Q&A With Jackyl’s Jesse James Dupree
Jackyl singer Jesse James Dupree is known for firing up the chainsaw and playing blues-based hard rock. While the band’s largest national success occurred in the ’90s, Dupree is still a busy, in-demand man, thanks to his TV production deals, the TV show ‘Full Throttle Saloon,’ his work with Kiefer Sutherland’s label and of course, Jackyl, who just released ‘When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide” last week. Deep down, Dupree is still a Southern gent at heart, which Noisecreep found out when we sat down with him in New York City.
Why are Southerners so polite?
‘Cause your mama’d knock your head off and get on your ass.
How ironic! You’d get knocked out for not being polite! So tell us about your TV production/consultancy work?
I fell backwards into doing television production and produced pay-per-view out of Sturgis, S.D. about five years ago. I did not aspire at the time to be an executive producer. In the 11th hour, it fell apart. I had been sharing certain things I felt they needed to do and facilitated the production. They ignored me. I had to jump in and shape it back up. We had millions of dollars riding on this pay-per-view and so I got through that event and thought, ‘I never want to do that again.’ It was scary and miserable, but it was a successful pay-per-view. A producer sought me out after the fact and wanted to get in business with me for a television production company. I took the leap of faith.
Will you ever leave music for TV?
Nothing will ever be better than two hours of standing on stage. It’s like saying, ‘You have had enough sex and you’ve had have a couple kids, why not have your penis removed?’ It’s not going to happen.
The new album has a song called ‘Just Like a Negro,’ which could be controversial for you, given the title.
People will see that title and assume the worst. If they leave it at that, then they are not worth the salt in their body. Take a minute to read the lyrics. I wrote it with three black individuals, and we say music makes all colors run together. I wrote it with the guys in Mother’s Finest, who are the originators of funk rock. They pre-date the Red Hot Chili Peppers and have a male and female singer and the bassist plays the hell out of slap bass. We did a record on Sony that never came out.
How would you describe the music of Jackyl in 2010?
We’ve never been lumped into any trends or fads. We’re a blues-based gritty rock band, like AC/DC with a mouth full of Georgia dirt. There was no label pressure and we road tested the songs, which proved themselves in front of a crowd and I will never make a record without applying that concept: to make sure we play it live first. I did a lot of writing on my bike while out on tour and ideas came while I was riding, and all of that adds up to ‘When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide.’