Sound description: Island rock.
RIYL: Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, 311, Linkin Park, Alice in Chains, Sublime, Expendables, Linkin Park, Blink 182, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Chevelle, Gold Finger, Buck-O-Nine
- "Painter Wears Out Van Touring with Bands" · May 16, 2018
- "Strange Stage Stories" · Nov. 30, 2012
- Musician Interviews: "Jet West, Dropping In" · May 25, 2011
Inception: San Diego, 2009
Influences: Slightly Stoopid, 311, Linkin Park, Pepper
Jet West took flight in spring 2009, when singer-guitarist Chris Warner and singer Scott Floquet (Pyschoactive) partnered up to play house parties and charity events. The band also includes bassist Deren Schneider (the Tigersharks) and drummer Derek Potter.
“Our music intertwines upbeat reggae riffs with fist-pumping, melodic rock,” says singer/guitarist Scott Floquet. “We pull influences from blues, funk, country, and we’re even starting to experiment with techno.”
According to Warner, “Our music is like sex on a beach on a warm night with perfect head high waves and off shore winds. You know, that sound that makes you just want to hang another couple days and loose yourself.”
Drummer Derek Potter (who was a contestant on the Price Is Right in 2009) elaborates. “We each come from an array of different influences but, in essence, we play rock music that soothes the soul. We like to create a type of upbeat and dance driven euphoric escape for our fans.” In concert, the group is sometimes joined by trumpet player and percussionist Jim Rogers.
Warner -- who gave up an $80,000-a-year job to pursue music full time -- describes an early misfire for the band. “We played a show at one of our local favorite spots in OB, Winstons, in full snowboard gear to try something new. This was the worst idea ever as we all almost passed out from heat stroke. Our fans like to drink and buy us shots, so wearing three layers of snowboarding gear and jumping all around the stage was the worst decision we ever made.”
The band released a three-song demo CD in 2009, followed in 2010 by a full album, Dropping In. “The album title is based on where our band is currently in the music industry,” says singer/guitarist Chris Warner. “We understand that we are just ‘dropping in’ with our debut album, just as we love to drop down waves from San Diego to Mexico.”
“The cover art by Trevor Dawson is based on the notion that sometimes you want to Jet West and head somewhere closer to where the sun sets,” says Warner. “In our album cover art, we portray this in an island setting.”
Jet West’s first music video, for their song “Sunday,” was filmed at locales in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach. “Not until the past couple years have I really appreciated that day,” says Floquet. “Sunday used to be the day before school or work, loaded with a curfew, which hindered my ability to enjoy the moment. My perspective has changed. Sunday is a release from the rat-packed clubs and faded, dreamlike memories. It became a day to appreciate our beautiful California weather. And what better way to appreciate the moment than when there are no plans?”
In summer 2011, they advanced to the Musicpalooza Battle of the Bands finals. The following year, they revamped their website and embarked on a three state, two week summer tour of CA, OR, and WA, including an August 17 show at the Seattle Hempfest. Around the same time, their video for “Mexico” debuted online (August 8).
In summer 2012, a three state, two week tour of CA, OR, and WA wrapped up with a homecoming gig at Winstons in OB on September 7. During the tour, according to Warner, “We played a show on August 31 at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ. Halfway through the set, a girl helped herself up onstage to dance with various members of our band. When she came over to my side, she started taking some of her clothes off and dancing all over me and giving me little kisses while we were jamming out. Her boyfriend was front row trying to get her down, though that was not going to happen.”
“I felt very awkward at the end of our show when he was congratulating me on a great set.” In early 2013, they embarked on a four-state tour that wrapped up at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
A new single was released in 2015, “Free,” followed by a new album in 2016, Wake Up. The album was recorded at 17th Street Recording Studios in Costa Mesa with Lewis Richards and mastered with Pete Doell at Universal Mastering Studios. It includes a cover of the Doors' “People Are Strange,” recorded at Robbie Krieger's studio and produced by Kaleo Wassman from Pepper. The track “Island” features Matt Liufau from Seedless.
As for the title Wake Up, Warner says "The message behind our album is to follow your inner voice, disregard conventionalism in the name of chasing your dreams, and be thankful for the love and support around you."