Although it might seem like South Carolina is only home to subtropical beaches and historic locations, today it is also home to a valuable and ever-growing music scene. The Charleston area music scene has become a catalyst for both talent and opportunity. Such is the case with the up-and-coming band, Jump Castle Riot, a born and bred Charleston band who will be performing in Columbia on Oct. 26 at The White Mule.
Defining themselves as a “modern blues/rock band,” Jump Castle Riot is the culmination of four friends and distinctive musicians: Nina Murchison on vocals, Jay Van Raalte on guitar and vocals, Bradley Palles on drums and Derk Van Raalte on bass. Each with individual tastes and abilities, they culminate stylistically to create a blended alternative indie rock feel infused with funky jazz undertones.
“Musically, we all have ... a place that we're coming from which is one of the things that makes what we make together so cool, I think,” Jay Van Raalte said. “Everybody's influences get to impact the finished product.”
Jay Van Raalte attended Charleston School of the Arts, a South Carolina arts high school, and fostered relationships with other established local bands.
“So before I even started my first band, I had all these kind of older brothers in bands around the area, like Atlas Road Crew and Stop Light Observations," Jay Van Raalte said. "Who were teaching us what it takes to be a musician before we even really started it."
The band started in 2015, by Jay Van Raalte and Murchinson, after they saw each other perform at a local Charleston venue. Through an immediate strong mutual admiration, they sought out each other’s talents to work together and eventually formed the start of Jump Castle Riot.
From being a small, high school band covering Ella Fitzgerald songs and arranging various band formations, Jump Castle Riot has now solidified a "strong inter-band relationship and chemistry."
The band members' Charleston roots have lent them the opportunity to perform in a variety of popular venues, and their sound was developed with the help of guitar talents from local shops and popular bands in the area.
Four years later, now having toured in many places, including New York City, and produced multiple EPs, this once high school band has achieved popular status within the local music industry, shown through being the winners of five Charleston City Paper Music Awards.
With a soon-to-be concluded digital release of their most recent album "Never Going Back” and their many upcoming performances throughout the Lowcountry, they have come a long way from performing on the curtails of other local bands and venues.
“We’ve got some new stuff we're really excited to record,” Jay Van Raalte said. “We’ve been working on new material, getting to try stuff out on the road, tour was really great for that.”
Jump Castle Riot members say they have found a groove, both in sound and ambition.
“We are so excited to come up and get to play Columbia again … we can't wait to see everyone,” Jay Van Raalte said.