If you had to put a sound track to your life, what would it be? Being a Castaway, I’m guessing your sound track might be include some Buffett, a little Chesney and a splash of Marley. Those artists are the backbone of the escapism genre, but there’s a whole armada of other trop-rockers out there pounding the pavement and growing their pirate following. One group that is fairly new(couple years) , and has a lot of wind in their sails is the Pirate Sessions guys.
Their first album took off like cannon fire, and they are poised to release Pirate Sessions Volume II this Spring. I was able to snag an interview with Jesse Rice, a member of this popular group, and pelt him with questions about music, inspiration, pirates and of course rum. Grab a boat drink and get comfortable, here is the aftermath of that interview.
Pirate Sessions Interview
1. So tell me the story of Pirate Sessions. Who are the guys in the group? How did you guys come together and get inspired to write the first Pirate Sessions album? Something about a road trip to the Keys right?
Pirate Sessions basically came to mind in 2010. (I)Jesse Rice had written a song called “Sweet Kinda Summer” just on his own, but when we found out we were going to be playing some shows for the Key West Songwriters Festival that May, we decided that we should write a song about it that we could play down there. So, we had the idea to take the title “Key West Time” from a line in “Sweet Kinda Summer”, and write a song from that. It was on the way back from a Chase Rice show in Asheville, NC that the idea for Pirate Sessions was born. (I)Jesse had an idea to make it a concept record, with each song coming from a line in the song before it…We ran it by all, the guys, and Pirate Sessions was born! We then completed Pirate Sessions 1, and that consisted of Jesse Rice, Florida- Georgia Line, and Chase Rice. Since then, everyone has had their own artist careers advancing pretty well, so (I) have decided to make Pirate Sessions his full-time project, while bringing in guest artists on certain songs… On Pirate Sessions 2, he is bringing in Chase Rice and perhaps Love and Theft to sing with him on a few songs.
2. I love your song “Haze of the Rum,” and rum pops up in a few of your other songs. Can you tell us what the group’s favorite rum cocktails are?
Favorite Rum cocktails have to include Rum and Diet Coke with Lime, and some Sex On The Beach haha….
3. You guys are coming out with Pirate Sessions 2, tell me a little about the new album. What inspired the second round of island limin’ songs?
Well, we saw how much everyone loved PS1, and the response to it- I mean, it went to the Top- 20 on iTunes country charts, and had a ton of radio play….so we decided to do it again. Also, since Jesse Rice has decided to make this his artist path, you can expect a whole lot more in the future!
4. Favorite island to waste away a day on?
It’d have to be Cinnamon Bay in St. John. With Key West also in the mix…
5. I heard the new album is coming out this Spring, can you tell us the date yet? I know a bunch of pirate castaways want to get their hands on it.
The new record should be available to the public, via iTunes, and also on hard CD copy around the last week of April. The exact date is to be determined. But it will be then for sure!
6. You guys are attending the Key West Songwriters Festival May 2nd – 6th, what can people expect to see from you guys on Key Crazy?
We are gonna have a great time down there, having a fun, beachy island vibe coming your way with all your favorite PS songs! We’re playing 3 shows over the course of the week. Check out www.keywestsongwritersfestival.com for show details and times.
7. Besides the Key West Songwriters Festival, where can people get a chance to hear you guys play live? Any tour dates?
We are working on a tour as we speak with a booking agent. We are hard at work on it, and will be announcing those shortly as well!
8. If some random beach bum stole you’re iPod, what music would they find on it? Who do you guys like to listen to the most?
They’d probably find some Chesney, some Buffett, Marley, probably some blues, rock, rap….we listen to everything!
9. If each of you had to pick, what would be your favorite song on the new album?
Hmmmm…..that is a hard one. The hardest part of doing the second one was wanting it to be as good as the first, and that is a hard thing to do, and you don’t always know that you can pull it off…but being in the studio the last few weeks and seeing how every song has turned out, it is apparent that this record is every bit as good as the first. On this new record, “Hemingway’s Hideaway” and “See You By The Sea” stand out to me as great songs, but “Island State Of Mind” and the others are just great chill fun beach songs…but my favorite is called “300 Years Ago”. Can’t wait till ya’ll hear it!
10. What does the future hold for Pirate Sessions? Any salty, rum soaked music videos in the works? Need a random bald guy as an extra?
Well, as stated before, Jesse Rice (me) is taking Pirate Sessions to the next level, by making it his artist career. He is going to continue to make PS records, and set up tours, and have guest artists along the way on each record. We are also in the process of meeting with booking agents and managers, and are going to start pitching the concept to record labels here as well.
11. Last questions – If you guys were stranded on a beautiful tropical island in the middle of nowhere and you could only bring 3 things with you, what would they be?
Haha….a guitar, some rum and food, and some hot chicks!
Don’t these guys sound like a lot of fun to hang out with? I think they would fit right in with our Castaway crowd. I think we should try and get them to come down to the Conched in Key West Charity Bar Crawl in September. Bar hopping Duval Street, maybe a little impromptu “Haze of the Rum” sing along at Smokin’ Tuna…yeah, that wouldn’t be legendary or anything.
I know a bunch of you are willing to walk the plank to get your hands on the new album, as am I. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s dropped. In the mean time, sip on some Key West time and see them preform at the Key West Songwriters Festival the first weekend in May.
Cheers to gettin’ down in a pirate town.