Friday, October 5, 2012

The myth making and magic of John the Conqueror

photo by Jonifin Marvin

Down N' dirty blues blues man Pierre Moore of John the Conqueror is a man of luck and he's here to bring you his magical bag of tricks n' licks. I interviewed the voice behind the band about his path towards creating the band, life and of course music.

Kaos Blac: So Pierre your originally from Jackson, MI when I first met you you where in another band, the now defunct Slack Republic, based in Atlanta, Ga and now your doing John the Conqueror based on your travels I can assume your ascribe to the rolling stone gathers no moss lifestyle in regards to your music. Would that be a clear assumption?

Young country boy Pierre and that fat  farm mascot
 Ronald McDonald

Pierre Moore: Yea I do....when I was growing up, my mama always told me that she was raising me so that when I turned 18, I'd get the hell out of her I got about a thousand miles away! 

Kaos Blac: Well that is a jump and a leap from home. Also it sounds like a as if you were set upon a path to a down homespun blues man from the get go, although that wasn't what you were playing with your previous band. What lead you to from the break up of that last project to what your doing now with John the Conqueror.

Pierre Moore: It was 4 years since the breakup of the last band till I hopped on stage again.....I'd given up playing music because I'd missed a couple opportunities to sign with small indie lables (going back to my college days) due mostly to my own stupidity ....basically I was broken! But it turns out that no matter how I felt when I put down the guitar, I felt even worse the longer I didn't play!

I don't really know if that answered your question but doesn't it feel good to share! hahah

Kaos Blac: No good answer, good answer! LOL.
Pierre during his Slack Republic days circa 2007,
photo by Kaos Blac
So eventually you got back up off your ass picked up your guitar and poof instant music or what? I want to know how you got from the post-punk/alt that was The Slack Republic as the lead guitarist to being the Blues tinged front man of your current project it's a drastically different approach to musical story telling.

Pierre Moore: Probably the most anticlimactic part of my whole life: December 2010 I decided to start a band. I couldn't find a singer that I liked in the WHOLEEE MONTHHH I tried (you can tell I tried soooo hard) so I said I'd give it a go.
Last week of december we got a bassist (Merry Christmas!). 3 months later we played our first show at a ROCKERS event (I know you're familiar with those folks and that scene)...1 month later we recorded a 6 song EP. 5 months later we recorded another EP. 

Click the jug to listen to and download the EP
designed by Katrina Tapper

4 days before our 1 year anniversary of finding our bassist and officially becoming a band, Alive NaturalSound Records contacted us about signing (Merry Christmas again!)....

That was December 21st ...but in true Pierre fashion, I fucked shit up (sorta) ...I didn't see the fuckin email somehow! So I didn't respond till New Years day! I damn near pissed my pants when I realized that I'd (almost) fucked up an indie label offer AGAIN! 

Apparently Patrick, the head of the label, thought he should get back at me for being so bad at emailing because it took him two weeks to get back to me...

John the Conqueror/Robert Johnson tat
design courtesy of Katrina Tap
Anyway, fastforwarding ...we signed, recorded an album...
comes out october 16th...the whole band got John the Conqueror tattoos (mike, the drummer and I are cousins and he was the bassist in slack.....when we started this band, it was for fun, but we jokingly said if we got signed this time, we'd get band tattoos)

Kaos Blac: Well thankfully you answered that email and didn't fuck up. One thing I been dying to know is why the name John the Conqueror?

Pierre Moore: Mannyyy reasons ....

1) The John the Conqueror root is a staple in the lyrical tradition of blues and if we're gonna try to honor our roots then.... (bad pun!)

 2) High john the conqueror root is traditionally used in a mojo hand and can be applied for many purposes but usually its for a gambling type of luck ...the first year of this band, I carried my mojo hand almost everyday cause lord knows I needed some luck.

3) The character of John the Conqueror is as old as our peoples in America.... He was an african prince, stolen from his kingdom and brought here to be a slave. But he was smart....he constantly was outwitting his master at every turn ....thats how I feel about the proverbial hand I've been dealt in life.... Thats also why I have a highway 61 north tattoo on my shoulder. Thats known as the blues highway....thats the road all the great blues musicians had to take to leave the mississippi plantations and find a happier life....It took em to memphis, chicago and (if i recall) detroit ...and from the 30's till the 50's, these were like the promise land to black folk! I need a constant reminder that I love my home and I miss it ...but I had to leave to actually DO something! And hopefully I'll do something!

Kaos Blac: Which you are as seen below.

You have the self titled album coming out October 16th, are you and the band amped about it's debut?

Pierre Moore:  lol yea.

Kaos Blac: No big pressures eh or pre-jitters?

Pierre Moore:  We were told that we should already be writing our next album so I suppose thats a little pressure. The album isn't even out yet, we haven't started touring yet and im already writing MORE songs!

Kaos Blac: lol. Hey your in the big times now, now is the time of John the Conqueror. From what I heard of the current album I think you have something with legs especially with acts like Alabama Shakes. Speaking of touring what are your plans to travel out with the album.

Pierre Moore: In november we're doing some dates on the east coast. We'll be full fledged touring at the beginning of the new year.

Kaos Blac: Well folks will have something to look forward to coming up in the new year. Any closing words about the band?

Pierre Moore:  Umm..nope 

Kaos Blac: LOL. Well Blac-out! 

You ca get the self title debut John the Conqueror, out October 16th via Alive NaturalSound Records , and on tour this fall starting tonight at Milk boy Philly.

Friday Oct 5
Milkboy Philly
Philadelphia, PA | 9:30PM

Saturday Nov 3
The Legendary Dobbs
Philadelphia, PA | 7:00PM

Thursday Nov 8
Asheville, NC | 8:00PM

Friday Nov 9
Jack of Hearts
Weaverville, NC | 8:00PM

Friday Nov 16
Joe Squared Station North
Baltimore, MD | 10:00PM

Saturday Nov 17
Harrisonburg, VA | 8:00PM

Monday Nov 9
Slim's Downtown
Raleigh, NC | 8:00PM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jesus, I really like this band (at least, what I've heard so far), but I could not make it through this post. Atrocious grammar and punctuation. Ugh.