JACKSTAND IS DETROIT ROCK: THE WAY IT IS ... THE WAY IT WILL BE!!!
Detroit is the home of industrial innovation, muscle cars, Coney Island hot dogs, championship sports teams, Motown, blue collar rock, riverfront festivals and ethnic diversity. You could say it is a virtual melting pot of sights, sounds and experiences. The same could be said for the rough and ready rock ‘n roll quartet from the heart of the Motor City known as JACKSTAND. The band is comprised of veteran musicians KENT FRANKLYN (lead vocals & harmonica), BRAD METHENY (guitars & vocals), JOHN ISOM (bass & vocals) and DANNY SMITH (drums). They possess a powerful and dynamic sound; one that is cut from the funky tapestry of old school punk, proto-metal and urban blues, with just a hint of southern rock and country. It is a well executed amalgam stealthily engineered by master craftsman that live for their art.
The origin of JACKSTAND began with Danny and John. Back in the day they were on the ground floor of the new wave and hardcore punk movements, with a late ‘70s band called BAD HABIT. They played all the rock ‘n roll haunts throughout Michigan, Ohio, Florida and ventured into Toronto and London, Ontario Canada as well. Back then the fashions were all about skinny ties and Twin Reverb combo amplifiers. BAD HABIT quickly made their presence known everywhere they went by way of a full throttle Marshall Stack assault. The seminal punk upstarts also opened for national stars like JOHNNY THUNDERS of THE NEW YORK DOLLS and CHEETAH CHROME from the DEAD BOYS. “Danny and I tried to think outside the box as best as we could. We weren’t content to just play for 50-100 people, playing for gas money. We wanted to go out there and really do it,” recalls bassist John. They actually did create a buzz that rippled all the way from New York to Hollywood. But bad management and empty promises derailed them at their ascent. As the years passed Danny and John maintained a friendship culminating in a pivotal conversation at a backyard family party. They realized both still had the passion for creating original and emotionally-arresting guitar-based music and dared to see if lightning could strike twice.
Their first order of business was to secure a hot guitarist, with a sense of flair and technical precision. They hit pay dirt when Brad came on the scene. The axe slinger’s resume revealed over 20 years playing with seasoned southeast Michigan cover and original outfits like NO LIMIT and NO JUSTUS. Brad’s personal performance background found him sharing the stage with such diverse acts as LESLIE WEST, FLOTSAM & JETSAM, NEVERMORE and COWBOYS FROM HELL. The final piece of the JACKSTAND mosaic arrived in a fairly traditional manner by way of a Craigslist musician ad. Lead vocalist Kent had been a part of Detroit area bands like THE FRANKLYN EXPERIMENT and LEATHERTONGUE. The latter found him opening for national artists like L.A. GUNS, WINGER, SEDUCE and the GLENN HUGHES/CHAD SMITH BAND. Kent cut his musical teeth on classic rock artists like LED ZEPPELIN, BAD COMPANY, AEROSMITH and LYNYRD SKYNRD, bringing a soulful and bluesy mix to the table.
JACKSTAND has been consistently engaging and inspiring audiences young and old since 2012, with signature shows opening for perennial artists AUTOGRAPH and MOLLY HATCHET. They’ve also been capturing the hearts and minds of fans by placing prominently in Battle of the Band competitions sponsored by HARD ROCK CAFÉ and DETROIT LIVE MAGAZINE. They are a band that composes and arranges their own material and are totally self contained and sufficient on all fronts. And in this day of pre-packaged pop stars and reality show wannabes, there is something that can be said for the band’s musical integrity, tenacity, road-scarred ambition and professional poise. “We feel there is that niche market out there where people are yearning for this type of music; great leads, great vocals and a real tight unit,” says John. “All music is a collaboration of ideas,” continues Brad. “And when you’ve got four or five guys with the exact same background their collaboration is gonna sound like one thing. We’ve got four guys that come from pretty different musical backgrounds. But we all like the way each other plays and we get along. We all just kind of mush it together and that’s where you start getting things that come out that are a little bit different and unique.” And truer words could not have been spoken, for one of the band’s greatest strengths is their ability to explore artistic roads less traveled.
With a recorded roster that boasts the ultra crunch of tracks like “Freaky Spider,” the odd-metered syncopation of “Frenchie” or the twisted country funk of “Rodeo,” JACKSTAND is a band that never compromises, yet is incredibly popular with a wide demographic.
Perhaps John sums up the success of JACKSTAND the best. He appears to get to the core of what truly makes this group of four distinct characters tick. “What’s really great about this unit is there are no egos in the sense that there is no leader,” explains the bassist. “Danny is our point guy for the business end of it because this was his brainchild. But this is kind of like an Army unit. Everyone has their own unique niche on what they do. Everyone gets an equal share because we’re all trying to accomplish a common goal. We don’t wanna have the attitude where one person gets the lion’s share because they wrote it all. That’s silly and we’ve seen so many bands fail because of that.”