First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
Jak from the band JAK SYN, Long Beach/Los Angeles, California.
How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?
We love it here, the music community is very vibrant, ushering many up and coming acts as well as very established acts that have been a part of the community for years, the loacl scene does influence the creativity with many things to draw from, there is never really a dull moment here, the attitude id say is something we've always had.
Do you consider yourself to be part of a particular sound or scene? What is your thoughts on the nature of genres and styles, and do you have any particular ones which you find to your enjoyment more, listening and/or production-wise?
The Goth Alternative scene, which to me covers quite a bit, here in LA there are many layers to this scene and each one is represented quite well, as many genres and styles as there are, there are always fans and new comers to fill the ranks to keep it alive and well. Id have to say the Industrial, deathrock and synthwave scenes, those three i would have to say are favorites of mine due to the fact that they all are rich in heart and soul through their sound.
What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?
The bands Orgy, Deadsy, Coal Chamber, and even the Backstreet Boys, were my first major influences that started me on my musical path all those years back, their unique sounds pushed that button in my head that made we want to go out and pick up a microphone and musical instrument and start playing to the world.
You guys have mentioned you have something new in the works. What's the progress on your next release, and how do you feel this next release is going to evolve the sound of the band? How was the production of the album like compared to previous albums?
Our new album Fragmented just released on May 9th and so far it has been getting great exposure. This newest release has expanded the sound of what was normally done in the past, with the inclusion of our newest member Jonni Laww on guitars, the music has been expanded with an edgier rock influenced vibe that has some throwbacks to 80s glam riffs and full frontal 90s industrial guitar licks, also with the new tracks the synths have taken a much darker and futuristic retro approach using heavy saws and sequences one might find familiar in some of the popular sci fi films of the 80s. The production has been great this time around, with us being hands on in all areas of the album, recording, mixing, mastering, the difference from the past was that then I was more in the drivers seat and now it was much more a full group effort with everything involved.
So much has been said, and it sometimes feel that every word combination has every been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?
I look at the world around me and then ask myself what do you want to say, what do you feel you have to say and how can you weave a story that people can understand and interperate in their own way. The world, the area, and the things I experience everyday are what drives me to write what I write.
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes?
Favorite themes are chaos and order, the fact that only through chaos can we understand order, that balance is important and you cant have one without the other. The thing that draws me to this is what i see everyday around me, in the news, on the street, what i read, in social media but it seems that ive always been drawn to that from a young age through personal experiences.
What sort of processes do you go through when making music? Do you have a formula(s) that you follow, or do you feel it out as you go along? Or is it more of a mixture of the two?
Its a bit of both, we start with a beat, thats the foundation and then we build from there layer by layer, sometimes things work and sometimes things dont so we add and subtract until were left with with something that were proud of, the music is fluid were just shaping it into something we can give to the fans and new fresh ears.
When it comes to making music it can be difficult to balance atmosphere, song progression, musicality, and excitement. Do you have any tricks, techniques, or methods that you commonly use to help your music sound coherent and engaging?
Just bringing excitment and energy to all aspects of the music, to every performance and every rehersal
When it comes to your musical self and your real world self, would you say that their is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
There isnt much difference, i just sit down and start tinkering with my instruments, just writing away thinking of whats going on in myb life or whatbim seeing around me.
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?
There are a few, one is going out and acquiring all the components to write record, mix, and completing our 2nd album Zero Hours, learning as I went along, completing that was a wonderful achievement. Another great moment was sharing the stage with a band I very much admire Hocico, here on LA, listening to them when I was younger and eventually being able to perform with them was a great experience and then asking me to remix one of their own tracks was the icing on the cake. One more that really stands out is us being able to open for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, that was one hell of a show that went down in history for us, set up by our good friend Edward Transylvania, who we are forever thankful for.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
It sent me down a road that has given me alot of wonderful experiences and opportunities over the years, that have shaped me creatively, everything from shows to traveling to creating new relationships and friendships with many people. Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?
Keeping a schedule and a list of goals in mind helps a ton as well as making sure we book our upcoming shows months in advance to ensure we have plenty of time to balance our work schedule and give each show 100%
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
We are a high energy audience engaging band, we want everyone to have a great time and to be part of the live show, wd want people to walk away going wow i cant wait to see them again, to us thats important because we love being involved and engaged ourselves we just want to make sure everyone all has the same experience.
When it comes to performing, what are your favorite sort of venues to play in, and what are your favorite areas to tour? If you could tour with any other band in the world who would it be and why? What are some of your favorite memories of touring?
Venues that have an engaging environment with dancing as well as live acts, we love thr west coast and east coast but we are working on building tours. We would love to tour with Hocico, Skinny Puppy because of their high energy and great stage presence. We are still building those touring memories.
Spirituality, society, and psychology have been prominent themes throughout your music. What draws you to these "big" and "controversial" subjects? Would you consider yourself to be an overall political or spiritual individual? If so, if how what would you say are your strongest/most important views and/or causes?
The need to share our thoughts with the world, i would say more spiritual than political, but not religious.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
Finding people who share the same goals and aspirations to drive the music forward and want to work toward a common goal. Recording and producing my own content independently can be hard at times but in the end its made me stronger.
Outside of your current musical format, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by? Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity?
I could see myself composing for a movie soundtrack or live theatre. Currently I do not have any other projects iam attached to. At times I have worked with Dave bats who is actively a part of the band Peeling grey as their bass player, mostly i just work with the bandmates I have currently.
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
Listening to music from the 30s 40s and 50s, going out and socializing at different nightclubs in the LA area, dancing and going to shows. I love to draw and create things. Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
If you are an up and coming artist or planning on taking the next steps to start, jump in, dont listen to peoples negativity and keep your head high, during your career you will stumble but never give up on what you want to do. If doors slam in your face then you build your own door.
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