Dry Tavern’s Jared Beckett can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t consumed by music. Whether he was listening to artists spanning a variety of genres or playing and writing his own songs it has always been a major part of his life and who he is. Music is truly his passion. There came a time in Beckett’s life, though, when something else began to consume him – addiction.
Jared Beckett recognizes the long running issue of substance abuse among those in the music industry and beyond. He not only recognizes it but he understands first hand what it is like to be a musician who is struggling with addiction. Beckett spent ten grueling years battling his own addictions with drugs and alcohol, the last five of which almost killed him. It wasn’t until he moved to Nashville and got onto an independent publishing label when things began to change. The label pushed and supported Beckett throughout his recovery and he was finally able to overcome his addictions. Today he is not only consumed once again by his love of music but also with a passion and drive to spread his message of recovery through his band Dry Tavern. And he does so with style.
In talking with Jared Beckett he explains,”Dry Tavern was created from a sober mind and full spirit. I aim to use it not only to write rock, country, and heavy blues music but to help the sick and suffering addicts of the world find a home and prove that sex, drugs, and rock and roll is merely death and greed. I’m pretty sick of hearing about all of my heroes dying from overdosing. So maybe not only will I be able to play rock ‘n roll but I can save both fans and artists from addiction.”.
Life is now full of hope and new possibilities for Beckett as he prepares for the release of his album Suitless Sunday, which will be available on April 5th. It is evident that he has put his heart and soul into each song on this record. And not just in the writing and singing – Beckett played every instrument on every song (except for the drums). All of this was done while still working a full time job and being a husband and a father to his two children. And he would not have had it any other way. With songs like “RFW” and “Thrones” already making their rounds across social media it is clear that Suitless Sunday will be a hit.
I recently spoke with Jared Beckett to find out more about his life, music, and his message about addiction and recovery that he plans to spread with Dry Tavern.
Jared Beckett Interview
TAMMY: When did you first start playing and writing your own songs?
JARED BECKETT: I was 11 when I really started writing lyrics, 12 when I started composing them with guitar.
TAMMY: Who were some of your earliest influences in music?
JARED BECKETT: Man, you would have to name a decade. My mom was really into 80’s bands so of course I loved Motley Crüe and Ozzy i am a HUGE Ozzy fan both Black Sabbath and solo Ozzy.. and alot of 90s country and the 90’s version of Aerosmith lol (I love all Aerosmith now) . In our home town you only heard what was popular on the radio, nothing independent or underground..mostly commercial which i found so depressing that i missed out all the years on real music after i found music in Nashville…My mom got me on stage with Sawyer Brown when I was like three and sang George Jones’ The race is on in front of a sea of people..I actually still remember standing on the stage and what it felt like. I watched Kid Rock play every instrument on stage one time in 99 and was floored by his show, its not like he was an amazing singer or anything he just put on a great live show..Kinda like Elvis or Michael Jackson just really entertaining to watch. I honestly could spend 3 hours typing you my influences but I will tell you this, if it wasn’t for Nirvana I would have never picked up a guitar and if it wasn’t for Dimebag Darrell I would’ve never respected it.
So…50’s 60′ and 70’s goes to: The Doors are my number one oldie. They’re In my top favorite of all time.
Black Sabbath , Elvis, Johnny Cash, Lynard Skynard, Foghat , Aerosmith…
80’s: Motley Crüe, Ozzy, Prince, Michael Jackson..
90’s : Nirvana, Pantera, Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, Aerosmith, Sublime, Alice in Chains, Korn, Kid rock, Eminem , Slipknot Type O Negative , Soundgarden, Pearl Jam.
These were my earliest influences. I have a bunch of influences today as well. It’s ongoing and there are so many more that influence me today and have taken over favorite spots of my earliest influences . My music goes from blues to hip hop to metal to pop. If it’s good you’ll feel it ya know?
TAMMY: What inspires you and keeps you motivated as an artist?
