by Nickie Shobeiry
For those who don’t already know, what’s the history of Jabbrock? We’re David Spicer on bass, Dan Salter on vocals, and Benjammin Lee on guitar. Initially, we were a song-writing / performing experiment in collaboration with Exeter’s notorious Dib Dub Soundsystem. We created a live set and performed it as part of a Dib Dub night, including live bass, vocals, and a laptop. Our first outing was at the Cavern in September 2006 – we went down surprisingly well that night, and it was basically the start of something we knew we had to pursue. We did lots of gigs as Dib Dub live – many at the Cavern, supports at Exeter Phoenix, the Lemon Grove, and several festivals including Beautiful Days and Glade. During this time we wrote many of the songs we perform today, but by the end of 2007, we realised that the best way forward was to break away from Dib Dub, to allow the project to evolve and develop. So in January 2008, Jabbrock was born!
And how did you decide on the name Jabbrock? It was inspired by a good mate, Phil Rose, a soundman, engineer, and mechanical genius, who often used ‘Jabbrock’ (a high-tech material) in his work. Phil died in 2004, aged 51, so the name was in his honour. Plus, I always thought it was a good band name anyway, from the moment Phil mentioned it to me.
Can you recall what it was like the first time you played together? The first time we played together (myself and Dan), it was like throwing on a switch – it just worked immediately!
What does reggae mean to you? Reggae is the embodiment of pure rhythm, like an organic clock. It’s so very simple, so very perfect.
Can you tell me about one of your most memorable performances? As far as memorable performances go, there are many, but one in particular springs to mind: in August 2012, we were booked to play Bimble Bandada in Lewes, Sussex. This festival site was particularly tricky to find, and we ended up arriving by the side of the stage we were playing with only five minutes until we were due to start. We actually set up and started playing on time, much to the amazement of the organisers, and we went down an absolute storm.
If you had to pick the top three artists who influenced your sound, who would you pick? Syd Barrett, Miles Davis, and Lee Perry.
Do you each have a favourite song to perform? We all particularly like Mexico because it rocks and has such a good effect on the audience. But we love all our tunes.
How do you write your songs? I construct the music. Dan writes most of the lyrics, but with some of mine, and some of Callum Vellacott, a friend of the band. Tunes can happen in an instant – they generally comes quite easily, which is all down to the special chemistry of our collaboration, and an understanding of what we want. We usually write tunes we like to listen to. We’re very passionate about our songs.
I remember seeing you perform Takin’ It Easy and everyone loved it. Where did the inspiration for this song come from? And what was your inspiration for the most-alluring Mexico? Takin’ It Easy is a song about enjoying the now and living in the moment. It was a discussion we were having at the time that turned into the song. All our songs are about real things pertaining to us. Mexico was more or less about Dan’s experiences in the country when he went there surfing.
Do you have any advice for bands trying to get on their feet? Bands starting out should get their tunes honed first before they start gigging. It always helps to start from a position of strength, which a carefully written set gives you. As a player of any-instrument-goes, bottom line: practice practice practice, and then practice some more - preferably daily!
A kind soul offers each of you any rider request in the world – what do you pick? We’d probably be happy to get a nice cup of tea, we’re not that fussy!
What can we expect next from Jabbrock? We are in the process of creating our record, which includes and features some special guests. All will be revealed in time. We’re also recording and filming a gig this year, the dates of which are to be finalised. As they say -watch this space!