Just Free gets down and dirty in Columbia

Local rock band Just Free plays July 21 at Music Go Round.

By Tess Betts | July 15, 2012

Tags: Music

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Just Free has rocked all the popular venues in Columbia, and with the motto “Music so dirty you’ll wanna wear protection,” the thrill of the band's upcoming shows is comparable to that of any other gritty rock concert.

Band vocalist/guitarist Justin Fremont, a 26-year-old Columbia resident, began his quest for success in May 2010.

Just Free began as a duo, but Fremont eventually picked up bass player Mike Haueisen, an MU journalism student.

Drummer Andy Johnson, a pre-med student, joined just a year ago after grade-school friend Haueisen recruited him to work with Fremont. Since then, the new trio has played 20-plus shows at small venues in Columbia, St. Louis and the greater Midwest.

The trio’s first show was at last year's Pride Fest in St. Louis in front of thousands of people.

“We said, 'Here, Andy, play with us in front of this sea of people!'” Fremont says with a chuckle.

The band has also played in Kansas City, Denver and Indianapolis. Band members bring their grungy rock sound and tattooed stage presence along with them everywhere they go.

“Musically, it has this dirty, gritty sound to it, and also lyrically as well,” Fremont says. “It’s a raw, kind of bluesy sound. Nothing clean and polished.”

The band is influenced by a diverse ranges of music, from Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath and AC/DC to the heavy metal genre. Listen closely, and you’ll hear a bit of The White Stripes and The Black Keys.

“You know, everyone always tells me that, but I’ve actually never listened to a full album by either of those artists,” Fremont says of the comparison.

Though the current tracks are not products of Johnson and Haueisen, the group is working to create a new album. They have produced three tracks so far.

“I think we’ve been getting better and better,” Johnson says. “It all just fits.”

Just Free has lined up a busy summer, beginning with its new tracks being played July 21 at Music Go Round on East Broadway. The band will set up outside the store, allowing for live outdoor music and a closer connection with the fans.

On August 19, the band will play at the Mid-Missouri PrideFest in Columbia, a new favorite of Fremont — he “digs all the bright colors.” Déjà Vu Comedy Club will be setting up two stages outside in its parking lot for musical guests.

Though juggling school and schedules can be tough, the trio continues its quest for a rewarding career in music.

“If we get famous, I definitely wouldn’t deny it,” Johnson says.

And with that being said … the band is already on Spotify with its reel-track-produced album titled “Durtysexyrock&roll.”

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