LAYTON — Think of it as The Dream, Part II.
Back in his younger days, Jake Thomas entertained an admittedly “short-lived" dream of becoming a rock star. Just out of high school, the Orem native, who now lives in Layton, fronted a rock ’n’ roll band that wasn’t half bad — if he does say so himself. They started playing concerts featuring their original songs, written by Thomas, and built something of a following. Thomas even says “some guy tied to Geffen (Asylum Records co-creator David Geffen) in the Bay Area was looking at us.”
But then, as so often occurs, life intruded.
“I started a family Utah-style — so young,” he admits.
And pretty soon, Thomas and the other members of the band were off in search of regular careers and began moonlighting with cover songs.
First, Thomas played in a local band called London Bridge. He says they played every high school and junior high prom between the Wasatch Front and Vernal.
Then, in the early 1990s, Thomas was in a cover band called Quite Frankly. For almost a decade, the band played regular gigs at The Frog in Ogden, and later Club Nadir in Riverdale.
“We didn’t know it, but we were considered the No. 2 band in Utah for awhile,” Thomas says. “We created a pretty good demand, and Club Nadir sold out every night.”
But by about 1996, however, the rigors of juggling a second career as a popular cover band had begun to wear thin.
“We decided we were done doing covers, and we all went and got jobs,” Thomas said.
And just like that, The Dream was effectively dead.
Fast-forward to 2017, and the beginnings of Part II of The Dream. While living in San Antonio, Texas, and pursuing his day job in real estate, Thomas decided to use his free time to give the music business another whirl. He formed the pop rock band JT Bevy, and they released their debut EP of originals, “Madness,” in April 2017.
Thomas has since returned to Utah, settling in Layton, where the Utah version of JT Bevy features Adam Smith on bass guitar and vocals, Tallen Cox on drums and vocals, Walker Masuda on guitar and vocals, and Thomas on vocals, guitar and keyboard.
The band has now recorded its second album, “My Surrender,” due out in July.
The upcoming album’s first single, “You Look at Me,” dropped in December, and Thomas says it got something like 33,000 streams on Spotify.
“These are a lot better numbers than I had on the first round,” Thomas says of his new music. “We’re releasing one single a month, and the second single is climbing and doing well.”
Last week, JT Bevy performed a pre-release party at The Depot in Salt Lake City for the band’s third single, “Unstoppable.” Thomas says this latest tune was written with the assistance of five social media videos asking listeners for comments and suggestions as the writing and recording progressed.
Describing JT Bevy’s music as pop-rock, Thomas says one industry professional has compared the band to a cross between Imagine Dragons and Jane’s Addiction. Thomas confesses he always saw the band more along the lines of “Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Linkin Park,” but now that he thinks about it, the Imagine Dragons/Jane’s Addiction seems more accurate.
The new 14-song album is a bit of a departure from that initial six-song EP from JT Bevy. With that first album, Thomas says the band was more technical and relied on trying to show off its musicianship. The new album, Thomas says, is “more commercial, simple and raw.”
“I do like bands that evolve,” he admits. “Not drastically change, but evolution is a good thing in music.”
With the new album on the way, Thomas says they’ll start pushing more gigs, including some in the Ogden area. He hasn’t decided if he wants to commit to a tour in support of the new album but the band does plan on playing locally at least once a month.
Thomas, who works in real estate development by day, says he knows that music is thought of as a young man’s game. And that, frankly, he’s, well, not. Although he doesn’t divulge his age, Thomas does hint at it.
“I’m old enough that my son has been out on tour with me,” he teases. “I always joke that I’m 28 years old, and my grandson says, ‘Then how is it that my mom is 30?’”
Thomas says “The dream was always there” when it comes to his music, and it's hard to let go of that dream.
“The reality is, at this point music is just a fun hobby,” Thomas says, before allowing himself one more what-if: “But this new song, you just never know …”