Monday, June 2, 2014

A Ripple Conversation with Switchblade Jesus





They came from out of nowhere and dominated my musical radar.  Reviewed their first album, which blew me away.  Got them on the Ripple Effect Volume II free compilation: Heavy Reverb.  Got their vinyl in the Heavy Ripples store.  Simply, can get enough of Switchblade Jesus. 

So let's hear about the band from their own mouths.

 Eric
What have been your musical epiphany moments?

~ The first time a saw White Zombies' cover for La Sexorcisto then when it was the first time I heard Electric Funeral, amazing. But actually getting the bug to play live came from when my dad came home after his first Pantera show during Vulgar Display of Power, I went to their Far Beyond Driven tour the next time they came through and that was it for me. Also seeing Page & Plant and Sabbath/Pantera live was an amazing feeling.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

~ The riff for sure. Beer is always the starting point though. We'll sit down and hash out ideas and bounce back and forth. Once we have the structure we start building the groove. "Lyrics" are built during that with inaudible grumbling and noises till we figure out the direction haha

Who has influenced you the most?

~ Besides my father, Hendrix really. By my playing an feel. Stage, fun, love for music that would be Dimebag. Every time seeing him (we live in Texas so that was A LOT) he was always having a blast. And every time talking to him he was an amazing guy.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

~ I go backwards for that. Either it being the simplicity of Mississippi Queen or the heaviness of Neurosis, there's always great music out there, past-present.

We're all a product of our environment.  Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

~ Our town can be a bit harsh at times with the lack of community support. Not just us but all the killer bands here. Everyone busts their damn ass every night for a handful of people, so with that I feel it's made a lot of the music here stronger. Everyone is more hungry and has no want of giving up. It seems bands here are not only stepping up their game for the listener but for themselves.

Where'd the band name come from?

~ Basically a bar fight broke out, which is how all good stories start.  Jon and Jason were there, but in the mix of it someone states "wait everyone, Jesus has a knife!!" which was a buddy and that's where it started. Our name was derived from a bar fight that had Jesus about to cut someone. How else could you ask for a better name?

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

~ Mad Max. All day. Mad Max.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

~ Pink Floyd's Echoes. Go watch Live at Pompeii and you'll hear why.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

~ Get out and party, have fun with life. You have a few short moments on this rock so have a blast while doing it.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

~ One show we have this Viking slaughter type intro/song and of course it get's heavy as hell. Jason starts with this Godzilla stomp in rhythm of the song that we can feel all over the stage, fucking monstrous. Next thing you know Billy's amp is dead because Jason stomped on one of his cables and broke the connector to his pedal. Billy's looking around with his arms in the air going WTF till we found the problem.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

~ It's fun as hell. We love interacting with the crowd, jumping off the stage while playing and getting in peoples faces, inviting them to join us on stage, just having a blast the whole time. I honestly can't think of one bad live show (not technically included) we've had. Always have a great response and crowd interactions.

What makes a great song?

~ The connection with the band. You could be Malmesteen and Bonham but without a connection with the other members it's pointless.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

~ Shit....that's a long time ago. Something on the lines of Sabbath, but for Switchblade I think it was Equinox.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

~ Into Nothing, it is part a song for my wife and our daughter that passed. I've started it a bit back, but wanted to write/record it on the spot. Sometimes a personal song doesn't have to be an elaborate thing, there is so much emotion in that short song it can be hard for me to listen to it.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

~ Clutch, they're my modern day Led Zeppelin. Yea that's a given choice, but I don't care. I love that damn band.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

~ Vinyl all day for sound quality, but for work and driving digital of course. Would be a pain in the ass at work all day flipping sides while I'm doing artwork. So I'll put on my Boris/Neurosis Pandora station and disappear.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

~ Whiskey. Cause I said so.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

~ You have to hit up Disc Go Round when you come here also Surf Club Records, both killer places, but Disc Go Round let's us play there, so yea .. that's my favorite place. A lot of heavy bands here in town like Greedy Mouth, Xapharon and Fall but also a good amount of punk like Avenue Rockers. This town has a lot of music from Blues to Death so there is alot to find here.

What's next for the band?

