by Rachelle Blair
June 2007

Minnapolis' Gingerjake on the cover of Maximum Ink June 2007

Minnapolis' Gingerjake on the cover of Maximum Ink June 2007

“Getting asked to play Summerfest is a no brainer,” said Gingerjake guitarist Ian Severson. “You’d have to be smoking crack to pass up the opportunity.”

Gingerjake will be performing at the U.S. Cellular stage at Summerfest on July 6, opening for Chevelle. This year marks the third time they have been asked to play at the event.

“This year we’re direct support for Chevelle, and we’re all looking forward to it. It’s a huge opportunity that everyone in the band is excited about,” says Severson. “Looking back three years ago when we opened for Jerry Cantrell and the Cardboard Vampyres, I never would have guessed we would get the opportunity three years in a row. It’s awesome.”

Gingerjake was formed in Minneapolis in 2002, and is made up of Amanda Harris on vocals, Ian Severson on guitar and backing vocals, Eric Rotter on bass and backing vocals, and Joe Rotter on drums. The band’s unique style of rock has been described by fans and critics as a blend of beauty and brutality, and Severson says he and the band are influenced by anything from Fiona Apple to Slayer.

“That’s almost A-to-Z right? If it rocks, we generally nod the head.” Severson says their return to Summerfest last year differed from their first experience in a few ways. “We weren’t direct support for P.O.D. We were moved back a slot because Soil was added to the show, but all it meant for us is that we got to play before two kick-ass bands instead of one. It was a smaller crowd as a result of the earlier time slot, but we still rocked and had a blast.”

He adds that being a smaller band performing amongst larger, more well-known bands can be a little stressing. “It can be a little nerve-racking, because while we’re there to have fun, we also want to sound and play great, because we know the bigger bands have that covered. Otherwise, it’s cool just to be there. We’ve met quite a few rad bands and peeps the last two years.”

Besides meeting and performing with other bands at Summerfest, Severson says his favorite part of going to the event is the cheese. “It’s got to be the Wisconsin squeaky cheese. We consume pounds of it both on the drive through Wisconsin to Milwaukee, as well as at Summerfest.” After the cheese, his second favorite part of the experience is the day of their Summerfest appearance. “That’s when I change my phone message to say, in a very Yngwie Malmsteen voice, ‘I can’t take your call right now as I’m probably ripping a face melter in front of thousands of people at Summerfest right now, leave a message.’”

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