Erupting from the gutters and alleys of Hollywood in 1981, Gun Club became the seminal swamp ramshackle psychotic country blues-post punk band. Led by Jeffrey Lee Pierce who became an American underground cult music hero in his own right. Along with Pierce there was Gram Parsons, the founder of alternative country… He was an artist with a vision as unique and personal as those of Jagger-Richards, Cobain and Petty.
They both created unstitched musical crossroads that other bands would only wish they could emulate. Lured away by Satan there was this ongoing preoccupation with loss and despair. Their central themes were the innocent tossed between the staunch traditions of religion and the fear of hell… . It’s a pity that these peripheral figures found the bottle and needle instead of a wider audience they deserved. Their demise is another sad reminder that the rock ‘n’ roll life-style can also lead to oblivion. They both played for vengence and not for glory…
Ghosts On The Highway.. Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Gram Parsons
The ambivalence of these American musical iconic styles is being so gallantly explored by local L.A. band… Jesus Sons… Their recent album, “Tres”, which was released back in Oct of last year reflects the binary exploitation of L.A. punk and psychedelic country. While listening I realized it was two entirely different albums. My best description of this aural phenom is listening to “Exile on Main Street” . Jesus Sons realizes that their two styles are intrinsically corrupt but survives by keeping a hold on each. The space in between the instruments is what makes their music swing. At times “Tres” is so close to heaven yet so far from God… White Boy Gospel..
Jesus Sons… “Tres”
I was fortunate enough to get an interview with Shannon Dean… guitarist/harmonica/vocals and founder of Jesus Sons…
Rock Bands of L.A.com:What music did you grow up listening to? I hear Gram Parsons, the Byrds, The Grateful Dead and The Gun Club… At times retro.. but not to a fault. I’d be ok to say that Jesus Sons are a “jam” band.
Shannon Dean: I personally grew up listening to a lot of classic rock being from a small town in Iowa. I never liked the country music I was exposed to early on because it wasn’t good country. I’m thankful that I got exposed to good country later in life because my younger self would have associated it with everything I hated about growing up in the middle of nowhere.
Rock Bands of L.A.com: Jesus Sons’ music is so American… Rock and Roll has a tough time in America… Why, is this your opinion? How are perceived overseas? The more American you are the more they like you.
Shannon Dean: Rock and roll is struggling to make any real money anymore and it worries me. It’s what made me want to buy a guitar and help shift the moral zeitgeist forward. I wonder if kids growing up on electronic music will aspire to buy a fucking MacBook instead. If that’s the case we are doomed.
Jesus Sons…. Shannon Dean
Rock Bands of L.A.com.:You seem to attract a tough crowd… … Don’t get me wrong.. I totally dig it. Its almost like they are from a different time period.. I grew up in L.A. but went to college in San Francisco… Where do you think your audience are?
Shannon Dean: We have an incredible amount of great bands in Los Angeles right now and most of us are great friends. Building an audience outside of the city has its difficulties but I wonder if a large part of our future audience are in places we haven’t heavily toured yet like the Midwest and the south.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:Your last album, “Tres” came out last year… Are you workin’ on a new album…what can we expect.??
Shannon Dean: We dropped “Tres” in October of last year but it took a while to release. We recorded it twice, rewrote a few songs, changed the lineup, and finally recorded the finished product with Jason Soda here in La. It took a while to get it right and find the new direction we wanted to take the band in. We grew a lot as a band musically and lyrically. Now that the dust has settled the fourth record shouldn’t be too far behind.
Jesus Sons are doing a residency at the World Famous Echo each Monday night… Don’t miss a great show for free… Other great bands are playing with them..I also want to thank Shannon for taking the time to do our interview.. We absolutely love this band!