The Jumpcats are not American not even English but they come from Denmark like the Taggy Tones, The Jime and the Nekromantix. “Where is my quiff”is the first length CD for that 2001 officially born band. So why waitin so long? Let me explain you the sad sad story… In 2002 was released a very promising four tracks CD demo and in January 2004 the guys started out recording what was to be a full length album with almost entirely Jumpcats originals.
Bad Luck – the studios system broke down and everything recorded disappeared! Now what? A long story of finding time, finding a new studio and a new technician/ producer.
But here they are today with their brand new CD and let me tell that it is worth the time waitin The yesterday unlucky guys have answered to some of our questions

by Dave "Long Tall" Phisel

Have you played with other bands before?
Pete (lead vocals/ guitar/ harmonica/raygun): I’ve played in a lot of other bands both in England and Holland – but mainly as a drummer, and mainly in rock/punk/pop bands. I switched to rhythm guitar / vocals with the Jumpcats about 5 years ago.
Carsten (drums/washboard/vocals): I have played with a lot of different bands/musicians through the years until I joined The Jumpcats in 2001. But this is my first rockabilly band.
Søren (doghouse slapbass/vocals): I was one the founding fathers of the rockabilly band Who Slapped John? which later on evolved into The Jumpcats.

How long have you been playing music?
Pete: Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper!
Carsten: I started out learning to play the snare drum in the schools marching band when I was 9 years old.
Søren: Since I was a kid. In the beginning imitating The Beatles together with my kid brother playing on homemade guitars. Later on it got more serious.

How did you get started?
Pete: My mum had a classical guitar which I plinked around on from an early age, and I had an older friend who played drums, so that also attracted me. In the end I inherited his drum-kit, so that meant I had to be in a band, so I roped in a couple of my mates to learn guitar & bass. They were terrible. Eventually formed a band at school which played quite a lot locally.
Carsten: At 12 I started a band with some classmates inspired by The Beatles and other British bands of the time.
A couple of years after we were a well known band in the local area.
Søren: I was raised on classical music, started on a cello as a kid. Got into a local orchestra but it never really caught my imagination much. So eventually I quit playing cello and – after a long break – got myself a bass guitar, and an upright bass too. That really got me going again.

So you grew up in a musical family?
Pete: As I said my mum had a guitar, and she was fairly musical, though not in a big way. My dad was completely non-musical combined with a complete lack of any sense of rhythm! So make of that what you will! I was given piano lessons as a child, so I guess the musical part was always there.
Carsten: Not particularly. But my parents had a lot of records and I grew up listening to the radio a lot.
Søren: My dad and his side of the family are quite musical. My dad was a bass player in his younger days. He got me into playing cello. Not exactly a rock´n´roll instrument, but it does give you a lot of basics that are useful on a double bass.

Do you remember the first record you bought and/or when you first ‘Woahh, that’s what I want to do’?
Pete: I actually inherited a lot of original 60’s singles by e.g. the Beatles, Stones, Small Faces etc., and I remember that inspiring me to play in a band. The first record I can remember drumming along to though was ‘Ruby, don’t take your love to town’. Still like that song! The first record I bought was ‘Fireball’ by Deep Purple – not very rockabilly at all, but with a brilliant drum start!
Carsten: I don’t really remember the first record I bought - but I’m sure it was a Beatles 45. I do remember my first big kick though. My brother is 6 years older than me and he had a record player and a bunch of Elvis singles. I used to sneak into his room when he was out and play them to pieces. I totally freaked out to “Little sister/ His latest flame”. Today they are still favourites of mine.
Søren: My first record ever was “Remembering - the greatest hits of Bob Wills”. I´d heard some old Bob Wills tunes on the radio one late night. I thought they were great (and I still do). The next day I went straight to the record shop and got the record. I just had to own it even though I didn´t even have a record player.

Let's talk about your influences?
Pete: I haven’t really got any single person I try and emulate – but of course if you sing an Elvis number it’s tempting to try and sound like him; I guess he’s still got to be number one vocally. The guy just had an incredible voice, he could do anything with it, and a terrific range. But I also admired Gene Vincent. I once read that in the studio he had to sing in a different room than the rest of the band because he sang too quietly, but he put a ton of feeling and expression in his vocals.
Carsten: I have been influenced by a lot of drummers. It all depends on what kind of music I have been playing. But Gene Krupa knocked me out when I was a kid – and guys like Jim Keltner always make me wanna stop playing the drums.
According to rockabilly in general Johnny Burnette and Carl Perkins are the greatest – and on the contemporary scene I think guys like Darrel Higham and Wayne Hancock are really really good!
Søren: I´ve been listening to truckloads of rhythm´n´blues, early rockabilly and 1950´s rock´n´roll. But I can´t deny the influence of classical music (!) and jazz as well. My interest in rockabilly music was very much catapulted by the records from the 1980´s of Robert Gordon and The Stray Cats.

