[AltWire Interview] Jesse Johnson of The Vibesmen
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The Vibesmen are a five piece band based out of Annapolis, MD who draw their influences from a diverse selection of artists like 311, The Police, and Oasis and whose sound seamlessly combines elements of reggae, rock, punk rock, funk, and hip-hop. Recently their bassist, Jesse Johnson took a moment to talk to us about the band and their upcoming new album from which their latest single, “Yours and Mine” has been released. This track has a unforgettable beach rock style that makes it the perfect addition to your summer playlist!
AltWire [Omayra Lopez]: Thank you Jesse for taking the time to chat with our team! Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and the band?
Jesse Johnson: The band has been around for nearly 3 years. It is based in Annapolis, Maryland, and it consists of myself on bass, Nick DePietro on vocals, Danny Cruise and Drew Creed on guitar, and Jimmy Cropper on drums.
We have put out one album independently called Tasty Waves in 2016, with our second release Endless coming out this July.
Defining our genre is difficult because we all come from different backgrounds and we all put them together when we’re writing. I originally played guitar in the band until Tasty Waves was released, and then I made the switch to bass permanently.
AltWire [Omayra Lopez]: Was music a major part of your life growing up? Which artists inspired you?
Jesse Johnson: There’s been a few musicians in my family, and I was always around an instrument when I was little. I saw the music video for “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns N’ Roses when I was 10 and I knew at that moment that I wanted to play music for people.
Artists that inspired me, and still do, are Guns N’ Roses, 311, Oasis, The Police, The Rolling Stones, and Pepper.
AltWire [Omayra Lopez]: What has been your most memorable experience so far as a band?
Jesse Johnson: Definitely our album release show for Tasty Waves, our first record. Partying in our hometown of Annapolis to a near-sold out venue was something we did not expect as a “new” band on the scene.
We’re all so blessed to be playing music and for people to respond to it the way they have is something very humbling for all of us.
AltWire [Omayra Lopez]: What are some things you enjoy when you’re off the studio or stage?
Jesse Johnson: I fall in love with my Netflix account on days when I don’t have a show or studio time! I enjoy the essentials like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (before they removed it) and The Office. “Rapture” is something I just got into, and Shameless is pretty great too. I don’t watch a lot of movies on Netflix because they’re so fast to remove them and replace them.
I also enjoy writing in general, I’m going to school right now for Journalism.
AltWire [Omayra Lopez]: How do you decide which songs go on to your albums and which don’t? What’s the writing process been like for the upcoming album so far?
Jesse Johnson: Some of the songs we had written before Tasty Waves came out, and some of them had been ideas we were sitting on right after Tasty Waves came out. So they aren’t necessarily “new” songs to us, but they will be for everyone who is new to our music. We decide which songs go on our albums based on the vibe and feel of them. If we feel strongly about how it sounds and how its written, it’s being put out. If not, we work at it until we feel like its ready to go.
AltWire [Omayra Lopez]: Thank you again for taking this time do this interview with us! Before we close, what message do you want to send to your fans and our readers?
Jesse Johnson: My message would be to enjoy life and be yourself. Everybody who listens to our music becomes a part of our tribe, our family.
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