Jailhouse -- Rocking For A Cause This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Jailhouse is a hot new band from Los Angeles. The band, which features vocalist Danny Simon, bass player Matt Thorr, drummer David Alford, and guitarists Michael Raphael and Amir Derakh, has an E.P. called "Alive In A Mad World" and can be seen on MTV in their videos of "Modern Girl" and "Please Come Back." I recently had the opportunity to speak with Danny about what makes Jailhouse different from other bands from Los Angeles and how the band formed.

"Michael and I got a band together and started writing songs," Danny began. "We had a couple of other guys from L.A. in the band. Then we met Amir, Matt, and David, who used to be in a band called Rough Cutt. They wanted to start a project. We got together on 8/8/88, which seems to be a lucky date on the Japanese calendar. We had meetings and rehearsals and went on from there."

When asked to describe each of his bandmates, Danny replied, "Michael is the weirdest guy in the band.

"He's very crazy and does whatever he wants. He's very creative and writes most of the songs. He's very unpredictable. Matt is very serious but he's a fun guy at the same time. He and I organize things. David is from the South. He has over 1,000 stories to tell and he's very funny. Amir is like a cat. He's very mysterious. He appears and disappears."

Jailhouse differs from other bands by trying to raise social awareness about problems facing the world today, such as discrimination and starvation. "We try to write [songs] about things that we live day by day. For example, when we saw the kind of racism that happens with the Klu Klux Klan or which we saw in the movie Mississippi Burning, it influenced us to write. That's how we wrote ALand of Today.' In our song AStand Up,' we're not saying Astand up at a show and clap;' It's more if you don't dig something, don't just stand there. Talk about it. Do something about it."

Part of the proceeds from the Jailhouse E.P. go to the National Runaway Switchboard and the Options House, two organizations which help runaway teens. "We have a song called AThe Innocent' which is about homeless kids," Danny replied when asked about this. "We went to a Seven-Eleven and saw a family of starving homeless people and that inspired us to write that song. We figured we could tie songs like that in with actually doing something more than just singing about it. We said, AWe have an E.P. coming out. Let's do something that will make the E.P. more legitimate. We're not going to make $1,000,000 off our first E.P. We're not looking for major profits in a short term career. We're looking for a long term career. We want to do something that's going to put us in a different level than other bands.' That's why we decided to donate part of the proceeds to teen runaway kids.

"When kids see a 60-year-old guy with a tie on TV saying, AGo back home. You're wrong for doing this. You're wrong for taking drugs,' kids are not going to listen to that guy; they're not going to relate. But if they see five guys in a rock band with long hair, dressed in leather, saying, ADon't do that. That's not cool,' they might listen. So that's pretty much the idea of the whole thing."

Danny stressed that their fans have been and always will be the most important thing to the band. He said anyone who would like to contact the band or would like more information on the band can write to:



JAILHOUSE

8600 Wilbur Avenue

Northridge, CA 91324 n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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