JARED BECKETT: I’ve never not been motivated to do this, even in my deepest realm of drug addiction I still dreamed about it. New music and new artists inspire me a lot. My daughters have really put another drive in me. A lot of people give up being a musician and go get a career when they have kids because they need financial security and decide its time to grow up…but I never want to tell my daughters I gave up what I wanted to do so they could have material things. What message would that teach them? Give up your dreams and conform to the way of the world? No way. God really gave me that revelation.
TAMMY: What does music mean to you?
JARED BECKETT: It’s our gift to our emotions. There is a song for every feeling and every situation. It’s free therapy. I am consumed by it.
TAMMY: What is the central focus or message that you would like to convey with your latest album?
JARED BECKETT: Recovery from addiction is absolutely possible . Religion is death (and/or bullshit). Addiction is a real disease that can be conquered and a relationship with God will give you absolute understanding of who you are. Don’t put your faith in humans…not preachers, not rock stars who get junked out and kill themselves, not hip hop artists who preach greed. No human or earthly opinion should ever define who you are. Will I be able to destroy addiction completely? No…but I can damn sure make it wish it killed me.
TAMMY: What was the process like for you in putting this album together? As I understand it you did it all on your own….playing instruments, singing, writing, etc. And all while working full time and raising a family!
JARED BECKETT: Well I had to get sober first…then I started having real feelings and emotions again. It was definitely exhausting because its the hardest I’ve ever worked being a Dad, husband , sober and working full time… I did all but the drums, Jason Root who produced the record actually played the drums how I wanted them. I can only act out and sound out how I want drums to sound because I can only keep one beat on the drums lol. The songs were written as they were recorded. I threw all of my previously written material out and started completely from scratch. I was haunted (in a good way) by the Holy Ghost for a lot of the album – which was a first for me. All sober feelings coming out. I even had my 2nd daughter during this process so there was a lot of love in my life. I ended up seeking a higher paying income and worked really hard to get it so I could fund this record myself. It’s the first time I actually held a job and used the money to be successful. My family has been MORE than provided for and music was paid for. Recovery is a beautiful thing and leads to blessings beyond comprehension.
TAMMY: How has sobriety changed your career and what message do you have for other artists who may be struggling with their own addictions?
JARED BECKETT: Sobriety gave me a career. Before that I was a slave to one thing only and that was staying loaded. Without recovery the only thing possible is death. My advice to those struggling is to acknowledge they are no longer themselves, get pissed off that something has possessed you and taken everything that’s good away from you and go into an AA or NA meeting and introduce yourself and ask for help. No one loves drugs and alcohol as much as me…yet here I stand almost 5 years dry because I know the only outcome is the grave. You are not a liar. You are not a thief. You are not a monster . Expose your disease for what it truly is and you will be free.. and then you can find out who you really are in your art. The real creative process will begin. Your art will belong to you and not it.
TAMMY: What advice do you have for young musicians who are just getting into the “music scene” and want to pursue music professionally?
JARED BECKETT: Stay away from the cliche. Get with people who aren’t junkies and who dream the way you do and invest in yourself. We live in a time where everything can be done independently. And remember the world is a whole lot bigger than the one city you are in , or even America for that matter. If you’re good at what you do and you can play live , market yourself and stay away from the lies and dope in this scene then your music will blossom.
TAMMY: Where will people be able to buy your music when the album comes out?
JARED BECKETT: April 5th marks my five years clean and the album is called Suitless Sunday and will be available at EVERY online store around the globe , Itunes, Google Play etc.. Also you can visit our Facebook page AND subscribe to the Youtube channel both under Dry Tavern for free music. And soon thedrytavern.com will have an online store as well for merchandise and free stuff as well.
TAMMY: What are your plans so far as far as touring, etc? I’m sure that a lot of people would love to come out and see you play live!
JARED BECKETT: I’m gonna promote this album for a few months then book a tour…Probably starting in my hometown and making it across the US. Honestly there are a lot of fans in Brazil and Mexico more than the US already which was a shock to me so hopefully we can make it there asap. All of the tour dates will be put on thedrytavern.com once the website is finished. You can also follow Dry Tavern on Facebook and subscribe to our Youtube channel for updates on touring, interviews and testimonies of recovery. I love you guys. thanks for hanging with me.