Get To Know Great Value Jesus And Their Release “Gen Z the Great Society”

Noah Renken-Kapatos(songwriter, guitar), Doug Cook(bassist), and Nick Saathoff (drummer) make up a rock trio called GREAT VALUE JESUS. They are a United States, Bloomington-Normal power group who have just released an original single titled “Gen Z the Great Society”. We had a few questions and answers with them. Below are exclusive details on GREAT VALUE JESUS and their new release.


Photo credits: Sam Warner, Noah Renken-Kapatos

What is your real name?

Great Value Jesus is currently a hard rockin’ trio composed of midwest college students and singer/guitarist Noah Renken-Kapatos, bassist Doug Cook, and drummer Nick Saathoff.

Follow the band on: Bandcamp, YouTube and Instagram.


What’s your official Stage Name (showbiz name)?

We are Great Value Jesus. Not as good as real Jesus though, we’re an off-brand group of swell young lads that aren’t associated with Walmart. We can’t turn water into wine,


What do you do (fashion, music, comedy, artist, dancer, etc.)?

We are some real deal rockers. We play a mix of indie/alt/punk/psychedelic music.


How did you get into what you do (music, modelling, art, dance, etc.?)

For all of us, it has been an organic attraction to music that has really blossomed into a desire to share it with others. Music in itself is therapeutic and there’s something so unique about us as people; being the only animal who evolved to have such cultural and personal connections to highly complex organised pitch and rhythms unlike anything found in nature.

Get To Know Great Value Jesus And Their Release "Gen Z the Great Society"
Get To Know Great Value Jesus And Their Release “Gen Z the Great Society”

What field or genre are you into and give a brief description of what your career/profession/ field feels like?

We play an amalgamation of indie/alternative rock with elements of punk and psychedelic rock thrown in. We try to wear our wide range of influences on our musical sleeves.


Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?

Doug– “Personally, maybe myself?” For this record and this project, some classic rock tunes. Geezer Butler, John Paul Jones. I really like structured basslines. Basslines with a plan. It’s cool too, playing in a rock band. I think this project is turning me into a better unit player. I love doing melodic leads, but I really think being a three-piece force us to do both lead and rhythm tasks to give a big sound.

Nick– I really tried to do a John Bohnam, Dave Grohl, Kieth Moon kinda thing. I wanted to give a steady beat with a powered sound. I love to pull from a bunch of older guys, and put them in my metaphorical toolbox.

Noah– My love of music is what inspires me. Music has provided me with such amazing opportunities and connections. My motivation is the community and connections that are made while playing music.


What was your first project and the people you worked with and which year?

Nick– Sunday Afternoon/ 3rd Street Down in 2017 was my first gigging band when I was in my last year of high school and into the next couple of years

Doug– Started playing cello at 8 and eventually accepted a full ride scholarship at Wesleyan University. For bass, Breakfast for Bears was my first real bass band in 2017 ish

Noah– The Blank Sleeves was my first real band in 2016, starting in high-school and continuing past graduation.


How many projects do you have so far?

Too many to count. All of us have several musical projects we are involved in.

Get To Know Great Value Jesus And Their Release "Gen Z the Great Society"
Get To Know Great Value Jesus And Their Release “Gen Z the Great Society”

How long have you been doing what you do?

Nick- playing drums around age 8, is currently 23

Doug- playing cello at 8, bass at 10; is currently 27

Noah- Guitar/Singing at 14, is currently 23


What do you look out for in this line of business?

Shady people, shady deals, and bad mojo we try to avoid. We really just want to share this music we’re really passionate about.


Have you won any awards or been nominated for an award? Or in short, any achievement? Both in and out of your career path.

Sure. Our song, Stan, appeared in my college’s annual student submission.


What is this new release about?

Gen Z the Great Society is about the zeitgeist that is generation z. Now that we are growing up, we see this disillusioned society that we are handed that we must save. This song was me trying to capture the moment that is generation z becoming adults. I am born on the precipice, the very beginning of what is generation z. I wanted to give us an anthem to channel our frustrations out on this world we now have to save. The name derives from president LBJ’s Great Society initiative that ultimately got discarded in favour of the war in Vietnam. The speech that starts the song is taken from his speech in late 1965. America never did become that great society he spoke about. Through garage rock and psychedelic licks, this song packs a punch.


Who and how many people worked on it?

Noah Renken-Kapatos wrote, recorded, and produced the record while also performing vocals and guitar work. Doug Cook plays both bass and cello. Nick Saathoff performs the drums. Cello and drums were recorded at Eclipse Studios in Normal, IL, with grammy nominated audio engineer Erik Nelson. Sam Warner shot the photos on the album, Noah Renken-Kapatos edited the photos and created the GVJ emblem, and Jaybers was the artist behind the multimedia artwork.


What can your previous and new audiences anticipate from you in the future?

Anticipate that we will be doing what we enjoy the most, playing music from the heart. We’re in the process of scripting and filming music videos for the album as well as performing anywhere and everywhere we can. In June we will be performing at two music festivals in Bloomington-Normal, IL (Midwest Punkfest XII and Make Music Normal). We also are in the process of booking our first tour later in July.

Young and vibrant man I am, God fearing, warm at heart. Music is bae food is life. If you've seen this then you know me!!!

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