I am thrilled to have Jesse and Noah visiting with us today. Nothing beats the harmony and collaboration of brothers when we're talking about music. Let's open the chute!
Thank you for joining me, guys. Ever since I heard Gambler’s Heart I’ve been looking forward to this.
If I’m reading correctly, Neon Pike is your sixth album. Was this produced in Darby? And which of your other albums used the studio there?
Jesse: This album was all recorded in Nashville with our friends Jason and Sambo Moncivaiz at their place.
Noah: We used the Darby studio for our previous album, Southern Usonia, and way back for our very first recordings with Elston Gunn.
Some artists only release a new album every three to four years. As Indie’s you seem to be putting out a new album every year to two years. What is your thought process behind constantly rolling out new material for your fans?
Noah: In the 1960s artists were putting out albums every six months, when dad and Howard started putting out records in the mid-1970s, an album a year was pretty standard. Then, at some point in the '80s, it shifted to every two years. I think it's just what we grew up thinking artists were supposed to
Jesse: I think in this new “streaming” world, we'll see more artists go back to the older model of releasing more music.
Most artists use one of the tracks as their album title. That doesn’t seem to be the case with you guys. The closest you’ve come is with your debut album, Nowhere Revisited – playing off Driving Nowhere. How do you come up with your album titles? Tell us, also, how the title for Neon Pike came to be.
Noah: Sometimes we come up with titles while we're working on a record. Sometimes a song title sticks out as a good title. There is a song called “Neon Pike” on the album, but it's more of a jingle with a guitar solo.
Jesse: It's written more like a theme song. We came up with the album title, then wrote a song around it.
Noah: It's about some of the roads in Nashville that are called “pikes.” The city center has changed so much in the last few years. The character in the song doesn't recognize it anymore, so he wants to go “down the pike.”
In your bio you state that each of you build on a foundation then hand off to the other for polish. The 80s group, James & Michael Younger (brothers) worked the same way. Makes me wonder if this is a brother thing because of your connection. Is that something you picked up from your dad and uncle or did you find it on your own?
Jesse: We probably picked it up from them.
Noah: We each have our own style, but we know each other well enough that we can imitate each other. There were a couple of things I wrote knowing Jesse was going to end up singing them.
Your music showcases a wide range of influences spanning about thirty years. As I listen to your music, I hear a lot of your dad and uncle. What has been the most important lesson you’ve taken from watching them over the years?
Jesse: Good songs are what matter in the end. A lot of artists try to stay relevant by chasing trends.
Noah: That's fine, but you have to have good songs, whatever style you're doing.
You take a unique perspective with Gambler’s Heart. Please tell us how the thought train began.
Noah: I wanted to write a “grown-up” father and son song.
Jesse: We wrote it in a particular style that we thought would suit the Bellamy Brothers, a mix of southern rock and folk rock with some traditional country elements.
What is the one thing you want your listeners to really hear in Neon Pike?
Jesse: It's really just a record to listen to and enjoy the songs. Our previous record, Southern Usonia, turned out a little on the introspective side of things. We wanted this one to be a little more balanced.
Noah: I wanted to make something you could play on a road-trip or at a barbecue that still had some depth to it.
Let's give a listen to Gambler's Heart:
Let’s talk about Honky Tonk Ranch for moment:
What was your first reaction to the idea of doing the show?
Jesse: The idea of doing a reality show didn't really appeal to us.
Noah: Most reality shows seem to have a lot of manufactured drama. The tone of Honky Tonk Ranch, turned out to be a little more lighthearted and fun. There are conflicts, but nothing too over the top...so far.
Has your opinion changed one way or the other as you approach the second season?
Noah: The show's developed into something that people seem to be enjoying, so you can't really argue with that.
Jesse: It's obviously not meant to be taken too seriously. The show laughs at itself.
Here's a clip from Season 1 Episode 3
It's almost impossible to find anything on social media of the two of you as individuals. You seldom see that outside of twins. Would you say you’re best friends?
Noah: I think it's more that we're stuck with each other.
Jesse: We have three more brothers, but we're the only ones that work together regularly. We are getting to working with our youngest brother, Aaron, a little now. He's doing camera work and behind the scenes stuff on Honky Tonk Ranch.
Because there is so little known about you guys, I want to do a little fan dig. Would each of you answer the following questions?
A – Favorite thing to do when you’re not working on your music?
Jesse: Astrology, gardening and record collecting.
B – Some place you’ve been you’d most like to revisit?
Jesse: Denver, Colorado and Zurich, Switzerland.
Noah: London and Norway
C – One thing most people don’t know about you?
Jesse: I have a collection of Star Trek memorabilia.
Noah: I can't whistle.
D – Favorite food
Jesse: Stone crab claws
Noah: Hot chicken wings.
If you are not familiar with Jesse and Noah, you need to be. While they are not new to the music scene, they are gaining momentum on the charts with their single Gambler's Heart hanging in at #87 on the Top 100 Texas Regional Radio Chart. Gambler's Heart is their first single from their new album, NEON PIKE. I will be posting a review of the CD tomorrow.
In the mean time, follow them on their various social media platforms: