"Art'n'Roll" Band "The Dukes" Combine Rock Music With Drawings

"Art'n'Roll" Band "The Dukes" Combine Rock Music With Drawings

Album "Smoke Against the Beat" is available July 28!

Francois "Shanka" Maigret and Greg Jacks, also known as " The Dukes ," have a way of making rock music unique. Both have been in successful rock bands in the past - Shanka was a guitarist for popular French rock band No One Is Innocent, and Greg was a drummer for the multi-platinum, French Grammy Award winning Superbus. Now that the two of them have teamed up, they combine music with art and travel the world to share it.

Shanka Maigret: Hi! I'm Shanka. I write songs, play the guitar, and sing in The Dukes.

Greg Jacks: I'm Greg. I try to play the drums. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.

That's life! You fail 90% of the time, but you learn from it.

GJ: There's no failure. Only happy little accidents. A lot of very successful businessmen will tell you that 90% of the time, as you said, it fails. But the most important thing is to never give up.

Because if you give up, you'll never succeed.

GJ: The difference between somebody that succeeds and someone who doesn't is that they have the courage to stand up again after they've failed.

What's the coolest place you've played a show with The Dukes?

GJ: Playing in Sweden was super fun.

SM: Yes. Absolutely.

GJ: We played in a super cool club with The Subways, who we were supporting for a few months on their European Tour.

SM: That night was epic because [The Dukes] had a couple of days off after that show, and I had to go back to France because [No One Is Innocent] had five gigs with Motörhead. So they left me in Stockholm. I spent 3 or 4 hours in the city that night, and I took a cab to the airport and took a plane to France, did five gigs with Motörhead, and then took another plane back to Berlin to finish the tour.

You've both had years of experience in different successful bands, but what are you currently working on with The Dukes?

GJ: We recently had the opportunity to record some tracks with the legendary producer Kato Khandwala. He's the producer for The Pretty Reckless, and he did Breaking Benjamin...we got on a call together and he was like, "I want to work with you guys!" And we were like, "We want to work with you!"

We just finished our newest album, Smoke Against the Beat, which will be released all over the world on July 28. We'll be doing some U.S. gigs in the fall as well. Our single, "Black Hole Love," is already out.

Yes - I love it! It's so good.

GJ: We actually entered the Billboard rock chart for it! Right behind Queens of the Stone Age and Nothing More. Francois and I have done a lot of stuff [with our other bands], but that, to be on Billboard, I'd put it above my French Grammy. This was my dream since I was a baby.

How many songs made the cut to the album - and how many total did you record?

SM: Good question. I think we had about 16 songs, and we kept 12.

Do you ever release the B-sides?

SM: Absolutely. All 16 were good, but we wanted to keep a few tracks for extras, freebies, or events.

GJ: And we love to do covers.

How do you decide what songs to cover?

SM: We'll have a song that we really like, to the point where we're obsessed with it. You hear it in your head all the time so a good way to set you free is to do a cover, actually.

What about your original songs - how are they composed?

SM: It's pretty funny the way I compose. I just sit down in my chair in front of ProTools - I don't take any instruments. I just close my eyes and ask myself, "What do I hear?" And then the riffs and melodies start flowing. It's a good way to avoid being too "classic" - it helps you be more original, because it's what's in your head that prevails.

Then after I record the guitar, I ask myself, "What does this make you feel?" Then I write a couple of lines, figure out the melody, and I keep building on top of that.

That's really fascinating. I'm an artist too but I'm a visual artist, so I get the process but I could never do that with sound.

SM: Yeah, it's a bit different. I'm a visual artist too - I draw and I do stop motion animation with cartoons and puppets. The creative process is different, but the core of it is the same. You have to have an idea and know what you want to tell people. You don't doodle using just your skills, you have to mean it.

That's the most important thing. If you don't have substance then you won't be able to convey any kind of message.

SM: It's all about substance! For example, a drawing that doesn't mean anything is just going to be decorative at the most.

GJ: Have you seen any of our videos or live shows? Here [at Warped Tour] it's complicated because we play during the day. During a typical show, video projections of our drawings and cartoons show up on our equipment as we play.

SM: It's all synced to the music. I do video mapping and it's projected on the kick drum, the amps, and stuff like that.

GJ: It's very cool looking because it's DIY. It's not like the [stereotypical] iTunes type of video.

Pre-order Smoke Against The Beat here.

Keep up with the band on social media:

Cover Image Credit: Sophie Harris

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Who Still Has Her Mom This Christmas

To the girl with who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas. 

     To the girl who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas, please remember to soak every last bit of it in. 

      Please remember to hug her so tight, that the way she smells is locked into your nose. Listen to all the stories you've heard a million times, like you've never heard a single one. Help her, even if it seems completely silly to you, help her mix that cake. Laugh, oh please laugh. Laugh at all her corky ways, at the way she mispronounces words, try's to be hip and use new found lingo, or how she cusses when she forgot to get the rolls out of the oven but quickly asks the Lord for forgiveness. Remember her laugh, etch it into your brain. Make her happy, if she wants to go riding around looking at Christmas lights down the same streets you've went for years, do it. Don't fuss, take her advice, agree to just disagree on things. It's not worth it. Most importantly, remind her over and over how much you love her. 

     Because unlike you, I'm not able to see my mom on Christmas. I'm not able to see her on birthdays, Thanksgiving, or any other occasion. My time with her is up. Death is the most permanent heartbreak. 

     How I long to hear her voice, her laugh. To feel her tight embrace. Smell, oh god, what I would give to just be able to smell her. I would absolutely love to go riding around for hours while she ohhs and ahhs at every single house we pass. If I had the opportunity I'd tell her just how much I love her, how I'm so thankful for all the sacrifices she made for me. In fact, I'm not sure I could ever tell her enough. 

      Some days I wake up and it still doesn't feel real. Others, I panic trying to remember exactly how she sounded. Because, I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget a single characteristic about her. Not one. 

     Take time, not just on holidays, or special occasions to be with your mom. Even if it's just you two piled up watching reruns of "The Little House on the Prairie", soak it in. 

    You only get one momma. Nobody could ever take her place. She's your rock. 

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Solitude vs Community: Who Would Win?

Is this really a competition that can be won?


It can be tough to be alone sometimes. The endless stretches of solitude. The deafening silence within the room. I find it welcoming and maddening at the same time. The need for this time where all I have is myself is necessary to my sanity. It is that time where someone should "just be" as I have seen so many times on social media.

Self-care, stillness, quiet reflection…these are the sentiments that I am constantly bombarded with. However, there is another side to this coin: community. There are those who encourage being in the company of others. Find time to be with others, don't spend too much time in the confinement of solitude, your friends need you.

It calls to mind a series of books my son reads entitled: "Who Would Win?" It pits the strong versus the strong. The winner is not revealed until the very end of the book. One finds themselves choosing a side and rooting for their choice.

The pages cannot be turned fast enough. Anticipation rises as the end of the book draws near. Then the revelation comes and…there is no clear-cut victor. When it comes to the battle of solitude versus community who the winner is will vary from person to person or mood to mood, as it is for me.

I am never quite sure which one I will want. Some days I want to be around my friends and family. Other times, I want to be wrapped up in the blanket of quiet against the noise of the realm of my inner circle. And then there are the times when no matter what choice I make, it doesn't feel like the right one. Is this a competition that can truly be won? No matter how many people I could ask this question to, the answer would be different each time. As for me, I'll take a little bit of both.


Related Content

Facebook Comments