EMQ’s with PHARMACOSE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Jacksonville, Florida based Alternative Rock band, Pharmacose. Huge thanks to vocalist/ guitarist, Wes Jones, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Wes Jones, and I am the singer and rhythm guitarist of Pharmacose. Pharmacose has been around since late 2017, when I met Lu (Rubino – Bassist). We were introduced through a mutual friend. I had some songs I wanted to record, and my friend recommended Lu Rubino to me. We recorded those songs under the name Digital Array. We ended up pulling that record and reworking the songs, as well as writing new ones. We decided to rebrand ourselves, and we renamed ourselves Pharmacose. Lu is a great bassist, so he wanted to play bass. Albert, our drummer, has known Lu for many years, so we brought him in. I later found Kevin on Craigslist actually, and he rounded out our line-up.
How did you come up with your band name?
Pharmacose is a combination of the words “pharmaceutical” and “comatose.” I had just been thinking about antidepressants and mood stabilizers, and how they affect those of us with mental illness.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are in the US. I think people always say that rock is dead, but they’ve been saying that for decades now. There is still plenty of great new rock and metal. But I think rap and pop are what the majority of people listen to.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)
We just did a video for our song ‘Checked Out’. You can check it out on You Tube. It’s from our EP coming out in a few months.
Who have been your greatest influences?
I listened to mostly alternative and hard rock growing up, so that’s probably my biggest influence. Bands like Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Tool, etc. Also, some less mainstream bands, like Failure and Catherine Wheel. I love synths as well, and I think I got that from listening to too much Nine Inch Nails when I was younger!
What first got you into music?
I started playing the violin when I was about 6 and played it up through college. I kind of let it lapse, though, in favour of guitar. I taught myself to play guitar when I was 17 or so and have been playing and writing music ever since.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I think Jerry Cantrell. The guy can do it all. I love the vocal harmonies he used to create with Layne Staley.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I lived in Chicago for 7 years, and I went to Lollapalooza most years I was there. It’s such a killer experience.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I haven’t gotten any gifts from fans!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We talk a lot about mental health in our songs. Although we advocate for mental health, it’s more on a human level. That is, if you think you are depressed or something isn’t right, please reach out to someone. You are never alone, even though it feels that way at times. Depression and other forms of mental illness have a way of warping our sense of reality. Please reach out. We lose too many people to suicide.
If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love writing. I love that we get to write and record something, and we can listen back and think “we did that.” It’s a cool feeling.
I think what I hate most is that music equipment is so expensive, and we need so much of it!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I think payola still exists in one form or the other. I’d want to eliminate anything that could even remotely be considered payola.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“De-Loused in the Comatorium” by The Mars Volta
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I still have a big collection of CD’s at my parents’ house, but CD’s have become so inconvenient. People might hate me for saying that, but I like downloads. I like having access to all my favourite songs on my phone.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Last year we played a benefit in St. Augustine, FL, for a local musician that died several years ago. It was to benefit his family. It felt good to do our part.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Well, I am still a practicing medical doctor, so I would be doing that!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
What’s next for the band?
After the release of the video for “Checked Out,” our next single, “The Clearing,” came out on streaming services on 28th February 2020. We have a video for that song that came out shortly thereafter. Kurt St. Thomas directed both of the videos, and we are really stoked about them. We also have 2 EP’s to release this year. So, lots of material to look forward to. Also, we are always looking to add live events!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Nothing that hasn’t been covered!
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