From drinking contests to apocalypse show-stoppers
By Richard Davis
TFW Staff Writer
Local group the 1 oz. Jig is teaming up with Louisiana-based Stiff Necked Fools this Friday, June 24 to draw out a big crowd of music lovers to George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville. Then on July 2, the Jig will head down to Shreveport, La., to play with the Fools on their home turf.
I asked Jeff Kearney of the Jig some questions about the show swap, his band and the Fools, making this an unofficial, semi-dual, double secret probation entry for MBotW (pronounced em-BOT-wah) or Musician/Band of the Week.
TFW: Give the readers a quick explanation of what a show swap is and why it’s an important thing for bands.
Jeff: A show swap is bands helping bands. It can be difficult for independent bands to break into new towns. Venues naturally want people in their clubs and the first thing they usually ask is ” Do you have a following here?” and unless you’re a smooth talker, that’s where the conversation ends.
So you find a band that does have a following, request to open for them and then return the favor in your own town. Of course, it is important you have a strong following in your own town. That way each band can get in front of a crowd and begin building a fan base without having to leave empty handed. I think it is a practical approach and a good thing for bands and venues.
TFW: How did your respective groups hook up to do the show swap?
Jeff: Ryan Viser (trumpeter For Stiff Necked Fools) contacted me, and I was immediately impressed with what they were doing — I mean, “bayou reggae.” They are putting a new spin on the genre, and they didn’t look like your typical dreadlocked, big-bearded, super-blazed reggae band (see Ras Trent). They seemed different and that appealed to me. Also, I have always been certain the 1 oz. Jig’s “everyday people” style of funk would go over well the further south we went, and this gave us an opportunity to test that theory.
TFW: Who would win in a drinking contest, the 1 oz. Jig or the Stiff Necked Fools?
Jeff: That is a tough one. We may have to wait until the after party Friday night to find that out, but the Jig would be hard to beat. Some of us have been known to drink our weight through the course of a night. We are looking at a sponsorship from PBR to take us to the Summer Olympics in the drinking and fishing events.
TFW: The two groups seem to have pretty different music styles. Is that helpful in doing a show swap? Do you think you both appeal to the same audience, complimentary audiences or completely different audiences?
Jeff: Funk and reggae are fairly similar harmonically and melodically. Both are somewhat blues-based. It is the rhythm that separates them. I think they compliment each other very well.
Both forms of music gained polarity at around the same time historically, so it makes sense that they would appeal to the same demographic. Both our bands are very horn heavy as well. It was hard to refrain from using the word “horny” right there.
TFW: The zombie apocalypse has come, and I only have time to request once last song. What should I yell out for — before the undead overcome me — from Stiff Necked Fools and The 1 Oz Jig and why?
Jeff: The Song “Rampage” by the 1 oz. Jig would be perfect zombie-slaying music. The song is about hitting that point of frustration where you either turn into a giant werewolf, King Kong or a Godzilla-type creature and smash down skyscrapers, eat people whole and swat aircraft from the sky. It also has a reference to another old school video game from Sega Genesis called “Altered Beast” where you do fight undead zombies. The lyric goes “I’m goin’ shit ape/ like on rampage/ I’m flyin’ into a rage/ and now I’m an altered beast/ and I have been released.”
I’m not sure what SNF song I would request but, if there was ever a state that would survive a zombie apocalypse it would be Louisiana, depending on whose side the gators where on.
TFW: Has the Jig have covered an original Fools tune and vice-versa?
Jeff: We haven’t covered any of each others songs, but I bet it will not be unlikely to see members of each band sittin’ in with the other during the shows we play together. We speak the same language. MUSIC.