Jared Gomes, 2006


Written & Photos by: Jason Perlman


Last time we spoke was in this same Al Rosa parking lot and we discussed how excited you were about leaving the major label and having the freedom you wanted with your music.
Being free, isn't it great? But that doesn't speak for every major label. That was just speaking from my personal experience and what happened with me. I got signed and the guy who signed me left to another label and then my band got assigned to some fucking guy who was too square and my band is ridiculous, and this guy wasn't ridiculous. So he would literally nitpick my lyrics, make me change them and really impeded my artistic progress. And then when we got back on the indie side of music, I was like, "Whoa, I get to say whatever I want." But now on this new album, Back 2 Base X, I am coming back to the center. But for me, every album is different. This one really is not that dirty, where the last one was punch lines, rap punch lines and a lot of dirty jokes. This one is quite different than that.


You mentioned giving a lot of that freedom away on the last record with being dirty and humorous. Do you prefer maybe this one to the last one because you got that pent-up aggression out?
Apples and oranges, man. These records are two different animals. It's like having a dog and a cat; you love them both. I love the last album. I made it predominately on my laptop. This one is a little more powerful, but Only in America has a great place in my heart. But Back 2 Base X I am really proud of.

A lot of fans caught on to (hed) PE while you were on the major, how do you think the fans have transitioned over to the "real" Jared and (hed) PE?
You know what? The music business is very complicated. All I can say is whether you are on a major, an indie or whatever you want to call it. (hed) PE won their fans just by playing live. That is how I get my friend, just by the people who come out. This is how I get my people (motioning to the crowd outside smoking). They're not here because they heard a song on the radio, although I would love for our songs to be played on radio. They are here because they feel me. Believe it or not, I am financially more stable being on Suburban Noize Records than on the major. I don't think people realize that, but it is a totally different game. But for me, it has worked out a lot better. It is weird, because there are bands like Puddle of Mudd that sold like millions of albums but you go to their shows and there is really no one there. Then you got bands like Kottonmouth Kings who maybe sold a million records total will be sold out for two nights. What's going on? It's complex. Something is funny.

The one thing I love about your band and you is here it is, 30 minutes before you go on, and you are hanging out at the merchandise booth, talking to people signing autographs. You are not holed up in the bus until show time, and then run back when it is over. Reminds me of a band like Sevendust.
You know what, we are all human beings and generally the first thing we think about is what's in it for me. But the real reason I come out is I get bored. I am on the road for half the year; I just get bored hanging around by myself or with just my band. But the fact that I can come out and hang with the people that actually listen to my albums is awesome. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy meeting people who enjoy listening to the music I create. It takes two; it takes one to play it and one to listen. It's like if a tree falls on the woods and no one is around, does anyone hear it? NO. Boy, that is some shit.


So when you write, how much do you write for these people who are your friends, versus how much do you write for yourself?
Well, I am not really influenced by my fans like that. I am just creating my expression and putting it into the cycle. That is a hard question because I am writing shit that I want people to feel, but I don't have an agenda according to what I think they want to hear. That is not how it is going to go down.


Because you do have such control over the writing and recording process, how much are you able to look outside yourself to see where the process is?
I am that type of artist. There are plenty of songwriters and artists that are just not that into the recording process. I am. I am into everything starting with the kick drum and ending with the DJ and everything in between. I will not miss one second. That is just the type of person I am. I will control it. I will have my eyes on every frequency. I am a technical nigga like that. I don't just hand it over to other people, and a lot of bands do that but that I am into that. That is what I get into. I like getting into the computer, I like mixing, I like queuing and if I don't do it myself I don't like the product.


I heard you inside telling people, "Get the record. Get the record." How excited are you about Back 2 Base X coming out?
I am very excited. It is number 5, it is my fifth album and I think 5 is a powerful number and a lot went into it thought-wise. It was well though out. I am proud of it. I think a lot of people will get something out of it. I think it will spark the curiosity about greater things going on around this planet. That is what it is meant to do. For someone to hear different lyrics and get on the Internet and search what they are about. Because it is kind of crazy what I am saying. I have been studying Kabala and the Illuminati and the New World Order. I think that will definitely spark people's interest.


When you write, how much is for entertainment value versus how much do you really write to spark interest and communication?
I think it goes back and forth. Sometimes I am just trying to relate things that interest me and that I think will interest other people. But there are other times I am just trying to get people going. Other times I just want to make them feel better.


I was interviewing Riggs from Scum of the Earth and former Rob Zombie guitarist, and he described their music as stripper rock. You seem to have that same vibe that gets the body moving.
I think there is a universal rhythm. We all stride to that jungle beat. I think a lot of my music imitates tribal beats. Our hearts beat to a rhythm. We walk to a rhythm. There is this linear life that we live that is in rhythm.


And it doesn't hurt that hot girls like to dance to it, too?
(Laughing) That's a good thing, too. I guess there are rhythms and girls are attracted too more than others. I mean, you can go to metal shows and it is all boys in black shirts getting into the rhythm, which is cool. But our shows are generally more of a mixture of girls and guys, and maybe it is that rhythm we put out.


When you see a crowd like this, how much are you gratified?
I am trying to put food on the table with my art. So I am a successful artist in that way. I am successful in that way. I feel blessed and feel like I am living in an enchanted life, to be honest. I feel like this is a dream. It's great. I couldn't ask for anything more.

I was reading the preview of the show in The Columbus Dispatch, and they mentioned right off the bat that you are Ozzfest veterans.
That is a selling point for them. To put a nametag on us, but go ahead and finish your question.


You just mentioned being successful artists because you can put food on the table. How much do you need accolades, because a lot of people do need those to get through the day and to confirm they are a successful musician?
No, no, no. I don't need those titles and the fact that others may is not for me to speak on. But for me, I just need this. I just need a club full of people and enough money to give me a profit margin that I can pay my mortgage, put food on the table and keep my DJ living, my bass player happy and my guitar player happy. I don't need much of anything else. I am not saying (hed) PE is not going to win a Grammy some day, that would be great. I am just saying that that is not as important to us. What is important to us is playing our music and making a living from it.