Jackyl’s Jesse James Dupree is one of the busiest rock and rollers in the business. He’s also pretty adept at the whole business angle of it all, overseeing a plethora of projects that extend far beyond the band which crashed into the rock charts back in 1992. There’s the merch company Dixie Inc, the Outlaw Bourbon brand and of course the TV show he has been producing since 2009, Full Throttle Saloon, which is entering its fifth hit season on TruTV. The show, his son Nigel and his band, the Bourbon and everything else all come together at the biker dream events Jesse is staging at various stops around America, Throttle Fest. The fest has already blown up at other locations like Myrtle Beach and now includes another big event June 20-23 at Toyota Park in Chicago featuring headliners Vince Neil and of course Jackyl. I talked with Jesse recently about the gigs, his son, the bands early days and more, read on….
LRI: Hi Jesse, how are you doing? I haven’t talked to you since Geffen launched the first Jackyl album! I heard your latest album, “Best In Show” and I have to admit it has a lot of the same attitude your debut had, is it a case of ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’?
Jesse: We just keep waking up every day taking as big of a bite out life’s ass as we can. Those days at Geffen were a big deal in our lives at that time, having our dreams come to fruition, being able to make a damn record! Back then, the record companies pretty much controlled the whole monopoly of even being able to go in and record an album because it was typical that you would go in and spend a half million dollars on making the damn thing and you worked with great producers and great engineers. Don’t get me wrong, it was like winning the lottery as far as that goes but one thing you learned real quick was just because you got a record deal, just because they’re spending that kind of money on your band, doesn’t mean you hit the lottery personally as far as making a bunch of money. All that really means, basically, is that it’s your time to go to work! You have to go out there, door to door,and take your message out there to the people on the street and we’ve never been afraid of hard work. I’ve worked concrete in my life so I value my job of being able to wake up every day and work on my band and all the other things in life I’m able to do because of it. It’s a good thing.
LRI: Now that you’ve got your own label imprint is it easier for you to do things or harder?
Jesse: Ya know, I’ve got my own label through Universal and I gotta say it’s been pretty good. I put out our record, I put out the Powerman 5000 record, a lot of different stuff, I put a Tanya Tucker release out last year, I put out my son Nigel’s record which is an awesome rock record. I just went out and saw him play out in Ohio. Jackyl is still supporting “Best In Show” which hasn’t even been out a year yet, we have a new single, “Favorite Sin” which is about to crack the top 40 on active rock radio. We’re still all guns blazing on that.
LRI: You and Nigel put out your record simultanaously last year and you’re able to do shows together as well of course, including ThrottleFest, which we’ll get to. Is it really a whole other level of cool to be able to play gigs together?
Jesse: You know, it’s really become pretty normal for us. He grew up around this and I raised him basically in the middle of touring and stuff so it’s something that’s been pretty natural because we’ve been doing it his whole life.
LRI: Throttle Fest is making the rounds including a big show up here in Chicago. It’s not just any old show you’re bringing to Toyota Park next week is it? What’s different this time around?
Jesse: I think we’re just seeing that it’s gonna be bigger, we’re already seeing that it’s gonna be bigger, the early response is just of the hook. It’s everything that is Full Throttle Saloon, we’re bringing the entire Full Throttle experience to Chicago. There’s plenty of camping and the party’s on! We have the Rock Star Bartenders, The Flaunt Girls, the midgets, the acrobatic pole dancers, Mike, Angie, myself, Jackyl, Vince Neil, the whole nine yards. We just did one in Myrtle Beach, got to meet some incredible people, have some good hang time and move a LOT of Jesse James Bourbon too, it was a lot of fun.
LRI: Is it a difficult undertaking putting together all of these elements of the Full Throttle TV show into an event format?
Jesse: It’s a big undertaking but I think we’ve pretty much got it down at this point. It’s helps that the response has been so positive and thumbs up. Everyone coming out seems to really appreciate the work we’ve put into it and it’s all been worth it. It’s an affordable event, there’s plenty of parking, bring the party and come and live with us for a few days (laughs).
LRI: This show has such a camping, destination atmosphere and it’s boud to draw out people from all over the midwest, not just Chicago. Jackyl has always gone over well in the midwest, you’re obviously doing it right. Do you have any idea why people identify so much with Jackyl and your shows?
Jesse: We just came out of Portland, Maine and had a great show, it’s the same thing that makes us go over in Maine or Sacramento, California. The common denominator is that there are people out there who bust their knuckles 40 or 50 hours a week trying to hammer out a living and they grew up with a family that instilled that hard-working, responsible attitude in them. They wake up and hit life in the face 100% and they are the same people who, when it comes time to unwind and rock out, wanna do it loud, proud, hard and hot. They wanna be able to escape and have a good time and our show isn’t just a show it’s something for them and allows them to be a part of it. Jackyl is the answer for those people because it’s not about coming out to see a Jackyl show, it’s about coming out to be a part OF a Jackyl show. That’s what makes every show special and different, the simple fact that we have a different crowd every night and they’re always a part of the show. It’s hard for me to put into words, you just have to see it to understand it. Sometimes there are people who haven’t seen us that don’t get it but once they come out, they get it and it’s perfectly clear. The people who generally don’t get Jackyl are generally the same people who have a hard time admitting that they masturbate.
LRI: The Full Throttle Saloon show started back in 2009 and you’re still successful and have a new season coming soon, correct?
Jesse: We actually started shooting back in 08 and this will be the 6th year that we’ve shot the show, which is pretty amazing (laughs). It’s pretty cool to have made it that far but for every one person who travels to Sturgis there’s a thousand who travel vicariously through the TV show. That’s a big part of the success. The beautiful thing about this show is that we don’t really think about it, it just happens. We just go up there and shoot the show. I think the editing process is approached a little differently and some things can be thought over from there but as far as what we do, it is what it is. It’s pretty much just an actual documentation of our everyday life up there.
JACKYL tour dates
6/14/2013 Marion, IL Black Diamond Harley-Davidson
6/15/2013 Davenport, IA Rally On The River
6/16/2013 Battle Creek, MI Planet Rock
6/21/2013 Salem, OH Quaker City Motorsports Park
6/22/2013 Chicago, IL ThrottleFest – Toyota Park
6/28/2013 Green River, WY Flaming Gorge Days at Stratton Myers Park Tickets TBD
6/29/2013 Salt Lake City, UT Sin City Bar & Grill
7/4/2013 Nashville, TN Pour House
7/11/2013 Laporte, In Telly’s
7/12/2013 Des Moines, IA Krazee Kafe
7/13/2013 Ft. Wayne, IN Three Rivers Festival
7/20/2013 Oshkosh, WI Rock USA at Festival Park
7/25/2013 Morgantown, WV Mountain Fest
7/27/2013 Akron, NY Braun’s Concert Cove
8/3/2013 Bloomfield, IN Plummer River Rally
8/8/2013 Sturgis, SD Full Throttle Saloon
8/11/2013 Three Forks, MT Rockin The Rivers
8/15/2013 Escanaba, MI UP State Fair Grandstand
9/2/2013 Morgantown, WV Triple S Harley Davidson
9/12/2013 Ocean City, MD OC Bike Fest Motorcycle Rally
9/14/2013 E. Durham, NY Castkill Mountain Thunder