It’s telling that veteran hard rockers Jackyl list a chainsaw as one of the musical instruments that members play and equally telling that the band has a Guinness Book of World Records achievement for number of shows in 24 hours (21) listed as one of the band’s achievements.
For band leader Jesse James Dupree, the former signifies the aggressive edge and attitude of the Georgia heavy metal band, the latter Jackyl’s nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic.
At 28 years and still rolling, Jackyl rumbles back to The Backyard for a Thursday night show.
Will they bring the chainsaw and is there more than one, tuned to different keys? Dupree doesn’t confirm there’ll be a chainsaw come Friday, but, as an experienced chainsaw player, he noted drily, “A chainsaw can be whatever key you need it to be in.”
Actually, it’s been more than 20 years since the chainsaw made its musical debut on the band’s 1992 hit “The Lumberjack,” but Dupree and his bandmates continued that brash, boundary-pushing attitude in the music that followed. Their Southern rock/hard rock/heavy metal powered songs whose titles reinforced that attitude: “I Stand Alone,” “Push Comes to Shove,” “Headed for Destruction,” “Locked and Loaded,” “Relentless” and, a Southern rock lyric if there ever was one, “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass.”
That combination has spelled success for the Kennesaw, Georgia band over nearly 30 years, even if none of the band’s 13 albums have matched its million-copy debut “Jackyl” and its gold-selling sequel “Push Comes to Shove.”
What’s the secret? “We’ve never grown up,” said Dupree. “We’re still the same 15-year-old kids.”
Make that hard-working kids and the two 1998 Guinness Book of World Records the band achieved — 21 shows in 24 hours, 100 shows in 50 days during a Texas promotional run — point to what Dupree says is Jackyl’s bedrock motivation: providing fans with the no-frills live rock they pay for.
“People bust their knuckles at their job for 40 to 50 hours a week and more. They deserve to get their money’s worth,” said Dupree. “I poured concrete for a living. I drove an 18-wheeler to put food on the table for my kids and I’d do it again if I had to.”
In addition to the band’s albums and concerts, Dupree and Jackyl were featured performers in the 2009-2015 reality television show “Full Throttle Saloon,” based at the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota, where the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally takes place. Needless to say, the reality at the saloon seen in the series, still in reruns on the Reelz channel, is not a tame, quiet one. “It’s got an Olympic-sized swimming pool out back and a racetrack,” Dupree said. “It’s the place to be at Sturgis.”
Jackyl’s present lineup includes guitarist Jeff Worley, bassist Roman Glick and drummer Chris Worley joining Dupree on guitar and lead vocals (plus chainsaw). The band returns to Waco firmly in a spring touring groove that saw the rockers visit venues in Montana, Colorado and North Dakota.
“We’ve been on the road for about a month and the band is hitting our stride,” Dupree said. What Waco fans will get is nothing fancy and plenty of it. “We just celebrate the fundamentals of rock ’n’ roll,” he said.