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A Conversation With Jabe
by Samuel Barker
September 2, 2001


Jabe

Samuel Barker: To start with, what is you name and what do you do?

Jabe: Iím Jabe, Iím the singer for Darwinís Waiting Room.

Samuel: Alright, I know you guys are from Florida, but what city?

Jabe: Weíre from Miami.

Samuel: Are there a lot of good bands coming up there right now?

Jabe: There is a great underground local scene there. Itís really an untapped resource. A lot of people donít know about it because Miami is more about the Latin flavor, dance music, things like that. Up until recently, people didnít know about the big music scene, the underground hard rock and punk scene.

Samuel: Who are some of the better bands coming from that scene that people should try to check out?

Jabe: Thereís a band called Twice the Sun. Theyíre good, theyíre from Miami. Weíve been on tour since February, so I donít really know how things have changed. I know a lot of bands that Iíve enjoyed a lot have broken up by now. You know, a lot of local bands tend to break up or split into other bands. The band, Twice the Sun, that I was talking about is like an all star of some of my favorite bands that were from around there. A lot of the bands that were good from down there got signed, like Nonpoint. The got signed 6 months before we did, theyíre from Fort Lauderdale, which is 30 minute north of Miami. New Found Glory is another band that comes from that area that is a great band.

Samuel: I know you guys have just done tours with bands like the Deftones, is it fun to get out on the road with some of the more established bands?

Jabe: Oh yeah, itís been a blast. Itís a great honor to play with people Iíve been listening to since the beginning, like the Deftones. We have a great deal of respect for them. I had only seen them a few times live and now I get to see everyday when on tour with them. Itís awesome. Itís like having Christmas everyday.

Samuel: So you still get out and watch the other bands on the bill with you guys?

Jabe: Oh yeah. I still like to. I think thatís the best way, as a small band, as a young band, to watch the other bands who have been doing it for a decades and to see what experience they can teach us.

Samuel: Have you guys had a good crowd reaction since youíve touring?

Jabe: Really good crowd reactions. We havenít had any problems as of yet. Weíre a little band, so a lot of people havenít heard about us, but they come to the live show and we surprise them. They have a really good time.

Samuel: Well, you said youíve been on tour since February, has it been a case of spreading the word through live performance?

Jabe: Yeah, we did all the Southeast dates with Papa Roach, we replaced Orgy when they got sick on the tour. We did a lot of radio gigs and a tour with Unloco and Simon Sez. Then we did the Godsmack/Deftones tour and now weíre doing the Nonpoint tour. So itís been great, itís our second time through the nation.

Samuel: There a lot of dynamics to the bands sound, how has the two vocalists helped keep the fresh feeling with the mix of rap and hardcore and your melodic vocals?

Jabe: Yeah, the truth is, Iíd love to be able to scream and to emcee, but Iím just not good at it. Itís not something I can do. Iím happy to have...itís almost like having two voices. When Grimm emcees and screams, I feel like heís singing for me. Not FOR me personally, but itís like weíre one voice. I donít think of us as two vocalists, weíre like one instrument. Itís almost like Iím the clean sound on a guitar and then we push the button and thereís Grimm.

Samuel: Lyrically, is it something done as band?

Jabe: Itís Grimm and I. Everything I sing I write and everything Grimm emcees or screams he writes. A lot of time, weíll take a recording of the song and go to Borders or Barnes & Noble and sit down, have some coffee, and just talk about the songs, listen to it together and 99.9% of the time we feel the exact same way about the song. Then we start talking about specific experiences weíve had that fit the song. Like if something makes you feel sad or angry, then we talk about ĎIíve had this experience, can you relate to it?í Most of the time we can relate to each othersí experiences and we both talk about that, so itís cool.

Samuel: Does it help having your music as a way to express your experiences?

Jabe: Music is like a huge therapy, itís very theraputic for us. If weíre not on tour, Iím kinda insane. I donít do well not playing music. Itís the only thing that cures me.

Samuel: So when did the album come out?

Jabe: It came out one month and three weeks ago.

Samuel: Did you guys ever get anxious touring without an album?

Jabe: Not really. When we were touring without the album, we had never really been outside the state of Florida, so it was a brand new feeling, exploring the nation and seeing all the states for the very first time. Also, as a band, when youíre a small band, you feel like ĎOh wow! Weíre doing really well in our area,í but you never realize how much more learning, how new, and how un-experienced you are then you get out there touring.

Samuel: Has the constant touring helped get the sound together and reach the point you guys would like it to be at?

Jabe: I think the sound has definitely has gotten tighter and tighter, but when we found Eddie, our guitar player, who was the last member, it all fit. It all aligned perfectly and that was it. With the other guys, you know how you were saying did it make our sound tighter? Well, it was never cohesive until Eddie showed up and once Eddie showed up everything came together.

Samuel: I know a lot of bands say that after they play together and hone their sound they grow to where they are their own influence, have you reached that point yet?

Jabe: Weíve never been influenced by any other bands, weíve mostly been influenced by each other. Because weíre so different from each other. Grimm is a hip hop specialist and he love hardcore music like H20 and Sick Of It All and stuff like that. I would never have heard that stuff if it wasnít for him, and if it wasnít for me, he probably would have never heard Miles Davis and really weird alternative bands and garage bands. Itís really cool that we meld those things together. Weíre really open minded, but weíre all pretty young and havenít had a chance to experience all that music yet.

Samuel: How does having two vocalists help the live show? Do you spend a lot of time interacting with the crowd?

Jabe: We love interacting with crowd because itís like, thatís what the live show is all about. Itís not about us being up there and acting as rock stars, itís about sharing the music and having that transfer of music from one person to the next. If you donít interact with them and act like youíre the star, it doesnít feel to me like you get the full effect.

Samuel: I know on tour with the Deftones, you were playing large venues where you are away from the crowd, as opposed to here where youíre basically in the crowd, was it harder to get up for those shows and harder to get the full interaction going at those shows?

Jabe: Itís definitely less intimate there, but I always jumped out and stood on the barricades and put my face in the crowd and at least get close to them two songs out of the set. I canít not be close to them.

Samuel: Awesome. Is there anything youíd like to add?

Jabe: I just want to say thanks for doing the interview, and interviewing smaller bands like us. Everyone always jumps on the bandwagon after a band sells millions of copies, but itís people like you who kinda find the smaller bands and listen to them and keep an open mind. Itís very important, thanks!

Samuel Barker is senior editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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