Hard Rock & Metal

Interview With Jeff Carlson

Interview With Jeff Carlson

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?

Jeff: No, I just finished a US Tour from March through April, so I am taking the month of May and June off to recharge my batteries and there’s plans to do an acoustic solo tour in August and September.


XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?

Jeff: The band was formed originally in June of 2018, but I’m putting the band on hold for now and doing an acoustic solo tour later this year.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?

Jeff: The music. I’ve always been a believer that if you’ve got good songs, then everything else will fall into place.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?

Jeff: I started off in music when my mom took me to see Kiss and I also met Jim Dandy Mangrum from Black Oak Arkansas as a kid. That made a huge impression on me. My dad also took me to see Ozzy and REO Speedwagon in front of 80,000 people and that made a huge impression as well. He also took me at the age of 14 to sit in with local bar bands and that really started my passion to play live.

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?

Jeff: I think it conveys big guitar riffs, along with melodic vocals. We would be a really great fit for an opener for Shinedown or Daughtry.

XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?

Jeff: I want to build my name in the business because at the end of the day, your name will either make you or break you. I also want to build my audience through my live show.

XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?

Jeff: Both are rewarding, but I love the connection of a live audience.

XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Jeff: I write about the current problems that we are facing, but I try to stay away from political subjects. I also write about trying to give people hope.

XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?

Jeff: Being with people who surround you with the same goals. It takes a village to help break an artist, so you have to have people who all want to succeed together and work together, with everyone being like minded.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.

Jeff: No, unfortunately I have to be disciplined to get enough rest and eat right so I can give 110 %for each show.

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?

Jeff: I wish I had something to tell you, but I’ve never been asked for anything all that strange… lol!

XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?

Jeff: Absolutely 110 %! My wife and daughter are, my biggest supporters, and I’m really grateful for them!

XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?

Jeff: Stay true to your heart, and don’t try to be something that you’re not. Just be yourself and never give up.

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?

Jeff: I love playing Screamin ‘ Inside, and Juke Box Hero.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?

Jeff: There’s a ton of bands that inspired me. Early Bon Jovi, Kiss, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Warrant, Lillian Axe, Y&T, Tesla, Great White – (with Jack Russell), Daughtry, Def Leppard and Elvis Presley.

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?

Jeff: Tesla, Def Leppard, Bon-Jovi and me.

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?

Jeff: I would say singing with Frank Hannon from Tesla and playing a show as Mark Slaughter’s lead guitar player. I also released a remake of Foreigner’s Juke Box Hero and had Frank Hannon from Tesla play lead guitar on it, as well as I had Mark Slaughter play lead guitar on a remake of Journey’s LaDoDa on my last record.

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?

Jeff: I might be a soundman because that’s what I used to do for work before I started touring and I’m signed now to RFL Records.

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

Jeff: For full band shows, I play a Gibson Les Paul 1960 reissue, a Gibson Firebird, and a Ibanez Paul Stanley Cracked mirror Iceman through a Line 6 Bogner MK 2 Tube Head and a Line 6 4×12 cabinet. I also play an Ovation 12 string acoustic Exotic Woods with a direct box to plug in through the pa.

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?

Jeff: It’s tough, and a lot of success is measured through your social media numbers. I think that the music industry needs to go back to connecting with your fans through performance more, because that is who will make you, is your fans, not how many streams you have.

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?

Jeff: I love Elvis Presley. He was the epitome of class when it came to being generous to his fans, and he is my biggest musical inspiration.

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?

Jeff: I will be touring again this year with my solo acoustic tour, so once it’s announced come see me! Thank you all so very much for your support and all of the love you’ve shown me, I will see you guys out there soon!

XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!

Jeff: Thank you guys for having me! 🙏⚡

About the author

Bobby Caughron

Bobby Caughron is a music journalist and Editor-In-Chief for XS ROCK. He began a life-long fan of hard rock and metal music after hearing KISS as a kid. He is still an avid fan of the 80s metal scene and continues to discover and write about new music in all rock genres today.

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