Entrepreneurship and Career Development

Entrepreneur of the Month

Durand Jones and the Indications

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Entrepreneur of the Month:
Durand Jones & the Indications

Recently, Project Jumpstart had the opportunity to catch up with Jacobs alumni, discuss how they met here in Bloomington, learn how they stay inspired, and gather advice for students. Read the full interview below!

Jacobs School alumni and an internationally acclaimed band, May Entrepreneur of the Month Durand Jones & the Indications

 

green wall


Durand Jones & the Indications aren’t looking backwards. Helmed by foil vocalists in Durand Jones and drummer Aaron Frazer, the Indications conjure the dynamism of Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, AND the Impressions. Even with an aesthetic steeped in the golden, strings-infused dreaminess of early ‘70s soul, the Indications’ sophomore LP, American Love Call, is planted firmly in the present, with the urgency of this moment in time.

The Indications met as students at Indiana University in Bloomington, In. and recorded their self-titled debut album for $452.11, including a case of beer. American Love Call, the band’s sophomore LP, is a record the Indications dreamed of making, fleshed out with strings, backing vocals, and a newfound confidence in songwriting.

Blending a slew of influences from years spent crate-digging, guitarist Blake Rhein says the Indications approach songs in the same way hip-hop producers do, and are as likely to pull inspiration from ‘70s folk-rock or classic R&B as they are Nas’ Illmatic.

“Did I expect to do this shit once I got out of college? Hell no,” Jones relays, laughing. “Totally not. But this is what God is telling me to do – move and groove. So I’m gonna stay in my lane.”


THE INTERVIEW

PJ: You all met in Bloomington, correct? How did the group form? How did you go from being a group of friends/students to a professional touring band?


Durand: I met Blake Rhein (guitar) while working with the IU Soul Revue as an assistant. He later introduced me to his band mates from Charlie Patton’s War. They all met while in the recording arts department. It took years to become a touring band. Some bands just go for it from the start. We had no plans to do so until a booking agent contacted us. We started a relationship with him on a handshake deal. No contract. He really gave us incentive to hit the big cities and start a following there. So we went to LA first, played Chicago a few months later, then we went to NYC. Now, none of these gigs were great paying. We had this understanding that we were putting in sweat equity. After we hit the big three, we did a tour. Right after that tour we got record deal offers which led to management agencies contacting or expressing interest, which led to getting a lawyer, and publicist. That process was a big growing pain. Things get tough when your friends become your business partners. But once our team was locked in, we just dedicated our time to hitting the road and growing.


PJ: How do you balance your personal and professional relationships within the group?


Blake: It takes a lot of patience. We all entered this with different preferences and goals in mind. It's taken some time to align our energy and understand one another's feelings. For me, that has helped cut down on conflict and helped things run very smoothly.


Durand Jones and the Indications

 

PJ: When you first got to IU, could you have imagined this is how your career would play out? How did your time at Jacobs influence your musical identity and later, the path of your career?


Durand: No I didn’t think this would be the path I would be taking, but I am embracing it. When I first got to Jacobs, I had imposter syndrome really bad. There were so many professors that could tell how I felt and really did their best to make me feel like I truly belonged in the school. Through the process I learned to hold confidence within myself. I also learned that being around and working with people doing great things is beneficial to all of the great things you want to do. Just make sure the people you surround yourself with are GOOD people (I made the opposite mistake and I learned from that too). I’ve gained music companions I know will be there for me for the rest of my life. If I could relive my Jacobs experience, I would in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t have been blessed with this crazy life if it weren’t that school.

Durand Jones at Granfalloon

 

PJ: You have a crazy tour schedule right now! Do you have other side projects, teaching engagements, or solo ventures you’re pursuing?


Durand: Right now my time is fully dedicated to this project. But I’m starting to acquire a business mindset, and I’m thinking about how I want to brand myself and what products I’d like to create with my stamp on them. Down the road I’d love to start a music collective in New Orleans, but I have so much work to do until then. When I retire from this, I will most likely pursue teaching.



hear the Indications!

 

PJ: We love your work! What has changed between producing your first and second album?


Aaron: So much! The expectations have been raised, both by fans and ourselves. We’ve also been lucky enough to have more funds to work with after signing with Dead Oceans.
We’ve figured out a lot about touring sustainably— financially, physically, and emotionally. But most of all, I think we’ve just learned a ton about songwriting and arranging together. I’d like to think this record is the sound of us putting those lessons to work, all the while learning new ones.


PJ: Your new album comments on our relationship with the past. How do you see your role as artists within society?

 

Blake: I think the most important thing is just to be genuine and honest with your work. It's really great that we've achieved a level of success to where we have a platform to shed a light on the issues we feel passionate about. However, I think there are examples where artists have tried to write or comment on something they're just not informed on, and that can be hurtful to those who you're trying to help. It's really important do the research before you start putting your message through a megaphone.

American Love Call


PJ: Do you have any last advice for students looking to jumpstart their careers after leaving school?


Aaron: Don’t wait for someone to give you the permission or platform to start publishing your work— even if you don’t have the best video or audio equipment. Whether it’s an album made in your basement, clips from Instagram Live, or YouTube uploads, you don’t need to wait for some undefined “break.”
And if you’re lucky to start making a little bit of money, understand that you’re running a small business. And for a small business, margins are razor thin. So save where can, invest where you need to, and be prepared to put in the sweat equity before you start seeing money in your pocket.


DJI

 


Durand Jones and the Indications will perform in Bloomington May 11th.

Durand Jones and the Indications will take part in the 2019 Granfalloon on May 11th. The Indications will kick-off the 5:00 pm concert at the Upland Brewing Company. The festival of music, literature, and art is an inspiration and celebration of one of Indiana’s most famous authors, Kurt Vonnegut.

 

Links:

https://durandjonesandtheindications.com/