John "Jaycee" Cuijpers
So, tell me a bit about yourself...
Hi, my name is John “Jaycee” Cuijpers and I have blue eyes and long blond hair (more salt and pepperish with a twist of grey now though)!! I am very passionate about everything I do and everything I like. Most of the time that’s a blessing but sometimes it can be a burden as well!
My favourite colour is blue and I love Japanese food. I’d have to say that my favourite car is a ?1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window and my favourite film is Braveheart (I don’t like backstabbing liars). I think my best friend would say that I’m always there when I’m needed, I’m fun to be around, always good for a laugh and that I’m always trying to make other people happy. I was born in Venlo in the Netherlands on 2nd March, so that makes me a Pisces.
How did you get into music?
I was blown away by Hard Rock music when I was 14 years of age and listened to all the AOR bands and Metal. This is what got me started playing guitar when I was 17 and then I started writing my own songs.
I had to dep for a vocalist who could not attend a rehearsal one time and I noticed that I was actually a better singer than a guitar player! I kept on writing my own songs but joined several bands as their lead singer. My musical influences are David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and, of course, Steve Perry.
Although I am a lead singer, I love guitar players (Ronni Le Tekro, George Lynch, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads) but my favourite musician is Doug Aldrich, both as a guitar player and a person. I have met him several times over the years and he is still such a wonderful, down to earth kinda guy.
Tell me about your favourite gigs.
My favourite Mantis gig was the last one in Japan in November 2015. It’s a completely different world over there and the fans are absolute music lovers. They knew every song by heart and I’d love to go back there again soon.
Another of my favourite gigs was when I supported TOTO with my band Cooper Inc in 2005/2006 and again in 2007 in front of thousands of people. Wow, what an experience that was! Also, I was asked to do a small tour supporting Jeff Scott Soto in 2005 with a German band and Jeff invited me to a Journey show when he was their lead singer in 2007. Amazing!
What’s the best thing about being in Praying Mantis?
I love the music and the guys are fun to hang around with. Also, the fan base is amazing and I have met so many wonderful people since I joined them. They have enriched my life so much!
What’s the worst thing about being in the music industry?
Getting paid, or rather not getting paid!! I think overall this is the worst paying job you can imagine (not for the big bands, of course) but it’s the most fulfilling at the same time!
What other bands have you been in?
Kinky Boots, Devils Rope, Cooper Inc, Parris, Harris, Red Pepper Bullwhip, Deo and 4Eigner
What do you still want to achieve?
To make a living making music!!
What would you like to say to your fans?
Thank you all for supporting everything I do and I’m looking forward to meeting as many people as possible, on or off the road. See you soon!