We’ve caught up with Jess Clemmons, vocalist with Jess and the Bandits, to talk about their upcoming headline tour, and also her exciting new venture with UK clothing company Evans. Read on for details about how you can be a part of it all!
EP: Since we last spoke, you have had incredible success with your debut album ‘Here We Go Again’ reaching number 6 in the country charts. Were you surprised by the amazing way the album received?
JC: Yes! We worked so hard on this album and we thought it was pretty awesome but you never know what others thing. To find out people love it as much as you do, that means everything.
EP: You’re planning your first UK Headline tour in October, where will you be visiting and what can people expect from your show?
JC: People can expect lots of energy and a good ol’ party! We aren’t that kind of band who stands around and sings ballads. We much prefer to rock out… With a ballad or two mixed in to give us a chance to rest a bit! haha!
EP: You have recently become the ambassador for the plus size fashion retailer Evans’ #STYLEHASNOSIZE campaign. Can you tell us a bit about the campaign?
JC: This is such a great campaign from Evans that I am honoured to be a part of. We live in a day where we have one group of people saying that you’re not good enough if you aren’t a size zero and then on the opposite side there are others saying, real women have curves. Finally we have something that is inclusive of everyone. Saying that you can be fabulous regardless of your size, whether it be a 2 or a 22.
EP: What does it mean to you to have been asked by Evans to become an official ambassador and spokesperson for self confidence and positive body image?
JC: Oh it means so much! I have always hoped I could in some way help others who have gone through the same things I have. Women, regardless of their size, need someone they can look up to who is real. I hope that is who I can be for them.
EP: The new video for your single ‘Nitty Gritty’ will be filmed in association with Evans, what makes this song ideal for the campaign?
JC: Because their campaign is inclusive of all women and says that style has no size, Nitty Gritty is perfect. The chorus says, ‘don’t matter if you’re fat, don’t matter if you’re skinny. Ain’t about that, you’ve gotta know you’re pretty. When it comes down, down to the nitty gritty. It ain’t complicated, we’re all the same. When it comes down, down to the nitty gritty”. That is the truth!
EP: You have launched a social media ‘body confidence’ competition to find 10 people to star in the video, what will these stars be doing?
JC: We have a lot of ideas for this but let’s put it this way, we will make sure they are rocking their figures!
EP: What kind of people are you looking for?
JC: Every lady out there is a candidate for the video! We want some of all ages, races, sizes… You name it!
EP: How easy is it to enter the competition to take part in the video?
JC: It is so easy! All they have to do is write down their body confidence manta, send it in to Evans here: http://www.evans.co.uk/en/
EP: What advice would you offer to anyone reading this who is struggling with their own body image issues?
JC: Find things about yourself that you love! Do you have great legs, gorgeous hair, beautiful eyes? Focus on those things. If you want to lose weight and/or get healthy, do it for you. While you transition in your journey, love yourself at each stage. It isn’t easy but eventually you will find that confidence.
EP: When can we expect to see the video?
JC: Very early August.
Jess and the Bandits will be playing at the following:
11th July – Cornbury Festival, Oxfordshire
13th July – Robin Park Arena, Wigan
18th July – SummerTyne Festival, Gateshead (with Callaghan)
25th July – Ramblin Man Festival, Maidstone
4th Sept – Cottingham Folk Festival (with The Shires)
16th Oct – Fort San Antone Festival, Preston
20th Oct – Nottingham, The Bodega
24th Oct – Dublin, Whelan’s
27th Oct – Bristol, Louisiana
28th Oct – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
20th Oct – Manchester, Gulliver’s
31st Oct – Glasgow, King Tuts