Interview with JD Fortune: Fortune’s Phases Andrea Seastrand July 4, 2012 Interviews 30 Since competing for and winning the coveted spot as INXS’ vocalist on Rock Star: INXS (2005), JD Fortune’s bumpy journey has been chronicled by the media, for better or worse. Through it all, his fans have supported his work, matching his dedication, loyalty, and faith with their own. Now with a new band, he spoke with me about where he’s been, what he’s learned, and where he’s headed with the members of Fortune. Good to talk to you. I’d like to focus on your work with Fortune and not so much on INXS. Who’s that? (Laughs) I remember when you won Rock Star: INXS and were glad you won. Admittedly, you were filling some huge shoes. Does it feel like a lifetime since you were on the show? No, because I just have not stopped. I mean, I really haven’t stopped. There was a two year period where I didn’t even hear from the band. I just kept writing. It feels sort of like I was never even in INXS. It feels like I’ve been with Fortune the whole time because we all get along so well. We had a conference call last night and were talking about how much we miss each other and the vibe about just playing together. When we play we really play and make the songs the stars. We just have fun with it and I said if we make the songs the stars, they’ll be our passport to hopefully connecting with people all over the world. In terms of your past and present situations, where are you, creatively and personally speaking? There’s a certain freedom that any artist will tell you comes when you get to play what’s inside of you. Although I did write INXS’ last platinum hit, “Pretty Vegas,” I felt in my heart that they weren’t going to give me another opportunity to write, especially because the best they did was to put out four records of previous hits, you know what I mean? The next four albums they did after the Switch record were releases of four albums of stuff people already had. To me, that’s a bit narrow in vision, near-sighted. I was trying to get my songs together and work them into some of the band’s stuff because they had some world class writers like Andrew Ferris. But I think what had happened was unbeknownst to me Andrew was writing with the current guy that’s in the band (I don’t know his name). So when I was writing stuff he’d just keep putting me off, saying “Yeah, next week, yeah yeah.” And then it just never happened. So a lot of songs on this record are to do with that journey I went on, not only with myself but with the departure from the band. Then finding, getting along with, and falling in love with the band I’m with now. I met this guy, Luther Mallory, who is the bass player, and he co-wrote a couple of the tracks, “Painfully Perfect” and “Bullet,” which will be our first single. From there we met the guitar player and drummer and people started falling into place. The band’s only three months old and we sound like we’ve been together 20 years. It’s amazing. I think if a previous fan of what I’d done with INXS was to come to this concert they’d see a really seamless transition. First of all, this show has 10 times the amount of energy that an INXS concert had. My bass player in this band is 31 years younger than the bass player in that band. So there’s a huge difference there. Not only in how hungry they are but also in how real they are. They’ve never been catered to or treated like the massive talents that they are. They’re just completely humble and the nicest bunch of assassins I’ve ever met! It sounds like you’re in a place with some kindred spirits now, even if you’ve only been together for three months. Yeah, and I dare anybody to say this band is not sound. We have a record together and are hitting the road, which was pretty much what I was expecting to do after Switch and that tour. I thought we were going to go back into the studio, write, and put out another record. For all intents and purposes, if we were still a band we’d probably be on the third record right now and everything would be copasetic but everything’s a blessing in disguise. Things didn’t work out with INXS, but at least you weren’t spinning your wheels. There’s a certain freedom that I feel that I never felt with INXS. There was a certain lack of respect I think, too. [Pauses] Instead of saying anything bad about INXS, let me tell you what the difference is here: In this band I’d come down with bronchitis during a recording session and basically we were a family and everybody was asking me how I was feeling. Prior to that my experience would have been, “Yeah whatever, mate. We all get sick so suck it up.” This time around, these guys are the real prize of this whole experience. The guys I’m working with now are just total rock stars and they’re great. There’s a sense of realness to it now. Before, we came off the show, to a platinum record, to a hugely successful tour to kind of cricket, cricket, cricket. So INXS had 11 or 12 studio records to fall back on but I wasn’t ready to go. I was really chomping at the bit and nothing was happening. At that time, I believed in INXS so much and felt I had an obligation to not jam with anybody else. I would have felt really awkward if I’d woken up one morning and INXS had a new singer which, ironically, they did. