Jelly Roll is one of the busiest and hottest music stars today. I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with him. What I got was a fun, candid, real conversation.
I’ve never met or interviewed him before, so when the conversation starts out talking about the “Beer Olympics” I knew this was going to be a fun talk.
We talked about the meteoric rise to success. He said while touring with Shinedown last year, he got to see and experience everything that it takes to go to the next level.
“Dude, I was a sponge,” he said. “I stood side stage every night watching every set.” He said he learned so much by watching singer Brent Smith throughout the tour.
As far as his music and live show, he said, “We believe that connection is the answer.”
Jelly Roll talked about his late blooming in the music industry. “I’m proof that it can happen,” he said, as he talked about the chances of anyone being able to prosper in this business. He spoke to his underdog story and how he’s risen from wild and oftentimes troubled youth.
If you’re unfamiliar with his past, Jelly Roll was featured in a recent Hulu documentary, “Save Me.” Having seen the documentary and then hearing Jelly Roll talk about it was fascinating. He told me he was very involved in the development of the film. “The first time I seen it, I cringed,” he said. He spoke to the rawness of the project during our interview.
Jelly Roll also opened up about his plans for an upcoming album project. “I expect the next album to be more uplifting,” he said. Jelly Roll said he’s always writing, and that his next record could even be a return to rock, the genre Jelly Roll got his beginnings in. “I think we’re going to surprise some people with some of the collabs on this…it’s going to be different.”
Based on his comments, I wondered: is Jelly Roll “rock” or is he “country?” “I’m country rock, right?” he said.
He went on to talk more about crossing genres and about some of his rock influences. “I’ll never forget where I was the first time I heard Bob Seger,” he said, noting that his songwriting philosophy is “three chords and the truth.”
Jelly Roll is one star who has risen fast. I asked him what has surprised him the most from the last year as he has been on this massive career growth journey. He name-dropped a lot of music heavyweights who reached out to support him: Garth Brooks, David Draiman (Disturbed), Ronnie Radke (Falling in Reverse) and others.
He also spoke to his Detroit influences and places he’s played here….everywhere!