Nashville’s Jasmine Cain Interview
They are notorious for putting on memorable, high energy live performances across the country, and these Nashville rockers are riding high on the success of their latest album, loving their recent lineup change and looking forward to even bigger things.
Our Jacksonville rock music guru, Leon Jonjock cornered them for a long and engaging interview. Check it out…
Jasmine Cain Interview – The Band Chats with Leon Jonjock
Great to see you guys back in Florida for a few dates on your never-ending tour. Fans have been building in Florida for years since your first shows here. The word is out – when this band comes to town – EVERYONE SHOWS UP. Thank you all for taking the time to answer a few questions for the hungry fans.
How has this tour through the State of Florida been so far and compared to last year?
Jasmine Cain – Florida fans have really come through for us. Our fan base continues to grow beyond just Daytona and Clearwater area. For the first time we are getting a foothold in Jacksonville, Orlando, and even Ft. Lauderdale area making our winter months much busier than they have ever been before. Usually we have this null in our schedule over the winter, but Florida has really stepped up and taken care of us during those months.
Zach Ballard – Florida tours are always good because it’s generally warm and I like warmer weather… Not much different from last year except some new fans… Every year we connect with more people which is great… lots of family out there in Florida.
Jordan Roepke – Touring Florida has been great for us this year, especially during the winter months. There’s such a great community around this band, and to be able to have this extra time over the winter to spend with fans in Florida has been really incredible.
Do you like touring in the Summer versus the Winter, or do you tour through it all now?
Jasmine Cain – It depends on where we’re touring in the Summer and Winter. Most of our motorcycle shows are spread out across the United States to where we are never in the hottest or coldest destination. It’s really mild climate and it’s very nice to have such favorable weather wherever we go. On occasion, we encounter a severe rain storm, but those are usually short lived and we make the most of whatever weather we are given that day. We’ve been known to find a corner inside a building somewhere and do an impromptu acoustic show when rain cancels our main stage performance. We want everyone to leave there having had a great time, no matter what the circumstances.
Zach Ballard – I like touring anytime… it’s always an adventure. I may complain sometimes about extremely cold weather, But I’ll get over it.. .it’s all part of the experience.
Jordan Roepke – Luckily, we’ve been able to get around to so many different parts of the country, so many different regions that we can pretty much play year-round and find good weather.
What keeps you wanting to stay on the road so much? Live Shows? Interaction with the fans?
Jasmine Cain – I suffer from gypsy wanderlust. I hate sitting still or being in one place for too long. We have so many great friends and fans across the country that it’s damn near impossible not to enjoy the company we’re surrounded with. They always show up with a surprise: a jar of moonshine, some home cooked food, cookies, wine, a killer story…. it’s always entertaining. Hell, I think the people are way more entertaining than we are!
Zach Ballard – Live shows for me… I love playing music and smacking drums, and I guess at this point I’ve never really done anything else.
Jordan Roepke – For me it’s all about the music, and having the opportunity to share the stage with such incredibly talented players. I think we have a strong connection together, musically speaking, and that comes across to the audience during our shows.
The new CD White Noise has many great songs – in fact a variety of cool rock ‘n roll genres.
Why did this CD get so much variety – versus a standard theme? Exploration?
Jasmine Cain – I actually thought this album was much more cohesive than previous records…shows what I know. My main focus is always to just write good songs. Our main focus on White Noise was to include our influences on the record itself, so we included Jeff LaBar of Cinderella, Gerry Finn of the Killer Dwarfs, Ralph Saenz of Steel Panther, and Charlie Parra…our Peruvian rock star who played with Kobra and the Lotus. Recording an album is way more fun when you have your super talented friends in the studio with you. They came up with some incredible parts.
Zach Ballard – I would say a large variety of influences and also wanting some crossover appeal led to the overall sound.
What songs on the New CD are the fan favorites? And which are your favorites?
Jasmine Cain – I’m with Zach, I don’t think anyone can decide on their favorite song on this album. Everyone has a different one they want to hear. Oddly enough, I rarely remember people’s names, but rather which song they usually request off the album. This dude’s name will be Nightingale and that girl is called Any Given Sunday. LOL. I’m good with faces…. horrible with names. I can tell you the conversation we had almost verbatim though.
Zach Ballard – Hard to say the fan favorite… Every person seems to like something different. I hear people say “Hole” a lot, “Any Givin Sunday,” last night someone told me “Fall to Rise. I hear “Break Even” a lot…. “Comin in Hot” also… It’s really hard to say… I think “Break Even is my favorite because I love the pop crossover appeal. I also really like “Fools Gold.” Its got this almost old school Heart vibe to it.
