By Greg Little
Editor’s Note: Kicks presents 20Q, a feature that introduces readers to people involved in the area’s arts and entertainment community. Compiled by kicks Editor Greg Little, each piece will include a short bio, photo and answers to questions that provide insight into not only that person’s artistic interests but also his or her unique personality.
Jared Havercroft is fun-loving guy. Ask him to describe himself and he tells you he’s “5-foot-7, 160 pounds of raging fat, blond hair and brown eyes (because I’m full of it).”
Recognized as Lugnut, the upright bass player in the local rockabilly band Gas Can Alley, Havercroft adds that he likes “long walks on the beach and romantic, candlelit Dungeons and Dragons sessions.”
Born in Marengo, Illinois, Havercroft was “refined” here in Wisconsin. He holds an associates degree in business science from UW-Rock County with a minor in “underwater basket weaving.”
Music has long been part of Havercroft’s life, His uncle played in countless bands, and his father earned a scholarship to the Southern California School of Music for violin. But it wasn’t a passion for music that got Havercroft into playing bass.
“It was my brother, who lied to me and said ‘chicks dig bass players,’” he said. “No, bass players are just roadies that get to hang out onstage.’
Havercroft has played other instruments in other bands, but he prefers the bass. He sees it as “the glue that holds everything down and creates that ‘feeling’ people get when they listen.” Admitting he’s easily distracted, it also doesn’t hurt the bass has only four strings to think about.
When he’s not playing music, Havercroft works asphalt for Archambault Asphalt Sealing and Striping in Janesville. “It’s a dirty job with long hours, but thankfully the owners let me take time off to play,” he said.
Havercroft also boasts he has “a wonderful girlfriend, Leah, and a son, Hunter, and the three best dogs in the world: Bud, a goldendoodle, and Ollie and Kai, two cute little ankle-biting Yorkies.”
1. How long have you been a musician, and what initially sparked your interest in music? I’ve been playing music for over 20 years. Several of my family members are musicians, so I guess I can blame them.
2. How did you end up playing the upright bass? I had to learn it to join Gas Can Alley. Never touched one before that, honestly.
3. Describe “rockabilly” for the uninitiated. Old school rock ‘n’ roll. A mixture of mountain music and blues. We just take that and play it faster. Think early Elvis or Carl Perkins.
4. People would be surprised to find out that I: Am gainfully employed.
5. What are you afraid of? Finding out aliens and the Illuminati aren’t real and that I’ve been paranoid this whole time for nothing.
6. Assuming Lugnut is not your Christian name, how did that nickname come about? Witness protection program. Next question.
7. When you’re at the grocery story, what’s the one thing that goes in your cart whether you need it or not? Beer, smokes ... The National Enquirer.
8. Do you have any pre-gig rituals? Shower, drive fast, show up late.
9. In your band, who has the best sense of style? Rev. Chris. Dude wears a suit coat and tie, like, every day.
10. What type of music did your parents listen to when you were a child? Did it influence your future tastes? Def Leppard and Michael Bolton. And no.
11. Do you have any tattoos? No. The explanation is I never got one. Crazy, eh?
12. If Gas Can Alley were to sign a contract with a big-name music label, what’s the first thing you’d do with your share of the money? Go to the Dollar Store.
13. Are there different types of upright basses, or do they all tend to be somewhat the same? Yeah, there’s different body styles, but they all work pretty much the same.
14. To whom would you compare your performance style? Somewhere between a court jester and an overly caffeinated zoo animal.
15. Share a musical artist that you’re kind of embarrassed to admit you really like. Absolutely no shame in my love for ’90s hip-hop. And The Cure.
16. If someone else would pay for it, would you jump out of an airplane? With or without a parachute?
17. How long has Gas Can Alley been together, and how did the group originally form? Four years. I knew Chris ... I think we met at college or something. Chris met Lefty in a bar, I think. Lefty and Wingnut had known each other for years. I lived around the corner from Lefty. We started off doing more punk rock stuff under the name “The So-Called Others” and put out an album. But we shifted to a bit more rockabilly sound and morphed into Gas Can Alley.
18. If you could perform on any stage anywhere in the world, where would it be? Machu Picchu, Peru.
19. What is your astrological sign? Do you believe in astrology? Gemini, and it depends on which paper I read.
20. Is your glass half full or half empty? Mine has a hole in it.