Nashville’s Jasmine Cain Interview – Part 2
If you have not already done so, check out Part 1 of our Jasmine Cain Interview here.
It seems that when you all play on stage. the band is having a blast with the music, from Ozzy Osbourne covers, to signature Jasmine Cain songs. Are there other songs that you want to include in this year’s set list versus last year’s?
Jasmine Cain – Yes, we have a very long list of songs we want to add to the cover roster. We get bored so easily. But it’s important to us that we only choose songs that represent us well as a band, and songs that we can execute in our own way that no other cover band could do like us. Always utilize your strengths and avoid your weakness.
Zach Ballard – We are currently working on a whole new set… I’ll leave it as a surprise.
Jordan Roepke -We’re taking some time this spring to rehash a lot of what we’re doing, to keep it new and fresh. I think people are gonna dig it.
What song would you like to play if you had a chance to play it?
Jasmine Cain – “Cowboys from Hell”because that would mean I’m a bad motherfucker on bass guitar and singing at the same time.
Zach Ballard – Lately I’ve really been wanting us to cover Judas Priest “Painkiller.” I just think it’s an epic old school metal song… And I love the drums.
Jordan Roepke – I’m always down for more Tool or Megadeth…
Zach Ballard is a machine – A LIVING DRUM MACHINE. How in the World does this guy play drums as good as he plays every night? How did the band find this guy?
Jasmine Cain – Zach…what a history we have together! I met Zach about 6 years ago. We had the chance to open for Heart at “Arizona Bike Week”, and it was Zach’s first gig with us. We were getting paid $500 to drive 3600 miles to do 1 show.
It was stupid and it didn’t make sense, but it was “Heart” so we couldn’t say no. We had a 24′ trailer with bunk beds in the front of it. It has an air conditioner and a small refrigerator that we could plug in. I remember it being super cold when we left Nashville and I drove us non-stop to Phoenix. When we stepped out of the van, it was like a damn oven and I was covered in sweat still wearing my stupid furry boots and layered sweaters.
We found a place to park the trailer and plug in, and we all slept in that trailer for 2 nights. Zach has really bad allergies and sneezed his head off the entire time. I remember us doing this show and it lasted 4 hours long. We only took 2 short breaks.
I remember having my merch set up on one side of the stage and Heart’s merch girl told me we can’t be there…we have to move somewhere else. That spot was for them only. I packed my stuff to move and she told me not to even bother because they weren’t selling anything…. nobody is buying anything that day. I set up on the other side of the stage and we played our guts out. I was packed at my merch booth!! We sold $1550 worth of merch, which just happened to be exactly how much it cost to drive to Arizona and back. We broke even!
I also remember that Zach had the best guyliner of any dude I’ve ever seen, and he wore these bib overalls with no shirt. We had a few back n forth moments, but he’s stuck it out with me for about 6 years now, and I can’t imagine anyone else in his place. I feel like he’s severely underrated in the Nashville area. He’s a star.
Zach Ballard – Thank you for the compliment. I am my own worst critic and I have a lot of things I would like to improve…every day I see and hear other drummers who blow my mind. I am flattered and thrilled that people like what I do.
With his recent marriage, how has this affected the band? He seems very happy with his new wife – and we are also happy for them, too.
Jasmine Cain – Zach has found the perfect match with Shanna. She’s completely supportive of the band and even travels with us when her work schedule allows. She’s always a joy to be around and we love having her. She’s just as much a part of the family as anyone in the band. Plus she’s a #famousmerchgirl!
Zach Ballard – My marriage is the best things that’s happened to me. She is my support system and is always behind me. We’ve been together 3 years so she knew what she was getting into with the band life.
Jordan Roepke – There are a lot of disappointed ladies in the audience…
Jasmine Cain – Zach can sleep A LOT! I’m amazed at how long he can sleep. He’s got like 2 speeds: STOP AND GO
Zach Ballard – I love sleep… And yes, I try to catch cat naps on the regular.
Does he write songs too. or does he just wanna keep the beat?
Jasmine Cain – Zach collaborated with me on our first song during White Noise. We had about 30 minutes to write a song before the producer got there and we had nothing. The pressure was on. We threw something together with me humming a melody line (until I could write lyrics) and when the producer got there we played it for him and he loved it. The song is called “Fool’s Gold.” As far as his favorite music, I could let him answer that for you, but I’m pretty sure it starts with a KISS and ends with a MOTLEY CRUE.
Zach Ballard – I do not write songs to this point in the sense of lyrics or melody… But there is song construction which I am a part of. The drums can kinda set a tone and you have to figure out what you want that tone to be…sometimes it can really change a song in certain ways. My favorite music is def 70’s hard rock and glam rock… I like bands that had attitude and were visual. If a band has a believable attitude I often gravitate towards that over technical prowess.
