Jebus overcomes amp troubles, builds new image
December 15, 2006
Steamboat Springs — Jebus is 80 percent Colorado Mountain College employees, 40 percent librarians, two lefties and some bad luck.
For instance, bass guitarist Bob Gumbrecht tried to upgrade his equipment by purchasing a new high-end amplifier last summer. He had to send it back after it had electrical problems, and it then got lost in transit.
“UPS paid for it, and he bought another amp but got it completely damaged,” lead vocalist and guitarist David Willis said. “So he bought a new amp but is still waiting to hear if the last one was covered (by postal insurance). Russell Funke (a guitarist for Jebus) offered to come over and beat the new amp with a sledgehammer to save him the trouble.”
Despite Gumbrecht’s bad luck, the band got to play with ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro last summer after he performed at Strings in the Mountains.
“That was the musical high point so far for me,” Willis said. “He’s a total master of that instrument and many different styles, and to have him show up later that night was thrilling.”
This is Willis’ first band, and he’s relishing the opportunity to compose original songs.
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“It’s a fascinating process how the band gets together and agrees on a song,” he said.
Keyboardist Kevin Williams describes Jebus’s sound as a “five-piece structured jam, blues-based rock ‘n’ roll band.”
“We take a section of the sound and stretch it out, improvise and bring it back around,” Williams said. “We’re really repressed geeks playing rock ‘n’ roll.”
Jebus also plays a mix of unique cover songs by artists including Beck, Built To Spill and Sublime.
The band’s biggest challenge was coming up with a new name. Once known as Big Pants, the band members decided to come up with something different after bass player Tommy Larson left.
“We felt like we should honor Tommy and let the Big Pants name rest,” Willis said.
The word Jebus was a name Homer Simpson used for Jesus in an episode of “The Simpsons.”
“When we were trying to pick a band name, we kept trying to crack each other up,” Willis said. “Jebus was the most clean and presentable name we could come up with.”