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Jack Drag

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Biography

Jack Drag owes its life to John Dragonetti’s early school days. With his father working in Cairo and Dubai, John attended an American school in the United Arab Emirates. There he was introduced to Lynyrd Skynyrd by his Texan classmates. In the evenings he played with the English kids who introduced him to punk and new wave. All around him, though, were the sounds of traditional middle-eastern music. When he finally returned to the States, John started making his own music, influenced by all that he had heard. The results were, needless to say, eclectic.

From his first, lo-fi 7” single, ‘Velour’, on Summerville Records in 1996, the Jack Drag sound has been constantly evolving and mutating. Two independent albums, ‘Jack Drag’ and ‘Unisex Headwave’, developed through a convoluted path that passed by everything from The Beatles to Stereolab and Guided By Voices. Sometime members Jason Sutter and Joe Klompus joined John when he was signed by A&M Records in 1998. Initially attracted by his gentle but unsettling songwriting style, A&M released ‘Dope Box’ (produced by Chris Shaw who had worked with Public Enemy and Jewel) in the same year. Very soon, though, it was obvious that the band really didn’t fit in with the major label’s conservative roster and when the Univeral/Seagram merger happened the band once more moved on.

‘Soft Songs LP: Aviating’, released on Sugar Free in America (home too to Beulah and Wheat) and Shifty Disco in Europe. It was Jack Drag’s first full UK release, it was recorded in two weeks in John’s bedroom.

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