JC Mears, Drummer for The Get Right Band
Meet JC Mears
It’s time to Get Right! Let’s Do This is excited to feature Jian-Claude “JC” Mears, the drummer for The Get Right Band, based in Asheville, North Carolina. Originally from Flemington, New Jersey, JC was drawn to Asheville for a musical opportunity which grew into a partnership with members of the band.
Get to Know The Get Right Band
The Huffington Post boasts “The Get Right Band are the type of performers that you just know will break out. Their songs are infectious and take you immediately to a very happy place. The lyrics are smart and bear weight.” They are one of Relix Magazine’s “On The Verge” picks, Home Grown Music Network’s 2015 “Best New Band of the Year,” and were voted “Best Progressive Band” in Western North Carolina by Mountain Xpress readers.
The Get Right Band has appeared on the the nationally syndicated NPR show, the World Cafe, a nationally syndicated NPR show, and have brought their unique sound to major festivals and venues such as FloydFest, The Orange Peel, Music City Roots TV Show, The Green Parrot, Arlene’s Grocery and Riverbend Fest. The Get Right Band has played shows with national acts such as Galactic, Rusted Root, Victor Wooten Band, Martin Barre (of Jethro Tull), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Turkuaz, Mike Dillon Band, Jeff Sipe Trio, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Jeff Coffin’s Mutet, Larry Keel and Bobby Lee Rodgers. Combining catchy, clever, honest songwriting with musical expertise and fearless improvisation, the live show promises to move your head, heart, and hips.
The band solidified in its current iteration in 2011, though it was years in the making. Original members Silas Durocher (guitarist/vocalist) and Jesse Gentry (bassist), have been playing music together since middle school. Durocher is a trained composer who has been commissioned to write for symphonies and chamber groups alike. JC Mears is a drummer with “precision, passion, and an inescapable momentum” (Live For Live Music). The group’s sound has become an unstoppable force in Western North Carolina and beyond.
LDT: What path led you to Asheville?
JCM: The first time that I visited Asheville, I was living in Clemson, South Carolina. I was touring and gigging steadily with a band that had gotten together in Clemson while the members were all going to school there. A buddy of mine was a guitar player in that band. Eventually half of the band moved away but the remaining members wanted to continue with the band and touring. I was living and gigging in San Francisco at the time.
My friend in Clemson and I had continued an open dialogue since high school and he explained the situation with his band members leaving. The cost of living in San Francisco made musician life difficult for me, so I moved to Clemson. Through me living in Clemson, and Asheville only being an hour and a half away, I had visited Asheville and that was my introduction to the area.
LDT: How did you get where you are now?
JCM: So I moved to Asheville and I didn’t know anyone. I was newly married. I wanted to get plugged in with other local musicians and tour nationally, if not internationally. I got a job at Mellow Mushroom while I continued exploring the musical opportunities of the area. Through my new job at Mellow, I meet several musicians, who introduce me to many more musicians. Through the web of human connections, I meet The Get Right Band and am currently touring with them.
LDT: What kind of work do you do? What is a typical day in your life?
JCM: A typical day… I wake up. I eat some fruit. I do some yoga. I work: emails, music promo, any kind of social media work that needs to be done that day. I like to get that done early.
Then I practice. I like to practice for two to three hours a day.
There’s the preparing good wholesome meals for yourself. To me it seems so obvious to say preparing a good meal for yourself, and stretching and these kinds of things are so important…in the end all of those practices and all of the time you put into yourself… Ultimately enables you to put out the most exciting performance come showtime.
LDT: Who do you collaborate with? What kind of fans come out and see you play?
JCM: When I’m not on the road with The Get Right Band, I enjoy playing Duane Simpson (guitar) and Kris Gruda (guitar). Playing with both of these guys is very inspiring, and they definitely push me into more jazzy territories that I very much enjoy. I also put together a six-piece band two years ago that covers the music of The Mars Volta. That music is very near to me and I can only express gratitude to have the opportunity to play it with and for people who love that music as well.
Regarding the fans that come out, I would like to think that any show I do is for all people.
LDT: What is your outlet from work?
