J.P. Ranger (Jean-Pierre Ranger).
Where are you from?
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Name of band:
JP Ranger Band.
Who else is in your band?
Rey Cote: saxophone, lead guitar, mandolin
Gilles Cholette: drums and percussion.
Glen Scammell: bass guitar
Complete bio is at www.jpranger.com (temporarily web site for the JP Ranger Band is Reverbnation site).
How would you describe yourselves?
Well, essentially we’re four veteran musicians in our 50s that have evolved over the years through various styles of music ranging from Rock to R&B and Americana, and pretty well everything in between.
We’ve all had long stints or periods in our lives where we played music for a living then altered to part-time playing with a day job. We’re in the latter phase at this time, but we still consider ourselves full-time musicians with a day job.
Two of the members are music teachers, being Rey Cote and Gilles Cholette. Glen Scammell is a producer engineer as well as bass player. I’m mostly a songwriter/singer, and also producer/engineer.
Though we may - to some in the business - fit in the category of ‘Old farts’, we have well over 100 years of musical experience between the four of us, so in that manner, we are still musical warriors and feel we can contribute to the overall human musical canvas. We write and play because we love music. We admire young artists like old. All are gold.
Who are your main influences musically?
If I were to name actual bands, it would be endless. To break it down to roots. I’d say the Beatles and The Stones along with all other great UK bands that came after were our initial influences. From there, we spread out back into the Delta Blues, American Rock, folks and country artists. We’ve had extensive experience with Prog Rock and Jazz & Fusion. Those music styles helped us to develop and recognize dynamics in music. Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel and The Police come to mind. Any of these combinations of styles will appear in the various songs we create along with new influences. We really like Porcupine Tree. They kick ass.
What do you hope to achieve in music?
Well, we have short, midterm and long term goals. Trying to get quite a few things into motion and in synch is always a challenge.
A short term goal is to complete the JP Ranger Band’s second CD. We’re about half way through the process, and have actually published four singles for the next CD. The currently released songs being: Yéha, Mother’s Fury, Ghost Girl and Run. A fifth single called Driftin’ Man is in the works. All of these singles are available for purchase on CD Baby or iTunes under JP Ranger Band if folks want to give us a hand with completing the CD which will consist of between 10 to 13 songs. We always appreciate the help.
A mid-term goal is to get back out there and play ‘live’. So we’re practicing for a scheduled show coming up on June 15 at the Westborough Masonic Hall in Ottawa, Ontario. This is a really nice and small theatre hall and will give us the lift we need to get going with more gigs. Momentum is everything. We’d like to concentrate more on playing the listening-audience type venues and festivals. Bars we’ve done plenty of over the many years, got the T-Shirt for that. We’ll play a club that presents and supports artists, or if it’s for a charity event.
Another mid-term goal would be do record a view videos to promote the band and song singles we’re putting out there. We’re trying to get this happening to coincide with the new CD release planned for the Autumn. It’s not easy to coordinate such activities when you all work during day, and there’s the financing aspect of it all as well. We need to keep our costs down while producing quality recordings.
The long-term goal is to put out and publish as much music as we can, while we are healthy to do so. We love music, but also with the plan of securing some licensing agreements to promote our music, and to generate streams of income, so we can produce better songs and better recordings for our audiences.
And sure why not? If it snowballs into a grand success, so be it, but we’re simply appreciate the fact that we can get together, play some songs, record them, and maybe inspire and help a few people along the way.. Who knows what the future will bring?
What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
As a band, I’d say doing the ‘live’ CD release for our first CD Living Here was a ‘hoot.’ We were scheduled to step on stage at a local club at 10:30 pm. We had a full house. We were suppose to do two 50 minute sets, and we went on a played for about three hours straight. The people & venue owners loved it and so did we. I also invited some musicians that I had played with in the past to join us, and we did a few numbers with them. The evening made us all feel like we were 18—crowd included.
I’ve had other public appearances over the years that involved a lot more people in bigger venues and theatres that were highlights, but I guess coming out of a hiatus and playing your music ‘live’ to an audience is always very special. We were all thankful for the experience.
And what’s the moment you want to forget?
Yeah there’s quite a few of those. You build them up over time. But instead of crapping out on certain people, I’d rather pass on some positives to other artists.
I’ll just say that’s it’s better to remain an indie artist than to rush and sign with a record company that is going to ask you for an investment upfront for their services, which can be a fair amount of coin like 10 or 20k. You could finish your audio studio with that money.
If you sign with a firm, make sure they have a good track record. Goggle the crap out them and talk to their artists for feedback. If their artists don’t want to talk to you then that’s a clear red flag. Make sure the firm has artists that are ‘currently’ out there and successful. Yesteryear may count and look good for experience’s sake, but many people who claim they were famous or worked with famous people 20 years ago may not be the same person they were back then. Many may have fallen on hard times and won’t be able to help you.
If and when there comes a time to work and sign with someone, it’s like love. It will feel natural and it will be meant to be. If the person you’re dealing is wishy-washy get the hell out of there. They will waste your cash, time and hold you back. Perhaps even put you back by years. Then you get depressed. In the music business, it’s not how many times you fall. What counts is that you get back up to fight again and learn from the past. Anyway, I’m not saying anything new here. I’ve found a peace in playing music in that I find I’m a better person when I do play and write then when I don’t do so. If you leave all that musical energy bottled up inside and do nothing with it, then it can turn against you and make you a miserable person. So don’t fret about being a commercial success too much. Enjoy music. It will add strength and years to your life. You also get to give to others as well.
If you could choose just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
That’s a difficult question. The JP Ranger Band embodies many styles. Some songs are more guitar oriented while others are more sax oriented. These instruments create very different feels. However, if I were to pick one song it will have to be one we call ‘Run’. It embodies many of the elements and influences that we have. The song is dynamic both slow & fast pace.
Run is also a story, and I like story-telling. Run is about a wolf who is pursued relentlessly by a hunter. During the hunt, the wolf experiences epiphanies of human consciousness on how it would be, if the tables were turned—the wolf be the hunter and the hunter be the wolf. In the end, the wolf is killed, and the hunter serves no further purpose. He lives out his life. They both die and are both reborn with their roles in life now alternated.
The vocal is melodic and typical of how I will perform and write lyrics for a song. I write the lyrics at the same time as the melody—rarely separately The drums and bass are hand-in-hand. While the acoustic guitar and lead guitar complement one another. Some moments in Run are powerful musically and other passages convey images, portraits and landscapes.
Where can we listen to it?
There are 16 songs on the JP Ranger Band’s Reverbnation.site many songs of which can be downloaded freely. The site presents some new singles: ‘Yéha’, ‘Ghost Girl’, Run, and ‘Mother’s Fury’ along with songs from the previous CD Living Here, and the site also presents a few TROTL songs, the latter being a ‘Prog Rock’ band I played with during the 80s.
Where can we find out more about your music?
A new web site for the JP Ranger Band is in design state, so all the following links will forward to the JP Ranger Reverbnation site for the time being:
Other links with music where you will find J.P. Ranger
Yet another link
Sailing the Empress of Ireland CD Baby site. This was a non-profit project between four Canadian artists to help raise funds for The Empress of Ireland Artefacts Committee, Alberta, Canada. Its mission to promote and preserve the memories and artefacts of the Empress of Ireland, a Canadian Pacific Railway owned steamship liner that sunk in the St-Lauwrence River, in Quebec, Canada in 1914 with 1012 souls lost.
Anything else you’d like to say about your band that I forgot to ask?
The official band email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again for this and the chance to promote our music.