Mike Jacobs - Evil Jake

September 24, 2002

Tell me a little about the band.

You got three of us. Paul on drums, David on bass, and me on guitar and vocals. I’m the only native New Yorker. We don’t really remember where David came from. He’s lived here eight years. Paul’s lived here for a few years. Basically three fun loving guys.

Why are you guys just a trio?

I guess when we started the band we thought about larger units. It’s hard enough to keep any sort of band together let alone one with a large amount of members so we figured at least short term let’s keep the band “small” and then we can add as it becomes more solid. Add a singer, add another guitarist, and we actually anticipated adding a guitarist early on. Just as we began to do it more, we realized that three was just a very comfortable number so we stuck with it.

What kind of music do you guys play?

We call it power pop. Stuff with a pop melody, catchy stuff, but we try to rock as hard as we can.

Who does most of the songwriting?

Me.

What kind of inspiration do you use for your songs?

In terms of artist and learning exactly how to write, probably just from listening to tons of artists over the years. Everybody from Aerosmith and Bon Jovi to Cheap Trick to even some classical stuff, Miles Davis. Usually it’s about relationships, good and bad, mostly bad. It’s much easier to write about those. The trials and tribulations of just going through of just being a human that’s been involved in a relationship. Not even necessarily romantic relationships but really ones of all types. I have more fun with the bad romantic relationships.

How long has the band been together?

About eight or nine months.

Where do you guys normally play gigs?

We’ve got a home base of the lower east side in Manhattan. Clubs like Arlene Grocery and then we’ve got a tour route up through the northeast I’d say. All the way up through Boston, New Hampshire, down to Washington, D. C., some Virginia, and then as far over as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse. We’re going to be expanding that soon. We’re going to try to hit the South and the Midwest this summer.

You were addressing Texas fans in your latest newsletter. What do you have in store for Texas?

We may make it that far. We’re trying to work out some of the details actually.

Do you have any idea what cities?

Actually I lived in Houston and San Antonio for a bit and spent a good time in Dallas. Actually probably we’ll start with Austin though is the thing. Just because of the scene down there. We’ve got some connections. They’re south by southwest. We’re going to try to be playing that this year. So at minimum we want to try to get that way but as long as we’re getting down there, we may try to do a trip to Dallas. Probably Houston. I spent more time in Houston. We’ll see what kind of a response we’re getting in San Antonio. Maybe we’ll do a swing there too.

You have a five song demo out called Music To Strip By. Tell us about the tracks on the demo.

Sure. Those were the four of the first six songs that were written by Evil Jake. I wrote all of them but the cover obviously. That was the best we had that point. We actually recorded that probably about three weeks after the band first got together. Maybe three rehearsals and then hit the studio. We did not expect it to last this long. On that CD, “She’s So Lonely” is probably our signature song. Not necessarily our best but I think it’s the one that most quickly gets to the point of showing what Evil Jake is. It’s pop but it’s fast. There’s some rock to it. “Falling Man” was probably our first single. It’s the one that most people seem to catch on to pretty early. Noting it’s their favorite song. It’s got a little bit more of a punk pop feel to it I think. There’s a cover, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, which was always a popular live song. Then “Everything She Wants” which is still one of our favorite songs. We just don’t think we’ve got a great version of it on that CD. We’re going to try again on the upcoming album. Then “Be My Ex-Girlfriend” which is probably the most successful song we’ve had to date.

That one’s pretty funny. Especially when you promote your website at the end. Be my ex-girlfriend and see my website.

There you go. Not necessarily our best work but it’s definitely I think our most fun song.

You guys are working on a new album. When are you going to start working on that and how many songs are going to be on it?

We’re working on it now actually. We’re in pre-production working on some of the production details, finishing up the material and the arrangements. We’re going to be entering the studio October 16th for basic tracks. Somewhere between 10 and 13 songs.

Are you using some of the songs on the demo?

We think so. We’ve got some of them in the plausible songs. We actually started with 22 songs and now it’s down to 18 and then at 14. There are I think three of them in the potential 14. We’re going to see how they come out. We’ve actually already been working on some changes to them. The ones that we’re thinking about doing, we’ve definitely been doing some rearranging and moving a chorus around changing with the structures. Even if we do some of those songs, again you’re going to get something new from us.

Why did you choose to cover Tina Turner’s song “What’s Love Got To Do With It”?

Just in the rehearsal studio one day throwing out cover ideas and I just started playing it. The band kicked in and it grew. We just thought it was a song we could definitely put our own spin on and there was a lot to work with. We could definitely rock it but then there’s the funky breakdown so we felt like there was a lot of room to put our personal stamp on it. People just liked it when we played it live. It was a pretty cool choice.

Are you using just songs you wrote on your album?

Yeah, the point is to just have songs that we wrote.

Do you have a large audience at your gigs?

Depends on the city but in New York we’re one of the bigger draws on the scene of the unsigned bands. We’re one of the standard Saturday night prime gig prime time bands at Arlene Grocery which is probably the prime place that management and whatnot would come down to see bands. We are definitely one of the bigger draws in New York. We’ve actually had a pretty big draw in a few other cities like Buffalo and we’re trying to build up the same kind of fanbase in the other cities too.

Have you guys been shopping for a label?

We haven’t been actively looking but we’ve had a few requests and we’ve looked into them. Nothing that’s particularly piqued our interest yet.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Go to www.eviljake.com.

Evil Jake