We all like to think we’re rock stars, but Zipcar band Black Maple actually are. (From left to right) Jim, Jay, Alec and Jon, aka Black Maple, regularly draw sell-out crowds (and it’s not always just Zipcar staff!). To continue our celebrations of the Zipcar team’s talent, I’ve been chatting to the band’s drummer Jim D, one of our top Member Services Supervisors (although bassist Jon T also puts the "super" in supervisor). So Jim, tell us a little about the band, what kind of music do you play?
JD: We are a British/Kiwi Dirty Alt. Blues Country Rock band based in London. We released our first EP “Frontiers” in November 2012, available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify, and we can be seen gigging all over London and the UK.
DMK: I’m going to suck-up to you and say I bought it the day it was released. But anyway, how did the band form?
JD: Now, there’s a question… Singer Jay and guitarist Alec, set sail from the Mystical Land of New Zealand on a boat made from cheese and ostrich tears. When they arrived on these fair shores, they met Travelling “Washing Machine” Salesman Jim, and they decided to start a Dance Crew. After we lost a “Dance Off” to a local group of Boy Scouts, we decided we needed to go in another direction. After assessing the talents we had (luckily Jim could play the drums), we decided to form a band. We then bought bassist Jon from a car boot sale. We all bonded over a shared love of Blues music and Lego, and we were set to become a band. Or we met at Zipcar and realised that we were all in to the same music and that we had all the elements to start a band. After the first rehearsal, we knew we had something a bit special and it seemed more natural than any other bands we had been in.
DMK: *Uncontrollable laughter* I so badly wish the first story were true! So, have all of you always been particularly musical? Have you always wanted to perform?
JD: Yes. We have all been playing for many years and been in many different bands, with Jay singing in the shower since he was a boy; he has a natural talent to perform, so knew he needed to use his skills. I’ve been playing drums for over 20 years, Alec has been shredding on the guitar since he was knee-high to a grasshopper and bass player Jon, has been mixing and producing since he was at school.
DMK: Surely you must have been playing drums before you could walk Jim! Who are some of your musical influences and inspirations?
JD: As a band, we have quite a diverse range of musical influences, with us taking inspiration from bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, Joe Bonamassa, Ryan Adams, The Black Keys, The Civil Wars and The Olsen Twins. We listen to everything from Blues, Classic Rock, Country, Electronica, Hip-Hop and of course The Olsen Twins.
DMK: Clearly Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are great role models to all the greats. But what’s the toughest thing you’ve had to overcome so far? Whether it’s a bad gig or getting your EP out there, etc.
JD: A Bear.
DMK: Well, obviously. But seriously, what’s your top tip for any inspiring musicians?
JD: The main thing we tell anyone wanting to be a musician, is practice practice practice – and play as many gigs as possible. Getting out there and playing gigs is a great way to increase your following and get your music out there.
DMK: So, finally what’s next for Black Maple?
DMK: Thanks Jim. You can check out Black Maple's music here, including my personal favourite: Shakedown.