Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
JAR: Just A Ride is a 4 piece, grunge-influenced, hard rock band based out of Nottingham (ROCK CITY)
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
JAR: So the band was started by Drew Lowe (guitar) who wanted write the music he loved listening to growing up; The grunge movement that grew out of Seattle in the early 90s. Eventually I (Rod Henderson – vocals) heard what Drew was up to and got in touch. We had previously played together in early 2000s rock band Violent Delight and wanted to reconnect with music after taking many years out of the business. Initially we worked on Just A Ride as a writing project as Drew had commitments as guitarist for UK rock chart topper Inglorious, but when he departed them we decided to look for members to complete Just A Ride. Drummer Alex Bailey was drafted in from a Foo Fighters tribute band and we were completed in 2019 by the arrival of Russ Stedman on bass.
We were gearing up to get some music out in 2020 and then COVID happened. In a weird stroke of fate it gave an extra impetus for us to work on more material and I think we all found the process a good escape from what was a difficult time for so many people aroud the world.
As soon as we could we jumped into the studio with producer Dave Draper (The Wildhearts/They Fell From The Sky) and recorded our debut album. We were lucky enough to enlist the services of Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters/Therapy?) to mis the record and spent the bulk of 2021 self releasing singles to build up a following before unleashing the full force of our debut album in 2022. It has been great to get out and do a bit of gigging and we will be on the road (COVID permitting) to support the release.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
JAR: We love Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam. We get alot of energy from the grunge movement, but are big fans of bands like Incubus, Hoobastank The Deftones.
Outside of music anybody who is a big fan of comedy may spot the late, great, Bill Hicks as a bit of an influence. His style was more an exploration of his life philosophy than straight up joke telling and his message is one that inspires us and our music.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
JAR: We just love to play and write music and we want to share what we do with the widest audience possible. All the advances in technology give us the opportunity to connect with people across the globe and share our passions. It would be great to get to a level that we can travel to some of the countries that have really embraced our music that you don’t normally think of as a UK band (Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, India, Indonesia) and play there. Closer to home we would love to establish ourselves on the UK touring circuit and hit up some rock festivals!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
JAR: We all contribute to the process of writing the music and will then write lyrics and melodies on top. We have been writing remotely, emailing audio files since day one as at times Rod and Drew were living in different countries. With the advent of Zoom we have done a few online sessions too.
Just A Ride is all about positivity and uniting people with the power of music. We live in rather divided times, which is deeply concerning. We always focus our lyrics on feelings and internal struggles that anybody can relate to, rather than coming out and stating what the exterior issues are the cause. I (Rod) very much feel that even people who see themselves as polar opposites of others are likely experiencing very similar emotions; they are just being triggered by different sources. In a world were politics and ideology can be all consuming at times, I really hope that our music can be an escape from that and help others overcome challenges in their lives in the same way the writing process helps me to process this crazy thing we call life!
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
JAR: We are very active on social media. Instagram is probably our biggest platform, but we try to make content for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and even TikTok to reach as wide an audience as possible.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
JAR: I (Rod) feel that the current incarnation of the music industry is all about trade offs.
We have removed many of the old gatekeepers and generally democratised the industry. It is easier and cheaper than ever to record and release music which is amazing. Some of the young artists I hear via Spotify are incredible and really inspiring. The down side of this is the sheer volume of music that is released, which makes it harder than ever to get noticed without being savvy (or able to spend time or money) so artists can often have to spend far more time away from making music and get bogged down in socials and promo which can take a toll!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
JAR: Living on a Prayer – It is a masterclass in songwriting and just seems to make so many people happy.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
JAR: Scammers in the music industry. They are preying on desperate peoples dreams and it really isn’t cool. Almost as much would be the people that fall for it, but I don’t want to be too judgey.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
JAR: (Rod) Years ago with my old band Violent Delight I got to play at the London Astoria, which was my favourite venue growing up. I always thought I’d be able to walk past it and say to my kids I played there and it amaze them, but it’s been knocked down to build a shopping centre. I mean I was very lucky to have a couple of top 40 singles as a teenager so that can’t be sniffed at either. I hope that in a few years I will be talking about the achievements of Just A Ride when I am asked this again!
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
JAR: There is no rest for the wicked and in the world of constant sustained promotion you always have to be producing. We are booked in to start work on what you’d traditionally call album two, but these days with the industry being single after single I should really call it the next batch of Just A Ride songs. We are always writing and looking at how we do everything when it comes to recording and promoting our music in the most effective manner. It is great to be constantly learning and connecting with our audience and bands that inspire us. I guess that is one of the positives the world of social media has brought us!
On top of that we have a podcast called THE TRACKS THAT MADE US where talk about the songs that have influenced us and end each episode with a cover version. We often have guests on and collaborate with them so we have a few of those in the pipeline that are gonna be really exciting!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
JAR: We have our debut album coming out on February 25th 2022 which is available to pre-order now (https://justarideofficialmerchstore.myshopify.com/). What is really cool is that anybody who orders in advance gets an instant digital download of the record so they can listen to it immediately; way before it reaches any of the streaming services. We have gone down the full self release model for album number one so if you want to support independent music, buying from us is the best way to do that!
Just A Ride links:
Band/Artist location – Nottingham, England
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Flowcode –
Check our page for Just A Ride