Jasmine Cain needs no introduction to her many, many fans. For those of you not in the loop, this “Modern Day Gypsy” was born in South Dakota and grew up on a cattle ranch. The vast landscape of the American West seemed not quite big enough to contain her ambition, so Cain moved herself to Nashville, TN to further her musical goals. Now several years, concerts, and albums later Jasmine was nice enough to slow down for just a few moments to answer a few questions for The Peter Principles! Read on for some insights and opinions from this true rock n’ roll warrior, then head over to http://www.jasminecain.com/ to learn about a show near you and check out the new live album “Live at Suck Bang Blow”!
First off, congratulations on another NIMA (Nashville Industry Music Awards) award! You have several dates around the southeast coming up. How do you personally prepare for a tour?
Thank you very much! We are very honored to be the Best Live Rock Performers for Nashville Industry Music Awards. I think we’ve earned the title because we tour so much. Honestly, we didn’t take any time off this winter and so we don’t really “prepare” for touring…we’re always out there. It’s really like second nature for us.
How big of an operation are your tours? Is it a logistical challenge, or is it a bunch of adventurers in a bus?
Our crew consists of the 3 band members and Kevin Bebout helping out with everything from driving, tech, lighting director, FOH sound (if needed). He kinda does it all! Plus he allows me freedom to roam the stage when he takes over on bass for a few songs at the end of the show. But our crew doesn’t really end there. We have people that help us while we are on the road by helping me stay on top of messages, social media, and keeping the website current. We’d love to thank Kyle Waters and Chris Ayers for assisting with those things. They’re really great!
Oh, but it’s also a logistical challenge and a bunch of adventurers in a bus. It’s all of it. We love to see new things everywhere we go, so since it’s a small group of people and I’m in charge of handling logistics, I can pretty much always accommodate everyone. We have the most fun out there…I’m sure of that.
Have you found being located in Nashville advantageous to your craft? What do you find to be the biggest differences in the music scene here versus Sturgis?
Well, other than the 2 weeks of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally…there really isn’t a music scene in Sturgis. I was really into acoustic shows and singer/songwriter stuff when I was in South Dakota. Being in Nashville, every kind of music is available on any given day. It was really exciting when I first moved here and I would go downtown nightly to see who was playing and try to find new places, but it’s a bit overwhelming after a while. I’ve been here now for about 13 years, so I have my favorites that I go see when I’m in town and word gets around quick when there’s a new smoking gun in town. I always try to stay on top of what is happening out there. The musicians in this town have created a really cool and super fast networking system that keeps everyone posted on what’s happening, so it’s easy to stay connected.
You seem to play bass with your fingers like many great players. Do you ever use a pick?
I use a pick for songs that require it, but my mentor Russell Jackson always told me the tone of the bass is all in your fingertips. He showed me all the different ways you could make a bass sound just by adjusting your attack with your fingers. I guess that’s why instruments sound so different from one musician to the next. They all have their own style. My technique was always terrible. I play really hard which makes me slower and less agile, but every note I play…I mean it.
How do you think your style has evolved over the years? Do you strive for consistency, or evolution?
I strive for evolution without losing consistency. People want to hear you the same way they remembered you several years ago, so you have to be consistent. But music styles and tastes are always changing and you have to change with it or be left behind. My style has morphed into every genre throughout the years. I love the fact that I got to perform so many styles of music. I think it really helped keep me well rounded and improved my songwriting.
A question about the Biker community: Helmet, or no helmet?
Your preference. I don’t like it when people make rules that I have to follow just because it makes them feel better about it. And I wouldn’t force someone to do something just to make me feel better. I feel the same about seat belts.
Do you seek out new music to be exposed to, or do you have a set group of influences that you draw from?
I’m always looking for new music. We ride in this van for miles and miles…I need something new to jam when we’re rolling.
Do you think the internet is a great tool for helping people discover music, or do you regret how digital downloads and the like inhibit traditional album sales?
Honestly, digital downloads haven’t really inhibited my traditional album sales. I think it’s mainly because my primary fan base came from the days of holding the record in their hands and reading all the lyrics and liner notes and checking out the pictures. In fact, vinyl is now outselling digital…how crazy is that? We’re going back to the basics. But that being said, the internet is how we took the middle man out of the picture. Can you imagine if there was still just a handful of people who got to decide what the rest of the world gets to hear? Well…..turn on the radio and you’ll hear that. People want more options and the internet provides that.
Who are some of your bass heroes?
Steve Harris, Cliff Burton, Billy Sheehan, Flea, Geezer Butler, Jon Paul Jones, Victor Wooten, Leeland Sklar, Antonella Mazza, Jon Stockman, Divinty Roxx, Robert Trujillo…how many do you want? I can keep going.
Who are your vocalist inspirations?
Chris Cornell, Pat Benatar, Nancy Wilson, Myles Kennedy, Stevie Nicks, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Wynonna Judd, Janis Joplin, Adele, Steven Tyler, Michael Jackson, Axl Rose, Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, Devin Townsend, Brandi Carlisle…….how many of these should I do?
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
We are in the studio with our current album and it should be ready to fly by Fall 2018. We’re taking our time with this one because we want it to be everything we expect from a record and not rushed like we normally are. We just released a live album in December 2017 and I can’t tell you how amazing it sounds! I listen to all sorts of live albums and then A/B ours against it and the sound quality is just stellar thanks to Mills Logan. Seriously, you have to check it out. But this new album is only half written and it’s already blowing my mind. We plan to have the entire thing ready to roll out as one big giant fucking piece of amazingness. I think everyone is going to be freaking out when they hear it.
Thank you Jasmine, we can’t wait to hear the new material soon!