The Jellyfish Method: A Bay-Scene Punk Band

By: Taylor Lambert

The Jellyfish Method is a bay-scene punk band that originated here in Benicia, California. Beginning in September of 2020 amid the second quarantine, the band has quickly become a house favorite at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, as well as the Bay Scene. The band consists of Aidan Schultz on lead vocals and guitar, Branden Ducharme on lead guitar, Harley Holderby on bass and back-up vocals, and lastly Brayden Cone on drums. The band is locally based here in Benicia with Aidan, Branden, and Brayden living in town, while Harley lives up in Oakland. 

Interview 

Q: What does the band name mean?

Everyone: Don’t ask what the band name means.

Q: What are your biggest musical influences? 

Aidan: Husker Du, Dag Nasty, Green Day, Angry Samoans. I write about what’s on my mind at a given time and get musically influenced by whatever I’m listening to frequently at the time. At the beginning of the band, it was bands like 7 seconds and screeching weasel.

Branden: I draw inspiration from a lot of artists so it’s hard to name specific influences. I’m definitely influenced by Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Fall Out Boy, Lil Uzi Vert, Bikini Kill, and Greta Van Fleet. 

Harley: 7 seconds, The Cure, Adolescents, SNFU, Operation Ivy, and Aggression for music. Lyrically, it’s Conflict, Crucifix, and the Mob 

Brayden: I take a lot of inspiration from the drummer of Gojira, Mario Duplanteir. My biggest inspiration drumming-wise is Joey Jordison of Slipknot.  I also take great inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Slayer, and Korn.

Q: What’s the band’s songwriting process?

Aidan: Someone writes a song and we learn it or someone writes a riff and we all work on it together.

Branden: It depends on the song. Sometimes I’ll bring a riff and we’ll collaborate until the music is fully written. Usually, Harley or Aidan will write lyrics but I’ve written a few. 

Harley: Sometimes someone comes in with a full song, or someone comes in with a riff and we all work on it together. 

Brayden: Usually one of us will come up with a riff, and I will add drums to it. Then we build the rest of the song off that riff.

Q: How did you all meet?

Aidan: I met Brayden through a social media ad when I was 13 and he was 11, I heard about Branden through a friend from my old band (Brain Death) back in early 2019 and Harley through that same friend in early 2020.

Branden: I knew Brayden from 851 studio where we used to take lessons. I was in a band with Aidan and Brayden before JFM. Harley was asked to join by Aidan, so that’s how I met him. 

Harley: I met Aidan through some friends and we became friends and then I met the other two after coming down and jamming. 

Brayden: I met Aidan when I had just turned 10 and he was 13, my friend said his younger brother had a friend with a brother who liked thrash metal. I forget how we actually ended up talking, but I was going to be in one of his bands (The Dead Ones) but they broke up while I was still learning the songs.  I met Branden at 851 Music studios,  where we played classic rock.  I was in a band with both Aidan and Branden before Jellyfish Method. When we started Jellyfish Method is when I first met Harley. 

Q: What first got all of you into music?

Aidan: My dad introduced me to thrash stuff ever since birth and I was more into metal and in thrash bands prior to this band.

Branden: I was inspired to start playing guitar because some of my high school friends played. I actually wanted to be a singer first but became passionate about guitar after realizing my voice wasn’t as high as I wanted it to be, and after falling in love with Slash’s playing. I always knew I wanted to play music, though. I used to play the saxophone as well. I started playing at 15. I still suck. 

Harley: I have a very music-oriented family. Having musicians on both sides, so I’ve grown up around all kinds of music from a young age which spawned my love for music and being a musician. My dad, who is a musician, really got me into it. He bought me my first guitar before I was even big enough to hold it on my own. And then a drum kit a few years later. His support and guidance from a young age got me into music. 

Brayden: I got my first drum set when I was 2 because I was banging on literally everything in the house, and ever since I have Learned guitar and bass. 

Q: What is your favorite song to perform?

Aidan: Far Too Long

Branden: That’s a hard one. Probably Can’t Hardly Wait. Corruption is a lot of fun too. 

Harley: Clean, Can’t Hardly Wait, or 21st Century 

Brayden: I would say either, Ecstacy or 21st Century 

Q: What do you love about the Bay Scene?

Aidan: When people ask what the band name means

Branden: Surprise Privilege. (Another band in the Scene)

Harley: I love that in the bay scene everyone is super weird but because of that everyone is super accepting. It’s great, you’ll see a band that screams about cats and everyone loves it and screams along with them. 

Brayden: I love how all of the bands support each other and get along so well with everyone.

Q: Where is your favorite venue to perform?

Aidan: Our big local club, The Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. 

Branden: Madison Square Garden

Harley: The Phoenix since we’ve played with a bunch of great bands and have met a ton of great people. My top reason though is that it was our first “real” show so it will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Brayden: As of right now either the Phoenix theater or The Cornerstone.

Q: If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?

Aidan: A Prince show in heaven

Branden: Chief Keef

Harley: It would be really cool to open up for 7 seconds since they just started touring again but Bad Religion would also be rad.  

Brayden: Greenday, pennywise, Slipknot, or Gojira.

Q: What is your creative process? 

Aidan: I only write about negative experiences so get me worked up and I’ll show you

Branden: I listen to a lot of music to get inspired. I then noodle around and try to come up with something I like. Sometimes I’ll have a sound in mind and go for that. As for lyrics, I’m a very political person so I try to write about the things that frustrate me.

Harley: Usually, I’ll pick up the bass or guitar and start goofing around and if I play something I like then try to write some lyrics to it. Or sometimes one of the guys writes a riff and I’ll do the lyrics. My creative process for lyrics I write what I feel passionate about. Whether it’s about politics or something in life I’ve experienced. I always try to capture emotion, anger, sadness, sorrow, or boredom, etc…

Brayden: I normally just noodle around on guitar or on drums and I’ll just send a riff to the group chat and we’ll give our feedback.

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