JCM: Practicing and being at home – having the routine is the outlet because on weekends and touring you’re basically forced to break that routine. That can sometimes be challenging. Sometimes the most grounding and meditative moments can be the moments when you’re at home in your routine.
I also enjoy going to the beach, hiking, camping, and running. There’s so many amazing hikes and waterfalls to see outside Asheville and going to those places can be really rejuvenating.
LDT: What is your passion, what gets you out of bed in the morning?
JCM: Music. And creativity. And envisioning a world where all people can live out the things that they’re interested, passionate and curious about. The rabbit hole, the unknown, the journey…..all of these things excite me.
LDT: How do you maintain work life balance?
JCM: Routine and organization are the key for me. Basically… when I wake up every day, I maintain the focus that there are certain things in my life that do me well. If I put good food into my body, do yoga and stretch, practice my instrument and focus on giving energy to the people around me who are important to me, that will not serve me wrong.
LDT: What do you want to do next? What kind of connections are you looking to make or need? That is to say, as I meet people, who should I connect to you?
JCM: I would say that I’m in a particularly healthy chapter at the moment. I am happier and more focused than I have ever been, both personally and with The Get Right Band. There’s definitely a general focus with The Get Right Band to collaborate with bands that can mutually benefit each other in terms of drawing crowds.
As far as what I want to do next, in the very immediate future, my plan is to tour Europe – I’ve never been. In the long term, I would love to tour Asia, South America, and Australia. Visiting Japan has always been high on my list of places to visit. There’s a dignity and grace that I really appreciate about that culture.
LDT: How do you think the music industry is going to change in the next 5 years? 10 years?
JCM: Record labels used to control the industry and the trajectory of band’s careers. And now, with the internet being predominantly the main source of people getting introduced to musical acts, bands will solely make their careers through touring. I read an article recently, talking about how recorded music has become a glorified business card for musicians, due to the fact that anyone can access whatever music they desire for free. I see this to be mostly true. As much as a really phenomenal album can hit you at home in your headphones or in your stereo, because of the age of technology and internet that we live in, the one remaining thing that will continue to bring people out is a live show.
Also, I think in the next decades we will continue to see the decline of “the rock star.” There is more saturation in the music world today. The internet gives power to all to promote and spread their creative endeavors. In one regard, this fact makes life a little more difficult for those who are trying to make a living performing, but in another regard, this just fills the world with inspiration. I see the decline of the rockstar as a positive step forward in realizing collective potential.
Question from Previous Interview
Mike Marcus, Center for Craft, Creativity & Design: What responsibility do you feel in the current political environment?
JCM: Nobody wants to be told they’re wrong. In our mind, we all think we’re right. We all see and hear a lot of opinions. It’s important to try understand what shapes other points of view that are discordant with your own. It’s also equally as important to give oneself those moments void of outside noise and influence to discover our true voice.
People who have power will always try to hold on to that power. The way in which they do that is to divide those people over which they are trying to have power. I see our current political environment as an attempt of systematic division….it’s very intentional. Everything from the news we see, to the food we eat, to the goods and services we buy, to the way we are educated, are all shaped intentionally to keep us dependent and divided. Being aware, critically thinking, and being able to admit when we have been misinformed, misguided, or acted in a fearful manner which has negatively impacted others is an on-going responsibility of us all.
LDT: How are you meeting that responsibility?
JCM: Minimizing my filter, this can be difficult, especially in foreign environments. I found this great spray paint artist’s work recently that features Trump blowing a joint into the mouth of Putin while holding him and gazing into his eyes. It’s quite humorous to me, given the severity of electing someone like Trump to office. I decided to make a homemade t-shirt with that image on it. I enjoy seeing people’s reactions when I wear it around. Somehow the image of Trump and Putin smoking a joint together says everything that I’m currently interested in saying, politically speaking.
Here’s a link to the image…..http://gostra.com/trump-putin-smoking-marijuana-not-kissing-anymore/
LDT: What is your question for the next interview?
JCM: What are the top three things that you feel are keeping most people from their full potential?
Let’s Do This! Stop, Collaborate & Listen
If you’re interested in a future collaboration or learning more about JC Mears and The Get Right Band, you can connect and follow them using the links below.
- Website: http://thegetrightband.com/
- Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Publicity: email@example.com