The band is currently selling out some great venues across the USA. What venues are your favorite to play so far this year? And where would you like to play soon?
Jasmine Cain – I like getting into new places because it’s unknown how it will turn out, so when you pack the place and rock the shit out of it, you just leave there with a greater sense of achievement, in my opinion. Leesburg Bike Fest was a welcome addition this year and I’m looking forward to being back there next year as well. For the first time in our history of being a band, we attempted a non-biker venue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Shank Hall that has been a famous launch pad to many of artists over the years. The venue wasn’t certain of how we would do and it was a complete success! We also tried our hands at a family festival this year in Madison, Wisconsin over the Memorial Day Weekend at The World’s Largest Brat Fest and had a ball! I’m sure we’ll be back there next year as well. It’s just great when everyone leaves a place having a good time and feel like it was successful.
Zach Ballard – Some of my favorite shows are the big outdoor shows we do in downtown Daytona for bike week and Biketoberfest… The crowds are always killer. I wanna play Madison Square Garden if I could play anywhere… Hey you gotta have dreams right?
Jordan Roepke -We just did a short run in Wisconsin, my home state, so I hope to get back there more often. We had an incredible response from the fans and venues, so it looks like we’ve opened some doors.
Will the band come off the road for more studio time next year? And will the band explore the many avenues of rock n roll as they did on the last album?
Jasmine Cain – We are going to be recording a LIVE album in October at Suck Bang Blow in Murrells Inlet, SC. And as long as we’re doing that, we might as well film it and do a LIVE DVD as well. We haven’t begun writing yet, but we have studio time set up in Nashville to begin recording our new album in late March 2018. We will most likely spend the rest of the Summer touring and preparing for the live album while discussing our direction and inspiration for the new record. There’s a lot of new things happening with Jasmine Cain and I think you’re going to be really surprised about who and what we introduce into the mix.
Jordan Roepke – Anything new will probably be along the same trajectory as White Noise. We’ve been talking about our goals for a new record, so…
With a new guitarist. and a fresh attitude, the band is really taking off this year. Your current songs are highly acclaimed to be the best yet from the band. How does that make you feel?
Jasmine Cain – I’m thrilled! I always want my next record to be better than the last, and we’ve set the bar really high with White Noise, but I truly believe I have just begun to tap into my real songwriting ability. Songwriting is not something I get to do every day, or even every year, so when I do get the chance, I’m always a little surprised about how far I’ve progressed. I think this album will be even better. I’m just starting to hit my stride.
Zach Ballard – I feel great about the songs I was involved in on the last record. I’m glad people like it!
Jordan Roepke -Amazing! I’m just glad everyone is having a good time.
The stage shows are getting better every year, and big-name brands like Harley Davidson. and others are on board, you have great sponsors this year. You are a highly sought-after band, I want to congratulate you all for the hard work.
What can fans expect on this next CD? Any surprises?
Jasmine Cain – Thanks! We’re always full of surprises. I think we’ll have a lot more guest appearances on this album than even the last one had. But the truth is, we haven’t even started planning it yet, so the world is our oyster. We just have to open our minds and let the ideas flow. We’ll find something exceptional, I have no doubt.
Zach Ballard – Thank you! We can’t tell you cause then it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Will the band do a “cover song” on the CD for an extra special recording?
Jasmine Cain – It’s possible. We’ve done cover songs on Highway Prophet and Modern Day Gypsy, and discussed if and what we would do on this one. It’s still up in the air. How about an entire album of covers? Would that be cooler? LOL.
Zach Ballard – hmm not sure… I’m always game to do a cover and put a stamp on it.
Will the band explore new tour locations in 2018? A West Coast run?
Jasmine Cain – Yes and YES! We are actually working very hard to find sponsors so we can upgrade our touring rig. That will allow us to save money on hotel costs by being our home on wheels. I can’t explain how many thousands of dollars a year we spend on hotels. It’s ridiculous. If we can cut down on our needs, we can afford to travel further and we miss the West Coast! We’re so long overdue for making that happen. Plus, we’ve upgraded our gear to make fly dates much more possible.
Zach Ballard – we are always going to new locations for gigs… A west coast run would be killer.
What artist / bands are you listening to now?
Jasmine Cain – We listen to everything! Mastodon just released a new album and it’s AWESOME! We love Ghost, Porcupine Tree, Monster Truck, Opeth, Hyborian, Karnivool, and tons of other obscure stuff you’ll have to go check out for yourself.
Zach Ballard – Badlands
Jordan Roepke – Lots of Tom Jones…
Who gets the front seat while touring the United States?
