Dynastic Records
Emerging music to and from Tokyo

Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band

Your New Best Friends

Release: April 22 2006 on Dynastic Records
Ralph Myers & The Jack Herren Band

Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band is the brainchild of Norwegian DJ and music producer Erlend Sellevold. The band started as a one-off gig in August 1997, when Sellevold was asked to do a live set for a local festival in Bergen, Norway. Erlend was already a known DJ in the Bergen circuit. In order to complement his live electronic wizardry, he contacted his friends Thomas Lönnheim & Tarjei Strӧm to join him on percussion and drums respectively. The response to this show was fantastic and there was simply too much chemistry to be ignored, their destiny was now set in stone -- this had to be a band.

At this point Erlend's DJ name was already Ralph Myerz (he took it as an homage to filmmaker Russ Meyer), and as people already knew him as Ralph Myerz so he kept the moniker. "We also felt we had to add some 70's sound to it, to make one of those classic names. We were very into the Russ Meyer vibe at the time, so we decided to incorporate his cameraman Jack Herren's name into ours, so that's how we became Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band."

The band went on to record a breakout debut CD called A Special Album and Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band were right in the middle of the exciting Norwegian electronic music scene that features big sellers like Royksopp and Kings of Convenience (both also from Bergen), among others. In fact, the synergy between Royksopp and Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band is remarkable, both being from Bergen, both on having a fresh take on electronic music.

Ralph Myers & The Jack Herren Band live in Rennes

The new album, Your New Best Friends, takes the band's unique and exciting sound even farther. Cinematic soundscapes and dance beats mix with rolling dubbed out thunder, schizophrenic breaks and a sprinkle of Viking twinkle in the eye. The passion and the thrashing of a dance band resolutely influenced by the likes of Kiss, ACDC and Metallica as much as the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Kraftwerk, Faltermeyer, George Clinton, Jamaican dub, A Tribe Called Quest and Prince.

From his studio control room in Bergen, Norway Sellevold worked his song writing and electronic magic with dynamic drum/percussion duo Thomas Lönnheim & Tarjei Ström. From the strung out opening of the track "Kill The Habit" the stage is set, all meticulously layered and finished with a spine-tingling vocal courtesy of old friend and fellow Bergen-ite Even 'Magnet' Johansen, to the gripping stomp of "Dubspace" this album covers a lot of ground. There is the sweet pop sensation of "Lipstick" (the single, replete with striking video), and the crackling old fashioned loved up beauty of "My Private Night".

Even though they make electronic club music, the band records its own vocals and music, carving crafty, intricate delicacies from breaks, beats and the dual force of their percussive army. The album is a healthy mix of dub, up tempo "poppy" songs, some heavily beat driven tunes, and some mellow and relaxing tunes, with a sprinkle of Nordic charm.

Worthy of Note 1:
The Norwegian sound is making it big around the world as well as in Japan. Royksopp and Kings of Convenience are both from Bergen like Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band. All three have shared the same label and beautiful electronic arrangements with intriguing voice are common features of both Royksopp and Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band.

Worthy of Note 2:
Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band's first album, A Special Album, was released on Toys Factory in Japan on June 18, 2003 and was a surprise success. The public really took to the band's original, funky electro sound and luxurious vocals, with the album selling very well. (Visit Ralph Myerz at Toys Factory)