When Widespread Panic’s bass player, Dave Schools, and acclaimed singer/songwriter Jerry Joseph, of The Jackmormons, first decided to collaborate back in 2003, each initially thought that their new musical side project would be a fun temporary change of pace. Now, with two studio albums and a live EP behind them and a new tour on the horizon, Stockholm Syndrome has transcended being just a side project. Stockholm Syndrome is a band.
The band's unusual choice for a name, Stockholm Syndrome, refers to the psychological phenomenon in which a hostage bonds with his or her kidnappers. It seemed an apt moniker for Schools and Joseph's somewhat convoluted relationship. Schools has produced Jackmormons records; Joseph has written songs that Widespread Panic has made so popular that some people are not even aware that the songs are actually covers. All they needed now was a band.
They put together an all-star lineup: guitarist Eric McFadden, who has worked with Keb Mo', Les Claypool and George Clinton's P-Funk All Stars, keyboardist Danny Louis, of Gov't Mule, and drummer Wally Ingram, who has worked with Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow, Tracy Chapman and David Lindley, among others.
Musically, the band is a heady mixture of styles. Joseph's career-long predilection for writing what he wryly describes as "religious-sex-junkie-heartbreak songs" contrasts nicely with Schools' upbeat attitude and booming bass lines. The eclectic abilities of the other members, including McFadden's tendency to trade his guitar for an electric mandolin, Louis’ road-tested keyboard skills, which he’s lent to such diverse artists as Ricky Martin and The Allman Brothers, and Ingram's penchant for draping his drum kit with found objects that rattle as he plays, truly make this a band that defies definition.
Schools is already contemplating the future. "We'll take it as far as it wants to go. I think that everyone is really enjoying playing together...it ceased to be a recording project and became a band."
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