of the South Florida Scene is a weekly column devoted to the
artists thriving within Broward and Palm Beach counties featuring
interviews with the folks making it happen. This week, Lake Worth's the Jameses.
The Jameses played a set at Miami's Endless Summer at Churchill's in June. True to
form, Churchill's was behind schedule, and the youngest kids had already been filtered
out. This is when they proceeded to unfairly upstage every preceding set and could have
done so with their raw energy alone. Head to Lake Worth-It on Saturday to see if they can do it again.
But the trio is a tight one: perfect distortion, wavy,
undulating guitars, vocals that defy the aforementioned distortion to become loud and
anthemic, heavily interwoven synth, what Impose refers to as "breezy garage pop" and
what we surmise to be gravelly, punk-inspired wizardry. The Lake Worth band is so
good that, according to our very own Courtney Hambright, upon realizing how
amazing an act his friends were becoming, guitarist Jesse Bryan returned to Florida from NYC to
round them out. Having just released their first seven-inch, "The Haunted Rider"/"Rat People" --
one of which was an MP3 of the day here -- we thought it'd be a good time to catch up
with them. We talked to Bryan about the band's favorite local acts and how a three-on-three
basketball tournament postponed their tour -- kinda.
New Times: So who are you guys? Tell us your names, where you're from...
Jesse Bryan: Dan, Dan, and Jesse. We're from West Palm Beach, Florida. We live to get
...And how did the Jameses evolve? What projects were you working on before? Given
your email address and MySpace URL, were you formerly known as Three Headed Lion?
We were once in a hip-hop ensemble called Funkhauser that almost made it big, but we
lost one member, SPF 5,000,000, to law school. Other than that, we have been in various
space-jazz, surf-rap, golf-rock, and 420-wave bands since we were about 13 years old.
The Jameses is the culmination of all of that. "The Lion" is one of our jams.
Impose described your sound as "garage pop." Besides Bob Dylan/pregnant hooker-
influenced, how would you classify your own sound?
A cross between a forest fire, a haunted house, and a teddy bear picnic.
When did you record your EP and with whom? Did you do it yourselves?
We recorded it ourselves at casa la madre with the "Big Man" [that's guitarist/vocalist/synth player Dan James McHugh] behind the boards. It was our first real go at recording,
so we certainly learned a lot and are excited to record some more songs very soon. The
handsome and muscular gentleman who runs Mayo Factory Records put the seven-inch out. He's
a really great dude and deserves some sort of monument in downtown Lake Worth. Also,
the amazingly talented Amelie Chunleau did the artwork. She does great collages and
regularly updates them here.
You had planned to tour with Lil Daggers in July. What happened?
The plan was four dates or so up to Atlanta, but that was put on hiatus after a 3v3
basketball with them turned ugly (that was a clean block, Jacob), but we're hoping to do
some sort of East Coast tour ending up in NYC in August/September.
What are the best and worst things about being a local South Florida band?
Wearing shorts and going to Florida Marlins games. The worst is being a bit
disconnected. I would say it can often feel rather isolated being stuck down here in the
southern tip of this peninsula... but maybe that's a good thing! Also, sucks you can't get
a vegetarian banh mi sandwich around here.
Has being a local band here influenced your sound at all: the landscape, your friend's
There are some really rad WPB bands right now. Love Handles, Guy Harvey, Cop City/Chill Pillars, and Hear Hums are some of our favorites. We really dig Lil Daggers
and Teepee down in Miami. The fact that there is a bustling scene here certainly inspires
us and really gets us excited to go out and play.
I read you've all been playing music here for awhile. Have you seen the local music
scene here evolve in any way? If so, how?
It's a burgeoning, ten-foot-tall sunflower. It's pretty cool. There's at least one good show
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a week and sometimes two, and it's cool when people like to hang and listen to good
tunes, 'cause that's what we like to do. We've met a lot of cool cats in the last six months
alone, and folks are really into music, which certainly gets us excited. We feel like we're
part of something real unique down here and that's a-OK.