Above: Feel Good Jacket have a new album out – Battle Rock – submitted photo
by Stephen Dafoe
Danielle Edge and Rob Kaup have been playing together since the fall of 2014 when they both frequented a weekday jam at a local bar. Seven months later, Edge became the singer for a touring country band that Kaup was the drummer for. The following January, the two created Two Bad Apples, a popular and successful duo that focused on doing covers at the request of audiences wherever they played. That project ran for almost three years.
But that chapter of their music careers is behind them now as they are putting their focus on their new project, Feel Good Jacket, a project they began in January of this year.
Edge said Feel Good Jacket is a combination of alternative and hard rock with punk, metal, and dance tendencies. As a brand, the band describes itself as “Imagine Metallica and Blondie got high with David Bowie – that’s Feel Good Jacket.”
The new album started with writing a song a day for the entire month of January, picking the best of those, and then Kaup sitting down to record all of the instruments from February to April. Edge and Kaup finalized the lyrics before Edge hit the mic to record the vocals. Kaup then spent five months mixing and mastering the album Battle Rock.
“I love the album,” Edge said. “I think anytime you put out something original; it’s not going to be for everybody. But that’s okay because we’re looking for the people that it is for. Alice in Chains doesn’t go after the same group as Cyndi Lauper. You have to go out and do what you’re passionate about, and then people will see that, and they’ll either like it or they won’t.”
Battle Rock takes its name from the final track on the album, a song Kaup says is entwined in what the album is all about, and what the band describes as feelings of futility and angst. However, the project has evolved into something that is both hopeful and positive.
“The topic of the album is that topic that we all do share,” Kaup said. “We all live in a society, and we know there are things that are just not right. Things that frustrate us, things that could be done so much more simple. Most of the songs have an angle on something like that.”
Bully, one of the 14 tracks on Battle Rock speaks to multiple streams of the topic depending on the listener. For the student, it could be the bully in school, or for the adult, it could be the government or any authority breathing down the neck of the listener.
“Anybody can take anything they want out of it,” Kaup said of another of the album’s tracks – War. “For me, it’s that we know the world is not ruled by governments anymore -it’s money.”
Edge said much of the album does carry a political theme as an undercurrent but adds that some songs are just fun rock songs.
“I don’t think we looked at the music scene and said, ‘What’s missing?’ We just asked, ‘What do we care about?'” Edge said, adding the biggest factor of songwriting is having something to say.
With the 14-track album completed, the duo became a foursome with the addition of Jacob Bigelow on bass and Jon Edge as the band’s drummer.
It is a dynamic Kaup is particularly enjoying these days.
“I am able to be a rock guitar player again with a drummer behind me,” Kaup said. “The bass line is there, and I can do a lead.”
As for Edge, she is enjoying being the female front of Feel Good Jacket, trading a guitar for belting it out on the microphone.
“I wanted to put the guitar down. I felt it really restricted me. With this, I wanted to move around the stage,” Edge said, adding she is not a fan of the recording studio and much prefers the stage. “I love performing live.”
Battle Rock is available on Spotify as well as through the band’s website www.feelgoodjacket.com.
If you’d like to see Feel Good Jacket live, they play at Rednex Bar on Thursdays from 7 p.m to 11 p.m.
“We really just want people listening to our music,” Edge said. “I want to build a tribe of people that really feel connected to it.”
Powertrip has its roots in an experience Kaup and Edge had at the border just prior to writing the songs for Battle Rock.