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m nobody’s sports car that, whenever they feel like pulling the tarp back on, they can take for a ride. This is full-time commitment for me. It’s not a video for me; this is my fucking life. And your music has been featured on some TV spots and you have a dedicated following. So that must mean a lot as well. Yeah. A lot of times on my Twitter page I try to post positive statements and inspirational quotes. If it weren’t for my fans that have supported me throughout all of this and my journey with INXS—they’ve put up with a lot. Basically I’m here to protect the integrity of their experience, what they signed up for. Like, they didn’t sign up to go through this weird Ferris wheel of a trip here. They signed up to get entertained and, as the man said, “Some dance to remember and some dance to forget.” Basically, the band I’m in now understands what we’re doing is a privilege. In the other band, they thought it was a right. Know what I mean? Is that inevitable in some way for a very successful band? Well, this experience for me has taught me that it’s okay to trust people right off the top and it’s okay to trust people that have belief in what they’re doing. If you believe in what you’re doing, then everything is pure. If there’s an ulterior motive or a hatched plan—like we’re going to do a charity event just so we can get some publicity—to me that’s gross. I do it because I love it. I do it because I really love connecting with people and I think I’ve been blessed with the ability to hear a stranger say the most beautiful and profound four or five words together, even though they don’t realize they’ve even said it. I’ll write it down in a notebook and it becomes the start of a song. You had some lyrics posted on your website that you found scribbled down when you woke up one morning. What was that about? Do you keep a dream journal? Oh there’s been a couple. I do keep a dream journal. Last night was a weird one. I dreamt I was at a dinner table and everyone was wearing baseball caps and the queen came and sat down—maybe that’s because of all of this Jubilee stuff that’s been happening—and nobody took off their hats but I took mine off. Then everybody else did too, except for two people at the table. I can’t be sure, but I think (laughs) one of the people who didn’t take off his hat was the Kurt Russell character from Big Trouble In Little China, honest to God. And I think the other person was Lil Wayne. So that was quite an eclectic dream, I had to write it down. I also wrote a song called “After Midnight” just the other day, all about getting down after midnight, this sultry, sexy kind of thing. Are you coherent while you’re writing your dreams down or are you scribbling in your sleep? I’m a very light sleeper so when I get up it’s like laser accuracy within 30 seconds. If I don’t write it down throughout the course of the day I’ll forget all about it, which is why I started keeping the journal. I had a dream that Ted Poley from Danger Danger would only allow me to interview him if I was high and the pill I had to take was called a BRNG pill. I have no idea… Oh nice! Are you high right now? No, no, I’m not! And I’ve never interviewed Ted Poley. I don’t put a lot of weight in odd dreams. They’re strange but sometimes easy to interpret. You know, it might just be the smallest thing you see, like in your peripheral vision, like a kid tripping in the mall or something and you don’t even pay attention to it. Then a month later you wonder why you’ve dreamt about a kid tripping in a mall. I think that’s the joke, right? That when you die it’s all been a big dream phase. Fortune will be at The Stone Pony on July 10. For more information, go to jdfortune.com or check him out on Twitter @jdfortunemayhem. 30 Responses phyl July 4, 2012 JD has built a strong following through his talent and how he shares his music with fans. I am not surprised that fans (myself included) are coming from far and wide for this show – as far away as Bermuda, at least four Canadian provinces, California, Minnesota, Maryland, NY, Pennsylvania S. Carolina and N. Carolina and that is only what have heard of so far – going to be a great party with awesome music courtesy of FORTUNE! Reply Meesh July 4, 2012 An interesting interview, Fortune sounds like a real positive move forward for him. Appreciated the sentiment regarding the strangers that put it on the line to support his creative endevour over the long haul, no matter what. I have greatest respect for those people. PeAce and keepin it real from Oz. Reply Jilly Bean July 4, 2012 You, sir, are a right royal jerk. I can’t believe how you talk about the band of “brothers” that you claimed INXS was to you. I, for one, am totally tired of your stories changing (almost daily) – to always try to make yourself look like your poo don’t reek. Reply J Voyageur July 4, 2012 No his story didn’t change daily. He didn’t know what was going on at first, and when he did he was in no position to say it publicly. Now that the situation has changed he has an opportunity to speak his mind. It’s as bad as I thought it was while it was happening and my heart broke for JD, it was cruel. