Meet James Barker Band, the next big thing in country music.
Fronted by James Barker, the James Barker Band consists of four young men from Canada —James Barker, Taylor Abram, Connor, Stephen, and Bobby Martin — who have the passion, talent, and drive to make it in the country music scene.
“Connor [the drummer] and I have known each other since we were in high school,” James Barker tells us in regards to how all of the band members met. “We actually met at band camp, so we’ve been playing together ever since then. Taylor, who plays acoustic and sings background, we met him because Connor and I [when we were in a rock band] recorded at a studio that he ran about six years ago. And then Bobby — we met through another musician that we used to play in a band with.”
In just three short years, the James Barker Band won the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Award and even performed with country star Dierks Bentley. This young group of men have stolen the hearts of many country fans (including us), and we can’t wait for the world to hear what’s in store for them.
Take a listen to their new single “Just Sayin'” (released this past Friday) and make sure to keep up with the James Barker Band by following them on Twitter at @JamesBarkerBand.
Full Q&A with James Barker below.
Celeb Secrets Country: Who would you say are your musical influences?
James Barker: “Mine personally are Keith Urban, also, in the classic rock, Led Zeppelin. And then I know the guys are really in to a little bit over everything too, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matchbox Twenty, The Weeknd. Everything, we’re a very diverse group.”
Celeb Secrets Country: How would you describe your sound as a band for someone who hasn’t heard you yet?
James Barker: “I would say more progressive country as far as sound goes, but more of a traditional lyric. We really dig the Old Dominion kind of feel meets Billy Currington. We’ve got that groovy funky kind of aspect, that’s what we all like to play.”
Celeb Secrets Country: Your song “Lawn Chair Lazy” is a big hit right now! How are you all reacting to that?
James Barker: “Its been crazy! Its been like that for a few months and obviously we were pretty excited about it when we released it but the progression of the song has been insane. Especially at shows now people know every word to the song and we get requests for it wherever we seem to be going. Or when we are in the car we hear it. Its phenomenal and unbelievable, especially for being the first single.”
Celeb Secrets Country: The music video looked so much fun! What was it like to film that?
James Barker: “It was awesome, it was actually on my dad’s farm! Where I grew up is where I shot it. It was pretty relaxed. It was awesome but it was hot! It was the first hot day of spring but it was a pretty fun video to shoot. It matches the song, it’s a lazy kind of video.”
Celeb Secrets Country: We heard you performed with Dierks Bentley; what was that like?
James Barker: “That was probably the peak of our music career so far. It was insane! It was crazy because they told us that we would be playing with Dierks, but we got a quick little rehearsal with him, but when he actually came out on stage it was unbelievable. It almost didn’t sink in until the next day because when you’re in the moment you’re just enjoying that moment, but the next day you’re like ‘Wow we just played with Dierks Bentley.’”
Celeb Secrets Country: Are you guys already working on new music? If so, when can we expect to hear it?
James Barker: “We are! We’re actually just trying to wrap up and put the final touches on our music. I think we have the songs we want, we might be picking a couple more, for our EP that hopefully will release before the new year.”
Celeb Secrets Country: Do you write your own music?
James Barker: “Yeah! I’ve actually been going to Nashville since I was 18, so 6 years now, I’ve basically been focusing on writing. So I think all of the songs except for maybe one are co-written.”
Celeb Secrets Country: What do you say your goal is as an artist?
James Barker: “We’re all people who have done music our whole lives, so the concept that we get to play music full-time and put food on the table at the same time is great. Our goal has always been to not stop growing as a band and as musicians. And as far as the public goes, hopefully they keep enjoying our songs.”
Celeb Secrets Country: What is the best way that you keep in contact with your fans?
James Barker: “We’re all over social media. We try to make sure that anyone who comments or mentions us gets a reply. Especially at shows if there is anyone who wants an autograph or a picture or anything, we try to make sure we do everything we can because to be able to make people happy is a great thing. We will do anything for people who appreciate our music.”
Celeb Secrets Country: Since we are Celeb Secrets Country, do you have fun facts or secrets about yourself or each other that you would like to share?
James Barker: “One that pertains to the band is that Taylor and Connor have matching tattoos. It is some slogan, I know Connor got it and then Taylor ended up getting it too, Connor was kind of upset by it. Bobby looks like Loki, who is played by Tom Hiddleston, that’s not really a secret, but people don’t realize it until you say it.”