Israeli soldier's dream leads to band with resonating beats

Jerrico are about to explode into Gladstone for the El Grande Festival at the Grand Hotel on Saturday, August 3.
Jerrico are about to explode into Gladstone for the El Grande Festival at the Grand Hotel on Saturday, August 3. Contributed

JERICCO is not your average rock band. The Melbourne group possesses an ancient, eclectic sound, comprising haunting sounds, lingering lyrics and mystical beats.

With intriguing Middle Eastern-inspired percussion, this band is unforgettable and is set to bring some resonating beats to Gladstone for the next El Grande Festival at the Grand Hotel on Saturday, August 3.

The four-piece band consists of Roy Amar (bass, oud, songwriter), Brent McCormick (vocals), Jordan Nagle (guitar), Adam Hompas (guitar) and Aiden King (drums, percussion).

Journeying from Israel to Australia 12 years ago, Roy had a dream - a dream that would not only take him far away from the painful memories of his time with Israel's army service, but a dream that would encompass his talent and musical passion that he had even as a child, playing in an Israeli orchestra.

"I'm a person that believes everything happens for a reason," Roy said. "It was part of getting mature."

After finishing his compulsory time with the service, Roy said he simply wanted to travel far away.

"Australia for me was the school of life," he said.

Although his English was originally rusty, the Israeli musician was determined to become his own person in Australia.

Struggling with unsettling memories, Roy was diagnosed with a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I wasn't very well," he admitted.

But that is a story for another day. Roy said through it all he learnt a lot about himself.

"One day when I was feeling really good, I thought okay, I'm going to do what I really love to do and form a band. And that's how Jericco started."

I never would have imagined that. We are not a mainstream band - it just shows you how much people love you

With his mission in mind, Roy set out to pinch, hunt and find the perfect members for the band.

And in June 2009, Jericco released its first EP. The album was full-on hard rock.

"We had a massive show in Melbourne - it was really cool," Roy said. "We had a lot of hype around the band back then.

"I think with Jericco things went really good really fast, which I'm grateful for, but I think we should have had those teething problems like other bands."

Roy said from the second gig, the band was signed to an amazing booking agent.

"We were touring all over Australia - we did 17 festivals in one year, on the back of our first EP."

Close to a year ago, Roy said things started to go down a little for the band.

"I guess it's getting harder and harder," he said in relation to being in the music industry.

"You want more publicity and a better release."

Over the years the band had a few line up changes, but is back with more maturity and passion.

"It's just the love of it," Roy said.

Jericco's debut album Beautiful in Danger has already made a name for itself.

Roy said they loved the album but the recording and writing had been a bit of a labour.

"We're very proud of it - in one point we were thinking we don't have much money, how do we release it."

But release it they did in April this year.

"It was pretty incredible - it was the first time this band actually got recognition from the industry."

At one stage the band charted number 16 on the independent charts.

"I never would have imagined that. We are not a mainstream band - it just shows you how much people love you."

When asked what sets them apart as a rock band Roy said, "We definitely dropped all the progressive kind of element we used to listen to - it was just listening to various music."

Roy said to all budding musicians, it didn't matter what you played.

"No-one can tell you what is going to be the next big thing."

Topics:  editors picks el grande festival entertainment grand hotel music

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