Posted On 01 May 2017
JT Bevy was formed and is fronted by Jake Thomas, a singer, songwriter and producer who has fronted and performed in active bands for over 15 years. Jake made a name for himself in his original hometown of Salt Lake City, UT by performing with various acts including Quite Frankly and London Bridge, and the variety of genres he’s worked with serves as inspiration for his latest musical creations. With tremendous experience and a knack for music diversity, Jake has brought together a line-up that creates a bevy of energetic tunes.
Now calling San Antonio, TX, his true home, JT Bevy has an “anything goes” approach when it comes to genre. The group draws influence from the rock sphere primarily, blending stellar guitar riffs with hints of country, synth, and even electronic elements depending on the tune.
JT Bevy released their Madness EP on April 7th.
All Access is proud to premiere the video for their newest video- “All Dressed Up And So Strung Out” :
Follow JT Bevy Online:
Website / Facebook / Instagram / SoundCloud / YouTube
‘Madness’ EP on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/madness-ep/id1189838574
Learn more about JT Bevy in the following All Access interview:
What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music?
When I was writing the music for the MADNESS EP in 2016, I found myself exploring the past few years that I had gone through with life situations, relationships and most of all learning about myself and growing through it all. So, to use a few words, I would say: “madness, awareness, accepting, understanding, learning, growing”.
What were some of the highlights?
It was a lot of fun with how the songs all came out so easily and seemed to flow. They even tell kind of a story when you put them together. I feel like that creates a fun energy that will come across when we play these songs live. It was also a blast collaborating with a few different people I hadn’t had a chance to prior. My sis, Megan X Thomas, Tyler and a bid treat to work with Freddie Muneaux II on the Bring it Loud tune. It’s also been awesome to work with Chris Mega who is doing all the artwork and video production on the songs and EP.
What are you most excited about for 2017?
I’m really excited to go have fun with the songs and share them with other people as we play live. There is no energy like hanging out with friends and enjoying music together. That is one of my favorite things to do in life!
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians?
YES! I actually grew up with my dad being in a band. I have played drums since I could crawl up on the drum thrown and guitar since I was 13 or so. Music has been a MAJOR part of my life! I’m one of those guys that has music on 24/7! I love it!
Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I remember going to my dad’s shows and being back stage. I feel like those memories are back to where I was 4 or 5 years old. My parents have a lot of pictures of me on stage and on drums when I was 2 or 3… so I really don’t remember ever not having music around. My first two albums I owned were The Jackson 5 and KISS. That still fits today me today, where I love all kinds and am not tied to a certain genre. Any music done well, regardless of the genre, blows me away!
The band name was kind of tough. I believe and enjoy in the band concept over a solo artist. So, I didn’t want it to be called the “Jake Thomas Band” or Group or just go by “Jake Thomas”. I’ve had the nickname from several people and have initialed emails and such for some time as JT. I am a true believer in the power of the energy that comes out of a group of musicians coming together with a crowd of people and everyone joining in the fun and energy. So I wanted a name that includes everyone… the band and the group or crowd of people all in one place having fun with the music! Hence the “BEVY” part! Tyler and Megan X (when she has time to fit us in, haha) are family, so they weren’t too hard to get together with. They both are amazing musicians. Megan has and is doing some really big things with her music career, so it’s awesome to have her support and work with me in between her other projects with Lez Zeppelin and a big tour she just finished with another band. Tyler is off the charts with his drumming abilities. He is also a great song writer and guitar player so he understands dynamics and overall song production. This really adds to the live feel of the songs. I met Austin Valentine about 3 years ago. He was playing bass with a band I used to go see quite a bit. He blew me away with his chops from the first time I saw them play. He’s always been Mr. Mellow and easy to talk to and get along with. So, once the EP was recorded and it was time to put the live show together, he was the first person I called. He hooked me up with Jimmy Norris, they had grown up together and played in a bunch of different bands together. Jimmy is just as easy to work with. I would put them both among the best musicians that I have ever worked with. The greatest thing about them is they are so workable and don’t have a big ego that gets in the way of everything you are trying to do. They both have great input and have added to the quality of the songs since we have all started working together.
Was it difficult to narrow it down?
Actually no. Because I knew I wanted a band name instead of a solo artist name, once JT Bevy came out and the meaning fit exactly what I was after, that was it. I ran it buy a few people who all seemed to like it… and I was done.
What other names were you considering?
I made a production company back in my “Quite Frankly” band days… which I still think is a great name… haha.. The production company was Frank Q Productions (I came up with by turning the Quite Frankly initials around). I still use Frank Q today. I was actually thinking of using Frank Q as the band name. But JT Bevy meant something to me. Frank Q didn’t really have any meaning… so that didn’t last long.
How do you think your sound has been influenced by being in San Antonio?
I think as pop music has evolved, I have evolved with it. Hearing bands in San Antonio and Austin has been part of that evolution. I know my lyrics for this EP specifically were all influenced by my time in San Antonio and the amazing people I work with and see on a daily basis.
What is the music scene like there in general?
Wow! You hear all kinds of different stuff. Which, by the way is what I like.. so it’s all over the charts here. I’ve noticed that I seem to be digging on the bluesy sound a lot more from the stuff I’ve heard here and in Austin. Maybe it’s kind of a southern rock thing…
I am curious to know how being in this band is different than other group that you have been a part of?