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing his talent unleashed with his new band Fortune, to see him soar on the wings of his own talent and with his new bandmates. It’s going to be a great ride. Reply GCD July 4, 2012 Thank you, JD, for all you give, every single day. I believe in your talent and in the goodness of your heart. You gave that other band far more than they gave you. In the long run, you will be far better off. Fortune rocks and your fans are there for you. No Matter What. Reply Denise Deebirdz July 4, 2012 I look forward to a FORTUNE show soon! The road is long but the party is not over. I’m loving your songs JD and tremendously appreciate you sharing. I hope the conversation continues dot dot dot on a bed track. Rock on! Reply chris July 5, 2012 INXS has lost their best chance at being in a band again. Their new pony will only lead them to show playing for 500 people in backwoods clubs. JD is an artist and INXS are a bunch of washed up hacks that are royally screwed. Let’s see them try to tour America again. They can’t because no one is interested. More power to JD!!!! Reply Quinn July 5, 2012 I really hope it goes well for JD as he was treated so badly by INXS. He was their ticket back to the big time but Chris Murphy in all his wisdom decided to dump him and go with the nonentity that is currently fronting the band. I really loved the JD era INXS and saw them 6 times but if he has the right material JD will shine with his new band Fortune because of his charisma. Good Luck, theres a lot of people rooting for ya Reply Shaz July 5, 2012 I was a loyal INXS fan… for many, many years. When Michael died, the world lost a precious soul. I was saddened, but I didn’t deny the Farriss brothers the right to keep doing what they loved. Without Michael, the Farriss brothers had lost their shining star, but the music still lived on. I like many watched RockStar INXS with keen interest… and I quickly fell in love with JD. The Farriss brothers’ did too (smart)…. but let’s face it…JD’s path and INXS’s path were *not* the same…. INXS is indeed a band of brothers – with a particular style – they have no need to change. Yes, it is a shame, and yes, letting JD “go” was definitely their musical loss… but, this gave JD an opening to find his true path… and JD’s ability to re-invent himself is a credit to the depth of his soul and his need/desire to give his all to his fans. JD heading FORTUNE means the world will now gain something very special. JD’s soulful voice and depth of character will shine through his new music. Thank you JD for letting your fans be part of your journey, for sharing what is in your soul, and letting us still hear your beautiful voice . Lets keep the conversation going (from an un-ashamed Aussie fan). Please let us keep focus on the music! It’s all about the music… Reply babs July 5, 2012 I have faith in what JD can do with his written word and voice. I can’t wait to get blown away on Tuesday. While I’ll miss him singing with my favorite band of the past 30 years, I’m also looking forward to finding a new favorite in Fortune. Reply Snježana July 6, 2012 I’m a huge JD’s fan and I’m so so so happy he’s got his own band now and heading a tour!!! I loved him with Inxs as well but the band didn’t let his talent shine in all it’s beauty. Now he’ll perform his own songs and I know he’ll set any stage on fire, wherever Fortune will play! Reply Janna July 7, 2012 “they’ve [fans] put up with a lot. Basically I’m here to protect the integrity of their experience, what they signed up for.” What a bunch of disingenuous drivel! I have been a fan since 2005, but no more. The media needs to be aware of his agreement with a group of fans (referred to as “Patchers”) who paid JD $250 each when he was down and out after his 1st dismissal from INXS. In return for the $250, JD promised VIP status at concerts (among many other perks). He has chosen not to honor his commitment to these fans who have “put up with a lot”. The adage: fool me once, shame on him…fool me twice, shame on me applies here. I won’t fall for his BS again. Integrity matters to me – so he has lost a fan and know he has and will lose others too. Reply Janna July 7, 2012 In case the media is interested…I have a copy of the “V Reply Janna July 7, 2012 I have a copy of the “VIP Warren Members (the briar patch kids)” agreement that proves JD is not honoring his April 2009 commitment to fans for “lifetime”, “never expires” membership and privileges. How quickly he has forgotten the fans who supported him along the way. Reply Sherry July 7, 2012 “The sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights up the whole sky.” ~ Hafiz Reply J Voyageur July 7, 2012 Just leave already Janna. You hadn’t be there or participated in years. Seems like the ones who either never