Jake Desrochers, Jesse Darling, John Barrysmith and new second guitarist Jonas Davidson make up Santa Cruz punk group, the Lonely Kings. With a stable fan base on the west coast of the U.S, their popularity is spreading from throughout Europe to Australia. Their releases to date include 'Creed' (Scenes Records, 1999), 'What If' (Fearless Records, 1999), 'Feel It' (Coldfront Recordings, 2000), a Jetlag and Lonely Kings split release (Session Records, 2001) and Crowning Glory (Fearless Records, 2001.) Pennyblackmusic asked Jake some questions about his life in and outwith the band.

PB : What else do you do outside of the band?

JD : We all work a lot outside the band. I have three jobs, I cook at the yacht club, and I work at a toy store and at the local movie theatre. Jesse works at a hardware store. Jon works at a t-shirt print shop and Jonas (our new 2nd guitar player) works at the yacht club catering dinners and also at a window-covering warehouse.

PB : Which bands made you want to become a musician?

JD : For me it was 7 Seconds, Jawbreaker and Jane's Addiction. Way back I wanted to rap and I liked Run DMC a hell of a lot too.

PB : When you’re not writing, what songs do you play?

JD : None, I’m always writing. I seriously don’t know any covers. I’ve never been interested in learning other people’s riffs; I have way too much fun writing. I think the first time I picked up a guitar I wrote a song. I think it was called 'Fake Aggression'. It was very punk rock. I’ve always hated meathead tough guys.

PB : Who would you consider to be your main influences? And what about the rest of the guys?

JD : Collectively, Jawbreaker, Quicksand, Alkaline Trio, Face to Face and lots of classic rock. Our very very best favourite is Boston. We love Boston. Other than that we all like different stuff.

PB : How would you define your own sound?

JS : The Boston of punk rock

PB : The new album, 'Crowning Glory', is divided into four acts. Explain the thinking behind this.

JS : I always feel like life is like play, how we act out our own will and demise, so to speak. Most people know what they are going to do everyday, like its almost staged like a play so I thought it would be cool to lay out the song order and meaning of the songs to fit the formula for the majority of plays and movies. I heard once that there are like 5 or 6 formulas for what makes a great movie or a play so I made up my own formula and applied it to the song s we wrote for crowning glory. We then told Joby, the designer, about the idea and he loved it. He came up with the concept for the artwork to work kind of like a playbook.

PB : Out of all the tracks on the album, which one do you consider as your favourite?

JD : I like Rajas a lot. It’s a departure from my normal standards in song writing. The whole band got to explore more on that song and it wasn’t so tied down to the chords and the melodies. It’s more expressive. I also like the way people react when we play it live. It tends to draw them in a bit.

PB : What is the next step for the band?

JD :Well to be frank, to hopefully sell more records and write the best possible songs we can.

PB : What’s the most memorable gig you’ve ever played?

JD : Opening for Lagwagon a year or so ago. There were about 2,000 people and I think we rocked it pretty good. We sold a shit load of merchandise that night, stayed out late partying with the bands, and had great time.

PB :In looking back, would you have done anything differently in reaching this point in your musical career?

JD : Not really, except maybe not realising that I was a songwriter and not a bass player a little sooner. My old band I played bass for was pretty good. We opened for the Deftones all the time in Sacramento, California. This is before they were huge, in like 1990, 91, 92.

PB : Fans all over the world are desperate to see your live show. Any chance of the Lonely Kings touring internationally?

JD : This is going to sound like Spinal Tap, but I think we are bigger out of the U.S than here, but yes we are touring Europe in the fall. We also want to go to Australia. Our fans over there are leaving many messages on our site about touring over there. I can’t really believe it, I’m so stoked. We would love to go wherever, it’s just hard to save up for plane tickets. If someone could front for airfare we would tour anywhere, except the Philippines. Tropical storms and monsoon like weather scare the shit out of me for some reason. I live by the ocean and I’m paranoid about tidal waves and under water earthquakes. I watch the Discovery channel way too much.

PB : How do you like to chill out when not doing music? Do you have anything to escape from it all?

JD : I live in a redwood tree forest; my deck over looks a valley of beautiful trees with wild flowers and fog from the bay. I chill at home mostly, with my girlfriend and our new baby boy, Jaden. He is amazing, the light of my life. I’m really trying hard at music so I can make a life for us. I watch 'The Simpsons' religiously. I love TV. I don’t care what anybody says, I leave it on all day for company. It’s on right now and I’m not watching it, I just like hearing people talk. I barely listen to music at home, only when I’m doing dishes or cleaning so I don’t freak out. Living in Santa Cruz is very chilled anyhow. Tattoos also help me release tension, I love getting ink.

PB : Is there anything else about the Lonely Kings that you’d like your fans to know?

JS : If you want to see us live outside of the U.S please contact your promoters, or European tour booking places. Email them all the time letting them know. If there is a demand we can make it happen, also Lonely King appreciators are always cool people. Tough guys or mean girls don’t really get our tunes. It’s really for people with big hearts and open minds. Thank you, thank you for your support.

PB : Thank you also.












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