What Did You Sell Your Soul For?: An Interview with Jade Lemons of Injected

Discography:

Burn It Black (Island, 2002)

The Truth About You (Slush Fund Recordings, 2017)

Injected were a rock band from Atlanta that scored some major success in the early 2000's with their debut album and single "Faithless." Their second record was shelved by the label and the band dissolved around 2005. In 2016, Injected guitarist Jade Lemons died from a drug overdose. Jade was a fun guy and a great guitarist. Around 2011, 2012 or so, I reached out to him via Facebook to ask some questions about Injected, their career on a major label and their at the time unreleased second album. He was more than gracious with his time and his answers pulled no punches. I was saddened and stunned when I learned about his passing as it seemed unexpected. This interview has never seen the light of day until now and is presented unedited. Rest in Peace Jade.

Pete Crigler: When did you become interested in music? 

Jade Lemons: As far back as I can remember. It happened (according to my dad) when I heard "Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter Group for the 1st time. I would rock back and forth on my hands and knees every time it came on. Funny.

As far as deciding to play music for a living: I saw Jane's Addiction in concert when I was a kid.  They were touring in support of the Nothing’s Shocking album. When I saw them take the stage, I remember thinking, "this is amazing, dark, erotic and I shouldn't be seeing this". They opened with "Up The Beach.” The 2nd song was "Whores.” I was hooked. I wanted to BE Dave Navarro (circa 1989). There was nothing else that I wanted to do from that point on.  

Pete: When did the band come together and was there much of a scene when you got started?

Jade: The band (Injected) came together in - I think - 1996. They were a 3-piece. I hung tight with the guys. We were all Roswell kids. Danny and I would sit in my living room listening to records, smoking weed and dreaming of working with Brendan O'Brien. I went to see them in Athens at a house party. While watching the band play, I literally saw a void next to Danny where I was supposed to be standing. It was strange. I knew right then that I would be in that band, we would "make it" and I would be kicked out. I literally had that vision while watching them play that show (I told Danny about that vision one day on the phone while I was living in L.A. in 2006). Anyway...Danny and I would sit in my living room and smoke weed. We were always listening to lots of 70's records, different soul artists and Smashing Pumpkins. We decided we would play as a cover band. We played under the name AIRBRUSH JOHNSON. We did 80's NuWave songs but rocked them out. After that, I stuck with the 3 of them and was Injected's guitar player. That was 1997.

Pete: When did major labels start becoming interested in the band?

Jade: Um...1999 I believe. First was Capricorn Records (good ol' Joe Babka!). After that, Atlantic Records sniffed around. It wasn't until Third Rail/Hollywood Records rep Thom Osborn came to see us at Atlantis Music Conference that the heat was finally turned up. There were tons of A&R heads at that show. Many of which were left outside because it was sold-the-fuck-out. They were all looking at each other, texting away. Thom looked at our attorney and did the check sign in the air. I guess lots of other A&R heads saw that because soon afterward, we were flying to L.A. and New York doing private showcases for label presidents.

Pete: When did you sign with Island and how do you feel about it now?

Jade: We signed with Island in 2001 after we flew to NY and did a showcase at S.I.R. for the president of Island/Def Jam, Lyor Cohen. What an amazing guy. I love that man with all of my heart. Diana Fragnito was our go-to "Kind Lady" A&R rep. She saw us at Atlantis Music Conference as well. She fell in love with us, brought her boss Jeff Fenster to see us in Rome, GA (of all places). Then we flew to NY to play for Lyor. 
As for how I feel about it now? I still feel great about it. No regrets. All love. If it weren't for Island/Def Jam, I wouldn't have had the time of my life with my comrades. They loved us, took care of us and turned the world into our oyster...for a year, at least! FUCK NAPSTER!

Pete: What was success like with "Faithless" and how did you react to it?

Jade: It was amazing! We were climbing the charts with that single. #1 most adds at 3 radio formats. #2 on the rock countdown on MTV. I reacted to it like I always knew it was gonna happen. I did always know it was gonna happen. I don't know how, but even when laying in bed at night, alone with only my thoughts, there was no doubt. That's really what it's all about. Unconditional belief in yourself and what you're doing. I ended up partying way too much on tour though and it ultimately destroyed my ability to maintain a professional and personal relationship with my bandmates/brothers.

Pete: When did you end up leaving the band and what prompted it?

