Friday, April 19 2024

Hey, rock fans! Get ready for an exclusive sit-down with the hard-hitting band, Kickstand Jenny! Straight out of Santa Rosa Beach, United States, these guys – ex-LA Guns lead vocalist Scott Foster Harris, guitar maestro Preston Morelock, and bassist Chris McComas – have been cranking out tunes that’ll kick you into gear. Their latest album, ‘Between The Lies,’ is a gem featuring killer hits and collaborations with rock heavyweights like Mark Slaughter and Jim Riley. Today, we’re chatting with Preston to get the lowdown on the band’s journey and what’s cooking in the studio.

Hey Preston! Thanks for joining us to chat about your latest album. The album has been described as a concept album that takes listeners on a musical journey, telling a story from beginning to end. Can you provide more insight into the storyline and themes explored in ‘Between The Lies’?

The album is titled “Between The Lies.” The title and cover art is a representation of the world we live in today. With the world being a 50/50 push/pull or YingYang with politics and social issues. And, with deepfakes and AI taking over everything, you really have to be smart about what is a truth and what is a lie. Not to mention what you see on social media, and the mainstream media. You have to read between the lines to decipher the lies. The title on the cover art reads “Between The Lines” with the “N” in the word lines marked out. Then, there is a LINE in a yingyang shape on the earth. That’s the reality… push-pull, truths-lies, good-evil, etc. 

The album was written and recorded during the pandemic, and the music reflects what was going on during that time. So, the album is a compilation about “the music.” During the pandemic, the music was dead, and I (Preston) wrote all the songs surrounding my feelings at the time. My feelings about the music. The songs seem like we are talking about a loved one or a relationship with a person, but in reality, it’s all about the music.

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT – Track number 1 on the compilation album. Love it or leave it is the battle cry that sets the tone for the rest of the 
album. Love it or leave it!

STANDING IN THE DOORWAY – Track 2 of the compilation, Standing In The Doorway describes the feeling of standing at a crossroad, deciding on what to do, or where to go. In this case, I am at the threshold deciding on staying or leaving. 

SOLO (feat. Mark Slaughter) – Track 3 of the compilation. This song describes the decision to leave and go SOLO. I can’t take any more, and its time to go solo. Featuring Mark Slaughter on vocals, this is a unique
 blend of a rock ballad, with Mark’s metal vocals. 

NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO – Track 4 of the compilation, this track describes the feeling of emptiness after leaving. And, never letting go emotionally and spiritually.

TONIGHT – Track 5 of the compilation, this song is about dreaming of what you left; and wanting to stay asleep, in order to keep dreaming.

ONE MORE DAY – Track 6 of the compilation, this song is about death, and wanting one more day to make things right, and to try to save what you had.

TAKE ME BACK TO THE TIME – Track 7 of the compilation, this song is about wanting to go back in time. You are missing what you had and want to go back to the good times of the past.

DEATH TRAP – Track 8 of the compilation, this song is about being done with it all. You know all along you were in a Death Trap situation, and the time has come to end it all.

JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH – Track 9 of the compilation, this track is our track about resurgence after the fall. A rise of the phoenix situation. 

ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART (feat JIM RILEY) – Track 10 of the compilation. This is the conclusion of the comp, and leaves us with the constant truth that Only Love Can Break Your Heart.

Kickstand Jenny 2021 Photo Shoot

The album was recorded in Nashville over two years. Could you share some details about the recording process and any challenges the band faced during the production of the album?

The biggest challenge was trying to get four adult men to travel to Nashville together at the same time. HA! That was a big reason for the two year span. We also started the project during the Covid shutdown, so that created some issues as well. In addition to that, we were faced with so many ongoing setbacks and road blocks, that any regular human would have thrown in the towel. If I detailed all the issues, it would fill a book. However, we persevered and overcame our challenges to create an amazing album that we are all proud of. 

