Jessie Tobias FYI...


El Boydelz

-First and foremost we're here to deal with Alanis Morissette's emergence as a guitarist. She's been playing more and more on stage, both electric and acoustic, ever since assembling a touring band in 1995 to support her blockbuster album, Jagged Little Pill (Maverick). Her two guitarists, Nick Lashley and Jessie Tobias, have become unofficial axe coaches. They say their boss is an incredibly quick learner.

-In a very short space of time, Jessie Tobias went from being a member of rock's most macho act-the Red Hot Chili Peppers-to backing one of pop's leading exponents of Nineties feminine sensibilities. Jessie has the dubious distinction of being the guitarist who was in the Chili Peppers for the shortest period of time. He was a Pepper for only about two months before Dave Navarro came on board.

"It just wasn't jelling, musically or personality-wise," says Tobias of his short stint with the shirtless funksters. "They're a little older than me. I felt like I didn't fit in. Right from our first photo shoot, I thought, 'This ain't me; it can't be.' "

The guitarist has the sculpted biceps and high-relief veins of a weightlifter. But his face has a kind of boyish vulnerability. With a shock of dark hair standing straight up, long sideburns and a pair of black wire-rimmed specs, he looks a little like the mid-Sixties Dylan. Growing up in Austin, Jessie was introduced to Santana and War by his dad, and absorbed the blues from the radio waves and humid air of that Texas city. Like Nick, he was first galvanized into guitar action by punk, and is deeply steeped in the metallic Nineties guitar rock of groups like Jane's Addiction and the Peppers. He recently converted the entire Morissette troupe into raving Rage Against the Machine fans. While still back in Austin, Jessie formed a band, Native Tongue, with a bunch of high school buddies. They all moved to L.A. in 1991, just about the same time Morissette hit town.

"We talk about that sometimes," he laughs. "She dealt with a lot of the same people I did, in both good and bad ways. And we talk about all the weasels and the scenesters, and how we survived all that with our dignity intact. It was an exciting time in my life, living on Sunset and Fuller with a band and trying to get signed."

The Chili Peppers episode was fairly traumatic for Jessie. It hadn't been easy for him to part with his hometown friends in Native Tongue. But the Peppers were major heroes of his, the first band he ever saw in concert, at age 14. Two months after joining the Flea circus, he had no band and no future prospects. But just when things seemed grimmest, the audition for Morissette's band came up. "I was the first guitar player to try out, and Taylor Hawkins was the first drummer. I'm a very rhythmic player, and Taylor and I locked in together automatically. I think it was two days later that they called us and offered us the gig."

-On other lists I'm on people have been wondering who the singer was at the
start: it was Angie Hart, formerly of Frente!. She or her band have been
featured at The Bronze a couple times before, and her husband, Jessie
Tobias (who is also in Splendid.)

-Splendid is the lovechild of Angie Hart and Jesse Tobias.

Nothing to to exciting, but better than nothing. Just "googled" him up.
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