Pharmacose are an Alt-Rock Band from Jacksonville, Fl. USA.Front-man Wes Jones talks to Loud-Stuff…

Tell us about the history of the band?

Pharmacose has been around since late 2017, when I met Lu Rubino, our producer and bassist.  We were introduced through a mutual friend.  I had been recovering from a bad mental health episode.  I was hospitalised and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 

I had some songs I wanted to record, because I figured life was too short.  I asked around, and a friend of mine recommended Lu Rubino to me.  Lu has worked with some big acts in the past, like Paramore, so I thought I was fortunate to have found him.

We recorded those songs under the name Digital Array.  We ended up pulling that record.  We had gotten some managers, and we kind of wanted to rebuild from the ground up.  So, we changed our name to Pharmacose.  We also rounded out our lineup. 

Lu has known Albert Cruz, our drummer, for many years.  I later met Kevin Horne, and he came aboard to play lead guitar.  We reworked some of those songs and wrote some new ones.  We have been grinding away in the studio for a while, so it’s nice to get to a point where we can release some music.

How would you describe your music?

I would say alternative rock with synth elements.  But some songs we lean more towards pure alternative, some almost metal, some more punk.  Overall, we have a diverse musical background, and I think that shows in our sound. 

Thematically, the twelve or so songs we plan to release this year mostly deal with mental health issues. I’ve drawn from my struggles with that, with medication issues and such.

What are your influences/ musical heroes?

We each have a diverse background.  I have a lot of 90s alternative rock influences, bands like Tool and Alice in Chains.  I also really like Failure, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, At the Drive-In, and The Mars Volta, among others.  There are so many. 

Kevin comes from a metal background.  I know he has cited Periphery as being an influence, and Albert comes from a progressive rock background.  He’s a big King Crimson fan.  

What record are you currently listening to?

I just listened to De-Loused in the Comatorium by The Mars Volta.  Again.  

What is your favourite song to perform live?

The Clearing.  So much fun to play.

What would be your dream tour to be a part of?

I’d really like to get on the festival circuit. I lived in New Orleans for a few years, and we had the Voodoo Music Festival.  In Chicago, we had Lollapalooza.  So being a part of some festivals would be amazing.

What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?

We’ve really just emerged from being bunkered up in the studio for a while, so we haven’t toured yet.  We would like to, however.

What are your current thoughts on the music industry?

All eyes are on streaming right now.  Everyone is trying to crack the code.  In some ways, it’s still the Wild West in that regard.  If you want to get anywhere, you have to get streams.  But the bright side to all that, record companies aren’t the gatekeepers to making a living in music.  Some great artists have been able to get tons of streams from working in their bedroom.  It’s crazy.   

What advice would you give to someone starting their own band?

I took an unconventional path.  Because I had some problems getting people interested, I got an education and have a professional career.  That has been good for me in a lot of ways.  I have been able to afford to have our music recorded, mixed, and mastered professionally.  That’s a good path to take if you aren’t super fortunate to find a group of people when you are 18 or 21 or so.  I’d still recommend getting educated though. 

Also, I’d recommend learning a DAW like Pro Tools or Logic.  It’s so easy to get some expertise in recording and mixing.  I’d still have the mixing part done professionally at the very least, but you’ll know the language.  You’ll know how to talk to producers and engineers in a meaningful way.  Also, you can bring demos to the studio, like I did.  That saves time and money.

What are your future plans?

This year for us is all about exposure.  We have a lot of material coming out in the form of at least 2 EPs and two music videos.  We’re hustling, doing everything to get our name out there.  We’ll just have to see from there, but obviously the goal is to start touring.  Aside from that, we’re always writing and recording. 

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