St. James Interview
John James and his brother Chris have teamed up with Jimmy Jacobs and his
brother Bobby to form the hard rock group - St. James. Hailing from Stratford,
CT these guys have already caught the attention of "Metal Hammer" Magazine,
one of the biggest rock publications in the world.
"Metal Hammer" says "St. James could alter the face of hard rock and-metal."
With that in mind, we set out to talk to vocalist John James and guitarist Jimmy Jacobs.
Q. So, where does the St. come from in your name?
John - Well, it was just kind of thought of. There's no special meaning for the St. It just sounded cool.
Jim - It's just kind of John's prima-donna attitude.
John -Yeah, right.
Q. You have Carl Canedy (ex-bassist from the Cortland, NY
recording group "The Rods") in your corner. How did that come about?
John - We made a demo tape ourselves, when we had a different name for the band. It was a six song demo. And, you know, we made it as professional as possible with the small budget we had. What we did with the tape is, we sent it out to a lot of people known through other people, so to speak, a friend of a friend. A person gave us Carl Canedy's name. Well, we said why not, we'll send him out this tape. Now, this tape we were selling locally and it was doing very well. We sold over 1,000 copies in town just ourselves. We sent the tape out to Carl, and about a week later Carl called us up and said "I think the tape is pretty strong. I like you guys. I'd like to set up a meeting. So we set up a meeting. And, basically that's how it started.
Q. Tell me what the music scene is like in Stratford.
Jim - It's nonexistent.
John-Yeah man, it's pretty bad.
Q. So, you couldn't play your original music in the clubs
Jim -That was like the Catch-22. You wanted to play in clubs but they didn't want to hear original music, which made it real tough.
Q. So you played cover tunes and tried to sneak some originals
in at the same time?
Jim - Right and then eventually we said we're gonna do originals. We had a good enough draw where we could play our originals.
Q. How long has this group been together?
Jim - We've been together three years now.
Q. Is this your first band or have you been in other bands?
Jim - Nothing serious.
John - Yeah, this is pretty much our first serious band.
Q. So what's Carl Canedy gonna do for St James? Is he tryin'
to get you a major label deal?
John - Yes, that's what he's doing right now. Carl basically shops the tapes for us to all the major and independent labels, looking for any interest. So, we're in the waiting period.
Q. What do you think your chances are of landing a record
John –I think we've got a great shot. We're not novices to this. We've been doing it for quite awhile now. We're still very young and we definitely put a dent in the business with our "Crimes of the Heart" tape. We layed down an excellent foundation for St. James. Now with this second tape we've made, we feel the music is stronger. Everyone in the band is stronger musically. We've all matured a lot.
Jim - And, we're not so wet behind the ears, so to speak, in the music business anymore. We feel the tape is fantastic. I think the tape is the strongest we've ever put out.
Q. "St James could alter the face of hard rock and metal." That’s
a powerful statement, but at the same time one that would be hard to live
up to. What do you think "Metal Hammer" meant by that?
John - I don't know, like you said it's good, but it can be bad also. Our first tape that we put out and they reviewed, it was a strong tape and we had a great blend of hard rock with great melodies. Something that would be a new type of rock to bring to the 90's.
Jim - We want to be a hard rock band, but we want to keep the commercial harmonies and melodies. So, that was basically it.