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Exclusive Interview: Jesse James Dupree


Jesse, it’s great to catch up with you. The King of the White Boy Boogie is in the house!

(laughs) What a title to have, man! It’s not the Guinness World Record holder for 100 shows in 50 days, it’s not about any of the other stuff – it’s all about the White Boy Boogie! Hey, it works. It’s a good one. Just don’t forget to call me to supper.

Your fans – Jackyl fans – have always been one part redneck and one part metalhead…

The bros can call theirself the “n word” and it’s acceptable. And some people that have a deep southern accent can get away with calling each other rednecks, but some people are not open-minded or comfortable enough with that term. They look at it on the derogatory side. It’s more like an honest look at what I sound like when I open my mouth and the fact that it’s the stereotype. It’s all about not taking life too seriously. At the end of the day we’re raunchy, straight-up rock ‘n roll with a mouthful of Georgia dirt!

There are some bands that can really pull that off, too. Why does it work so well for you?

There’s a ton of artists out there that have been able to successfully embrace the blue collar attitude. Kid Rock’s not from south Alabama – he’s from Michigan. It’s not about where you’re from it’s about an attitude and it’s about a connection with the working class America who knows what it’s like to bust their ass for 40 hours or more a week. When it comes time to jam they want to do it loud, proud, hard, and honest. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Michigan or from Georgia. As long as you do it with all the intensity and vigor that you can muster up and it’s sincere, it’s real.

Not to get too serious, but with the current economy and gas prices, people are really looking for an escape more than ever. Rock ‘n roll is one of the greatest escapes of all time.

If you don’t have something to seriously sink your teeth into you could go crazy. At the end of the day you either go tippin’ cows in the night or you go crank up some rock ‘n roll. Playing rock ‘n roll is definitely more fun than tipping cows – most of the time! You’ve gotta blow off some steam and have some kind of release. It’s hard out there these days. It’s hard for everybody, especially for a touring rock ‘n roll band. Being in the band isn’t hard but it’s harder to sustain yourself out there because of gas prices and everything else that trickles down. It’s definitely a different environment out there.

What I love about your new record – Rev It Up & Go Go – is you can tell from the first listen that it’s fun and you’re having a good time.

It’s some shit kickin’ rock ‘n roll. It’s as crunchy as you wanna be and as southern as you wanna be in places. It will take you on a trip. If you’re one of those people that takes life too seriously or you can’t do it doggy style every now and then to get a break from the hum-drum missionary style of life, don’t listen to the record! It’s a fun record and that’s what a rock record is supposed to be. It won’t cure any diseases, unfortunately.

In “Rev It Up & Go Go” you mention going to see KISS and Hank Jr. in the same verse. Has country and rock been what you’ve lived and breathed since you were old enough to pay attention?

Hell yeah! No different than 99.9% of the world out there. Real Americans – not the ones walking around with a stick up their ass – but the average man that God strung a gut through, yes!

The record is split in half, right? The first half is rock and the second half is country. How country are we talkin’ here?

It’s from one extreme to another. It’s enough country that you’ll be drinkin’ some Jack Daniels before the record is over!

You had some special guests on the record – Richard and Fred from the Kentucky Headhunters. How did you guys hook up?

We’ve always been friends and maintained a relationship. I’d like to say it was a well thought plan, but it wasn’t. Roman (Glick – bass) and I happened to have a couple of days off around Thanksgiving weekend and the next thing you know we created a monster we’re now calling Dixie Inc. It’s one of the great things that happens when music just naturally comes together as opposed to forcing something.

How involved were Richard and Fred on Rev It Up & Go Go?

They co-wrote all the songs they played on. The entire back half of the record.

Did you know right off when you were working on new songs that they probably wouldn’t work for a Jackyl record?

It may have worked for a Jackyl record. It was just something that happened. Luckily there’s enough creative ideas that ooze out of these fingers and this throat that these aren’t the last songs we’ll be writing. I will share with you that Roman and I do a lot of riding so there are a few songs on the record about riding motorcycles.

Speaking of Roman – you guys have been working together for a while.

Roman Glick? Never heard of him! Nah, he’s sitting right here in front of me. Roman and I have been playing together since ‘99. As of now there’s no letting up. Not only do we play together but we share the bond of riding motorcycles. We put about 20,000 miles a year under our ass. We’ll be doing a lot of riding in general and we do a lot of charity rides for different organizations. He’s had an unbelievable career with Brother Cane and Slave to the System. He’s also got a phenomenal record with a band called Player Commander. We’re able to go into a studio and not be limited by watching a clock and that’s always a good day.

Are you looking at doing any live dates with Dixie Inc.?

Jackyl’s got such a huge plate with touring and it’s so much fun that we’re all supportive of each other. Jeff Worley just completed a script for a movie that’s phenomenal. He’s been working on that and he and Chris have a side project called Super V. We’re out playing Jackyl dates and working on some new Jackyl stuff. To answer your question, we probably will do some Dixie Inc. dates. With all honesty, I’m humbled by the response to this record. It’s one of those things that’s kinda blowing up and I may not have a choice but to do some live dates! One way or another I’m going to have to play some of these songs live!

Jesse, it was great catching up with you. Much success with the new record! What would you like to say to your fans?

If you have a chance to make one of the shows, please do. It’s the equivalent of a man being shot out of a cannon! Don’t forget Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc. Rev It Up & Go Go is in stores July 15!