Mt. Bethel, PA
I had the privilege of recently seeing the Lehigh Valley locals, Jaded Son, perform live at Kate’s Kafe, in Phillipsburg, NJ. I went into the show having heard nothing but their acoustic tracks, and having just been told that they would be playing with a new drummer, so I really didn’t know what to expect.
When the guys got up to play, I was just starting to adjust to the noise of the night and the smoke-filled room. What made it even more fun is that I could barely see through my tear-filled eyes. (Don’t get me wrong – I liked the band before them, Defining Structure, but they in no way were capable of moving me to tears. Actually, it was an allergic reaction – one of several that night – to the smoke. Yeah. I know. I suck.)
So, I’m standing there, straining to see the band, listening closely, and jotting down notes. What a waste of time that was! (Jotting down notes, I mean.) No amount of analysis, logic, or other observations could really describe these guys. The music of Jaded Son isn’t the kind of music that you can really think about … it’s the kind of music that you simply feel. There’s a subtle energy that flows through the songs and carries through the room. Whether it’s the lyrics, or Josh’s soft yet raspy vocals, I really don’t know. Maybe it’s just the collective tone of four guys doing what they love to, and are quite frankly meant to do. Any way you cut it, once the guys start playing, you’ll be hooked. The band’s sound will go right through you, into your head, into your blood – see you later, kiss your mother goodbye, ‘cause you won’t be back. Their sound is the kind you can get lost in.
Jaded Son is Josh Somogyi on vocals and guitar, Mike Pirlis on bass, Nick Pirlis on lead guitar, and Dustin Kithcart on drums. Josh and Mike are two of the original members of Jaded Son, and luckily for all of us Nick and Dustin have recently joined the band to round out the sound. The guys were all nice enough to take some time to answer a few questions, and to give some background on the group. Here’s what I found out:
I had already gotten a little bit of the background of Josh and Mike from the band’s website (www.Jaded Son.com), so I was mostly curious to learn a little bit about the two new guys in the group, Nick and Dustin.
Nick is a 21-year-old self-taught guitarist. He’s been playing since he was 13, and formerly played with the heavy rock band, Systematic Addict. With that band, Nick had the opportunity to play venues such as Crocodile Rock Café in Allentown and RiverFusion Music Festival in Bethlehem, as well other gigs along the way. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately for Jaded Son fans) when the band changed their name to Premonition, they had a hard time finding a singer. It eventually led to Nick joining Jaded Son’s lineup in January of this year.
Dustin, Jaded Son’s new drummer, has been playing the drums since he was 6 years old (he’s now 20). He started playing seriously in bands when he was 16, and started taking lessons about a year ago. Like Nick, Dustin had previously been playing with Systematic Addict and Premonition. So, how did these two actually end up joining the group? “[They] felt Jaded Son needed a little more drive in their songs. So Nick and [he] approached Josh and Mike about joining the band, and they thought it was a good idea,” said Dustin.
When I asked the guys who their musical influences are, the group mentioned artists such as Caroline’s Spine, Interpol, The Goo Goo Dolls, Bush, Chevelle, and Metallica, among others. According to Josh, “Because of our original sound, people have a hard time comparing us to anyone else, but the popular answer is a cross between The Goo Goo Dolls and Bush.” Mike added, “…the most creative description someone mentioned said we sound like a mix between John Mayer and Linkin Park.” While I can’t necessarily say that Jaded Son sounds quite like anyone I’ve heard before, I can understand all of those references in part. Josh definitely has a bit of a Rzeznik-esque quality to his voice, and the band mixes the emotional with the powerful quite beautifully, so yeah … it all works.
So, what makes the boys of Jaded Son tick? Why are they out there doing what they’re doing? I had the chance to ask them, and here’s what they had to say:
Josh “I know it sounds cliché, but it is the love of the music that is my drive. I write songs for me, songs that I like. It also serves as a kind of therapy to everyday life. It’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.” He hopes that the fans are able to take out of their music “a feeling that they aren’t alone, and that there are other people that feel the same way. Though times may not be so hot right now, stick around, it gets better. I write songs stemming from moments in my life as a way to get them off my chest. I’ve found over the last few years that there are a lot of people out there who feel the same. After a show, there are people who tell me how much one of our songs means to them – it helps me like that too – knowing I’m not alone.”
Mike “I almost don’t know what inspired me to begin playing my instrument. I was so young and impressionable, so I would have to say it was the fact that I wanted to stick out from the crowd. I wanted people to know that I was different. After a while, you figure out why you keep doing it. That’s what is important. The longer you play your instrument, the better you get, and part of that is [that] it challenges you to make yourself better. It is great to have a creative outlet that lets you sit down afterwards and listen to what you have accomplished, and be excited about it. Music is pure, and it is your own, which is the biggest draw.”
Nick “I was just drawn to playing guitar and music. I love creating music and performing on stage. Music is a form of creativity for me, and I love to play all the time, so making the band a career is one of my goals.”
Dustin “I feel that playing the drums is one of my talents, and that is what I would like to do as my career.”
Sometime over the next year, Jaded Son will be releasing their debut album, “Machinery of the Stars.” Be sure to keep a look-out for that, and give these guys your love and support! That’s what local music’s about after all. And Hell, these guys deserve it!
Check them out live on February 12th at Kate’s Kafe, or head over to their website and check out some of their tracks! (www.JadedSon.com)