Get ready for a party this Saturday, December 23rd, at ILION Plus with The Jumpin’ Bones (along with Sugahspank! & The Swing Shoes). But before this, we managed to talk to Orestis Tsikouris from the rhythm & blues band to keep us a bit warm til then…
Feel free to introduce The Jumpin’ Bones to our readers! How did the band start and how has it evolved through the years?
The band really started around 2011 because me and two childhood friends of mine, felt the need to play music again exactly as we did during high school and university. Initially it was a totally amateur band that sounded a bit like The White Stripes and somehow we wrote ‘Drummer’s Heart Blues‘ and recorded it under the band name “Blues Meanies” and uploaded it in the social media. Apparently it made quite an impression and we got motivated to get more serious about it, and on top of that we started getting more interested in The Blues, and less in Rock and Blues-Rock Music. By 2014 we felt we were more of a Rhythm ’n Blues band anymore and thus The Jumpin’ Bones were born.
On 23rd December you are about to perform live with Sugahspank & The Swing Shoes at ILION Plus! Is it gonna be a really “hot” winter night?
Oh you can bet on that! Both bands are 100% live bands and the music we play is designed to make people have fun and dance. We really hope to see you all there.
Tell us a few words about your debut album ‘Marrow’. Are you satisfied with its reception?
We are extremely satisfied, and honestly we did not expect to get a dozen of positive reviews for our album from all around the world. Also we certainly did not to expect radio hosts in countries like Mexico and Australia to be interested in giving us airtime. ‘Marrow‘ is a blues album with a jumpy feel, because we really like to get people to dance with our music. But some of its songs have a little something of garage rock music in them as well, which of course reflects our early days. Also the production of ‘Marrow‘ takes that garage feel into account, giving the album a very particular sound.
Why did you choose to cover Paul Francis Webster’s and Bob Harris’ ‘Spiderman Theme’?
In January 2015 we got invited to play at a great tribute event to the Ramones. We were supposed to find songs played by them that would make sense to cover in our style, and ‘Spiderman Theme‘ was a perfect match. And most importantly Orestis’s son Jason, who is 7, really really likes Spiderman.
If you had to describe Rhythm ‘n Blues with a few words which ones would they be?
Well it happens to be a very complicated term in music history cause in reality it represents many different styles during the years, that of course all have in common the Afro-american community. We as a band are connected with the very early- Rhythm ’n Blues that includes electric Blues and the material that gave birth to rockabilly. A few words to describe it would be: simple, dance, and fun!
Which bands have mostly influenced The Jumpin’ Bones and in what way?
Artists that have been a great influence to us are Little Walter, Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker in a way that they are the basis of what we might call the Jump Blues. Other than that the style has been evolving until today by artist who typically are from California. We have listened a lot to many of the west coast blues band from the 90s, like William Clarke, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, or later on Nick Curran. One artist that the Greek audience would know and that we respect, is Nick Waterhouse who has played in Greece twice.
Since three members of the band have been childhood friends, how easy/difficult is it for the band’s balance?
Firstly, both Dimitris Dakopoulos and Kostantinos Aloupis had to leave the band in 2017 due to moving away from Athens for work. Thankfully, their gap was filled by two excellent and very talented musicians, Nikos Tzavaras and Thanasis Giouleas. But during the first years of the band, making music with them was a blessing cause we had great patience towards each other’s mistakes and towards the world when no-one knew who we were and lots of it was needed!
What will 2018 bring for The Jumpin’ Bones’ fans?
First of all it’s gonna bring ‘Marrow‘ on vinyl by Ikaros Records: we might actually have some of that a little before 2018, on Saturday during the Merlin’s Music Box gig with Sugahspank! & The Swing Shoes. Keep in mind that the vinyl is gonna include 2 extra tracks, recorded live @ Merlin’s Den!!! Also during 2018 we are gonna try and make a lot of gigs, in order to inspire ourselves to write a second album. (hint:so far its working)
Which is The Jumpin’ Bones’ goal as a band (apart from having a good time & releasing cool music)?
You already said it to be honest. Fun and cool music. Well maybe we could also add that we are gonna try to stay away from stereotypes, and keep whatever we make a little crazy and a little wild. We do not want to be yet another band that lives in the past.
Photo credits: Stefanos Gavalas