Jade: Heh...uh July 6th, 2002. I was hanging out with Jerry Cantrell (and a bunch of females) on his bus. We were drinking whiskey and playing Hank Williams (Senior, not Junior) songs. It was in Bonner Springs, Kansas. Jerry said, "Hey man, I heard you streaked Nickelback!?!?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Go streak 'em now!" I said, "Okay." I took off my clothes and left them on his bus. He escorted me arm-in-arm up the ramp and right behind Nickelback's singer (the cowardly lion) who was standing at the mic. I chased him across the stage, up the "ego ramp" behind the drummer and back down the other side where he disappeared. I stayed on stage and did an amazing strip tease dance for a minute or so. When I went back to my bus, I heard the police were looking for me and I was told to hide by our tour mgr. Chad the Cowardly Lion from Ncklbck wanted to fight. I wanted to fight him so badly and just pummel his fucking face into the pavement, but I couldn't leave the bus. I even invited him in so I could beat his face for a while, but he wouldn't come (what a pussy). He is the epitome of cocksucker, asshole, piece of shit, has no business playing music, poser. He doesn't smoke weed, but would take the stage saying "smoke weed" wearing a pot leaf t-shirt and chugging beer. If that's all you have to say to kids?  YOU'RE A LOSER I used to smoke pot and drink and I would NEVER say that to kids. I punched the wall and broke my hand. My bandmates were pissed. We went home to Roswell, GA the next day and I went to the hospital. That was the end of me playing with them.

YOU CAN WATCH THE STREAKING VIDEO on YOUTUBE! (Man Streaks Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) - YouTube) Tell everyone to go watch it.  

Pete: What happened with The Truth About You being shelved and how do you feel about it now?

Jade: I wasn't a part of the band then, but if you wanna know my opinion on it...I think the band should have allowed the producer (Nick DiDia) and co-writers (Billy Corgan, Scott Weiland) more freedom to do their jobs than they were allowed. The album would have been released and supported if that were the case. I know it's going to be officially released sometime in the near future and as a current member of Injected, I believe it's an amazing album. I don't know if it's gonna be titled, The Truth About You but it's got some of those songs on it.

Pete: When did the band get dropped?

Jade: I think it was 2004. I think.

Pete: Do you keep in touch with everyone and what are they up to?

Jade: Yes I do...for the most part. Danny and I are currently members of Injected. Chris is married and doing what he loves most...building cars and playing drums. Steve is married and I think he and his wife own a landscaping business.

Pete: How did you and Danny hook back up and what does the future hold for Injected?

Jade: The 4 of us got together a few years ago to play a benefit show for kids. Danny and I decided we couldn't leave the future of Injected unwritten so we started recording new and old material in Athens, GA with Kyle Spence on drums and engineering the project. I love Danny Grady. I always will. He is family to me. We work so damn well together that we have to play together at some capacity. I know Injected will take the stage again. Somewhere, sometime. As for all 4 of us (Chris, Danny, Steve and I) original members being there...I don't know. 

Pete: Do you have any regrets or stories about the majors?

Jade: No regrets about signing a major label deal AT ALL. The only thing I would have done differently is, I would have been a little more intent on staying in the band when I was told that I was out. Injected couldn't be – and wasn't - Injected without me.

Pete: Any advice for musicians looking to sign to a major? 

Jade: 1. Write GOOD songs, play AMAZING shows, practice your ASS off. If you have to give your music away to get people into it, then do so. 2. Make sure you have a good attorney that works for YOU. Not some attorney that steps in when your shit gets hot.  Have an attorney that believes in your vision and your music. 3. Make sure you have a manager that works for THE BAND. Not a manager that works for one member of the band. If the band is special, then it's the BAND that is special. Don't hire a manager until you NEED one. If there's nothing coming your way that you can't handle, don't bring in your buddy or some hump to take 20% of the money you don't have. 4. If you're in it for the money, get a fucking day job. If your band honestly sucks, get a fucking day job. Keep it real folks.

Pete: BTW: I am working on an essay about major labels as a kind of follow-up to a book I have written called "Keeping It Tight In The Old Dominion: A History of Virginia Rock Music." It is now available on amazon if you'd like to check it out.

Jade: I will definitely do so. Can I download it for free somewhere? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Just kidding. Check out my record label!  www.underratedrecords.com I've got some solo stuff coming out soon as well.

Thanks for the support and for hitting me up Pete.  I hope this helps.  If not, let me know and I'll give ya what ya need.

Take it easy,

Jade

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