Since their inaugural performance in March of 2003, James Hall and Chris Jones have performed over 200 shows together across the Midwest. The singing and songwriting duo spent their first five years performing original material with a carousal of different local musicians. Their influences and style blended flavors of punk rock with the sound of their 90s alternative favorites.
Jones was a musician at an early age. At nine, he began taking piano lessons. At 12 he joined the school band as a percussionist. At 13, Jones played in his first band as a drummer, led by the future All-American Reject’s lead singer, Tyson Ritter. Although the band fell through after only a few shows, Jones kept developing as a musician and tried starting up several bands of his own. By high school, he was playing guitar, singing, and even acting. During his senior year, he began teaching Hall how to play the bass guitar. The two friends soon began creating their own music.
Hall’s main influence comes from his love of Weezer, the 1990′s “Geek Rock” superstars. This influence fits in perfectly with Simpleton’s philosophy that less is more. As an education graduate from Oklahoma State University, Hall developed into a master of the English language. His experience of love and love lost, in addition to his belief in hope and optimism, has fueled his musical poetry throughout the past decade and has allowed him to share with the world words that “move us from inside.”
Early on, the group had achieved success scoring airplay on local radio stations, however, Hall and Jones were feeling the burden of the ever-changing lineup of drummers and guitarist by 2007. After a long search in 2008, Simpleton finally struck gold when they recruited the Travis Barker-esk drummer, Bret Frieden. In addition to getting an extremely talent percussionist, the group gained a skilled bassist, Tim Gant, who was a fellow band mate of Freiden’s. Frieden and Gant performed together in several hard rock bands before teaming up with Hall and Jones’ pop punk duo. Since the 2008 merger, the band has gone on to perform nearly 100 shows together in only three years and has expanded its fan base in the Midwest region. Their goal for the future is to promote and expand Simpleton from a regional talent to a nationwide audience.