participated or stopped participating long ago are the people crabbing the most. For me, that membership was and remains an INVESTMENT IN AN ARTIST. It was a roof over his head and food on the table when then idiots of INXS abandoned him. You got tons of downloads and the opportunity for conversation with him – WHICH YOU PASSED ON. That’s on you. You lurked or bitched but never positively contributed. You were not there – at all. So take your 15 or so FREE DOWNLOADS (probably more), your personalized Warren Member package and go away. Reply GCD July 7, 2012 I was totally satisfied with the experience. I’m looking forward to more. Reply GCD July 7, 2012 Janna, circumstances changed beyond his control. No one could have predicted that INXS would have been so short-sighted and uncaring AGAIN. I don’t care about the VIP experience that didn’t happen. I CARE ABOUT JD, and am delighted that he is moving forward. Reply Michele July 8, 2012 Hey, J Voyageur. Don’t jump on Janna for speaking her mind. Not every JD fan feels the same way you do. Degrade her for not being around? Maybe she wasn’t chatting with you, but she was “around” and she has ALWAYS appreciated JD for the talented artist he is! Maybe Janna hadn’t contributed to the coffee klatch in quite awhile, but I was around! And I waited and waited for JD to pay some sort of attention to the “lifetime” members on his site. He didn’t pay attention. He made a new site. We can quote the sun and the moon all day long, but that doesn’t change the fact that you don’t always get what you pay for. JD is no doubt going to kick some major ass with his new band “FORTUNE.” He is one talented dude, no doubt about it. But I gotta say that each and every fan who has stuck by him all this time is entitled to their opinion, whether their beliefs coincide with yours or not. “You lurked or bitched but never positively contributed.” Wow. Heavy words there, J Voyageur. I’m not impressed. Reply Janna July 8, 2012 Hey Janette (aka Jet, aka J Voyageur) Glad you’re totally satisfied, but not everyone feels as you do and it would be nice if, for a change, you would respect that. As I posted in response to your comment on his FB page, just because I hadn’t participated by posting in the Patch in a long time does not mean I did not continue to support him as I had since 2005. One, I don’t have time to follow the idle chit-chat – much of which had absolutely nothing to do with JD. Two, I got fed-up with the self-righteous indignation I got simply for expressing a different point of view. As for “never positively contributed” – wow NEVER?!? That’s pretty bold hyperbole. And you wonder why I chose not to participate in the Patch?!? Ask the ladies who I helped with technical advice so they could stream the Vancouver Olympics performance. I’d say that is just one example of “positively contributing”. As for my 15 or so “free downloads”, I think I have maybe 4 or 5, not 15. And they weren’t “free” – they were part of our investment in the “Death of a Motivational Speaker” experience. What you don’t get – it’s not about the money or me staking some sort of claim of what I am due or owed. I, too, considered the membership an investment in him when he was down and out. Had he tried his best and not had any concerts in a solo endeavor, I wouldn’t feel as I do now. However he IS having a concert. As a result, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for him to honor his commitment to fans who supported him on this journey. Reply Janna July 8, 2012 GCD, “Janna, circumstances changed beyond his control.” I understand that. Had he not had any concerts after INXS or remained with INXS, that’s one thing. I could understand that he would not be in a position to offer any VIP experience. However, I do not see how his current circumstances prohibit him from taking a few minutes of his time to personally greet the fans who have stuck by him through the lean times. Reply GCD July 8, 2012 Janna, have you ever made a promise you were unable to keep? I bet you have, even if you don’t remember it by now. That, is what I believe happened. I think your choices now are: accept the fact and stay, or accept the fact and leave. I don’t think pointing this out to him again and again will get you the desired result. You may just have to wait until the Fortune band travel to your neck of the woods and see what happens. Reply Janna July 8, 2012 GCD, I think everyone has made promises they could not keep – myself included. But what prevents him from taking a few minutes of his time to greet the patchers who are in attendance? I am not holding him to each and every Warren member item, because I realize many of them cost money and he is just ramping up his new career. I just don’t see why he can’t keep that one promise when he is having a long-awaited concert? If there are extenuating circumstances that prohibit this (I can’t imagine what they are since he is already having a M&G), it would be nice if he had explained that to patchers before shutting down the site. That would have gone a long way. If I made a promise I couldn’t keep, I’d at