New Medicine is an energetic alternative rock band from Minnesota. Signed to Photofinish Records, the band has been on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival tour playing songs off of their upcoming album Race You To The Bottom (pre-order and iTunes). We had the chance to catch up with frontman/guitarist Jake Scherer and bassist (Matthew) Brady before one of the shows on the tour and we talked about how the band got signed, their comparisons to Rage Against the Machine and the Beastie Boys and .. Brett Favre. Check it all out below and when you finish at the bottom, read on how you can win a New Medicine prizepack which includes the band’s CD, a t-shirt, bandana and more!
What’s the meaning behind the band’s name New Medicine? Is it sort of a statement about the music industry?
Brady You know it was for all of that. It was a bit of a social commentary. It’s personal to us too. We went into the studio and recorded this whole new bunch of songs and we had some member changes. We wanted a name that kind of reflected that. New Medicine, for us, was a fresh slate. To us, it represented the ability for us to be able to use it as a launching pad to take on the rest of the music world.
Jake I agree. Also, we say that everyone has a medicine these days whether it’s the coffee that they drink, the cigarettes that they smoke, the pills that they take to go to sleep. Music in the end for me at least is the ultimate healer. Hey, don’t forget about music and heal people too.
How did the band get signed to Photofinish Records?
Jake We were playing on this tour with Candlebox and we played in New York City. We had played a bunch of formal label showcases for the suits who’d fly us to New York and sit there and say ‘Hmm, we’ll maybe give you a developmental thing.’ We were kind of over it and thinking that it wasn’t for us, it was too corporate. We were playing on the Candlebox tour and the guys from Photofinish came out and Photofinish is a subsidiary of Atlantic. The Photofinish guy came out and literally after the show said “Dude, you guys got a deal. We’re into it. We wanna sign you guys right now. Let’s go take some shots of Makers Mark”
Brady Thats the way you want to get signed!
Is this one of those upstream deals where if you sell a certain amount you’ll become an Atlantic Records band?
Jake It’s like a co-venture kind of thing. Atlantic distributes the record and helps us with press. Photofinish is there for the creative process with making the record. It’s a cool different way of doing it. You start off like very indie and DIY and we like that. We don’t just come out of the gates going “We’re a corporate rock band” cuz we’re not. We’re an indie band here in a van rocking out. We sell our own CDs, we hang out, we’re like normal guys. We’re not just some product. The label let us make the record that we wanted to make. We have all the creative control we want.
Brady We came out with a record we’re really proud of because we had the autonomy to function internally and show it to everybody and get the thumbs up.
The band helps out Joy 2 The World, the non profit group that loans money to women in Ghana. How did you get involved with that and do you have a personal connection to the cause?
Brady I did a study abroad in Ghana actually while I was in college and when we were in the studio I was looking for a way that the band could some way reach out and help. I got on the phone with Kathleen (Gibbs) who’s the founder of Joy 2 The World. We set up a conference call with the whole band and we just immediately clicked and hit it off. It was just some innate energy that we both shared. From then on, I went with them in January to check out the situation. It really is a great group and really important and empowering movement. I urge everyone to check it out at joy2theworld.org
Right now, we’re doing mostly an online campaign. We just did a fundraiser where we raised over a thousand dollars. Kathleen was just over there a few weeks ago to buy these plastic water buckets with spickets that extended families use in their home. Instead of going to the well for every trip, the water is in a larger basin that can be used to wash dishes and their hands. The money was distributed to 50, 60 families. It’s a really small group but the results are very direct and immediate.
Jake This whole tour all I’ve been hearing is Rage Against The Machine. Everyone says that they hear that in us. We love that.
Brady Another band we get compared to is Rise Against because of the aggresiveness. I think that we embody a lot of that.
Jake A lot of people also say that they hear Beastie Boys in us and we like that too.
Brady It’s hard and aggressive but it’s a party.
Jake, you sang a song with Meatloaf for his new album. What was it like meeting him and how did it get set up?
Jake I sang with him just on one song. I went to the studio and met him. He’s a really cool guy. Actually Jack Black sang the other part of the song. Me, Jack Black and Meatloaf. Pretty crazy.
Brady Pretty cool company.
Jake Pretty cool company, yeah it was really awesome. He’s an eccentric guy. There are some videos of us in the studio. It’s hilarious. I had no idea what to expect. All I know is that all the 40 year old moms who love Meatloaf are very jealous of me. As far as how it started. I just had written a song with my friend Kevin. We both write songs on the side. We wrote this one together. It was going to be for us. We might still put it on our second record. It’s called “Like A Rose.” He was showing the songs to Meatloaf because he was writing with Meatloaf. Meatloaf was working on his new album and he said ‘Play me something that you think that I’d never put on my album in a million years.’ Kevin said “alright, here you go. check this song.” Meatloaf started smiling immediately after the first chorus “I love this song, I have to have it!” They called me and said “Hey do you mind if we use your song?” and I said ‘no problem”. Then Meatloaf asked “Do you mind coming out to the studio and recording with me?” I said sure and it was pretty awesome.
When you’re touring on your next record and when you do release the song, Meatloaf has to join the band on stage.
Brady Are you kidding, that’d be soo cool!
Jake He invited me to go on stage! “When we come to Minneapolis, come out there and sing and play guitar on the song!”
You’re based out of Minnesota. Are you big sports fans? (Editors note: This interview was conducted just before the start of the NFL regular season)
Brady Oh yeah, absolutely.
Jake Big Twins fans, Big Vikings fans.
Did Brett Favre have to come back?
Jake Oh yeah, we needed him.
Brady We knew the whole time. there’s this secret Minnesota camaraderie. the rest of the nation might’ve been skeptical but there was never a doubt in our minds.
Jake Even when there was an announcement that he wasn’t coming back, we knew it wasn’t true.
He’d be a horrible bandmate.
Jake Oh yeah. “Hmmm I don’t know if I’m going to do the show.”
Brady “I’m not going to practice. Maybe I’ll show up on the first day of the tour or maybe not.”
To celebrate the upcoming release of New Medicine’s new album Race You To The Bottom (pre-order), we’re giving away the following to one winner!
– New Medicine â€œRace You to the Bottomâ€ CD
– T-shirt (boys design or girls design)
– New Medicine Bandana
– New Medicine Beer or beverage Koozie
– New Medicine Stickers
– New Medicine Poster
Check out pics of the prizes below! To enter, just fill out the form below. This information will ONLY be shared with the band for their mailing list and won’t be sold to anyone!