So, yeah, recently I had the chance to catch up with New York based band The Jett Blackk Heart Attack, and they are KIND of really interesting! The band, which has collectively played together in some form or another for over 20 years, is a throwback to the roots of metal and rock and roll. Although I am not the biggest hard rocker, I appreciate all forms of music and have a super huge respect for 1970s metal, because a lot of 90s grunge rock took great influence from earlier metal. Plus, the guys in The Jett Blackk Heart Attack rock some wickedly awesome old school style creepers, so I automatically had a soft spot in my heart for them!
Recently, they have had a string of gigs all over New York state and are working on a record, tentatively titled Needle To the Groove. So, it was as good of a time as any to learn a bit more about their sound and what they have in store for the future...
TLF: The Jett Blackk Heart Attack is a combination of "roots of metal" and... what else? Describe the sounds that influence you as a group, as well as each of you personally. Do you feel like the combination of your personal and group influences meshes well, or are some of you guys working with influences that an audience would never expect?
TLF: You all have been playing together for almost 20 years, correct? How did you meet and form, and what were the trials and tribulations along the way (there has to have been at least one you can share with us!)?
JBHA: To clarify, on and off for 20 years. We had a few bands together. First we were called "False pride", that was from 89-90. We thought we were so cool... ha ha man were we wrong! But, a few years later we started a hardcore band called "Tension*" with my brother Mike on vocals. That went from 92-2000. Many trials, many tribulations, many great stories and many great memories. Growing up back then in the Long Island Hardcore scene, we were an untouchable family. Every weekend there was a show with close to 1000 kids, and everyone knew everyone. It wasn't just a trend, it was a lifestyle..and many friendships were bonded, that's actually when we first met Dave Case. He was playing bass in a band called "Cleanser" and that's also where a lot of the bigger bands like Taking back Sunday, Glassjaw,Brand new and Head automatica all came from.We all hung out together and played shows together. No barricades, no bouncers, no egos, just family and friends .The bands and the fans were all on one level. After Tension* had broken up in 2000, we all went on to do other things. In 2007 we had a reunion show as Tension* and decided to keep playing together, but take the music in a different direction That's when we recruited Dave Case, who was exactly what we needed to complete the Jett Blackk sound.
TLF:Live performance is a big part of any band-- describe a The JBHA performance in three words! Who are some of your performance idols, and what do you hope fans walk away with after each show?
As far as having performance idols... some of the slinkier types of performers, like Scott Weiland, Layne Staley and the late great jim morrison. Man, that guy didn't have to do shit and it was genius!! And of course those front men had world class performers onstage with them with which to interact, so we make sure to have good physical alchemy while performing. It is very important to look like you love each other and are happy to be sharing the stage, which is very easy for us 'cause we do, and we are.
TLF: There are a lot of "roots of metal" bands out there, but what do you think sets The JBHA apart from the rest of the modern musical landscape? What makes you unique, in addition to your sound?
JBHA: Because of our age (early 30's) All of us in the Jett Blackk Heart Attack grew up on the metal of the 80's (Metallica, Judas Priest, Slayer, Exodus, Voivod, Megadeth, Nuclear Assault etc) our first bands early in our careers were modeled after those bands in one way or another. As we've grown up we also were well aware and respectful of the bands that are considered "Roots of Rock and Roll". I think the best hard rock bands and artists in rock history are based off of blues and legends such as Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, Deep Purple, ZZ Top etc. Most people will argue the sweet years of rock were from 1968-1978. Rock bands had so many different ways of musically expressing themselves without any real boundaries or expectations back then. They just went out and kicked ass. That's what makes us unique. It's our ability to connect all age groups. We love young kids skateboarding to connect with us all the way up to adults that lived the good old days of rock back in the day. It's really trying to combine the "classic" with the "modern" eras.
TLF: Lastly-- tell us what's up with you guys in the future! Any shows, CDs, EPs, or events we should know about?
JBHA: Basically The JBHA is a band that will always be doin' our thing.and as much as any band would like to "get signed"..we refuse to just sit around and wait to make things happen. Especially in a time where bands should only be counting on themselves to make the moves they need to make to succeed. We are very lucky to have a lot of talented friends in our corner helping us out. As of right now we are in the process of recording our first full length record titled "NEEDLE TO THE GROOVE" with producer Joe Cincotta of Fullforce studios.
We also just finished our video for the single "Hell or high water" with director Christian Winters. We just finished our website www.thejbha.com.We also have The Jett Blackk Heart Attack iphone app that can be purchased in the itunes app store. We are like rock n roll sharks,we gotta keep eatin and we gotta keep movin!! There's a lot goin on with us at the moment and we wouldn't have it any other way.Its how we roll. we love what we do and we stand poised to take on the world..because the future is JETT BLACKK!!!!
Excuse me while I go rock out now. Hard.
Find out more about The Jett Blackk Heart Attack on their website, and keep up with their release date info and tour stops!