Jasmine Cain – Kevin Bebout almost always drives. I almost always sit up front and do office work and navigate and DJ. If Kevin gets tired, I drive and he rides shotgun. Jordan and Zach each have their own row of seats in the back. The dog just squashes in where she will fit.
Zach Ballard -Kevin drives and Jas usually sits shotgun. The next row of seats has always been the guitar players spot and I have claimed the last row of seats for the last I don’t know how many years. Sometimes people will lay Down in the back of the van as well.
Jordan Roepke – Usually Jasmine. It’s fun to see people check out the graphics on our trailer and then see Jasmine in the front. We’ve had some good responses!
Which member of the band makes the best meals on the road? What kinda foods?
Jasmine Cain – Don’t let Zach cook. Ever. I think the best meal would be Kevin or I, but we always eat out or else everyone buys their own food at the store and cooks their own thing. Jordan does meal prep, so maybe he’s got it going on… I have no idea. He’s never cooked for me. WTF, Jordan? I try to eat as healthy as possible. I do best when I’m on a chicken and green vegetable diet. Of course, that rarely happens the way it’s supposed to. I mostly end up living on Monster energy drinks and protein bars. Yuck.
Zach Ballard – anybody but me
Jordan Roepke -One of the coolest parts of touring is checking out local eateries and seeing what’s good everywhere, so there’s a lot of that…
What was the craziest thing that has happened so far in this band while on the road?
Zach Ballard – hmm not sure… Everyday is crazy!
Jasmine Cain – Most recently we were given 2 Crown Apple bags and dared our merch guy Eddie to put the Apple bag on his….um….”apple bag” and run around the guard station at a resort twice. We offered him $20. I didn’t think he would do it, but he did. Kevin walked by the bathroom to see him jumping up and down wearing nothing but a green felt bag to make sure it didn’t fall off. He made it around the guard station and back to the condo safely, but the guard was in hot pursuit and not happy with us at all. He got mad at me in the parking lot, but I had a hard time not laughing at him.
Jordan Roepke -Well, they call him the Streak…
Will the band continue the metal edge in the music with Jordan’s signature style of playing? Or will the band soften up the songs for the next album?
Jasmine Cain – What we did on the last album really worked for us. If we go any other direction, I’m sure it will be heavier.
Zach Ballard – I say stay metal but melody is a must… Dirty guitars with melodic hooks.
Jordan Roepke – I’m all about keeping it heavy.
The tee shirts and CD’s are selling like crazy. at every event – Who designs the shirts?
Jasmine Cain – Kevin Bebout does most of our designs now. He and I usually sit on the couch and work on designs together. I can provide a rough mock up (my Photoshop skills are minimal) but he can make adjustments and really make it happen. Our shirt designs have become so popular, Kevin is getting commissioned by other companies to design shirts and magazine ads for them as well. He’s multi-talented. That’s why I kidnapped him from Gibson Guitars last year to join me full time.
Jordan Roepke -Kevin is a great graphic artist, our lighting tech, driver, stage manager. We wouldn’t get very far without him.
We have enjoyed our interview with you all today and the fans are surely excited to be able to read about it. Any last thoughts and words for the fans?
Jasmine Cain – Thanks to everyone for checking out our interviews and radio. Future announcements will be made when we know more about what is happening. Stay tuned for updates on jasminecain.com, Facebook @jasminecainrocks, Twitter @jasminecainrock,
Instagram @jasminecainrock, and Snap Chat (as soon as I figure out what it’s good for other than sending nude pictures).
Zach Ballard – thank you to all the fans who show up time and time again. It means everything and we love ya!
Jordan Roepke – Thanks for having us, and thanks to everyone for coming out and seeing our shows, buying merch, keeping the wheels turning. We couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you for the interview. the fans are pumped up to see the band and read about the band. The band is currently on tour throughout the States – and a very successful tour indeed. We will always be on the scene when the band comes through town – and so will everyone else, as we’ve noticed more media reps on location to shoot the photo’s than ever before. Catch the band on tour in Florida this Summer. and this coming fall for the Holidays.
Go to the band’s Facebook Page to see the tour schedules and great pictures from the band. I know that I can’t wait to see them all in concert again – the shows are really rocking – powerful riffs and great vocals – a “Must See” show every time.
Laidback Leon is Jacksonville’s insider for music news, reviews and interviews, and you can also catch him hosting Rock ‘n Roll TV Shows.
RARA’s Farm is a rock music blog keenly focused on sharing killer rock music news to the rock music fans who visit our site. Make sure you Like / Follow Us below to keep in the loop on new music worth a listen, or just to be nice to us.