~ Been talks and works about hitting up Europe, getting there is another, but the want is there, we get hit up every other week about playing over seas it being Poland, UK even Brazil. Right now we're working up on the follow up album, a split with Buzzard out of Canada and another split possibly still going though the camps need to talk again and see where that's at. Basically the same kick ass formula we love. Write. Record. Drink. Destroy.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

~ Thank you everyone for kicking ass and the support. Our fans are amazing, we couldn't ask for a more dedicated bunch of hooligans.




Billy:

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

~Listening to Pink Floyd for the first time when I was about 10 years old

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

~After about a six pack of beers, it would definitely have to be the riff. A good solid riff always has a snowball effect with the rest of the band.

Who has influenced you the most?

~besides the other members of the band, Clutch, Sabbath, and any good southern stoner rock.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

~The band

We're all a product of our environment.  Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

~We're from the South. What more can you ask for?.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

~Easyrider

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

~Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb.. that's the the first song that a can recall that made me fall in love with music.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?


~Make good Rock n Roll music

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

~Playing on a flat bed trailer with hole in it every 2 feet and hearing the over weight sound guy breathing in the monitors the whole set.

What makes a great song?


~A killer groove.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?


~I believe it was Equinox. Written by Eric and myself before we were a band

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

~Nothing beats the sound of vinyl.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice


~Beer. With a shot of whiskey. Because we can.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?


~Disc go round

What's next for the band?

~Our next album



Jason:

I grew up in a house where my Mom listened to Neil Diamond, and my Dad listened to Willie Nelson. When my two older brothers started skating, I was introduced to Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Misfits. Once I hear there was a bass beat up on those early punk albums, i knew i had to learn. I still have those classic country, classic rock and punk/ metal sounds influence me.

I work in a refinery and it’s very loud in the field, so I’m usually yelling out some bass riff I have stuck in my head, or snapping my fingers or humming, I’ll take that to practice and figure out on my bass, and end up driving the other guys crazy playing it over and over until we can figure out how to use it. (i.e. "The Wolves" started with one of those beats i couldn’t get out of my head).

As far as influences and inspiration go, right now, I listen to a lot of Clutch, Kylesa, The Sword, Castle, and Wo Fat. But I still have my days where The Misfits Collection 1 is on repeat on my iPod.

Hometown bands that we love watching/ playing with; The Booked, Avenue Rockers, Greedy Mouth, Black Lung Conspiracy, Our town’s music scene is really underrated. There are tons of great bands that we play with on a weekly basis.

I think we’d sound great on the soundtrack for a cheesy horror film, like Night of the Living Dead Eleven-teen.

We just like playing music with a good southern stoner beat to it, and just try to make the people watching us groove a little and have a good time.

Every time we play, there’s usually something going wrong, Once our sound guy’s beer gut kept pushing up all the sliders on the sound board every time he reached for his bucket of KFC.

I think what makes a great song, is the beat behind it, and the way the band fits together and fills out the sound.

I’m still overwhelmed every time i hear a new Clutch album, or see them live. They have a tightness and togetherness to them that comes out in their music.

I’ll listen to music in any format i can get it, AM, FM, Vinyl, Digital, Tape, 8-Track, Mini disk….

I drink Lone Star Beer, Miller Lite, or Miller High Life. I also drink Sailor Jerry Rum when I get the chance/ Special occasions.

Here in Corpus Christi, It’s either Disc-Go Round, or Surfclub Records, Disc go round for their used vinyl, and Surfclub for their local and south Texas music selection.


Next we’re working on our new album. Hopefully you’ll be seeing our second LP in the up coming months.

Jon:

1. When I was 8 I asked my dad to buy me "Kill'em All" cuz all the big kids in my hood listened to heavy metal. Then the next rock tape I bought when I was around twelve was Nevermind by Nirvana.
2. Simple Beer + Weed = Riffs
3.Most times the riff. After that it all falls into place .
4. For me in this band I would have to go with Clutch the drummer is one of my personal favorites and that band is a riff factory.
5. Lately its other bands we play with.
6. Usually inspiration just hits me, I'm never looking for it.
7. I love my city, but I don't think our music reflects it or vice versa.
8. It comes from a bar fight at the Texan but its just a name, no real meaning.
9. That's a tough question, it would have to be something classic and horror.
10. I'm a high school dropout, I don't write essays.




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