least explain why – not simply ignore it. What you don’t seem to understand…it’s not about me or what *I* want or expect. Even if Fortune having a concert right down the street, I don’t expect to meet him. It’s a matter of principle…either honor the commitment or explain to fans who have stuck by for years why you can’t. Simple as that. Reply Janna July 8, 2012 GCB, Just wanted you to know that I appreciate you not making this discussion personal even though we disagree on this issue. Reply J Voyageur July 8, 2012 Janna, Glad you know who I am. This is his very first concert after being let go by INXS twice. This is still a lean time for him. He’s not flush with multiple leg concert tour cash…yet. Hell the cd isn’t even out. He’s had to foot the bill for recording and this concert/tour that hasn’t happened. Not to mention just daily living expenses. Sheesh you want a really fast return on your “investment”. As for “supporting JD”, helping INXS stream a concert is not the same as supporting JD once he’s out of INXS. You helped C. Murphy stream the 30 year old business. Cool thing to do, just a false equivalency in this instance. The differing points of view you expressed in the patch are very much like what you’ve written here. Not a particularly friendly or even diplomatic form of expression. As for site conversation, you could have moved the conversation in a JD direction if you wanted to. There were threads specifically for that. Others did – gave him feedback on all those samples downloads and blog entries. Ultimately, it boiled down to what members chose to talk about, chose to do. Some of us really wanted to talk to JD about his music and blogs, others made different choices. And, when you could have come in and talked about the new music in the last couple of weeks you chose not to do that as well. Which is perfectly fine. It’s your choice. Reply Janna July 8, 2012 JD (IF you happen to read this) and fans who were offended by my post: I sincerely apologize for the tone I used in my post yesterday at 10:09 am. I stand by my criticism, but I should not have made it personal. Until yesterday, I was holding out hope and giving JD the benefit of the doubt – that he would make M&G arrangements for Warren member in attendance on Tuesday. I was disappointed to see he made a different choice…and I let those emotions get the best of me. So again, apologies on word choice. Reply Janna July 8, 2012 Janette, It’s not a “return on investment” and I fully realize he isn’t flush with cash right now. But it would cost him nothing to take a few minutes to add Warren members to the M&G he’s already planning. If a Warren member would still like to give him the $200 for the VIP ticket, that’s fine. I didn’t help INXS stream a concert. I don’t respect C. Murphy or the band. I helped patch members who wanted to watch JD (and his backup band) be able to stream the Olympics performance where JD was ON FIRE! I’d say supporting fellow-fans IS positively contributing to the whole JD experience, which includes when he fronted INXS. I have shared HIS music and triumphs (like CBS TV air spots) on my Facebook page. But you wouldn’t know that because your gauge of participation is only his former website – one in which the man himself hasn’t participated on much in the last couple years. As for the new music over the last few weeks, you’re right. I listened to it all and I could have posted comments. I opted not to because I know they wouIdn’t have been well-received. For example, I LOVED the raw, acoustic “Tension”, but do not like the latest version. I feel it’s over-produced. But I know all too well that I would have been jumped on for daring to dislike any of his music or for having a different point of view. This discussion is a case in point. Setting aside our divergent points of view, enjoy the show. I am sure he will be in top form. Reply J Voyageur July 8, 2012 Janna, Thanks for the streaming clarification. And he was on fire that night. Clear communication is important. This conversation demonstrates that point. I stand by my previous comments about the meet and greet. You are certainly entitled to your opinion as am I. And I respect your opinion about Tension, though I don’t share it. We could have had those kinds of conversations on that site, talk about the particulars of a song without taking it personally. I never said I was going to the show. Hope you have a good weekend. Reply lolapalooza July 9, 2012 JD and FORTUNE…..give er hell tomorrow night. I’m just pissed I can’t be there. Reply sooveryou July 9, 2012 I thoroughly enjoyed you when you were with INXS and wish you nothing but success with your new band FORTUNE. Looking forward to hearing more music written by you. I am a little confused on how or why participation or not on an artists website in a “chat” room constitutes how much one has supported an artist? J Voyageur….wow…. “Just leave already Janna. You hadn’t be there or participated in years.” RESPECT is not a word that should be in your vocabulary. Reply Leave a Reply to babs Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.