Well, because I wrote the songs myself, it’s let me reflect on my experience both in music and in life and bring those expressions out in the way of music and produce them the way I heard it when it was a little flicker of an idea in my head.
For example, how does the sound compare to the others?
I’ve been blessed enough to have worked with so many amazing musicians that I’m hoping that I have maintained the quality with the stuff I’ve done previously in the other bands. It’s been fun to share the songs with my friends from the old bands and get their opinions. The biggest change in sound is the layering of vocals. I’ve never done that before. That is kind of the evolution part of it, I guess.
You just released your EP, “Madness.” Can you talk about what it was like putting this collection together?
I’ve worked with, recorded, and produced my bands and so many other bands that it was a blast to put a bunch of songs together for one project. I have more than enough songs for a full album, but I thought I’d start with the EP concept. I’ve done a ton of single song projects but never put a bunch in one place and made a full blown release with them. It’s been a ton of fun!
Where did the inspiration for these songs come from?
You know.. I didn’t realize this until I was done.. but the EP turned out being a bit of a story about some roller coaster ride I’ve been through the past few years.. a bit mixed in about some people I know and their journey.
How long did it take to put this project together?
Some say you have an entire lifetime to write your first record. I’ve written a bunch of songs since high school and those songs have come and gone. None of those are on this EP (except for the piano riff on Good to Bad). I started talking about putting the songs together to release them in June/July of 2016 but it was about October 2016 when I decided to concentrate on it and write some songs to put on the EP. I understand that you recorded, produced and played all of the instruments on this debut release.
What was it like doing all of that?
Long nights… haha. It was really cool to test different things and see how they would turn out. The songs were a lot more guitar heavy at first and I decided to back that out and lighten up the guitar sounds to make the songs more “pop style”. The great part was that I didn’t have to argue with the guitar player about cutting some of the tracks out. Well… if I did, nobody heard it! I hope! haha
Do you think that you will do this again for future releases?
I am already doing it that way for the writing for the follow up projects (album or EP). I will probably do a little both on the next release. I do love what other people can bring into the songs and help the songs go somewhere. I’m still playing that by ear.
How creatively involved were you with the making of your new “Bring It Loud” video?
Chris Mega (Chris Mega Photography) is amazing at the depth and perspective on his shots. The only thing I did was tell Chris when we were doing the studio session and asked him to come and do his thing. So, creatively, it was all Chris! I completely trust him with it and just do what he tells me to do… haha… I love how it turned out. His angles, camera movements and depth to the pictures are amazing. He did awesome work!
How do you think this song prepares your fans for the rest of your Madness collection?
I love the diversity of the song. When we were featured on the radio on the Billy Madison Show morning show (that is syndicated in a few different markets) and played Bring it Loud, people called in and said it sounds like The Chili Peppers, others said Linkin Park. Someone said Blink. (Not bad bands to be compared with, by the way… haha). That’s exactly what I was looking for with the diversity of the EP. My two favorite songs are yet to be released from the EP and they both have totally different styles. Bring It Loud sets them up perfectly.
Who are some of your favorite musicians?
I really love the people that do “their own thing”. I grew up a Michael Jackson fan. Growing up as a guitar player, Eddie Van Halen has to be at the top of the guitar list. Prince was the best at anything he wanted to do. Dr. Dre is unreal at making anything he touches blow minds! The technical side of me is blown away by Maynard and the guys in Tool… much respect there. I love Switchfoot and how they put a song together. And then with the hometown thing… I gotta give The Used and Neon Trees some props! They both are great bands. The Used know how to ROCK A TUNE! I think my favorite production lately is on The Used albums. Brain Fairbairn, Rick Rubin, are my favorite old school producers. Through the years I have probably listened to Dave Matthews and seen him live more than anyone else. With all the “long-timers”, I think it’s awesome some of them can still do what they do. Long list there that probably puts Jon Bon Jovi on top of my list. But the top of my list is probably Dave Grohl! Obviously, Nirvana changed the music world. But, I saw Foo Fighters open for the Chili Peppers (way back) and Dave Grohl completely blew me away! The whole band is great. (I saw Taylor play with Alanis live and he killed me!) But… Dave has all the energy, the fun, great song writing the laid back image that says “Rock Star”. I’ll give my dad (Steve “Stevie T” Thomas) props too. He taught me how amazing and powerful music is and the depth that it has! Thanks dad!
What musicians would you love to work with in the future?
So… obviously, I would love to work with Dave Grohl. Secondly, It’s a simple thing, but working with my sis, Megan X Thomas is a blast! I’m hoping I can spend more time working on projects with her, doing some recording and touring together in the future. We have a great time! She rocks!
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music?
You know… I think there are too many people in the world that are caught up in the “MADNESS”. I hope my music can be a place and a message of finding yourself, overcoming anything in your way and being happy. As simple as it sounds, I want my music to put people in a better place and have a little fun while you’re doing it.
What do you hope people take away from your songs?
Firstly, I hope they have a great with whatever they are doing while they listen to the music and that the music can help them have that “great time”. I hope the songs leave them in a peaceful place that inspires them to be positive and “go for it”! Bring it Loud… so to speak… haha
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves or your music?
I just am thankful for the experience and the chance to release the music to everyone out there; and appreciate all those who have and will support the music. I can’t wait to see you out there when we are playing live and have a blast together. Let’s all ‘BRING IT LOUD”! Thanks for the interview!