Influenced by Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, Wooden Jesus is due to be the next big thing within the classic hard rock scene. Vocalist/Guitarist Andrew Thrasher and Bassist/Backing Vocalist Zach Lucero spoke to me briefly about the band's formation along with what the future holds for these on the rise rock stars.
1. How did the band pick the name Wooden Jesus?
Andrew: Fuck, Well... Zach and I were over at my old place playing a bunch of old songs on our acoustics having a beer or two, or three when we started thinking about a name for the project we had been writing for, and one of the songs we had just finished playing was a song by Temple Of The Dog called "Wooden Jesus". We kind of joked around about using that for the name and then about a week or so later, I'm not quite sure how I ended up in this situation but I distinctly remember being drunk as all hell standing on the table in my living room with a bottle of wine in one hand yelling to Zachary on the phone about how I don't give a fuck if anybody thinks it’s weird or too different, If we like the name than we should just use it because that's what’s real and all this shit it was a good time. Next Question please.
2. Where are you guys from?
Andrew: We are mostly from Modesto CA. You know..., the place where everybody keeps getting murdered. We make the news all the time. I'm sure you've heard of it, there are some good bands out here.
3. How long has the band been together?
Zach: We officially got together with Roger in April 2008 went through a couple of rhythm guitar players and got Kevin around June 2009.
4. What genre would you classify your music as?
Zach: I describe it as Hard Rock
5. Who are some of your influences?
Andrew: DOWN, The mighty Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Alice In Chains, GnR, Corrosion of Conformity, Soundgarden there's a ton really.
6. The band has a demo out, what can be said about that - has the reactions been good or bad?
Zach: It’s an 8 song demo that turned into nine. The original eight songs that are on there were picked from about 11 songs that we actually played in our set around the time we made it which was the week of the New Years in 08-09. My brother in law had this weird office space that he rented but didn’t use because he only used the shop portion of it for storage, so I convinced him to let us record there. It was perfect for us, It was freezing around this time of year and it had heat, lights, bathroom, everything we needed. Andrew, Roger and I locked ourselves in this office for three days (total of 36 hours recording time only leaving to run errands) and recorded the demo.
We had a lot of fun doing it because we just smoked cigarettes, drank beer and played music for three days straight, it was great. The demo is pretty rough but sounds great considering we slammed it out ourselves. Andrew had about 95% of the lyrics complete except for some of the lyrics to Pill Freak so when it came time to record vocals Andy and I each took a piece of paper and went to separate sides of the room, played the music and finished it up right there on the spot before he recorded vocals. The song that has been added to the demo is a newer song called 4 letter words that has been playing on Rock 96.7 up here which we added to it because we wanted to try out some of Kevin’s recording software.
7. What inspired your lyrics for this CD?
Andrew: I kind of have the tendency to just write about anything that's bothering me at the time so it pretty much ranges from inner personal stuff to people who do shit that doesn't make any sense to me. Like Obama for example…what the fuck is his problem?
8. Do you have any personal favorites off it?
Zach: At the beginning of 4 Letter Words you can hear Andy and I fucking off talking shit into the mic which is fantastic because it shows us being the asses we really are. I also love the way Pill Freak came out on the demo for two reasons, the first being that was the first song I wrote some of the lyrics to and second reason is the solo at the end of the song. Andy had just finished all of the leads so we were listening to it as a whole and on that song I got up and said it needs the gnarliest lead right there, just completely obnoxious with bar dives and shit, like Jerry Cantrells lead on Rain When I Die. It was fucking hilarious Andy had the whammy bar tangled in the strings and shit, it was perfect.
9. Do you have any plans for a video?
Andrew: Actually yes, when we get out of the studio that's the first thing I would like to start work on. I think shooting a music video would be a hell of a lot of fun. If I was the director of course otherwise no.
10. When do you think we'll be seeing a full length?
Andrew: Were going into the studio at the beginning of the year so I would like to have something out by say March early April. We’re also going to record an acoustic record so hopefully that will be out shortly after.
11. Have you had any luck with getting signed by a label - have any spoken to you?
Zach: Not really, we actually have just recently started talking about it realistically and it seems to be a topic that always comes up, at least with me. I recently contacted a couple of different labels Warner, Road Runner, another one I think it was Atlantic and the receptionists pretty much told me to fuck off, if you don’t know somebody then get fucked. Nobody has contacted us yet, but It seems like our shows are all worth something as of late, whether it be with this band or that band, this place or that place they all carry more and more value, and that seems to be the trend, which is a good thing, we haven’t been a band very long and we have accomplished a lot so far.
12. What does the future hold for Wooden Jesus?
Andrew: At the beginning of next year we are going to focus mainly on recording but we do have a couple of shows coming up. One with Primer55 in January and another with Prong/Green Jelly/Skinlab and a bunch of other bands hosted by Metal Sanaz in March which is brought to you by 209 Productions and is going to be at The Fat Cat Music House and Lounge in Modesto which is a kick ass venue. We have played a lot of good shows there and have seen a lot of great bands play at that place. I remember one time Jerry Cantrell almost broke my damn neck there. Zach and I were at a show a couple years back and Jerry decided right at the moment I wasn't paying attention he needed to stage dive right on top of us. It was such a fucking killer show. Ever since then I've wanted to wait until some dumb ass in one of our crowds stops paying attention and stage dive back on his ass...or face...or whatever.
13. Finally, what would you like to say to all of your fans?
Andrew: I just want to say look for our record early next year hopefully it'll be out by March maybe early April and make sure you pay attention at our shows because you might just end up with my ass on your head. Thank you.
About the Author
Natalie Perez has been a Music/Entertainment Journalist for 7 years now having first started out with her middle and high school newspapers. She now writes for a handful of various online and print publications.