"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!
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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.

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Cover Image Credit: Sophie Harris

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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After 'Extremely Wicked' And 'The Stranger Beside Me,' We Now Understand The Criminal Mind Of Ted Bundy

1 hour and 50 minutes, plus 550 pages later.

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Netflix recently released a movie in May called "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" (2019), based on the life of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend's viewpoint.

In 1980, an author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule, published a book about her experience and personal, close friendship with Ted Bundy, called "The Stranger Beside Me."

These two sources together create an explosion of important information we either skim over or ignore about Ted Bundy. Watching this movie and reading this book can really open your eyes to who Ted Bundy really was. Yeah, there are the confession tapes on Netflix, too, but these other things can really tie it all into one big masterpiece of destruction.

I swear, it will blow your mind in different ways you never thought possible.

In the movie, "Extremely Wicked", Zac Efron stars as the infamous Ted Bundy, America's most notorious serial killer. He portrayed the murderer who kidnapped, killed, and raped 30 women or more. Personally, he made a great Ted Bundy, mannerisms and all. Lily Collins stars as Ted's girlfriend who was easily manipulated by Ted and believed that he was innocent for years.

The movie is told in the order that Liz, Ted's girlfriend, remembers.

In the book, "The Stranger Beside Me", Ann Rule writes about Ted Bundy, who used to be her old friend. They met while working at a crisis center in the state of Washington and were close ever since. Like Liz, Ann believed he was innocent and that he was incapable of these horrific crimes.

Ted Bundy had made both Liz and Ann fools. He easily manipulated and lied to both women about many things for years, his murders being "one" of them.

Okay, so we all know that Ted Bundy was absolutely guilty as hell and totally murdered those women. 30 women or more. He literally confessed to that, but researchers and authorities believe that number to be way higher.

But... you must know that the movie and the book tell two different stories that lead to the same ending. That's why it's so intriguing.

At one point, I couldn't stop watching the movie. Then, I bought Ann Rule's book and was completely attached to it. I couldn't put it down.

For me, Ted Bundy is interesting to me. Unlike most young girls today, I don't have a thing for him nor do I think he's cute or hot. I know that he used his charm and looks to lure women into his murderous trap. That's why it's so hard to understand why this movie and book created a new generation of women "falling in love" with Ted Bundy.

GROSS: He sodomized women with objects. He bludgeoned women with objects or his own hands. He was a necrophile. Look those up if you have not a clue of what they mean. That could change your mind about your own feelings for Ted Bundy.

After "Extremely Wicked" and "The Stranger Beside Me", I now understand the criminal mind of Ted Bundy. He was insane, but he was also smart, put together, educated, charming, and lots more. That's why I'm so interested in why his brain was the way it was.

The criminal mind is an interesting topic for me anyway, but for Ted Bundy, it was amazing to learn about.

I highly recommend both the movie and the book I quickly read in two weeks! If you want answers, they are there.

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