The youngest of five children, a 12-year-old Jakob Dylan came home determined to learn the electric guitar after seeing the Clash perform during their glorious “Combat Rock” tour. In high school in Los Angeles, the then teenaged Dylan soon formed a band with, among others, classmate Tobias Miller – with whom he had long shared a passion for the Clash and the Jam. After graduation, Dylan took a brief detour in 1988 to study art at the Parson’s School of Design in New York City, where he also ended up writing what he calls his first real song – “6th Avenue Heartache.” Later that year, he returned to Los Angeles and recruited Jaffee and Miller to launch what, by 1990, would become the Wallflowers. Two years later, the young band released its self-titled debut on Virgin Records, earning critical praise in the pages of Rolling Stone and Musician. Extensive road work followed, with the group undertaking tours with 10,000 Maniacs, Cracker, and Spin Doctors. Following a series of line-up changes, the Wallflowers moved over to Interscope Records and in 1996 released the T-Bone Burnett-produced top 5 breakthrough, Bringing Down The Horse.
Certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA, the album ushered in two-and-a-half years of near non-stop touring, during which “6th Avenue Heartache” became an alternative rock hit and “One Headlight,” a top 10 Billboard “Hot 100” hit, earned Grammy Awards in the “Best Rock Song” and “Best Rock Performance (Group)” categories.
Following the 2000 release of the RIAA gold Breach, the band hit the road for an extensive US club trek and a memorable five nights opening for the Who at the venerable Madison Square Garden in New York City. In addition to contributing their version of The Beatles’ “I’m Looking Through You”Ýto the RIAA gold “I Am Sam” soundtrack, 2001 saw the band embark on headlining tours of Japan and North America, highlighted by a string of U.S. dates opening for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
Today, Dylan reflects on the ten-years since the release of The Wallflowers and simply sees a band on a mission to make its music. “Taking risks and having records that go left and right is all part of what I want us to be,” he says. “There is that saying that ‘it’s not a race, it’s a marathon.’ I’m not even into that. I don’t see anybody in front of me or anybody behind me, and there is no finish line. You just keep going.”
Jakob Dylan: vocals, backing vocals, guitar
Rami Jaffee: keyboards, vibes
Greg Richling: bass, Mini-Moog
Mario Calire: drums, backing vocals