Jaya the Cat

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Jaya the Cat
Steven, The Germ, Geoff, Jay and Jordi in a 2007 promotional picture
Background information
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Genres Reggae, Ska, Punk Rock
Years active 1998–present
Labels Bomber Music, Ring of Fire, I Hate People, I Scream, Music Machine, 4tune, Gold Circle
Associated acts Shadows Fall Green Lizard Wealthy Beggar Mark Foggo Cultura Tres Ragged Old Flag (band)
Website Jaya the Cat
Members Geoff Lagadec
David "The Germ" Germain
Jan Jaap "Jay" Onverwagt
Johan "Leon" van 't Zand
Dino Memic
Past members Ben Murphy
Dave Smith
JJ O'Connell
Alejandro Londoño
Brian Tjon Ajong
Jordi Newcastle
Steven Brautigam
Jeroen Kok
Daniel Peper

Jaya The Cat is a Dutch/American reggae/ska/punk rock band originating from Boston, Massachusetts (US), currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The band formed in 1998 and has released four full-length studio albums, one independent release and one live album.


Jaya The Cat was founded in the late 90's by Geoff Lagadec (vocals/guitar), Dave Smith (guitar/vocals), and Ben Murphy (bass/vocals) in Boston, Massachusetts. Their first recording "O'Farrell" was an independent release that gained much attention and got them their first record deal on Gold Circle Records. Their first major release album Basement Style was recorded at Slaughterhouse studios in Amherst, Massachusetts (with studio drummer and longtime friend of Murphy's JJ O'Connell) and was received well among critics and fans and gained attention in the northeast and southwest of the United States, but really began to pick up steam in Europe. After drummer David "The Germ" Germain (formerly with Shadows Fall) joined the band they began touring the US on the Vans Warped Tour and Europe.

In 2001 the band arrived in the Netherlands to play the Lowlands Festival, and in 2003 they recorded a live album, Ernesto’s Burning. After the release of the second album First Beer of a New Day Dave Smith (guitar) and Ben Murphy (bass) quit the band. Shortly afterwards, Smith and Murphy formed the American rock/punk/country band 'Ragged Old Flag'. The remaining members of Jaya the Cat decided to move to Amsterdam where they teamed up with Jan Jaap "Jay" Onverwagt (bass, ex-Green Lizard) and Alejandro Londoño (guitar, ex-Agresión) to continue their efforts from Europe. In 2005, Brian Tjon Ajong (guitar, also ex-Green Lizard) joined the band to replace Londoño. Shortly after, Jordi Nieuwenburg replaced Tjon Ajong on guitar and Onverwagt, who had moved on to play keyboards for the band, was replaced by Steven Brautigam on bass.

The band's third album More Late Night Transmissions With... was released on November 16, 2007 by I Scream Records. More Late Night's sound is considerably more laidback compared to their previous releases, drawing more on reggae influences than the previous two albums. More Late Night Transmissions With... was re-issued by [Bomber Music] in April 2014, on CD and green Vinyl

The fourth studio album The New International Sound Of Hedonism was released by Bomber Music in the summer of 2012. After the release of Hedonism, the band was joined by Johan "Leon" van 't Zand (live keys, ex-Mark Foggo) to complete the live formation. Jaya the Cat, though the lineup has changed numerous times throughout the years, always remains true to its roots and continues to press on forward. In June 2013, original bassist Ben Murphy rejoined the band on stage in the Netherlands to play a handful of songs from the first two releases as Jay took over duties as party MC.

The name of the band is speculated to come from the fact they had a cat named Jaya which they drove in their van when going to gigs.


Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

  • Dave Smith - guitar, vocals (1998-2003)
  • Ben Murphy - bass, vocals (1998-2003)
  • JJ O'Connell - drums (1998-2001)
  • Alejandro Londoño - guitar, vocals (2004)
  • Brian Tjon Ajong - guitar, vocals (2004-2005)
  • Jordi Newcastle - guitar, vocals (2005-2013)
  • Steven Brautigam - bass (2005-2008)
  • Jeroen Kok - bass (2008-2010)
  • Daniel Peper - keys, vocals (2010-2012)

Guest musicians[edit]

  • Brian Tjon Ajong - guitar, keys
  • Yanko Brekov - guitar
  • Russ Abu - bass
  • Matt Crosher (formerly of Random Hand) - guitar (One time performance Rebellion 2011 and guest on El Camino during 2012 winter UK tour)
  • Marcia Richards and Joshua Waters-Rudge of The Skints - vocals (One time performance Rebellion 2011)



  • O´Farrell (CD, 1999)
  • Basement Style (CD, Gold Circle, 2001)
  • First Beer Of A New Day (CD, 4Tune, 2003)
  • Ernesto’s Burning (CD/LP, Music Machine, 2004)
  • More Late Night Transmissions With... (CD, I Scream, 2007)
  • Closing Time (CD Single, I Scream, 2007)
  • First Beer Of A New Day (LP, I Hate People Records, 2011)
  • First Beer Of A New Day (CD re-release, I Hate People Records, 2011)
  • The New International Sound Of Hedonism (CD, Bomber Music, 2012)
  • The New International Sound Of Hedonism (LP, Ring of Fire Records, 2012)
  • More Late Night Transmissions With... (CD re-release, Bomber Music, 2014)
  • More Late Night Transmissions With... (LP re-release, Bomber Music, 2014)


  • Closing Time (2007)
  • Here Come the Drums (2012)

External links[edit]