The Jackalope Saints make absolutely excellent music – I met with Clinton Herrick to check in and see what’s next for this bunch! Clinton, on Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica gives credit to his band, saying he’s the “least talented one in the group.” The funny thing is that all the members honor each other this way – the mutual admiration leads to inter-band instrument instruction, cooperative writing, and excellent communication. John Chap plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, and slide guitar. Clinton is grateful to John for all the training over the years. Jay Parshall plays bass and mandolin. Accompanied by Steven Schob on drums, Sharon Cannon on violin, David Celis on trumpet and keys and Lucas Alan on keys – the Jackalope Saints make it look easy…but it’s not. They’re just really, really good at what they do.
The Jackalope Saints are a mysterious bunch with a great story – what’s your favorite line from the story?
JS Bio: Duplicitous, the wilderness speaks half-truths; it calls and goes silent. The Jackalope Saints’ stories are similarly mysterious. From the experience of singer-songwriter Clinton Herrick, the Saints’ music preaches the folklore of Wild America. Herrick’s imagery is elemental—wind and stone, bone and dust—but the lyrical detail guards more than it reveals. Sun-bleached teeth and a shadowed gunshot grow large in the listener’s mind. The imagery, however, only distracts from questions of substance: who, when, and where? But these are tall tales, ghost stories, the true experience of which cannot be found in fact.
Herrick has been drawn to this folkloric imagery since his youth. His grandmother gave him a jackalope postcard when he was ten. It’s still in his guitar case.
Traditionally associated with the American West, the mythical jackalope can mimic any sound. Cowboys around their campfires, echoes, would claim to hear the creatures singing songs back to them in the cowboys’ own voices. It is these uniquely American legends that continue to fascinate Herrick and inspire the Saints’ music.
This upcoming Doug Fir show on May 6th with SASSPARILLA and Water Tower – this seems like a dream bill for all three bands – how did you all come to find each other?
Clinton: I saw both of these bands a pickathon (Sarsaparilla 2008 & Water Tower in 2010) after seeing them, i kinda fan-boy’d out on both bands. Going to a bunch of their shows around town and what not. We actually have been lucky enough to have shared the stage with both of them at this point over the years. This will be the first time we get to harness the amazing power of the two band in the same night though.
Is there another album coming soon? I’ve heard whispers…
Clinton: Soon….. well….. we are going to start working on our new album within the next few months. I think what have learned during the course of the last 3 albums is, for every day you think it’s going to take to finish the album, add a month. BUT, i would love to have a new album out in early 2017….Jesus, that sounds so future.
What bands are you watching here in the NW?
Clinton: The Hill Dogs forever and always, Fruition is incredible…Eldridge Gravy and The Court Supremes are pretty darn amazing, and Nirvana has been killing it recently!
I hear you have a residency coming up at Al’s Den…any ideas about a theme at all?
We are! The last week of June we will be hiding out in the basement! I think the theme of the week is COVER SONGS! In the past 5 years, we have successfully learned and performed 2 cover songs. We are aiming to blow that out of the water and have 1 new cover song for each night of the week at Al’s Dens. Each one of us is bringing a song to the table. It should be a good ol’ time.
That residency does indeed sound like fun – and I can’t wait for the May 6 Doug Fir Show! In the meantime, please enjoy the song “Only Phone Number” from The Jackalope Saints.