On May 10, Jasmine Cain will drop her long-awaited new record, SEVEN — her first album in four years, and seventh overall. This Saturday, May the 4th, Cain and her band will celebrate the album with an out-of-this-world Cantina-themed Nashville throwdown that happens to fall on the globally-celebrated Star Wars Day. Ahead of the festivities, The Rock Father™ Magazine caught up with Cain to get the full details on the new record, and the southern-flavored space shindig that's about to go down.
The Rock Father Magazine: Other than being your 7th album, the number 7 is viewed as lucky in some cultures and mystical in the spiritual world. How has the journey been to create this latest chapter and what are your reasons for the title?
Jasmine Cain (JC): We are super excited about this new album! We did our last studio album, White Noise, in 2015 and then our Live album in 2017, but SEVEN has been in the works for 2 years now! We took our time and did everything the way we WANTED to do it instead of what time allowed for. When determining the name for this album, I just kept being drawn to the number SEVEN. Usually I find a title I like on the record and name the album after that, or find a common thread in the writing that brings me to the title. But this time, it was much different. This title came as a feeling, and energy if you will. I tried some new things on the record that I've never done before and never considered doing in previous records and it was a freeing move. I let go of the death grip I usually have over the direction and let it take it's natural course and that pattern of higher thinking brought me to the name. SEVEN is harmony. SEVEN is completion. SEVEN is lucky. How can you go wrong with that? Now watch...those SEVEN's will be popping up on you all day tomorrow. Just wait!
The first single is “Be Brave,” a mid-tempo rocker that recalls the best of Heart, Halestorm and Whitesnake. What was the inspiration for this song and how has the early reaction been?
I couldn't be more thrilled with the initial reaction to Be Brave. I just had someone send me a photo of her new tattoo with those words after hearing the song. It is her new mantra. Radio has been more than responsive with it and it seems to be the perfect bridge between the gap of the extremes that we actually are. I love what the lyrics say. I love the way it puts you in a mindset to take on whatever comes. I love the message it sends to anyone out there that may be struggling with something. The song was written with and inspired by my longtime friend and co-writer, Paige Logan, who has walked through fire more times than I can count and always walked out the other side out of the ashes better than she was before. We all need someone to look to when trying to decide what kind of person we want to become. She has been a teacher to me for many years. She is really amazing.
Other key tracks include “Ghost,” "Real World,” Burnout,” “Money” and “Are You Ready.” Is there an overarching theme that threads the record? Which track(s) is your favorite?
JC: I write what I know or what I'm experiencing at the time. Most songs came to me because of something I was dealing with at the time. I can't really find my favorite track because I really love them all. I'll leave finding those favorites up to you guys!
Tell us a little bit about your “Cainiacs,” your supercharged superfans, and the Patreon campaign you’re offering?
JC: Let me just start by saying, we have the most incredible fans in the world. They are our family. They bring us home cooked meals and give us space, time, and silence when we need it most. They offer us their homes to rest and hide out in when we are out on the road. They share their lives and life stories with us and inspire us when we need it most. They are truly the reason I keep moving every day. Now that we've established that....
Patreon is ahhhhmazing! I love the fact that we can interact on a more personal level withe our superfans. We do live web chats and play songs they request and design custom artwork...you know...all the things artists are supposed to be doing instead of figuring out how this new song we just recorded is going to pay rent. This platform takes all middle men out of the equation and puts us exactly where we want to be...which is with our fans and friends making music, creating art, writing songs that change the world and resonate with people's lives.
On your last album, 2015’s, White Noise, you had cameos from Michael Starr of Steel Panther and Jeff LeBar of Cinderella. Who’s in the mix on this one? Any special guests on board?
JC: This album was such a strain on me for who to use musically. I always like to include my band because I want them to feel a part of everything we do! But I just couldn't turn down the chance to bring in Christopher Williams (Accept) on drums for this album. He gets it. He's always gotten it. He was a member of this band for 2 years and was always a ridiculous talent, but he's grown as a person and a drummer more than I could've ever imagine. He was perfect for this project and we did not edit one single drum hit. It was perfect. Every. Single. Hit.
Our guitarist, Jordan Roepke, was fairly new to the band when we started this record and we didn't really have any idea what he was really capable of. He is a progressive metal junkie and we were making a pop/rock record, so I didn't think he was going to be interested in contributing, but once I gave him the reins...he took it and ran! The solos he was coming up with were well-thought out and perfectly executed. Once we let him loose on these songs, we decided it wasn't worth it to have anyone else take a stab at it. He was the one the entire time.
In your music, we hear a lot of the classics but also a fresh modern rock sound. Who are some of your influences and which is the one band you would love to tour with the most?
