Interview: Jaye Foucher

Randy Allar: How are you doing?

Jaye Foucher: I'm doing great.

Randy Allar: You have a disc out from 1997.

Jaye Foucher: Yeah, and I'm in the studio right now working on my second release, which should be out in January of next year.

Randy Allar: The first disc is great.

Jaye Foucher: Thank you!

Randy Allar: It's entitled "Infectious Licks." Tell about the disc.

Jaye Foucher: Oh, let's see. The first one I've done on CD. It took about five months to record.

Randy Allar: The disc has ten tracks.

Jaye Foucher: Most of them are instrumental, two of them are vocal. My new CD, "Contagious Grooves" will be all instrumental.

Randy Allar: What inspired you to try singing considering you are primarily an instrumental musician?

Jaye Foucher: I've always enjoyed singing and people kept telling me that I had a good voice and I wanted to have a couple of vocals on songs on the CD. I didn't want it to be all instrumental. I figured if I sang it, (as opposed to someone else singing,) then I wouldn't have to worry about having the same singer on the CD perform at live shows. Plus it's a little easier to do it all myself.

Randy Allar: How long have you been playing guitar?

Jaye Foucher: 15 years!

Randy Allar: That is not that long.

Jaye Foucher: Nnnnoooo, but it seems long though. (laughs) Five years is not long.

Randy Allar: Yes, but if it were five years, you wouldn't be leader of your own band and have a disc out.

Jaye Foucher: No that's true.

Randy Allar: Are you just doing your solo stuff, or are you working with other bands?

Jaye Foucher: I'm just doing the solo stuff. Actually I've been really busy lately publishing a website called "Guitarpalooza." It's a co-op online newsletter between myself and a bunch of other guitarists. We all joined mailing lists and are all writing this newsletter. I'm the editor. Some of the other guitarists involved are Jennifer Batten, Alex Skolnick, Neil Zaza, Jon Finn, and Joe Bochar. I'm excited about it, and I was just working on it before we began talking.

Randy Allar: It has to be a large mailing list. All the guitarists have a pretty good fan base.

Jaye Foucher: Yeah, it's well over 2000 names. It's a huge project. It just started out as a little idea that I had and I didn't think so many people would jump on board. It just took off. Originally we sent out a print version of the newsletter, but it became too expensive to self-finance, so we switched over to a web-only version,

Randy Allar: Are you looking to add more guitarists to this?

Jaye Foucher: Yes, we're not opposed to having other guitar players as long as they kind of fit in with what the rest of us are doing. We are within the rock vein; we all have independently released CDs that we are trying to market. Any more guitarists get involved and it's going to be enormous. The more people that get involved, the better. I was joking around when this was taking off about before I know it, I will be putting out another guitar magazine.

Randy Allar: That seems to be the direction in which it is heading.

Jaye Foucher: Well, it was until we stopped the print version. I'd like to get that part of it going again, but it's going to come down to who has the time to do this and whether we can afford to. We are all trying to be performing musicians, not writers and editors. Besides, it's basically supposed to be one of those independent marketing ideas that hopefully will help us all out. Our original goal wasn't necessarily to put out another guitar magazine.

Randy Allar: Then you'll need a full time staff.

Jaye Foucher: We may need it if it gets any larger.

Randy Allar: What are the opportunities for a female guitarist? There are not many female guitarists, especially in this genre of music.

Jaye Foucher: it's getting better, opportunity wise. With the Lilith Fair Tour, women are being seen in rock a lot more. When I first started, the prejudice was really high. I had a hard time getting anyone to believe that I could be as good as the guys were. I showed them. That just made me want to do it even more, hearing people say, "You're never going to do it."

Randy Allar: I did not realize that it was such a male dominated area. Piano is more a female instrument.

Jaye Foucher: And vocals. There are a lot of female vocalists, but you don't see a lot of female guitar players, bass players, drummers. Even nowadays a lot of all female bands are ridiculed.

Randy Allar: Was it difficult for you to get a band together and are you having trouble getting appearances?

Jaye Foucher: I still have a lot of trouble, especially in my hometown. I have an easier time over in Europe than I do here. I live in the Boston area, and Boston being a college town really wants alternative music. So I have a difficult time getting shows and drawing a huge crowd around here. I find it kind of weird. Thankfully that is not the only thing that I have to go on. As a musician, I still occasionally have problems getting good people to play with. I keep wondering when it's going to get easy for me, probably never! If you ask any musician, it's never easy.

Randy Allar: You're from Boston, but you do not sound like you're from Boston.

Jaye Foucher: I worked very hard at that. I went out to California in '88 to go to GIT and I didn't realize I had an accent until then. Every time I would call home I'd hear my family talk or my friends talk, and it would be really obvious because I wasn't hearing the accent anymore. I was getting teased a little, so I worked on it and finally got rid of it.

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Randy Allar: So you went to LA.

Jaye Foucher: At first it was, "Wow, the weather is so nice out here. All these musicians and it's so pretty." Then I ran out of money.

Randy Allar: Your disc "Infectious Licks". For an independent release, you've really done a wonderful job with it.

Jaye Foucher: Thank you. I attribute the sound of it to the produces/engineer Shaun Michaud. He is very, very good. He is also engineering/producing my next record.

Randy Allar: The artwork is interesting. It is a cow licking his lips.

Jaye Foucher: I did the artwork myself. I purchased the image from a company called Photo Disc. I was flipping through one of their catalogs looking for something appropriate to use. I saw the cow and I said, "That has to be it!"

Randy Allar: The unlisted 11th track?

Jaye Foucher: It's just cows mooing.

Randy Allar: Why is it not listed?

Jaye Foucher: I wanted it to be one of those surprise things that if you keep the CD player going you find a surprise at the end. Kind of like a Cracker Jack box.

Randy Allar: How did you come up with the concept of the disc?

Jaye Foucher: The title came from a review that was written about me a number of years ago. The reviewer wrote something along the lines of how I take an infectious lick and let it soar through the melody. It was a really cool quote. When I was trying to decide on a title of the album, I was through my reviews trying to come up with some words that describe my music and I came across that. I said, "Wow, infectious licks, I kind of like that."

Randy Allar: On the track, "The Real Thing," am I hearing string tapping?

Jaye Foucher: No that's all double stops, two notes at a time. I'm picking them with my finger. It's a combination of me still holding the pick, but I'm using my middle finger and ring finger to pluck most of the double notes. I get a different sound when I do that.

Randy Allar: There are a lot of sound effects on the track "Pandemonium."

Jaye Foucher: Yeah, the news in the background. The song when it was written has so many different parts. The word 'pandemonium' seemed to describe it. When I was first going into the studio with it to do a demo tape a couple of years ago, it dawned on me that people talking in certain sections would give it a more pandemonious feel.

Randy Allar: Jaye might be somewhat of a newcomer to the scene, but with a debut CD, and a second one on the way, critics are going to take notice. "Infectious Licks" is available currently, and soon "Contagious Grooves" will be available. Check out her website at

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There is a long list of truly great male guitarists, yet only a few names stand out on the opposite side. Names like Lita Ford and Joan Jett. Don't forget Jennifer Batten.

You are missing one name. Add this one to the list. Jaye Foucher. This Massachusetts guitarist has jumped out of the blocks, guitar blazing. Currently she is working on a new release, which should be available, early next year.

Recently Jaye spent a few minutes on the Fusion Show on WCSB discussing her career thus far. It went something like this.