Published on March 27th, 2019 | by Michael Ray0
Double Decker Musician Interview: Durand Jones
Durand Jones & The Indications Are Scheduled for 4 pm on the Double Decker Stage on Saturday, April 27.
What do you get when you take the soulfulness of Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke, add the sound and socially important lyrical stylings of Curtis Mayfield and the smooth delivery of Smokey Robinson? Durand Jones & The Indications is what. The band, made up of singer Durand Jones, drummer/vocalist Aaron Frazer, guitarist Blake Rhein, bassist Kyle Houpt and keyboardist Steve Okonski, will be taking the stage at the 24th Annual Double Decker Music & Art Fest coming to Oxford, April 26 & 27.
Fresh from South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, I caught up with vocalist Durand Jones, on the road to a show in Dallas, to discuss music, life on the road and their upcoming performance in Oxford.
So, you guys all met while you were in college, right?
We did. I was attending Indiana University for classic music, when I met Aaron and Blake, who were already in a band. We just hit it off over a mutual love of soul music and gospel and we decided to start our own band, making the kind of music that we love. When Kyle and Steve joined, it all just came together.
Being as young as you guys are, all in your twenties, how did you come to embrace the soul sound?
All of us had it around us growing up of course. I am from Louisiana originally and my father was a big soul fan, especially Earth, Wind & Fire so it was there. A lot of the music that I listened to was sample-based music, and a lot of those samples were Soul-infused. It led me to look for the original source of the samples, of course. I would hit Goodwill looking for records that I could make my own samples with. That was the original plan.
Not being in a soul band?
Not at all. When we started writing and working on our first demo, it all flowed. It all set. We figured this was a good time for a soul- and country-tinged band, as there wasn’t really anyone with our sound out. We didn’t expect for it to take off like it has, either. We just wanted to be artists and find our place. We made the music that we wanted to.
How has life changed for you since the release of the new album American Love Call?
It’s been great! We spend a lot more time on the road now for sure. We went from maybe 60 shows . . . to over 100. Of course, with that, comes a different set of responsibilities. Maybe you don’t stay up too late or have that one last drink, cause you’ve got to perform the next day. We are very lucky to have jobs that we truly love. I love being on the road and performing.
You are performing at The Double Decker Fest next month, sharing the stage with acts like Cedric Burnside, Lucero, and Jason Isbell. What can people expect from Durand Jones & The Indications on stage?
A lot of energy and great music! We love playing festivals because most of the time, you’re not playing to your fans, but to people who don’t know your music, which is exciting because we get to introduce a whole new audience to us and spread the legacy of Soul that inspired us. We are gonna hit the stage in Oxford to show everyone a great time and do what we do!
Catch Durand Jones & The Indications at 4 pm on Saturday, April 27. For more info about the festival, including a complete line up and schedule, visit www.doubledeckerfestival.com and for more about Durand Jones & The Indications, check out their site www.durandjonesandtheindications.com.