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by Jeff McCord
Most go through life a product of their time, embracing the sights, the sounds, the zeitgeist of their youthful years. Occasionally, though, there comes another sort – one preternaturally nostalgic for a time they never experienced.
For example, Dylan Bishop, vocalist and guitarist for the Austin trio je’Texas, has this to say: “There’s not much music that’s made today that really moves us at all. Most of the writing today just seems very lazy to us.”
je’Texas have only been around since 2020, but you’d never know it from the first two singles off their upcoming album (out January 20th), “Miss May” and “California Sun”. Each share a certain aged perspective, rooted in 60’s psychedelic jam bands, with a dearth of anything but all-out volume, a fuzzy amorphous mix, biting guitar sounds, and a lot of moving parts. There are bridges, tempo changes, even introductions (!), lending an unpredictability and shambolic nature to their sound. It’s not what you’re used to hearing today, and for je’Texas, their disdain for modernity is obvious.
Bishop muses on the music of today: “The recording process itself is much different for one thing. Those good tones we love just aren’t as prevalent.”
je’Texas didn’t start out fully blossomed, but the rootsy underpinnings were always there.
“I was first introduced to the older rock and roll by my dad when I first started playing guitar,” explains Bishop. “I quickly found traditional blues music, and that has been my main interest ever since. Our music is mostly rooted in that rhythm and blues stuff and we each bring some other ingredients into the mix of course. Things definitely evolved over time. It was Damien’s (drummer Damien Lanes) idea to get the group together. [We] had been playing the old blues catalogue for some time, and had begun to put so much of our own spin on it that he suggested we get an original band going. He introduced me to Gian (bassist Gian Ortiz) and the band blossomed from there very naturally.”
Their high voltage live shows have already gained them quite a following. While their album explores different moods, and their bio claims influences as wide-ranging as Bill Haley and Diana Ross, they never stray far from their analog ’60s core. “The music we make has taken on that sound because of the place that we’re coming from,” says Bishop. “We all share a taste in a wide range of stuff but none of us could have predicted what this has turned into.”
Wake and Shake
Dylan Bishop – vocals, guitar; Gian Ortiz – Bass; Damien Llanes – Drums
Producer: Deidre Gott; Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman; Rene Chavez; Audio Mix: Rene Chavez; Cameras: Michael Minasi; Edit: Michael Minasi; Host: Laurie Gallardo