We caught up with Benny and Angel, members of the hit band Jumbo Shrimp Inc. after their huge win at Battle of the Bands!
Tell us about your Hard Rock Rising experience
Benny: Awesome day for me and my family. Earlier in the day, I’m graduating high school and at night I’m winning the Hard Rock Rising event with my best friends – my band. Amazing experience.
Angel: Our experience was great! The crowd was killer and amazing! I was a little nervous to be honest because my bass was having problems and I had to adjust on the fly. Anytime you can qualify for an event that carries a name like Hard Rock, it’s pretty cool.
What inspired Jumbo Shrimp to compete in the competition?
Benny: I think we’re always trying to be involved in cool events such as this, especially ones that support local musicians like this one. One of the better attributes of events like these is that we get to meet other bands.
Angel: Honestly, I was caught off guard. I didn’t even know we signed up for it. Our manager keeps us busy and at times great opportunities like Hard Rock Rising come up. Seems to be happening more often lately.
How did the band form?
Benny: Dylan, our other guitarist/keys and sax player, and I formed the band when we met at School of Rock. I was in 8th grade and he was in 6th. We later met Angel, our bassist, and our original drummer also at School of Rock and that was almost 6 years ago and here we are. We added a new drummer, Walker, a year ago, have focused on getting more formal and organized. We have added management, been writing songs, gigs are becoming constant and bigger. Our hard work and dedication is really starting to pay off.
Angel: The band started when our singer, Ben and our guitarist, Dylan, were doing an open mic with a sit-in drummer. Things went well and then they asked me and our old drummer to join. Our drummer left for college, and we added, Walker, one of the sickest drummers around. All of us grew up through the School of Rock ranks.
How did you guys come up with the name Jumbo Shrimp?
Benny: Actually it is Jumbo Shrimp Inc. There are differing stories as each of us remembers differently but it was either a list of oxymorons or an automated band name generator, I’m still not entirely sure.
Angel: I believe Ben just used a band name generator and the name came up and we decided to use it. It has stuck and people tend to remember it.
How has the reception been since winning Battle of the Bands at Hard Rock Café Hollywood?
Benny: It has been awesome. Our manager told us that we are now in talks with three more Hard Rocks, due to this win. I think we are looking at Miami, Atlanta and in September we may be playing at The Hard Rock – Nashville the Saturday prior to The Josie Awards, where we were nominated for four awards. That would be an awesome weekend.
Angel: We are definitely getting some real cool attention. Looks like we might be playing other Hard Rocks. We also noticed that our Reverbnation account received a lot of visitors (www.reverbnation.com/jumboshrimprocks). We also got picked up by a couple of radio stations right after the show. Oh, and also, I almost forgot, Hard Rock’s social media people told us that we had about 50,000 tune into our show when they went Facebook LIVE. That’s pretty cool, man.
What’s next for Jumbo Shrimp Inc?
Benny: Well, in June our focus is going to be on finishing our fourth album. We have been doing a lot of shows lately, playing everywhere. We played at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Florida Music Festival in downtown Orlando, Ft. Pierce, Stuart, Lake Park, Miami, West Palm Beach and other places I cannot recall. We started recording this album in February at Blackbird Studios in Nashville and it’s time to get it done.
Angel: We hope a lot of good things. We have had a lot of momentum lately and we just want things to continue growing. This is what we want to do for a living, so we just want to stay focused, keep working and we know good things will come. This band is ready for the next step and as long we make the right decisions the future has no limit for this band.