For those that haven’t heard of J Lee and the Hoodoo Skulls could you tell us a bit about the band, your story?
Well, it all started early 2016 when I was getting some ideas together for an old school rock’n’roll, blues album I wanted to do. It’s something I have always thought about doing so I had some ideas that I took to Harun Kotch, who I’ve worked with on a number of projects, and as writers we work very well together. In fact the first track I brought to the table was “2 Bit Lovers” our new single.
It was all very exciting, anyone who’s written a song will know that when you first get an idea whether it is a simple riff or a chorus, you jot it into your phone and then to hear it coming together with bass, drums, guitars is such a buzz. So we had this track and I played it to Luke Sohl Williams an amazing writer in his own right, he loved it and seemed keen to get involved.
I have to say when i started this project i had no intentions of starting a band it was just something I had to get out of my system, and was going to see where it took me when it was finished. I am so glad it worked out the way it did and that people wanted to be a part of it which is how Harun became the guitarist /producer and co-writer, so three in one – not bad!
Luke is also a co-writer as well as bass player. The three of us write very well together, we all seem to read off the same page and it’s good writing in a three because you always get a majority vote. We just needed a drummer and I knew exactly who to ask, an old friend of mine called Wayne Riches who I have known for many years, and has played for numerous artists including Skin from Skunk Anansie. So there you have it, that’s how J Lee and The Hoodoo Skulls was formed, and I am very pleased that we did.
Who inspired you to get on stage and perform?
Well, I guess it’s in my genes, music was a very big part of growing up in our household. Having a dad in the music business (Shakin Stevens) there was always music on in the house. Plus he had an amazing record collection…
The thing is, I’ve never known my dad do anything else, but it was when I went to see him perform live that my eyes nearly popped out my head to hear him on a record and see him leaving the house saying he’s off to work is one thing but to be in a venue with thousands of people all shouting your dad’s name is something very different so how could you not want to follow in your dads footsteps after seeing that.
You are about to release 2 Bit Lovers could you tell us a bit about this track?
It’s one of those tracks that just builds and builds, it starts off with the sticks tapping on the rim of the drums, then a gorgeous bluesy slide guitar comes in along with the vocals, and then it all just opens up and really kicks in, and just keeps on building….I love it, very pleased with this track.
What is the most interesting venue that you have performed at?
I don’t know about most interesting, but we had the great privilege of supporting my dad on a few dates of his ‘Echoes Of Our Times’ tour this year, and we played St Davids Hall in Cardiff, my family’s home town, great atmosphere, great gig.
Do you have any stories from being on the road, from touring?
I can’t remember where we were but we were playing this venue that lets say it had seen better days! We were on this stage that seemed a bit rickety doing our sound check, and I remember saying to one of the guys that the floor felt like it was about to go, and sure enough it did….I put my foot through one of the floor boards!
What do you think is missing from today’s music industry?
Here at Artistic Echoes we are always on the look out for new artists do you have anyone you can recommend?
We have played with a band a couple times called Sun House and they’re great. A little blues rock three piece with a big sound. All amazing musicians with amazing songs, definitely one to check out.
What plans do you have for the rest of the year?
We have a couple of final shows to do, and then plan to finish the album ready for some time next year. Also we will strive to chill out a bit, enjoy Christmas and get ready for a bigger 2018!
Find out more:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J-Lee- and-The- Hoodoo-Skulls