James Presley Band, a variety band from Las Vegas, Nevada are known for their stellar energy & groovy hit covers from notable eras. A typical night’s set from JPB include covers from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, with an emphasis on popular country cross-overs that are today’s “Billboard Bullets.” Members of the band also perform with some of the stellar Las Vegas show productions and popular bands from Sin City, which is sure to prove to any listening audience of JPB that this group has the chops to keep you entertained – whether you’re a first time listener or long lived fan. Enjoy our interview with frontman, James Presley below.
Entertwine: Could you tell us about your musical background, James? What can you tell us about the work you did in Houston during the 80’s and 90’s? What about the background(s) of your band members? How did the band meet and begin rehearsing and performing together?
James Presley: I grew up playing drums and keyboards in honky tonks from the time I was 13 years old. I actually went to college on a music scholarship but I just kept working the club scene even when I moved into the major market arena. In Houston I worked a couple house gigs and then began working for artists on labels: ABC Dot Records, Atlantic Records, Warner Brothers and a Nashville label “Asylum Records”. My band members have schooled / college music backgrounds As well as me. They worked their own hometown club scenes until we all started working together during the 90’s with a Las Vegas artist “Tony Marques”. We worked about 10 years on the Vegas club scene that ended with a 3.5 year house gig at Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar And Grill” inside Harrah’s Hotel on the strip (with Tony). That is how we began working together as musicians and following Tony making changes to his members (due to the devastated economy), we started playing gigs with just us 4 guys. We have just added a great Vegas artist Jennifer Bealls and BAM!!! we have the James Presley Band.
ET: You’ve lived in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1996, correct? What has been your overall experience with the music scene of Las Vegas? What are your favorite aspects of the scene? Any favorite venues? How has being a part of the scene shaped or influenced you and the members of your band?
JP: I moved to Vegas in 1996 after the band I was with had the record label fold out from under us. The artist I was with was Curtis Day and the label was Asylum Records. My experience on the music scene in Vegas has been an always evolving thing. I guess it is working out for me because I am actually making a living at this club scene music biz in Vegas. My favorite aspects of the business here, is that our business is based on tourism and that means lots of people and tons of real exposure. My mailing list has over 5k fans. My favorite venue? I love them all. As far as me and the band being influenced by the Vegas club scene goes, it certainly has shaped and influenced us to always be at the top of our game. It is very common for a major artist to just pop up in the crowd on a Saturday night and sit in with the band. One of the original guitar players I worked with years ago was picked up by Tim McGraw. It just happens in Vegas.
ET: Is there any original music that the band writes, records, and performs, or is it strictly cover material?
JP: At this time we are not writing original material. Everybody we know is writing original material so we are doing something a little different. We do play the cover songs on the club scene as it pays the bills. But we also are producing licensed Disney music covers and play for an entirely demographic that mainly knows us at various shows for doing a lot of that type of music. We also sell our CDs and digital download Disney covers. It is a bit of an alter ego thing. But it works and gets us hired. The Disney covers are even on a separate website.http://www.jiminys.net
ET: Could you tell us about the recording studio that you own? What advantages come with having your own studio? Is there a particular process or method you consistently use or adhere to when working on material in the studio?
JP: Nowadays most band leaders do have their own home recording studio. I do all of my rehearsing in my studio as well as work for hire (clients). I began producing the Disney coves so I could get back into arranging and orchestrated works. It’s pretty cool because the end product is selling. The advantage of having my own studio is that via samples I am able to bring in additional sound textures that a normal band can’t find in just using stock sounds. My studio is a Steinberg Cubase studio and I do keep it current on all of the hardware and software.
ET: What do the remaining months of 2014 hold in store for the James Presley Band?
JP: I just a little over a week I will begin filling the remainder of the 2014 calendar for our band. Our first official date as the James Presley Band means that I need all new video promo. That will be shot on September 19th and just a few days later I will post the vid edits and begin booking up. Even though we have worked together for over a decade, a new name means we have to have new promo. During 2015 we plan to fill our calendar with club dates (as a club band) in Vegas. We will also work some Disneyana Conventions and shows (as a band that also the Disney Music Productions for that particular group of fans.