The Big Interview
Gerry Jablonski and the Electric Band have been headliners in Aberdeen’s music scene for many years. We caught up with frontman Gerry to find out more about the man behind the microphone…
I was born in Banffshire and grew up in the small fishing village of Whitehills. My dad was Polish and my mum was Scottish, when they separated, I found solace in music. I used to pinch my half-brother’s guitar and his record collection. I’d play both for hours! The neighbours were not impressed but they come to the shows now.
Being a musician was never seen as a proper job. It was very much a traditional family where you need to get a profession and then find a job. Now we tour all over the UK and Europe.
The band are great. Grigor Leslie plays bass. He’s my favourite bass player ever and I’ve worked with a few. Grigor’s the soul of the band and he gets us through the hard times on the road.
Our harmonica player is Peter Narojczyk. He’s the Mick Jagger to my Keith Richards. It’s nice to have a second frontman! He’s a fixer too, which is a nightmare as he drags us all over the globe to entertain people – the work never stops!
Our newest member is Lewis Fraser on drums and vocals. He’s an amazing drummer and a sweet singer. Unfortunately, he’s young, handsome and talented. We’ve had to learn to live with it!
Every gig is memorable. We played a festival in Poland to 5,000 fans all singing along to Anybody, which was incredible and we’ve headlined at the O2 Academy in Sheffield to a couple of thousand people. The venue and location don’t really matter. It’s all about the chemistry between us and our fans. Every year we put on a Christmas show at Café Drummonds and play to a full house. The atmosphere is always incredible. It’s a great feeling to play the final show each year on our home turf. We have it planned for 11th December this year, but who knows how the situation develops.
So many performers and songwriters have influenced us. Richard Thompson, John Martin, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson and Nils Lofgren would all have to be up there.
At the moment, performing is on hold, so I’ve been walking a lot with my dog, Molly and writing for the next album. We’ve been holding live Q&A sessions with our fans, rehearsing and setting ourselves little projects. We had planned to record a live roof top show for NHS volunteers, but it had to be postponed. Since the film crew were already booked, we went down to the river Don and shot our new music video which we hope to release soon.
Our new single is called Goddam. It was just a bit fun to write a cliché rock song. We’ve also recorded Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix. It’s a song I love and although we don’t normally do covers, we’re really interested to see what our fans will think.
As far as the new album goes, it’s work in progress. We have several songs the band are trying out to pick the strongest material. Songs just come to me and I work on the lyrics, riff and melody, then I take it to the band and they add their ideas to it. I don’t record anything until I can still remember the song next day….then I know it is ready!