The guy that I am with today is a local legend of sorts. Having first met him at the Indianapolis hot spot for local and undiscovered talent, Locals Only, I knew immediately that he had talent that I had to share. Bringing a sound that Springsteen fans will fall in love with and a set of lyrics that come from nothing but real life experiences, he matches it all with a folk rock attitude. Sit with me today as I introduce to you Indianapolis based Jethro Easyfields.
So is Jethro Easyfields your real name?
If Jethro Easyfields was not my name I believe I couldn’t answer these questions honestly.
How long have you been performing?
I have been performing since 1985-1988. These were my breakout years. I used to do mock live shows for my family using my Casio keyboard and sing songs like, “Why Don’t You Stop Buggin’ Me?” and “I Love Potatoes” then in 1988, I started performing at the Troubadour Lounge at St. Francis College singing songs like “Skate Like An Alien” and “Killer Bees Killed My Lover”…by 1990 I was playing in bars in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Where do you get inspiration to write a new song?
Writing a new song is like channel surfing or driving without a map and arriving at a place you never expected to be. Inspiration is something to catch. It’s there for the taking and sometimes it happens so fast. I seem to be finishing a song minutes from the seed of creation.
Have you written with anyone else in the past?
In fact I have collaborated with folks for quite a long time. It might be 20% of my output but the different perspective from others can give songs a broader landscape and soundscape.
Tell me about your connections to Locals Only.
I knew the owners from the Hideaway on Hillside and they were to open Locals Only Art and Music Pub. I presented to host an Open Stage dedicated to original music. This will be our fifth year doing this public service.
Do you ever travel outside of Indianapolis for shows?
I have played all over Indiana and this region. Smaller towns and bigger cities from Culver to Bloomington to Evansville to Danville. Although while living in New Orleans and Phoenix I branched out to surrounding places as well.
What would you be doing if you were not playing music?
Usually when I’m not playing music I’m having sex.
Do you have a job other than music?
Usually when I’m not playing music I’m having sex.
You seem to be quite the storyteller in your lyrics. Tell me a story.
(Thinks) So much to tell so little time to type.
One recent story had me playing at Lazy Daze Coffeehouse in Irvington here in Indy. Nice small place to play an acoustic show. The night before I stabbed myself with a knife opening an avocado. I passed out from the pain, my head hit the sink and my girlfriend revived me. I was a bit weary to play the next night and my hand was stabbed, although I pressed to play.
The two hour show included the promoter / booking lady having to leave the show before it started because of her cat was dying, some of our uncles outside drinking beers and coming into the shop asking for price checks on the artwork. I played for about and hour or so and faithfully took a break. I was still dizzy from the night before stabbing. I had some fans show up late and I tended to play longer than I should so I threw out a few risky songs like, “Harely Davidison Ryder” and “Tribute to Herb” not knowing in the other room (out of view) there was a Pastor writing a sermon for Sunday. I was later told a few “daze” later (by the promoter with the heavenly cat) that the Pastor and a few others were mortified by some of my lyrics and that I would not be performing there again and that I was banned from the Coffeehouse! Only did I receive a nice email from the owner sating everything was fine and I could play anytime but no cursing. I’d rather be banned I replied and now I have a avocado slicer for safety.
What is the largest crowd that you have played for?
I believe 100,0 or more. There was a mosh pit and kids were playing “smashing musical chairs”.
Every day in my kitchen with just my Bassett Hound Chelsea.
Describe your genre in one word.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, the Stones, Elvis Costello, the Velvet Underground, Charley Patton, Sun Ra, Woody Guthrie and Beck.
What was the last movie you saw?
The Onion Movie. The Onion Movie is a comedy film written by The Onion writers Robert D. Siegel and Todd Hanson along with the NY-based writing staff of the paper.
Did you like it?
It was similar to the Kentucky Fried Movie and Prime Time. They are odd enough to enjoy.
If you could be any cartoon character whom would you be?
Huckleberry Hound by day and Woody Woodpecker by night.
Are you actively pursuing a record deal?
The pursuit of happiness and active role I have in life can not be determined as deals and promises but I might change my mind in a minute.
Have you lived in Indianapolis your whole life?
I swore after having open chest surgery at Riley Hospital at 13 years old that I would never live here in Indy. Although I have a scar nipple to nipple and I have lived in Indy off and on from 1999-2009.
Let’s say that someone offers you a $250,000 record deal but it is someone else’s lyrics and it is a rap album. Do you do it?
I have been writing and recording a rap album since 1989. The time is now to release the flow, give me the cash and I will put on the flash.
What is the best concert you have ever been to?
Ray Charles at Jazz Fest in New Orleans 1995 or maybe, Jerry Lee Lewis at Solder’s Field in Chicago circa 1979.
Do you play any instruments besides the guitar?
Yeah, I play the piano, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and coffee can.
Let’s get some pizza. What toppings?
Shrimp, tomato and onion.
If you were to headline at Verizon Wireless Music Center who would be your opener?
I believe I did this before when it was Deer Creek and the opener was Cinderella.
PC or Mac?
OK, these questions are starting to get personal.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hanging out with Micheal J. Fox on some Delorean Hovercraft.
What do you want to be remembered for when his is all said and done?
music sounds like “wood” and my voice sounds like a coyote in a chicken coop or maybe I should be remembered as that guy who stabs himself and gets torretts.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
Only you can make a difference with a voice, a guitar, a canvas, a camera, a saute pan…light the fire and control the heat the best you can. You can get burned but you shall heal. Cheers! Jethro Easyfields and the Arrowheads new CD ELIXIR can be purchased at Luna Records and Indy CD and Vinyl in Indianapolis, Indiana.