Do you remember the first show you played?
Pete: I remember my first paid public performance as a drummer – it was with a jazz band that came to play at my school, their drummer didn’t turn up, so I sat in for them. I got five pounds for that – which at the time to me seemed like a fortune – for drumming! Incredible! My first gig with the Jumpcats I think was at a private function in a hotel – very un-rockabilly!
Carsten: My very first gig was at a school dance when the band (I believe they were called The Fops!) was taking a break.
First public gig was as a support act to Danish teen idol Peter Belli at a local dance hall.
First gig with The Jumpcats was at a small pub in Copenhagen. We were all the time told to turn down the volume.
Søren: One of my first performances was in music school doing a solo piece on cello. I did alright. But when I heard the school´s big band I thought, yes! Being with a band like that would be really fun!

Did you have any studio experience prior to the recording of your album?
Pete: I’d been in the studio many times before as a drummer, and we’d done a couple a demos with the Jumpcats before that. But I guess it was our first ‘real studio CD’.
Carsten: I have recorded with Danish bands Route 66, Le Garage and The Heartbeats before recording with The Jumpcats (4 track demo in 2002 and the album which we started on in 2005).

Was it done live in the studio?
Pete: The basic rhythm tracks were played live, but unfortunately it wasn’t done as live as I would have liked – we did quite a lot of overdubbing and a lot more twiddling of buttons than I think they would have done in the 50’s!
Carsten: Yes, we would have liked it to have more of a live feeling to it but it was difficult because we recorded it over quite a long period.
Søren: I agree.

What is the most memorable gigs you played?
Pete: I can remember a wedding we played many years ago – but that was memorable for the wrong reasons! I think they regretted hiring a rockabilly band in the end – all we got was requests for Danish rock bands or Sweet Home Alabama, stuff like that! And nobody danced! So we ended up just rockin’ away to ourselves in the corner!
But we did a great gig recently up in Uddevalla in Sweden together with a Swedish band, and that went really well. It was a huge old 50’s dancehall type place – and the audience really came to boogie!
Carsten: I believe the first gigs ever as a kid were quite mind blowing. With the Jumpcats it will have to be the so called “Punk and Billy Bash” shows in Copenhagen. Great fun!
Søren: That was definitely fun! I also remember an improvised acoustic gig we did one fine evening in the streets of Copenhagen some years ago during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. From the first note we played, people just started dancing like crazy, young and old alike!

When can we expect a new release?
Pete: We’ve just started working on a bunch of new stuff recently – so it won’t be for a little while. We have kicked around the idea of doing a little ‘mini-disc’ of some of our favourite live songs, but I guess you’ll just have to keep your ear to the ground on that one!
Carsten: Yes we are a quite slow moving band.

How about your future plans? Some gigs, festivals?
Pete: You’ll have to ask Carsten about that one….!!!
Carsten: None in particular. We are gigging regularly in Denmark. Hopefully we can do one or two festivals in 2007. Anybody interested? Give us a call!

What do you think about the rockbilly scene today in Denmark?
Pete: It’s fairly small - certainly compared with our neighbours Sweden which has a much bigger rockabilly scene. I think you can count the Danish "traditional" rockabilly bands on one hand - but the scene is growing.
Søren: New bands are coming up all with their own approach to the music. And of course there have been quite a few successful psychobilly bands coming from Denmark over the years.
Pete: But you know – Denmark’s a small country and the scene is a bit conservative in general which makes it hard for bands playing "niche" music.That's partly why we had to go abroad to get a decent record company to put out the CD.
Carsten: There is a growing scene in Europe – great! Lots of good bands around. Especially Swedish and Finnish - but also from the rest of Europe. Marc Fennech ( southern and rockin magazine) and the rest of the guys from the Empire label – as well as enthusiasts like your self are doing a great job promoting new bands from all over Europe.
I like it that western swing and hillbilly is becoming popular again. There is a bit too much straight Teddy Boy around – a bit boring in the long run I think.
In USA there is a vast number of great bands – and of course there will always be.

What are your favourite bands?
Pete: I listen to mostly old 50’s stuff – that’s where I really get my inspiration, so I’m not very up-to-date with contemporary rockabilly bands outside Denmark, although I am aware that there are a lot of brilliant rockabilly bands out there. We like Daryl Higham from England and I think the Daryl Haywood Combo from Finland have an excellent authentic sound. Basically anyone called Daryl is OK with us!
Carsten: I like the old stuff of course. Also I listen to a lot of pre rockabilly Honky tonk and Hillbilly music. And naturally Johnny Burnette again and again and again.
Søren: Oh yeah!
Carsten: On today’s scene I like Wayne Hancock, Lisa and her Kin, Big Sandy, The Go Getters from Sweden, Darryl Haywood Combo from Finland and our Danish friends Wild Wax Combo.
Søren: Don´t forget Hillbilly Hellcats and The Paladins!

A last word?
Pete: Aside from the bands, I think that’s it’s great there are so many enthusiastic mags and sites dedicated to rockabilly – to make certain rockabilly will never die!
Carsten: I agree. Should be fun to check out the French scene some day.
Pete: Mais oui!

The Jumpcats on the web : or www.myspace.comthejumpcats