Jordan Roepke – My favorite is “Good Life”. It’s not the flashiest song on the record, but it’s up tempo with a lot of really catchy melodies and a great lyric. Really fun to play on guitar.
Are there songs that didn’t make this album, but will be heard on the next one?
Jasmine Cain – We had two standby songs: One was called “Nothing” and the other was “I Don’t Care”. Both of them were slower tempo and we just basically decided to keep this a really energy driven album. That is really the only reason we didn’t include them.
Zach Ballard – Not that I’m aware but I’m sure there’s something floating around out there
Jordan Roepke – I think we all have ideas and material floating around, but we’ll probably start pretty fresh for the next record.
This band consists of 3 members – Is it harder to work with 3 versus 4 on stage and in the studio?
Jasmine Cain – The studio is wide open as far as how many people we want to include. We use many different people to “flavor” each song a little differently. It would be boring if they all sounded the same. However, it is much easier and more profitable to travel with 3 people on the road than 4. I’ve tried both ways, and although I loved the people I traveled with, it’s nice when everyone can make a little more money and have more space in the van. I started out a power trio and it’s nice to be back there again. It reminds me of the early years when we were all hungry and ruled the world.
Zach Ballard – Sometimes it’s easier with less people… I love playing with two guitar players… But I’ve also seen complete train wreak situations where the guitar players didn’t vibe and it was more work… You have to cover more space as a 3 piece but that’s ok. I think it depends on the situation and every situation is different. But for this band I think 3 piece really works.
Jordan Roepke – As a three piece we all have to cover a lot more ground, musically speaking, we have to play a lot more to fill it out, but we also all get to spread out the sound and have more fun. I really enjoy working as a three piece.
With the former guitarist of this band taking an official break, the band quickly added a new guitarist, “Jordan Roepke,” a native of Milwaukee to the line-up. He is very well schooled on the guitar, and teaches classes to students on his off time we are told?
Jasmine Cain – I think Jordan should answer this one. He knows more about himself than any of us.
Jordan Roepke – Yeah, I do, and thanks! I have a great set of students in Nashville, as well as online over Skype. It’s something I’ve been doing for over a decade, and I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with new students of all ages.
Zach Ballard – The road can be hard and some people decide it’s just not what they are feeling anymore. Ben is a great guy and I was sad to see him go but Jordan has done a great job stepping up to the plate and we are happy to have him. He had to learn a lot of material in very little time and did a great job.
How has this new transition been to the band so far? Everyone getting along? Musically? Personally?
Jasmine Cain – Yeah, it went pretty seamless, which was unexpected and incredibly welcomed. Jordan has had exactly zero rehearsals with us so far, so he had to come in completely on his game. There have been some tone adjustments over the past several months to get a desired sound that everyone is happy with, but Jordan is just so versatile, it makes it easy. Plus he doesn’t mind suggestions and discussion about it… he welcomes the suggestions and critics. It’s nice to not have someone be defensive because this is truly how a band continues to grow. We all know we’re pro’s, so we shouldn’t have a problem with taking suggestions and new ideas from one another. That’s what makes it work. We do have a “NO POLITICS” rule in the van.
Zach Ballard – You always have to adjust to new personalities and try your best to understand where people are coming from even if it’s a completely different place than you… That’s life and that’s being in a band and being up each other’s ass 24 hours a day. I’d say everybody gets along great under these circumstances.
Jordan Roepke -It’s tough to spend virtually 24 hours a day with the same group of people for weeks and months at a time, so there can be a little friction once in a while. Luckily, I think we all have a very similar sense of humor, and the same goals, and a lot of mutual respect. This has to be the funniest group of people I’ve ever been in a band with.
What has Jordan brought to the band – that was needed in your opinion? Why?
Jasmine Cain – Versatility, vocal harmonies, and programming abilities. Why? Why not? Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of as many gifts someone brought to the table? He’s like a guitar player with a bonus of about 3 other instruments that he can play separately and record and then program tracks for that we can play along to. That’s awesome.
Zach Ballard – Jordan is a great guitar player and in a 3 piece you can’t have a weak link and he’s definitely not…. Boy’s got chops. He also is currently programming tracks for the band which is a pretty cool skill set that he’s bringing to the table.
Jordan. here’s your chance to say hello to the fans – what would you’d like to tell them today?
Jordan Roepke – It means a lot that I’ve gotten such a warm response from people who’ve been following this band for years. I’m really thankful for that.
Check out Part Two of our Jasmine Cain Interview here.