New band for Youtube sensation Jake

One handed guitarist Jake Wallace. INBT47-249AC
One handed guitarist Jake Wallace. INBT47-249AC

A self-taught one-handed electric guitarist from Ballymena is taking the next step in his music career with his newly formed band.

The former Ballymena Academy pupil, who is now in his first year of university studies at Magee Campus, plays a right-handed Fender Stratocaster by holding it upside down and using one of his underdeveloped finger stubs to pick the strings.

The Ballymena Times first reported on Jake Wallace three years ago when his YouTube videos attracted millions of views. Jake had only picked the guitar up a few years earlier but he became an Internet sensation, earlier this year he along with other musicians from Ballymena area formed a band, Elder Druid.

Speaking about his new band, he said: “Basically we formed in early 2015, our name is Elder Druid and the genre is desert rock/doom metal.

“It’s mainly got the desert rock sound that a lot of Californian bands in the 90s created but with a heavier twist of doom metal which is like early Black Sabbath type stuff.

“There are five of us in the band, we’re all from Ballymena or the surrounding areas.

“Myself on lead guitar, Dale Hughes on bass guitar, Mikey Scott on rhythm guitar, Brien Gillen on drums and Gregg McDowell on vocals.

“We all shared similar interests musically and started jamming at my house in early 2015 and around April/May time we had two songs ready to record.

He added: “Instead of recording an actual EP or album we decided to record two music videos of us playing the songs live.

“We used a venue on North Street, Belfast, called The Loft which is owned by a friend of the band and with the help of a few film friends and Sonic Visuals recording studio, we recorded both of our debut songs. The first one is called ‘Otherworld’ and is currently on YouTube and the second is called ‘The Ides of March’ and is due to be released this week.

Jake said: “People seem to be taking it really well, we’ve got a lot of good reviews and we’ve been approached by an upcoming record label in America who specialise in this genre of music.

“We’ve also been in touch with a number of venues in Belfast so we aim to get a few gigs in before the end of summer as well as releasing our first EP with maybe four or five songs.

“For the past two years I’ve been trying to get a band together because I was known for my YouTube covers and to be honest all I ever wanted was a band rather than to be an individual so it’s all finally falling into place.”