I, John “JayCee” Cuijpers started playing guitar when i was 17 years old.
Because I always favored singing I applied to an add in the local newspaper for a Bluesrock band called KINKY BOOTS that were looking for a leadsinger. The chemistry was there and so I became a member of the band.
I always liked writing my own songs but this did not work out for this band so, being in the band for 5 years, it was time to move on. With a friend of mine i started a new band called DEVILS ROPE.
During this period I did several projects and was asked to be the leadsinger for a Thin Lizzy Tributeband called PARRIS.
To me this was a challenge and after an audition they hired me for the job.
Unfortunately Devils Rope broke up after 7 years and I was asked to be the leadsinger for a new band by Leon Pennings (Ex-Occult) & Rob van der Loo (Epica, ex-Delain).
I said yes because, as you all know by now, writing my own music is still my passion.
People came and people went but it all fell into place in the summer of 2003 and the band called COOPER Inc. was born.
During recordings for Cooper Inc’s first debut EP Your Trip begins here, I was asked in 2004 to record
“Sail Away to Avalon” for AYREON (Arjen Lucassen) and i am very proud that it turned out to be an amazing experience and recording as you can all hear here !! I also decided to quit Parris August 2004 so i could fully invest in writing original music for Cooper inc.
In 2005 founder and guitarist Leon Pennings (ex-Occult) moved and decided to leave the band.
As i already wrote and recorded some original songs with Christian Tolle for his solo project CTP’s The Real Thing it was quit obvious i would ask him to join Cooper Inc.
With Christian joining forces we did some amazing support gigs for TOTO (check out video Page)
We started writing original songs together for the next Cooper Inc album and finally it was released in 2009 called Pulling The Trigger, produced by Michael Voss (Mad Max, Vengeance, Michael Schenker).
We did some nice support gigs for Jorn Lande and David Reece but due to personal circumstances the band got put on hold and never had the chance to promote the album properly.
Therefore i decided to take a break from my creativity in writing original music simply because the passion and dedication wasn’t there anymore.
I was asked to join Parris again in 2007 for a 1 time gig together with Barend Courbois (Vengeance, Blind Guardian) but the chemistry was there and i stayed. Because during soundchecks we often played a Iron Maiden song called “The Trooper” and people thought it was awesome we were asked to start a Iron Maiden tribute which we named HARRIS.
I was asked to join a 70’s tributeband called SEDITION in 2008 together with long time friend Gerard Gubbels. It didn’t work out the way we thought it would be and Gerard and me decided to form our own 70’s rock coverband known as RED PEPPER BULLWHIP.
We asked “my brotha from another motha” Hans in ’t Zandt (Parris/Harris, Praying Mantis) to join us and when Jasper Verbruggen and Peter Wagner joined we had a mega rocking band and are still going strong. Peter was replaced in 2014 by Dicky Kersten but perhaps will be joining RPBW in the future for an occassional gig.
In 2013 i did a 2 day festival called Very Eavy Festival with Parris and Harris (special guest on guitar ex Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton) and also on the bill was one of the founders of NWOBHM PRAYING MANTIS. 3 months later i got a call from them asking me if i would like to join them and i was honoured because my passion to write and play original music was waiting to be unleashed again.
Also in that same period i was asked to join DEO the Dutch DIO tributeband after Stan Verbraak (Helloise/Highway Chile) decided to leave the band and being a big DIO fan i was ready to give it a shout !I
I decided to quit DEO to focus on my main band Praying Mantis April 2016. I joined a Dutch Van Halen tribute VAN HAGAR being a great Sammy Hagar fan and most of the repertoire is Sammy's era.
At this time i just finished recording for a new album with PRAYING MANTIS which is going to be released in 2015 by Frontiers Records. Also doing gigs with Parris, Harris, Red Pepper Bullwhip, Van Hagar and Powerstation.
Check out TOUR DATES section where you can see with one of my bands.
Check out MY BANDS navigation bar for more info and some soundbites.
Check out NEWS navigation bar how the story continues with the new Praying Mantis album or all other news.
Hope to C you on the 26th of March in BEL AIR BREDA Café Zaal Live Podium