Rock the style
Jake Desrochers does more than take a little off the top
Sacramento, CA 95816
Jake Desrochers is a jack-of-all-trades. A Jake-of-all-trades, have you. Anyway, he has fronted punk outfit Lonely Kings since 1995; works as a hair stylist at Spanish Fly, having talents featured on The Style Network program Split Ends; and on the side deejays at The Golden Bear and TownHouse Lounge. The Lonely Kings have put out three full-lengths, toured worldwide since 2002 and even spent time on the Vans Warped Tour. Desrochers himself is a hard-nosed tough guy with a passion for music and a friendly demeanor. We sat down at Hamburger Patties over a plate of chicken strips and chatted about his experiences.
Tell me your “how I ended up in Sacto” story.
It was kind of by default. I was on tour, and my kids’ mom was living in Santa Cruz and couldn’t handle the roommate situation down there, so she moved back to Auburn; that’s where her family is from. So I moved up there. When we split up, I was going to hair school, and I figured the type of hair I did, the environment I did, would be more Sacramento, like downtown Sacramento.
How’d you start doing hair?
It wasn’t really a choice. I would much rather be in a tour bus right now outside of an arena, but the rock-star thing didn’t pan out financially, and I needed to come up with a way to provide for my kids. And I had always cut my own hair. When I was 12 or 13, I would always look like Duran Duran or Mötley Crüe. I went to my mom’s stylist once and she jacked up my hair and I refused to pay her, so to kind of teach me a lesson, my mom gave me scissors and some clippers and said, ‘Well, do it yourself, then.’ So I started doing that. I would cut my sister’s hair, and when I got into a band, I would cut [bandmates’] hair and give them styles that they liked so that we looked like guys in bands. I didn’t really know what I was doing; I just cut it so it would look cool.
When the band thing didn’t pan out, I had tons of jobs and nothing really stuck, so hair was a cool transition. I always thought of hair as being a defining feature, especially with musicians. You can almost tell their style just by looking at their hair, whether it’s a mohawk or an emo cut or a rockabilly pompadour.
When did you start deejaying?
Last year, about March, I went and saw DJ AM and Travis Barker at the Park [Ultra Lounge]. I was inspired, so I swiped a credit card at Guitar Center one day on a whim and just started doing it. I’m not a big music collector. I break things and they get scratched. If I had a record collection, it would be destroyed. So with just a laptop, it’s a lot easier.
Do you find yourself having to re-explore music to fit into today’s dance culture?
I definitely like the nastier beats, dirtier sounds, heavier, distorted, angrier sounding stuff. I was always a fan of Ministry—repetitive, loopy bands. Quicksand, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails … but I could never really express that musically, because the band was more punk-rock based, and no one wanted to play with drum machines and samplers, and I didn’t really know how to create music like that. I was just always really drawn to that, and in deejaying you can just loop beats and songs and that BPM, that bass pattern just kind of follows through. You’re playing one long mantra rather than a bunch of different songs.