As The Cranston Foundation, bassist Jeremy Dow and guitarist/singer Alex Black broke ground with their 'in your face' charged energy, now they're simply looking for new challenges as The JR's.

When the Calgary based trio take the stage Dow commented that people who've followed them before will get some of the intense vibes they'll expect, but the band's also intent on winning over a whole new crowd, as well and are confident they can do it. "We'll play a couple of Cranston Foundation songs because it was us who wrote them, but this is a new band, a new sound and a new direction," he said, describing their sound as a cross between The Police and Queens of The Stone Age. "Lots of delay effects, lots of stuff to catch your ear," Dow said.

Dow was quick to point out there's definitely a new direction he and Black, along with drummer Nate Dawg are pointing the band in. "There's a lot of similarities, but the intensity is different. The JR's are more laid back, an easier to digest band, whereas Cranston Foundation was pretty high energy, in your face," he said. "But it's got a similar vibe, JR's are just better all-round. You're going to notice a huge difference from what we do now from before." Dow makes no bones about the band's styles and influences either, citing Bob Marley, Mars Volta, Sublime and "Snow Jam" headliners Bedouin Soundclash among their influences.

"This genre of music we're playing right now would have to be classified as reggae/rock, reminiscent of The Police or The Clash, but with a modern spin on things, music of today," he said. "But you can definitely see the roots we pull from." Dow commented that while they have basically the same long term aspirations as any band, The JR's vision of 'making it' begin at home.

"The one thing we agree on is we want to be successful in our own country ... If we can make a living doing this in our own country and have a good fan base, I think you'd get a pretty even response from all of this that would be 'making it'." While with The Cranston Foundation, they opened for Default, 54-40, Wide Mouth Mason, I Mother Earth, Treble Charger and Bif Naked, to name a few, so Dow remarked there's no question they get off on the vibes only a live show can give, but they dig the creativity of being in the studio, as well.

"Alex and I will come up with riffs on our own, certain parts for certain things and we'll come together for these ideas we have, and mix and match until it becomes a song. There's not one songwriter in the band, it's a team ... But playing live and studio work each have their own appeal." He continued, "In the studio you've got this finished product you've put months of work into. And at the very end you've got this satisfaction. But playing live, you get the satisfaction of the cheers of the crowd and everything else. It's a huge rush being on stage in front of people. Separately they both have their own appeal ... But it's the same feeling in the end as a result of both. Once they're happy with the outcome, the final stamp of approval comes from the audience."

  • With notes from Jeremy Dow
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