Today on our Hot Seat we have Jay Kipps, chief songwriter and lead vocalist of Jay Kipps Band.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Jay Kipps : I formed the Jay Kipps Band in 2015 in Hills of Dufferin County located just north of Toronto in a small town called Mono, Ontario.
I live on a property surrounded by forests and trail and enjoy living there because my happiest memories are from camping trips and spending time in the wilderness. It is also place that is great for song writing. I first began performing while back-packing around the world. I could busk or join in with a band to make some extra money so that I could continue my journey or pay for my next train ticket.
I became more serious about music in my 30’s. As canoe guide, hitchhiker and traveler in my youth, I found friendship and solace in the Harmonica. Traveling throughout the extreme of Northern Canada, down to Central America, across Europe and throughout the Himalayas, it was the harp that really kept me company.
I actually began playing professionally later than most people. I have played guitar off and on since university and harmonica since high-school but had no formal training.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to launch ‘jay Kipps Band’?
Jay Kipps : I started my first band just before the death of a child. That had me digging pretty deep into my emotions and my experiences, while exploring my passion for playing music – I sunk my grief into song writing and I have found that just as my harp had comforted me and had taken me to safe harbors in the remote wilderness in the past, it continues to guide me through my musical journey today.
It also helped that I was inspired from an early age by my Dad’s amazing record collection. I grew up on a steady diet of Harry Nilsson, Sonny Boy Williamson, The Ventures, Neil Young, The Band and The Grateful Dead.
Twist Online : Our readers would like to know more about the band members and their roles in the band?
Jay Kipps : We are very blessed to have Chad Burford on lead guitar. Chad has a light touch and great tone. He brings a lot of our surf flavour to the surface and gets my affinity for Roots-Americana, Blues and Spaghetti Western. We have been playing together since the moment we first met. We connect musically and he is a great song writing partner. Chad and I see eye to eye on a creative level and have really similar influences from the 60s and 70s.
Chris Lubker holds down the bottom end with some awesome and innovative bass playing. He really brings a unique approach unlike any other bass player I have played with. His rig and his sound is more like baritone guitar than your typical base sound. I think it gives us a really unique sound.
Cory Bruyea plays drums on the record but he has a new baby on the way so Rob Sproul has been taking on the drumming responsibilities. Rob and I have played together for years and he can hold a train shuffle down as fast and long as I can play it which is important because that sound seems to find its way into a lot of my songs.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent release?
Jay Kipps : We released 2 singles, Everyone But Me, and Rotten Apple Blues this past summer and followed that up with an EP and a full length record this fall called How To Polish Your Longhorns. We are excited to have our music out there. It is really cool to hear it on the radio. Every song is a different experience. You will find yourself asking if you are still listening to the same band as you progress thru the tracks on the record. We tried to put in something for everyone and keep people looking for more rather than producing a bunch of tracks that all sound the same. This is a record that is great driving music. A dude can rock out to a slow burner like Everyone But Me and his girl can give him the space to do it because she knows it will be followed up by a romantic ballad for her like The Only Reason and then that will be followed up with a rockin surf tune like Surfarie, or a roots rock classic like Sinister. There is something for everyone on this record or at least that’s what our fans are telling us.
Twist Online : What kind of response you have received from the release?
Jay Kipps : So far so good. It has been really positive. We feel really lucky. The best part has been hearing from other musicians and bands we admire that say they are digging it like Catl, The Sadies, Bill Poss, and Charlie Roth. They have all been really supportive.
Twist Online : What attracts you more, performing on stage or working in studios?
Jay Kipps : They are totally different animals. I love the energy of performing and I find being in the studio really rewarding creatively but they are totally different. People tell us that we sound exactly the same live as we do on the record. That was really important to us. We wanted to make a record that was true to how we play and I think we have done that.
Twist Online : What’s your favorite music genre?
Jay Kipps : Roots Americana
Twist Online : Have you set some target to achieve as a music artist?
Jay Kipps : There are a few venues we definitely want to play and bands we would love to play with. It would be great to break even on the costs that come with making a record. We are not there yet but we are getting close. Someone smarter than me once said that the music business is a great way to almost make a living. It isn’t easy but we are getting there.
Twist Online : Are you currently working on any other project?
Jay Kipps : Yes, we have 15 new originals underway and plan on putting out a new EP this summer.
For further information on the band and for music you can visit
Facebook: has http://www.facebook.com/jaykippsband