It took music savvy Alan Ball in 2008, to re-discover JACE EVERETT´s Bad Things, which he cleverly used as the theme for the opening title sequence of HBO’s hit fantasy-vampire-drama series True Blood. Everett’s song, together with the bold and edgy art of the show’s title sequence, managed to grab, with an iron-firm grip, the attention of both fans and non-fans of the vampire genre. Without the musical ingredient, perhaps Ball would have never been able to get through the latter, and thus show them that True Blood was not just a show about vampires. It was then that rest of the world found out about Everett as a singer/songwriter treasure and Everett himself finally had confirmation on the fact that his music could not and would not limit itself to American borders, but would and continues reaching and capturing, together with his charismatic and authentic personality, the imagination and hearts of an international and ever-increasing legion of fans who live anywhere and everywhere from the UK and France to Spain, from the Scandinavian countries to Latin America, and the land and oceans in between.
It has not been all “smooth sailing” for Mr. Everett, as you’ll discover in his interview with us, but we think that, it is precisely thanks to that, that his music is so compelling to a very diverse following and his story all the more motivational and inspiring. He is not just the REAL DEAL music-wise but REAL as a person. This, nowadays, so elusive quality in other artists, is what makes him familiar at the same time as refreshing.
Jace Everett’s Bad Things | Official video
Red Revelations, which includes the hit Bad Things, was his third released album and a revelation in itself, for, from beginning to end, its filled with musical and lyrical pearls. Songs like the wickedly sensual Possession, the uplifting More to Life, the deadly romantic Damned if I Do (Want You), the inspiring Slip Away, the painfully delicious Burn for You or the hips shaker Lean into the Wind make, along with the wonderful rest:
an astounding collection of original killer tunes that somehow seems to belong to the puzzle of everybody´s soul.
To Red Revelations followed Mr. Good Times, a delicious menu of Everett’s varied influences simmered with his recognizable own brand of sultry sound and lyrics, and which includes a gift for his British audience in the shape of the Beatles-inspired The Drugs Aren’t Getting it Done and Bowie-inspired Tricky Thing. Country-rooted fans have their supply in Let’s Begin Again and Good Times while rock souls will find themselves at home with Great American Hero and Autumn. French and Latin friends will immediately identify with the cinematic-flavored fusion of Business is Booming and Syl R. Martin, here at WONDERLANCER, specially digs the provocative God Made You Mean, also Tricky Thing (SRM: Because Bowie is my god), the velvety Nothing, the fiery Angry Hostile Ugly, and the melodic Don’t Look Down.
No particular theological or spiritual inclinations are needed to convert to Everett’s sound with fervor.
Here’s a pre-listen for your enjoyment –>
It was in the event of one of his international tours for the famous Red Revelations that we had the pleasure to meet this artist in London (UK).
In this exclusive interview with him, we go down memory lane, unearthing all what is extraordinary about him and his art for the few who haven’t had the joy to know all about it yet, as well as for the satisfaction of his die-hard fans. Included at the end, it’s also the hilarious, and not devoid of truth, How To Become An Over Night Sensation by the man himself, which contains precious first-account experience and advice for fellow musicians, specially those aspiring to strike a Country record deal in Nashville.
WONDERLANCER: We are quite curious to know whether, back in your childhood, your family encouraged you to follow this path or doing music was something you had to kind of masquerade as being just a hobby…
JACE EVERETT: I was really fortunate to have amazing parents. Thankfully, I still have them both! They encouraged my music from day one up through today. Neither of them are musical, but they both are huge fans of music and film. Especially my father, who by his own admission is “tone deaf”. They poured countless hours and dollars into my music and I truly wouldn’t have had the courage to see it through without them.
WONDERLANCER: Your influences range from gospel to country music, from blues to rockabilly and we know your taste is as eclectic as to add some hip-hop into the mixture but if you had to choose one artist or band, from any time, past or present, that most resonates with you, both at a personal and at a musical level, who would that be and why?
JACE EVERETT: Well, it was Willie Nelson and his Red Headed Stranger album that really started me down the path. But, as I grew up devoutly religious, I spent my early teen years listening to “Christian Rock”. The only “secular” band that was deemed kosher by my peer group (not my parents I might add, they weren’t as dogmatic as I) was U2. I became a big fan of theirs in the late ’80’s.
As my faith broke down it seemed theirs did too. Achtung Baby came out in 1991. I was 19 years old and it totally freaked me out. That album is what opened my eyes to music as a whole. How different genres and styles could be interpolated into something new. Willie and U2 are my two favorites. You can’t make me pick just one! That’s why my “career” is so all over the place. I really do love any music that is passionate and intelligent.
WONDERLANCER: Seems to be the choice of passionate and intelligent people 😀 You were a dad quite early in your twenties and at some point gave up pursuing your music career. How did you restore your faith in your dreams and thus have another go at this choice of career?
JACE EVERETT: I don’t know that my faith in my dreams was restored until the past 4 or 5 years. I went back to music because my life was so fucked up (by my own hand primarily) that I had no place else to turn. It wasn’t so much an act of faith, but of desperation. Again, the people around me -family, friends, my son- have always had more faith in me than I have. Not to sound maudlin, but they are what restored my self-confidence.
WONDERLANCER: You certainly have a treasure in them. You landed two major record deals within little time of being back in Nashville. Do you believe in destiny and luck or are you more of a “I make my own destiny” person?
JACE EVERETT: That’s a damn good question. Have you been reading Calvin and Locke? (ha!) I believe in both. Luck happens. But an individual needs to be prepared when those doors open. You can’t usually force a door open. There are, of course, exceptions to that! Regardless, you gotta have your act together when those doors open. How they open is immaterial if you can’t walk through on your own power.
WONDERLANCER: When your hit Bad Things was chosen by Alan for the theme of the HBO fantasy-vampire series True Blood, vampire books, films and series seemed to be popping out of everywhere, but, and unlike the latest zombie mainstream revival (to which we unashamedly contributed to, via one of the very early and glowing reviews of The Walking Dead included in our previous digi-mag), the vampire figure has always been the most successful, among the fantasy-horror characters, at captivating generation after generation. What do you think people find so fascinating in the vampire character?
JACE EVERETT: Eternal life. The same thing that makes religion so appealing. It’s a rare bird that really “wants to die”. I’d wager that even those who commit suicide usually want to escape pain more often than wanting to actually die. Also, the fact that Vampires in literature and film have typically been drawn in a very tragically hip light doesn’t hurt. People like a martyr. Religion is rife with the “young dying god who is resurrected” story. Vampires merely compress this archetype into a daily ritual. There’s something in my hypothalamus that just wants that story!
(CONTINUE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JACE EVERETT & WATCH HIS ‘HOW TO’ on Page 2)