Music, Why Not! Got the chance to ask Marc Copely- the lead guitarist of the Americana band, JD & The Straight Shot a couple of questions. Read on as we discuss their latest album, the bands music making process, and more.
MWN: In general how does the band approach making music?
JD & The Straight Shot: It’s a group effort for sure. We tend to write a bit on the road, then get together to workshop ideas. At times we’ll email around ideas and all weigh in on that too.
MWN: How would you describe the sound of JD & The Straight Shot?
JD & The Straight Shot: Its hard to pin down since its really a mixture of american roots music and 60’s and early 70’s folk rock.
MWN: Who are the band’s biggest influences?
JD & The Straight Shot: Well, we toured as the opening band with the Eagles for quite a while, so they’ve influenced us quite a bit. The harmonies especially. We also love The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and have been digging into some bluegrass.
MWN: JD & The Straight Shot’s 6th studio album Good Luck And Good Night just came out on September 15th. What did it mean to you to put out this record that you had been working so hard on?
JD & The Straight Shot: We’re all really thrilled, and this is first of our albums that I produced, so it means the world to me personally that band trusted me with that task. All bands go through a great deal of ups and downs together and this record is really a testament to us staying together through it all to keep making great music.
MWN: In the recording of your new album, what did you discover about the band and as musicians that you didn’t know before?
JD & The Straight Shot: Good question. We’ve been together for a few years now, so we really do know the ins and outs of what each member is likely to play. But, this time around, we tried to incorporate some fresh ideas and some of those came from bluegrass records, so we all had to learn some new things to make that happen. Our drummer, Shawn Pelton co-wrote two songs on the album, which he had never done before, so we learned we had another songwriter in the band, which we’re all really happy about. New ideas are always welcome!
MWN: How would you describe your individual sound that you bring to the band?
JD & The Straight Shot: They come from listening and working with lots of folk and blues artists’ and also had grown up really admiring producers that were also great musicians, so my sound is a bit all over the place. Mixing roots music with contemporary ideas and sounds is something I like to do.
MWN: How did it come about that you produced Good Luck And Good Night?
JD & The Straight Shot: Our frontman Jim asked me to produce it after hearing some other projects I produced and mixed, such as NYC- based rock band Upright Man. Upright Man is psychedelic rock band, so it’s a departure from JD & The Straight Shot, but similar in that the philosophy is all about great songs. That’s what people remember most so that’s my focus with any project I produce.
MWN: In addition to producing the album, you also play lead guitar, sing background vocals and are the musical director. What exactly is the role of a musical director?
JD & The Straight Shot: Making sure everyone plays the right notes, including me, ha! I also do a bit of people management and make sure the shows all sound great. We have an amazing team of three guys that set us up and make us sound good out front so I work with them quite a bit too.
MWN: What bands would JD & The Straight Shot recommend to our readers?
JD & The Straight Shot: Upright Man! Also Tauk – they’re smokin’. And if you can go out and catch The Doobie Brothers , do it. We’ve been opening for them and they sound incredible.
MWN: A few random questions coming at you guys! So our readers can get to know you guys a bit more. Alright what was the first record you ever bought?
JD & The Straight Shot: Led Zeppelin IV
MWN: What is your first recollection of seeing live music?
JD & The Straight Shot: I used to hear jazz bands with my grandparents outdoors in the summer. My first rock concert was Aerosmith!
MWN: Favorite song to listen to when you’re sad?
JD & The Straight Shot: “The Beast in Me” by Nick Lowe
MWN: Favorite love song?
JD & The Straight Shot: “Downtown Train” by Tom Waits is one and “Hallelujah” Leonard Cohen
MWN: Is there anything you’d like to say to the people who support your music?
JD & The Straight Shot: THANK YOU!!! Without you, we can’t do what we do and we can’t thank you enough for allowing us to play for you. We love it, and hope you do too.
Interview By: Maria Limon