JC: I don't think it's a secret that I grew up with Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, and Heart as a kid. I internalized what made those songs great. As a kid, you're just a sponge soaking everything up and it stays with you always. The real trick is staying current. I listen to all kinds of music, but we get the most out of progressive metal and pop to keep it modern. I gotta give Caleb Sherman a lot of credit on this record for bringing some really fresh and current sounds to these songs. He and Monique Staffile (HER) really brought that New York rock 'n roll attitude to our Southern Rock and Progressive Metal party. It was a very unorthodox and interesting collaboration. But in the end, it totally worked. I really hope we get the chance to work together again.
On Saturday, you’re hosting a “May the 4th Be With You” Cantina Party in your hometown of Nashville to celebrate the album release. Tying into Star Wars, you’ll have prop replicas, live lightsaber duel demonstrations, and a full-bore rock show. Plus, Hip Hop Trooper (who we just saw at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago) and Femi Taylor (Oola from Return of the Jedi) will be on hand, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This sounds like a blast. Death Star beware! Give us the full details.
JC: This show is going to be DOPE!!! I wanted to give Nashville an opportunity to get the new album before we hit the road and stay gone all Summer. This seemed like the PERFECT opportunity for us to host a real EVENT in Nashville. The (death) stars were aligning and we just had to make this happen. We had the hardest time finding a venue. Why doesn't anyone have to have a party to celebrate not only The Force but it's also Free Comic Book Day? This was a no-brainer. We finally got Little Harpeth Brewing Co. to come onboard as a venue and we started slamming this together immediately! Our first call was to Jeremy Miller, who is the head of Epoch Entertainment to make this come to fruition. He contacted Femi Taylor and she agreed instantly to make this happen. Jeremy also had connections in the 501st Legion, which is a non-profit organization who donates all proceeds they earn to Make- A-Wish Foundation. That was something we really wanted to include, and The Midsouth Garrison came on board. We also were able to secure Hip Hop Trooper in his red Stormtrooper costume and his oversized boombox. He will be doing his street routine and then hosting the dance party after the show. Additional entertainment includes a Shannon Million & The Space Force Burlesque show, and a light saber duel with The Saber Legion of Nashville. Life size replicas of C-3PO and other props will be on display and we will have a cash payout costume contest. General Admission has early bird tickets for $12 and after the first 100 are sold, tickets are $15. We also offer VIP for meet & greet with Femi Taylor, a swag bag from our sponsors, catering, and the first keg from Little Harpeth is on us! You can get tickets on Eventbrite.
You typically do about 150 shows per year and have opened for the likes of Skid Row, Great White, Heart, Powerman 5000, Finger 11 and Three Days Grace. Where will you be visiting in 2019 and what can fans expect at this year’s edition?
JC: People can always expect to see me at most major motorcycle rallies across the country, but this year we are taking this show out West! It's been 8 years since we visited the Southwest/Southern California area. I just can't stay away any longer. I've devoted the entire month of April to the Southwest. We kick it off in Scottsdale, Arizona during Arizona Bike Week at Dirty Dogg Saloon and then bounce around between San Diego, Los Angeles, and Phoenix before landing in Las Vegas on the last weekend at the Golden Nugget during Laughlin River Run. I'm so pumped to come back. I've always loved it out West. Los Angeles was my destination originally and I ended up taking a wrong turn and landing in Nashville. Don't get me wrong, I love Nashville and I'm glad I'm here...but I'll always have love in my heart for LA. \
A lot of your touring hits the motorcycle circuit, playing at rallies and massive bike weeks in Sturgis, Myrtle Beach, Daytona Beach and Arizona. Which one is your favorite? Give us an inside scoop on what these events are like.
JC: Who doesn't love being on the beach? I mean, I get to experience all of the beaches throughout the year and it is so different and so beautiful at each one. But if you're asking me about a favorite, I have to give it to my hometown of Sturgis, South Dakota. Nothing fills my soul more than going home and seeing my family and long time friends and exploring the lands I grew up in. I know it like the back of my hand and yet it's like the first time every time I go back. There is so much history there and it will always be the place I belong. I have such a connection with the Black Hills.
In addition to a full assortment of apparel and limited edition glassware, you also have your own line of coffees under the names, Suicide Blonde and Coffin and you’ll soon be offering a special reserve blend, a line of wine and a craft brew. Now, we’re thirsty. Give us the full rundown.
