Band Interview: Letters from Jett

Letters from Jett Band Photo

Tell me about yourselves? How did you all meet? Where are you all from?
We are four unique individuals, we like totally different styles of music and it comes together in our music to create the sound that we have. We are from different backgrounds as well. Luke and Trace are from the Midwest in the US.. Luke is from Michigan and Trace is from Illinois so they have that influence on there music. Heath and Gunnar are from a small town in Arkansas.  Gunnar and Heath are brothers so that’s how they met. Luke was a session player and played a bit around the Fort Smith, Arkansas area from time to time. He had done some recording with the band years earlier and they just remembered him when they were looking for a bassist. They met Trace through a mutual friend a little over two years ago. They all live in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area except for Trace who lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

What are your names and what position do you have in the band?
My name is Heath Molton, I am the singer and Rhythm guitar player. My younger brother Gunnar is our Drummer and background vocalist. Our Bassist name is Luke Petersen and he sings Backgrounds as well. Lastly is Trace Foster, He Plays Lead guitar and sings as well.

What if anything does your band name mean/Why are you called that?
The Band name “Letters from Jett” has a lot of meaning.  I used to have a band with the name Willie in the title and everyone we came across just assumed that my name was Willie. So while we were looking for a name for this project Trace said he wanted something powerful like Rocket or Jett in the name. My Brother Gunnar took that Idea and did some research and found a guy who was a soldier back in the US Civil War. He became a sorta hero for helping the Union Army find John Wilkes Booth who shot and killed Abraham Lincoln. His name was William Jett… AKA, Willy Jett. The name was perfect since it had Willy in it and Jett. Doing more research Gunnar found out that Willy Jett went crazy with Syphilis and began writing these crazy letters to then President Grant. So combining the two elements Letters from Jett was born.

Describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
Our Music is best described as this: If Lynyrd Skynyrd  had a baby with one of the Eagles and named it Tom Petty you would find us somewhere in between.

It’s southern Rock but has a Country Twinge to it. There’s really something for everyone in our music. 

What song(s) do you remember most from your childhood?
Trace – American Pie by Don McLean has always been one of my favorite songs ever.
Luke – Take me to the River by the Talking Heads.
Heath – Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue and Rollercoaster. It was Buddy that got me into Music
Gunnar – Linger by the Cranberries. Such a great song

Do you have a process for writing your songs?
Our writing process is pretty straight forward. Heath is our main songwriter. Funny thing is, we all write songs but Heath has so many good ones still it will take years before we get to it. Heath usually sends out a batch of rough ideas to the band, we all listen and decide if there’s one that we don’t like more than do like because we like 99 percent of Heaths songs. Trace, who also produces our records will listen to all the songs and decide which ones go together in the overall puzzle. Once he has those ten or so Trace and Heath will get together and go through the songs and get the arrangements down and then we start working on them. That’s when they take shape and become Letters from Jett songs.

Have you released any music yet, and if so how has it been received?
We released our First CD Heartbreaks and Hangovers almost a year ago. It is just now starting to receive airplay and people are starting to react. Were having people come to our shows and want to know if we’re playing their favorite song off the CD tonight. Very cool stuff.

Are you planning any music releases for the near future?
We are touring right now behind our Heartbreaks and hangovers CD but we have the next record to the point where we just about ready to start working on it. We are hoping it will be done by year’s end.

If you have released music, where can fans to be find it?
You can find our music at pretty much all the online retailers. We are also on YouTube.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
We’ve been performing all across the Eastern side of the US. Our biggest market is Southern Florida at the moment. We seem to keep going back there. We think its the Skynyrd vibe we have.

We are looking at doing shows further West towards the end of the year..  We plan on hitting part of Europe next summer hopefully if things go as planned. Our favorite Venue is a place called the 

Southwest Florida event Center. We have played there 6 times already. It is in Bonita Springs, Florida. 

Our least favorite venue is a place Called the Redneck country club outside of Houston, Texas. The did us completely wrong and we will never play there ever again.

Do you have any gigs in the near future, and if so where and when?
Were booked pretty much through the summer. Our next run will be back down towards Florida  through Mississippi and then up to Minnesota with gigs all in between. We stay busy.

How do you balance your music with other obligations?
Balancing our music with other obligations is Tricky. Were all married except for Trace but we all have children so its a constant struggle. We don’t get to do this unless we get out and do this. So its 

A constant balancing act. WE love our families and we love to play music so we will make it work.

Following on from that question, what has been your biggest challenge as a band and have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so then how?
There is always a challenge but we never let us get slowed down by it.. The biggest is probably staying independent. We really want to do this on our own and it’s easier with the internet but its still hard. We have to book ourselves, schedule ourselves. Get the tour support ourselves. Just everything a record company does we have to do. But again, we want it bad enough so that won’t slow us down. It’s all on us which is good. We won’t get lazy because if we do it’s on us and we have no one else to blame.

And let’s end with something a little different…Which famous person, living or dead, would you have dinner with and why?
Trace – I would have dinner with Veronica Lake. Veronica was a Hollywood film star from the 40’s.  I have always had a thing for her.. she died in the 70’s at 50 years old from drinking too much.. We actually have a song about her going on the next record.
Heath – Roger Patterson, He took the Infamous Bigfoot video in America and I just wanna know all about it.
Gunnar – Keith Moon. Just because I can only imagine spending some time with that guy and talking about any thing that popped up.
Luke – Bill Murray the Actor, I would love to just show up at a random event with him.

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