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Introducing Jasper Dan

New to the South African music scene and already making waves! Introducing Jasper Dan, the Joburg based Southern Rock Band who have just won the Battle for Iron Maiden and will be opening for the iconic band during the South African leg of their Book of Souls World Tour.
We caught up with lead singer, Jamie Hendry, to find out who Jasper Dan is, where they started and where they are going!

Meet Jasper Dan, the band opening for Iron Maiden during the South African leg of their Book of Souls World Tour

Give us the details into how Jasper Dan was born?
We’re actually a really young band to be honest. I moved back from living in Dubai in 2011 and we put the band together with my neighbour at the time. Initially we were playing as a cover band but weren’t that active to be honest. It was only in late 2015 that we had a number of original Jasper Dan songs and decided to try our hand at the originals music scene.

Who are the members and what are their roles in the band?
Myself (Jamie Hendry) – Vocals.
Daz Roux – Guitars.
Neil Scanes – Bass.
Paul Harley – Drums.

How would you best describe the vibe, style and sound of Jasper Dan?
We are a Southern Rock band… I like to think we are a little bit of fun to be honest. Generally our songs and lyrics are quite light-hearted and not that serious, but we have fun doing what we do and that’s what I think comes through. We only have one guitar player so a lot of focus is placed on his guitar riffs. Our goal is that when you come out to see Jasper Dan we want you to go away having had a good time, a little bit of fun with us and made a few new friends.

Jamie Hendry, the lead singer of Jasper Dan

Where does the name, Jasper Dan, come from and how did it stick?
I really enjoy telling this story. My late father was a big fan of American rock giants like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, Little Feat, Steely Dan and the like. I grew up loving rock music and when I was older we would often spend precious time together listening to these bands, mostly on vinyl, and we would have a little Jack Daniels while the music played. He would call those Jack’s a “little Jasper Dan”. That’s where I got the name for the band and when I suggested it to the boys they really liked it, before I even told them about the origin of the name. Once they knew the story they liked it even more. We still have a little Jasper Dan within the band… keeping the tradition alive.

You guys are fairly new to the South African music scene, in terms of playing original Jasper Dan songs, how has the journey been for you thus far?
Its been a bit of a whirlwind and its all escalated really quickly, we only started in the original music scene in October 2015. Its been far quicker than we were expecting and its kind of put us in a position that the cart is before the horse really in that we wanted to get out there and play our songs for a bit before we got serious about recording them. Now we are kind of in a situation where we should really have better recordings than we do. It is what it is though and we are currently in studio. Its been an amazing and mind blowing experience so far though and the support we have received has been nothing short of amazing.

Jasper Dan making waves in the South African music scene

What have been some of your highlight gigs?
There have been a few memorable ones already. On our second gig we were given the opportunity to open for Wonderboom and Crash Car Burn. So straight off the bat we were in the deep end. It was a great learning experience playing with both those bands. They are both awesome!
We were fortunate enough to play at Splashy Fen this year which was again, a massive learning experience for us and has created one of our main band goals in getting back down there next year as well as getting on a few other festival bills.
We have had two great gigs that spring to mind with organisations we have become quite close with, Rock of Paiges with The Paige Project who is a non profit organisation raising funds for children living with Cerebral Palsy, and the Artists Against Extinction Music Festival with Pit-Track, an organisation who are creating awareness in the fight against Rhino poaching and the protection of all our endangered species. Both of these gigs have been very meaningful to us as a band.
Finally the Battle for Iron Maiden has been an amazing journey in itself.

You’ve already had quite the successful 2016. What would you attribute the bands success to?
I like to think that we are a professional outfit to deal with and we work very hard to promote our gigs and the promoter’s events on all social media platforms. We have a great team behind Jasper Dan. Girlfriends, wives, brothers all picking up slack and offering assistance on all fronts.

Introducing the Southern Rock Band outfit, Jasper Dan

You were recently a part of the Battle for Iron Maiden. What were your expectations going into the battle?
To be very honest, our expectations were not very high at all. I’m not a big fan of band battles or competitions as there’s always going to be someone unhappy at the end of the day. We entered as we are massive Iron Maiden fans and we thought it would be a good way to get our music out a little and meet some of the bands we have liked on the scene and look up to. We’ve said from the beginning it was a journey and a learning experience for us.

Going into the final, against some great bands, what were your expectations?
Someone said to me a few weeks ago, you can’t leave footprints in the sands of your time if you are sitting on your butt! I wouldn’t say we were very confident but I knew we had a shot. We put the time in and I was happy with the set we had played. We got an amazing response from the people that came out. We watched all the bands on the night and they were amazing, every single one of them. It was the first time I’d seen New Born Fire and I remember standing there thinking, wow!

You ended up winning and will be opening for Iron Maiden during the South African leg of their Book of Souls World Tour. What was your reaction when you were announced as the winners?
Quite surprised. I was surprised that they announced a winner on the night. We worked very hard for this though. You know we are a little different to all the bands that participated in the competition and you never know what the judges are looking for in these things, and maybe the fact that we were a little different worked in our favour.

Jamie Hendry of Jasper Dan

What does this opportunity mean to you?
It’s beyond comprehension. I have been fortunate enough to see Iron Maiden a number of times and grew up listening to them from quite a young age. I had a mate named Matthew when I was younger and his brothers were both Maiden nuts. His brothers took me as an underage kid to my first Maiden show when they were here in 1995 at Standard Bank Arena. It’s an honour that can’t really be explained in words.

What can South African music fans expect from you, opening for Iron Maiden?
We have a couple of ideas that we’re bouncing around which will be amazing if we can get it right, but those are secrets for now.

When will we be seeing a Jasper Dan album released?
Hopefully in the spring, early summer this year. We are booked into studio starting 16 May.

What’s next for Jasper Dan?
We’d love to play quite a few more venues and in different parts of the country if they’ll have us. We’d love to play more festivals too. We just want to play and have a good time doing it.

Jasper Dan to open for the icons Iron Maiden

Photos by Al Nicoll, Liezl van Rensburg and Stu Moffat.

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One comment

  1. Alistair Steuart

    Saw the band at the Wanderers classic guitar show and WOW were they great ! Keep going guys, it can only get better and I can hardly wait !

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