Jeff Weiss – The Lead for The US Americans (Interviewed)

The US Americans

Jeff’s(Singer) Answers to UltraVulgar’s Quintin Goynes Aka ManIntheMiddle[qg]

1. When and why did you start playing?

Jeff: I was always singing along to the radio as a kid but seeing Pearl Jam for the first time at age 16 really lit a fire under my ass. It was like ok, this is what I want to do. between that, and the kids playing music in high school asking me to front their band(s), I knew this is something I should be doing.

2. Which instruments do you play?

Jeff: I can play some guitar and I can shake a tambourine.

3. What was the first tune(s) you learned?

Jeff: Long road by Pearl Jam.

4. Is your family musical?

Jeff: My dad played the accordion as a kid, does that count?

5. Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities.

Jeff: Mom can watch a show, dad can listen to Zeppelin, and my sister has decent taste.

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6. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Jeff: Betsy wright of Ex-Hex because of how cool she is to her fans. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and Radiohead for their flawless performances. Deerhoof for their crazy music and functionality as a unit.

7. Which famous musicians have you learned from?

Jeff: Lots. Thao, Chan Marshall, john Fogerty, Thom Yorke, Ol Dirty Bastard, and Carrie Brownstein.

8. Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?

Jeff: Steve taught me the basics on guitar as a teenager, the amazing and incredibly decorated Victoria Berdy is currently helping me along my vocal journey. Also, I study tape. I watch the great ones on stage and that really helps me put my performances together.

9. Describe your first instrument. Other instruments.

Jeff: Guitar. I wanted something to sing over.

10. What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

Jeff: Going so far into my diaphragm that I felt it in my balls while holding a note.

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11. Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

Jeff: Ramones records for sure. I know a few things technically now but that’s the band that made you think anyone can do this if they work hard enough.

12. Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CDs?

Jeff: Soul Coughing, Pearl Jam, Sleater-Kinney, Ex-Hex, Ramones, Mudhoney, Thao and the get down stay down, Neil young, Radiohead, Notorious B.I.G., The Doors, Ol dirty bastard.

13. Have you been in competitions? Fleadh’s? Any prizes?

Jeff: Not really. I came in 2nd in the cutest baby contest once. Does that count?

14. Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?

Jeff: All the time; It’s great; and the most natural feeling in the world.

15. Do you play for dances? Step-dancers? Describe the differences.

Jeff: I play for a lot of different people. They all seem to be enjoying themselves lately.

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16. How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Jeff: Push through it, bend that note ’til it’s the right one.

17. Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?

Jeff: Excited sometimes but it feels normal mostly; like this is what I should be doing.

18. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Jeff: Nothing to be afraid of. So many different kinds of people on this planet. some of them will love you. Just do you to the fullest.

19. Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?

Jeff: Sure. my favorite is when everyone gets lost in the sound and it goes somewhere you never could’ve imagined it going when you started.

20. How often and for how long do you practice?

Jeff: As often as I can, wish everyone else felt the same way.

21. What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?

Jeff: All of it.

22. Do you teach music?

Jeff: I don’t.

23. How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?

Jeff: Music comes first and everything else is secondary at this point.