As far as the recording process goes, we had all the songs “demo’d” out and so everyone had their parts perfected before we set foot into the studio. That made things rum smoother once we arrived. The process was simple and we were able to have fun recording. 

Kickstand Jenny 2021 Photo Shoot

The band’s main influences include iconic rock acts like Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Journey, and Bon Jovi. How do you think these influences manifest in your music, and in what ways has Kickstand Jenny’s sound evolved over the years?

I think you can hear some of those influences throughout the album. We had a radio station recently relate us to Bon Jovi, which is cool. I think melodically, you can hear some Journey influence. And although we are influenced by Van Halen, I dont think anyone could duplicate their sound! 

We continuously evolve, but not on purpose. The new stuff we are writing already has a different sound than the current album. So we will see how this new stuff turns out. 

The album features guest appearances from notable musicians like Mark Slaughter and Jim Riley. How did these collaborations come about, and what unique contributions did each guest bring to the album?

We were opening for Mark a few years ago, and kind of hit it off. Mark was extremely nice and we all got along. Our Bassist, Chris asked him if he would sing on our next album, to which Mark said “sure”. So when the time came, we held him to that promise. Ha! We also have a mutual friend, Chas Sandford, who was producing the album, and Mark happens to live about ten minutes from Chas’ studio in Franklin, Tennessee. So, the stars really aligned for us on that one!! We sent him four tracks to check out, and he picked “Solo” to sing. He said it reminded him of his old band The Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Ironically, he left that band to go solo, which is what the song is about. 

It was such an amazing experience, not only to have him on the record, but to be able to see a seasoned pro work in the studio. It was an experience I will never forget.

For Jim and all the other guests that were on the album; we can thank Chas Sandford for that, as he knows everyone in the business. We were able to get pretty much anyone to come record in that studio. Jim was one of four drummers on the album. We sent “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” to three different drummers, and let them do whatever they wanted to the song. We really liked what Jim did, and decided to use his version on the album.

Kickstand Jenny 2021 Photo Shoot

The album is said to be inspired by the COVID shutdown, with a focus on the death of music and the desire to rise up like a phoenix. How did the pandemic specifically influence the creative process and themes explored in the album?

When Covid happened, all of our shows were cancelled and live music was shut down. So that gave me time to work on the album. Also, at the time, I was pretty burned out, and really didnt know if I wanted to keep going after covid. So I wrote about that! The whole album is about the death of music. As time moved on and we were finishing the album, live music was coming back, and so was my desire to come back and play. So after the “gun shot” at the end of “Death Trap”, we placed “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” to symbolise the rise up after the death. I really like the flow of the album and the storyline. There is lots of cool hidden meanings and subtexts that you will not get the first time around. 

As you’re currently working on your follow-up album, what can we expect in terms of musical evolution or new elements in your upcoming music? Are there any surprises or directions that Kickstand Jenny is excited to explore in the future?

Man, we are not using any themes this time, so there will be a different sound for sure. Expect to hear more “raw” sounds and heavier guitars. The reason is, when I was writing the themed or concept album, I had to rely on telling a story. So, the songs were mainly written from the lyrics and melody. We are still doing some of that, but also going back to our roots of writing from ballsy guitar riffs.

And a question for fun: If Kickstand Jenny had the opportunity to go on a dream tour with three other rock bands, living or historical, who would they be, and what city or venue would be the ultimate stop for this epic tour?

Oh man, thats so hard to choose! Lets hit the road with Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and The Rolling Stones. The first stop would have to be Wembley in London. I’m sure if we played with any of those guys, we would get booed off the stage, but it would be worth it!! 

Thanks for the interview, Matt.

There you have it, rock aficionados! A sneak peek into the world of Kickstand Jenny, straight from the horse’s mouth, courtesy of Preston Morelock. As the band gear up for a follow-up album, we can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves. Thanks for joining us, and big shoutout to Preston for the inside scoop. Keep the rock alive, folks!

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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