C: Coffee is what keeps me going! I have partnered with Sturgis Coffee Company to bring you guys the best coffee out there. We take this shit seriously...I mean...really seriously. We have a dark roast 3-bean blend called Coffin Coffee that is full bodied and what I love about it is that you don't get that burnt bean bitter taste at the end. It's smooth. It's kind. I love it. If you need a little more kick, the Suicide Blonde is a lighter roast. Another three-bean blend with a hint of blueberry for you breakfast blend lovers. The lighter you roast a bean, the more caffeinated it is, so you're getting more bang for your buck here. Most of the time, this was the only two blends we offered, but this past year we got a little creative and decided to combine my South Dakota roots with my Tennessee home! We worked together with Jack Daniel's to get several barrels to the facility and let those coffin coffee beans age in those barrels for two months...rotating the barrel a 1/4 turn every week. That labor of love cranked out our Whiskey Kiss coffee and we are #SorryNotSorry. It's so delicious we decided to keep it on small batches and so it's only available for a limited time. We definitely plan to do this again later this year and we've been kicking around doing a wine cask/coffee combo with a chocolatey concoction next year. I'm hoping to bring some Nashville based (Kix Brooks owned) Arrington Wine Casks to the party next year if all goes well.
JC: Oh yes. I'm one of those that sees every Go Fund Me come through and it just breaks my heart to see people struggle. I know what it's like to struggle so hard it makes you hurt. I donate quite often to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, ASPCA, Humane Society, and spend some time serving the homeless meals on holidays. I actually love that. In my opinion, everyone should do that at some point of their lives. If you ever forget what the holidays are about...that is a great reminder.
Bonus Round: Top 5 Desert Island Discs
- Karnivool - Sound Awake
- Ghost - Meliora
- Taylor Swift - 1989
- Mastadon - Once More 'Round The Sun
- Ed Sheeran - Divide
I don't have an ego. I love all music.
Connect with Jasmine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jasminecainrocks/
Not long ago, on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, I had a chance to take a look at a nice chunk of footage from Walt Disney Animation Studios' 57th feature, Ralph Breaks the Internet. Given the long development and production time required for an animated feature on this scale, the follow-up to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph is an unusually timely story that arrives just as retro gaming is reaching its peak as we enter a holiday season where some of this year's must-have gifts are firmly-rooted in a simpler time with an arcade past. Just as real-life gamers are longing to go back in time, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) are headed for the future... but the future is now. From Litwak's Arcade to the internet, the creative team behind the film had a huge task ahead of them in order to build and populate a digital world that could have believably been expanding for decades.
It was nearly three years ago that I'd first met up with Director Rich Moore and Producer Clark Spencer on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. It was then, on a detour from working the Global Media Event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that I had a chance to join them (along with Director Byron Howard) to take an early look at what was shaping up to be the 55th feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios - Zootopia. Fast-forward to July 2018 and I was back in a screening room on the Disney lot, but this time it was with Moore, Spencer and Director/Writer Phil Johnston for a sneak-preview of work-in-progress footage from the 57th Disney Animation feature, Ralph Breaks the Internet. Set for release on November 21, 2018, the crew was working feverishly as they entered the home stretch and as always, the collaborative efforts of team was showing as they continue to shape these films until they finally have to escape.
GIN BLOSSOMS, one of the top alt-rock groups of the '90s who celebrated the 25th anniversary of their multi-platinum album New Miserable Experience last year, recently issued their first new album in eight years, MIXED REALITY (produced by Don Dixon). They continue to tour and are as committed to the road as ever (see below for upcoming tour dates). We recently caught up with them and asked how the band maintains their sanity as they log more miles and check in and out of hotels.
Kids should be allowed to be kids and enjoy the freedom of unstructured imaginative play. That's a message that I've spoken of often, and it's one that's placed firmly at the heart of Disney's Christopher Robin. In that film, Christopher (Ewan McGregor) has grown up, and as a father himself, he's forgotten about the importance and magic of play. For his daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), childhood is headed in a bleaker direction until some familiar characters from The Hundred Acre Wood arrive, reminding Christopher of what once was and what still could be. In Los Angeles last week, I had a chance to meet with the 11-year-old actress inhabiting the role of Madeline to discuss the experience of joining Winnie the Pooh and friends for their first live-action adventure. Already a professional actor with a bright career ahead of her, how does Bronte play?
On this week's episode of the Power Kid Podcast, the featured guest is a familiar one... me. Each week, toy industry veteran Phil Albritton interviews amazing people making amazing things for kids. Toys, games, books, media - he covers it all in the only podcast dedicated to the modern children's entertainment industry. Phil and I had connected over on LinkedIn, and one big question he had was how my career trajectory took me from covering horror movies and entertainment for FANGORIA to penning columns for Sprout Channel's late Sprout Parents site. On the show I explain how all that happened, and discuss a bit of my backstory, from working in retail 20 years ago to entering the world of film & tv to winding up here, covering toys and pop culture for the likes of The Toy Insider, Toy Book and The Pop Insider. We also discuss my deep-dive into the collapse of Toys "R" Us, and close things out with some words about raising kids and parenting in the "gig economy" - where success today is still staring-down an uncertain tomorrow. Check it out on Stitcher, iTunes or in the player below!