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We are here today to chat with a very talented dutch guy named John Jaycee Cuijpers and known by the world as the lead singer of Praying Mantis. We will find out that Jaycee has a lot to tell us about his music business. 💿Hi Jaycee, we know you are a big fan of Thin Lizzy. This passion has brought you to become the lead singer of a TL tribute band and lately you met Phil Lynott's mother. Please tell us more about this band and your recent experience. Hi Alessandro, thanks for your kind words. I was asked in 1999 by Hans in ‘t Zandt (Current drummer of PM) to be the leadsinger for a TL tribute band after we did an Aerosmith tribute show together on Christmas in the Netherlands at a festival and we connected because of the same passion and that is music. I was the 3rd singer he asked for this Aerosmith job because the other ones declined…so I was his 3rd choice. He did not know me back then. I accepted his offer and was the new lead singer for the TL tribute called Parris. I have been coming to the Vibe for Philo in Dublin Ireland since 2001 where we with Parris opened this festival and returned in 2003 for an acoustic performance (the guitarist and me) and headlined in 2004 (me on bass as well) and again in 2016. So we met Phylomena (Phil Lynott’s mother..she was our no. 1 fan she said) a couple of times and still are in contact via internet, facebook etc. 💿 You are also the lead singer of other tribute bands like Van Halen, Foreigner, Iron Maiden and many more. Would you please introduce these bands to the fans? Yes I am….and because I love performing and singing I have so many… and I had to choose between my steady job at a big company or music and I choose music…it’s tough but this is what I want and need. The following tribute bands I am in: Parris – Thin Lizzy Harris – Iron Maiden 4eigner – Foreigner Van Hagar – Van Halen but mostly the Sammy Hagar era. And my latest band…since 2 months: Ronnie James Dio–The Dutch Disciples. I also have 2 other rock cover bands called Powerstation (from Germany) and Red Pepper Bullwhip. 💿 As we said before the world knows you since you have become the singer of Praying Mantis. When did you get in touch with the band for the first time? I was playing at a festival in The Netherlands called the Very Eavy with Parris and Harris and Dennis Stratton was also joining Harris for a couple of songs and Praying Mantis on the same night. The guys saw me perform with Harris and Dennis and 2 weeks later i got an email from the band asking if I was willing to maybe join the band. So within a few days they gave me a song which I had to sing (Eyes of a chid) and 2 days after sending it with my vocals I got an email from Chris saying you nailed it welcome to the band !! They also needed a new drummer and it was obvious it had to be my partner in crime at that time for 13 years Hans in ‘t Zandt. 💿 In 2015 you released a blockbuster album called “Legacy”. Your voice sounds so powerful and it is perfect for the Mantis music. You also toured a lot and together with big bands such as Y&T. After almost two years from the release and several tour dates in between what do you think of the album? I still like the album very much but I know we can do even better and I am in the process of writing more material so I hope my personal touch will be on the next album… 💿 Is the band recording a new one? Yes and it should be released end of 2017 or early 2018 all depending on record company and other things 💿 We know Praying Mantis will soon tour Japan. Are you thrilled? Any more european dates in 2017? Of course I am…I visited Japan in 2015 for the first time and felt like a rock what an experience and now together with Dennis Stratton and his band Lionheart as a double package, what more could I want..One show in Osaka and one in Tokyo. We are in between managers now but we will be back to Europe for sure. In may at the French border and later this year..there is a tour planned through several countries..tbc 💿 There is also another dutch guy in the band and how does it feel to work with the Troy brothers who are by the way two amazing musicians? Yes my brother from another mother Hans….I can read and write with him as we say in The Netherlands…and he knows me and what I am capable of. With the Troy brothers I have become best friends and I can say I see the are one of my best friends…you get to know eachother so well when on tour also on a personal level and I love them both like they were my own brothers. 💿 Are you involved in any other projects besides all the bands that we have just mentioned? Yes, Ana Metal for Charity project from Norway…soon to be released with a lot of well know artists like : Amanda Somerville (Avantasia, Kiske/Somerville), Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween, Masterplan), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Matt Barlow (ex-Iced Earth, Ashes of Ares), Matias Kupiainen (Stratovarius), Rafael Bittencourt(Angra), Doogie White (ex-Rainbow, Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock), Jake E (Amaranthe, Dreamland), Rick Altzi Vocalist (MasterPlan), Al Atkins (OFFICIAL) (ex-Judas Priest), Mark Sweeney (Wolfpakk, ex-Crystal Ball), Ramy Ali (Freedom Call, Iron Mask), David Readman (Pink Cream 69, Almanac), Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon), Tony Mills (ex-TNT, ex-Shy), Mike LePond (Symphony X), Thomas Winkler (Gloryhammer), Frank Beck (GAMMA RAY (Official), Christian Eriksson (Twilight Force), Alessio Garavello (ex-Power Quest, A New Tomorrow), PelleK (soloartist, ex-Damnation Angels), Snowy Shaw (ex-King Diamond, ex-Therion), Mats Levén (Candlemass), Sean Peck (Cage, Death Dealer) and me John Jaycee Cuijpers (Praying Mantis). Also now working on a project with Kristoffer Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation, Neal Morse) on Breaking the Chains against Child abuse with a lot of well know musicians as well. Also writing lyrics for several songs. And end of this year a very important musical thing is going to happen which I am not permitted to talk about but I am so honoured wow….a dream come true…keep you posted !! 💿 Thank you so much Jaycee. We look forward to hearing new music from you. I am working on a video for a single I recorded of the song Holy Diver which a dedicate to my late father and son..I will send you a link as soon as it’s finished. Thanks Alessandro Love John Jaycee Cuijpers

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