Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? "Y'all ready?" asks Casey Royer, lead singer to the men who join him in Houston's The Jobe Wilson Band. They nod, so he begins: "1-2-3-4." Uploaded as a grainy video to YouTube on August 22, 2011, The Jobe Wilson Band -- then a trio; now a quintet -- begins "Like the Rain," a slow and melancholy tune guided by Royer's rugged tenor.
A year later, the band, now with five members, performs a growling stand-up performance at the Dirty Bay Beer Company. This sound is less emotional and instead, more metallic and closer to the Lynyrd Skynyrd sound they are compared to. Today The Jobe Wilson Band is an Americana/Southern rock band consisting of Royer on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Ryan Dickson on guitar, Lee Nuckols on guitar, Kevin Choate on bass and Anthony Comeaux on drums.
"We've been peddling our music around the great state of Texas for about five years or so, give or take," Royer tells us.
Home Base: The band members skirt the city limits of Houston, residing in Clear Lake, Crosby, Baytown and Anahuac.
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "We stay around Houston for many reasons," says Royer. "Our core fan base is from the area, most of our families still live in the Houston area and we are all very family-oriented."
Royer points to Houston as the city that accepted his band when they were just starting out, so it's only right that they return the love by remaining in the Bayou City.
Good War Story: "A good war story, we have a few, let me tell you," opens Royer. "We've had to deal with everything from getting shorted on pay by venues, sound guys not showing up; hell, we have even driven three hours to make a show and the crowd consisted of a very drunk patron and the bar staff."
But I guess the reoccurring struggle we run into the most that I believe has made us a stronger and better band, is the fact that we have five guys in the band with five very different personalities. Don't get me wrong, we love each other like brothers, but the love brothers can have can only be matched by how intensely they fight with one another.
Now I'm not saying it's a cage match every day, but we have been known to butt heads. But through it all we are honest no matter the bruised egos and have found a way to remain friends at the end of the day. The tension as well as the love drives us to be better musicians for each other and write better songs.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: Royer waxes philosophical about the music scene, pointing out that the same irritations occur no matter what town you're in:
"I once read a quote by Hunter S. Thompson that said, 'The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a bad side,' he reflects. "I guess that pretty much sums it up.
"That's why it is called paying dues, and we just happen to be crazy enough to want to immerse ourselves in it," Royer continues. "But let me tell you, when everything falls into place, and you share a moment with the crowd or get an approving nod from a peer, the pros far out weigh the cons."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon (Royer)
- The Black Crowes, Amorica (Dickson)
- "Something from the early days of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers," Royer says of Nuckols' choice.
- Bayside, Shudder (Choate)
"Comeaux said he would take one of our records," Royer adds.
See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI
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