New Jersey hard rockers OURS didn’t waste any time hitting the road once life started to return to some kind of normality in 2022 undertaking a massive Spring headline tour in support of their self-titled album which dropped last year.
Fronted by the charismatic Jimmy Gnecco, a man who the late Chester Bennington hailed as one of his top three vocalists alongside Chris Cornell and Jeff Buckley and with other notable fans in Lana Del Rey, OURS are looking forward to a busy 2022. We spoke to Jimmy just ahead of the tour to find out how he felt about returning to the road.
Thanks for your time Jimmy, how does it feel to be back on the road and how have the first few shows been going?
Jimmy Gnecco: “Feels better than ever. Its’ taken years to get our catalogue to where it is now. And so oddly enough it feels like we are just beginning.”
It’s been a tough two years for artists, what have you missed and not missed about touring?
“We’ve missed the exchange of energy between the audience and ourselves. The road can be a tough grind and the pressure of wanting to always be better than we were the night before can sometimes wear us down. I don’t miss that pressure.”
Are there any particular cities or venues you look for on a tour schedule and, if so, why those?
“You know we are pretty excited about every stop along the way here. I think that when you are excited about what you are putting out there and creating it keeps that excitement alive.”
All of the songs feel fun and exciting to play at this point. I feel like they’re bringing us to a place we want to be.
What’s life like on the road for Jimmy Gnecco? Especially on a month or so run like this, how do you pass the downtime?
“Often resting, recovering, or just travelling. We try to do fun things together as a group as much as possible.”
You’re supporting your 2021 album, are there any songs you’re most looking forward to playing live and why?
“All of the songs feel fun and exciting at this point. Not only because they are new but because I feel like they are bringing us to a place that we want to be.”
I’m assuming that most of the pandemic was spent writing and recording the album? How challenging was that for you?
“To be honest, I had kind of pulled us away and was already underground writing and recording for a half a decade or more before it hit so we were already used to the isolation.”
Aside from the US tour, how does the rest of 2022 pan out for you?
“We’re looking at European dates now and hope to finally bring our music to many other places around the world. I’m guessing beyond the pandemic we will now have to keep an eye on everything that’s happening and hopefully, we will get there sooner than later.”
On that note, I read you wrote something like 200 songs for the album of which you recorded 80. What are your plans for those that didn’t make the cut?
“We will find avenues to release them over the next bunch of months. Others went to a young new artist that I have been producing.”
And on that note, how do you cut down from 80 to say twelve? What’s your process behind cutting songs from the final mix?
“Well, it’s kind of tricky because you don’t always know which ones will translate best on a recording. So, that was why we recorded so many. Then we look at what’s the most inspiring space out of what we have done, establish some sort of part for the record, and then see which ones go best together.”
It breaks my heart that Chester is gone. He made so many other people feel better and none of us could save him.
To end up with 200 songs, you must be writing constantly, what inspires you as a writer?
“Well true to the name of the band, I am inspired by everything. So a combination of being open to all things and then simply putting pen to paper and doing the work every day, sometimes an idea starts to come and it can be overwhelming. There is almost an urge to step away from it which could also be necessary, but I feel like if it’s in you you should sit and finish the song. That doesn’t always work but then often a new song is born or you figure out a missing piece of a previous unfinished song.”
Chester Bennington named you as one of his top three vocalists. How much does that mean to you as an artist and who are YOUR top three artists?
“It means a lot to me because Chester was a complete sweetheart. I didn’t know him at first when I had been told about how he felt about me, but as I got to know him it started to mean more and more to me. It just breaks my heart that Chester is gone. He made so many other people feel better and none of us could save him.
“It would be so difficult for me to narrow down to only three. Any time I think about someone who has moved me that much I find myself thinking about so many more.”
Taking this back to touring, what’s on the tour bus playlist music-wise?
“Well again because it’s so difficult to pin down any one favourite artist, it’s a pretty wide range.”
Thanks for your time and good luck with the rest of the tour. Over to you to wrap this up…
“We’d like to really encourage people to come out and experience something with us. We’re having a blast playing and that sentiment is contagious.”