What Everybody Ought to Know About Jumbo Shrimp Inc.

The band’s creative logo

Since the psychedelic pop band Jumbo Shrimp Inc. participated in Orlando’s Bringing Down the House program in 2015, they have continued to take the scene by storm releasing three albums, the latest two titled “Nostalgia Calls” and “Thoughts.”  They’ve also most recently performed at the 2017 SXSW Festival, while most of their peers are still finishing up high school. The four members of Jumbo Shrimp Inc.—Ben Rothschild, Angel Leiser, Walker MacMillan and Dylan Thomas—have been making music together for almost five years and have big plans for the future.

Jumbo Shrimp Inc. started in North Palm Beach, Florida and has built a global fan base, with their latest single “Count on Love” ranking at #11 on Australia’s indie radio charts. They have amassed 1,300 song plays, 4,300 video plays and over 5,600 total fans on their ReverbNation profile. Their alt-rock sound that they describe as psychedelic pop is inspired by an eclectic mix of artists ranging from The Beach Boys to Foo Fighters, appealing to music-lovers across genres. Below is an exclusive interview the band gave to Music Forward!

1. How did you meet/form your band?  

Dylan: It started off with Benny and I somewhere around 6 years ago writing songs in a practice room at this lesson/rehearsal program with both went to. We eventually started doing open mic nights with whoever would play drums and bass. Shortly after the group kinda just started forming. Benny introduced me to John and Angel as the rhythm section and the rest is history.

Walker: I met the members during a School of Rock summer camp of 2016. They must’ve heard what they liked. Later on that year, there was a jam session with a bunch of friends and that was right around the same time their drummer was leaving to college. Just worked out that as I was moving from North Carolina, Jumbo Shrimp Inc. was in need of a drummer. That was a year ago, and it’s been absolutely awesome how we have progressed so quickly in that time.

Jumbo Shrimp Inc. poses for a band picture.

2. How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t listened to it before?  

Dylan: Super tasteful and interesting music that is catchy and poppy as well as complex and musically intelligent.

Walker: I’d say a lot of our band’s influences comes from the 60’s and 70’s, from Beatles to Beach Boys. Once I came into the band, we began to experiment with a little bit of the funky sound. At times we sound like Maroon 5.

3. How did Bringing Down the House contribute to your current success as artists?

Dylan: House of Blues Music Forward Foundation contributed to my success because it was one of the largest venues I’ve ever played at that time. It gave me the opportunity to work with industry professionals and other talented bands, some of whom I remain in contact with today.

“Lots of musicians want to become professionals. HOB Music Forward gave me a real “behind the curtains” look at what the industry is made of and how to do my part to help guide my band, Jumbo Shrimp Inc. toward success. I know I speak on behalf of the whole band when I share that I am grateful for my experience, and for the continued support we are still receiving today from the entire HOB Music Forward leadership team.”

 

4. Who/what inspires your music?  

Angel, the bass player for Jumbo Shrimp performs.

Dylan: 60’s pop like the Beatles and Beach Boys to 21st century rock and blues, such as Young the Giant and John Mayer. I honestly feel that everything I listen to is something I can learn from … even the newer, more controversial music such as Lil Uzi Vert to the older artists such as John Coltrane, Weather Report and Steely Dan.

Walker: I’ve always been influenced by Math Metal and Jazz Fusion. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but that is what gave birth to my diverse way of playing and thinking about music.

 

5. What is your favorite gig you have had?  

Dylan: House of Blues – because that was the first time on stage where I couldn’t see the floor because of how packed it was.  I mean there had to be about 1,000 people there and that was a hell of a lot at the time.

Walker: It’s hard to just choose one, but the 2017 Florida Music Festival in downtown Orlando, Florida back in April tends to stand out. It was awesome to see the crowd grow right before our eyes.

6. What is your favorite thing to do outside of music? 

Dylan: I love to skateboard and just hang around with my friends in public.  I also like to make videos, but that usually ties into music.

Walker: When I was kid I was really into sports. In particular, I was into baseball. I use to be a lefty pitcher. Now when I am not focusing on music, I like to watch sports.

7. What do you view as your greatest accomplishment as a band?  

Dylan: The biggest milestone was playing at the largest music festival in Palm Beach County, Sunfest.  Although it wasn’t by any means our most crowded or best gig we’ve had; it was our first really important show. I feel from that point on, Jumbo Shrimp went from kids’ garage band to a real, professionally-viewed band.

Walker: For the year that I have been with the band, as far as accomplishments, winning the Hard Rock Rising has been tremendous for the band. The exposure has been awesome. Hard Rock went live on Facebook during our performance and when they announced the winners, there was a combined 50,000 viewers. That’s crazy to me.

8. What advice would you give to other emerging artists?

Walker jams before another packed venue.

Dylan: Keep at it. Honestly, success is gradual.  But as you keep going things start happening quicker. You just have to keep a constant flow of hard work. In the music business success is always exponential.

Walker: Play for the band and not for yourself.

9. What are your goals as a group for the upcoming year?  

Dylan, seen here plays guitar, keyboards, saxophone and backup vocals for Jumbo Shrimp Inc.

Dylan: We’re working on our fourth album which should be out by the end of summer.  Other than that we are just constantly working on growing our music and brand. If we keep working, the rest will come and fall into place.

Walker: I think our main goal for this upcoming year is to get this fourth album out. If we are able to catch the attention of music lovers, then the industry players will start calling. We want our brand to be as strong as possible in our home state. However, our goal is to soon begin expanding to the general Southeast region and to major cities like Los Angeles and Nashville.

To listen to Jumbo Shrimp’s music, click here. To keep updated on their upcoming releases, shows, and other news, follow their social media below.

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