sound guy. We have our own P.A. Why bother doing it? We’re doing some small clubs here (Syracuse) just to play in town. People want to see and we haven’t been around for awhile.

Q - Is there a music scene in Syracuse and how would you describe it?
A – Its not like it used to be. When Legends was open it was great. It was really easy to get to.

Q – What’s the meaning behind your name “Cousin Jake”?
A – Well, Cousin is for family and Jake is from the 40’s, righteous. So, it’s kind of righteous family.

Q – It’s a catchy name. You’re thinking what’s this band all about?
A – Right. (Laughs). We don’t swear onstage and all of that stuff. We just go out and have a good time and talk to the people during our breaks. No pretentious. We play as hard as we can every song. A lot of bands just punch the clock. We don’t. Never have. Right now we got a real strong line-up. The strongest we’ve been so far. We’ve got Bob Volk on bass and vocals. He used to be with ‘Battered Pigs’, guitar player and singer. He switched to bass and we got Don Gillette on drums, who also sings great. He’s a monster drummer. High energy. He never stops, which I needed to push me. It’s a 3 piece band and we’re right where we needed to be. A lot more vocals going on now that we didn’t now have before.

Official website: www.cousinjake.com

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