Even at first glance it is clear that Simple Jack is not your typical small town band. Bringing people of all ages together since 2011, they are a band that encompasses many generations. Tim Martuzas, Anthony Ubriaco, Paul Juiliani, and Pat Myers have combined their different backgrounds to form the next up and coming band in Watertown, NY. With decades of experience under their belt they flawlessly breathe life back into otherwise forgotten hits and put an old school flare on the new ones. No matter the genre, or generation of music you love, there is something for everyone at a Simple Jack show.These guys are not only talented but they embody a love for music at its core. They are a refreshing reminder that we are separated by many things but music should not be one of them. I was able to sit down and talk with them recently and after learning about the men of Simple Jack I am more a fan than ever before.
Katrina Johnson: How did Simple Jack get started?
Tim Martuzas: We started on November 11, 2011. At the time it was Steve Morley, Paul, and myself. We were all in between bands and Steve asked if we wanted to jam. There was Simple Jack.
TM: We were sitting around trying to come up with all these different names and most of what we were coming up with could be offensive
Paul Juiliani: Steve suggested it because he was talking about the movie Tropic Thunder. We got it from that Simple Jack. But then I could be considered a Simple Jack.
TM: Also it was brought up, we just wanted something simple. So what better than to just use that as part of the name.
KJ: How did you get to the current line up with Anthony and Pat?
Anthony Ubriaco: Tim had called me and told me if I ever needed a band to give him a call. At the time I didn’t think he was serious. But a couple of weeks later, after my band broke up, he asked why I didn’t call him. So I came out to jam with them and it stuck. Then about this time last year Steve decided he wanted to part ways and focus on work. Tim worked with Pat at musicology and approached him about playing bass. So he came and we jammed and now he is a key member.
Pat Myers: I started playing music in 2006. I started playing professionally when I joined this band.
TM: I went to music school, it’s not where I learned music though.
PJ: It comes from the heart. If you want to do it you will go out and learn how to do it, and find people to do it with.
TM: I started playing in 1982. My first gig was at a roller rink. This was back before the days of the DJ. A DJ used to have to carry in racks of boxes of records. Now they walk in with an iPod and get paid more than musicians get for all of their thousands of dollars in investment. The older school people grew up with a multiple of venues to play in. Not just bars; there was dances, dinners, weddings. Long before the DJ market dominated all of that. School dances never had a DJ, there was always a live band. It didn’t make any sense to have a DJ come in with boxes of records and hope he had the right ones. Today someone can pull up whatever they want on their iPad and carry nothing as far as equipment. It discourages the market as far as live music goes. At a lot of those school events the bands went to those schools, so the kids knew the bands. U had a ready-made following.