Jimmy Jet – lead vocals
Bryon Black – drums
Biggie Joy – guitar Buddha
Nuclear J. (Jason) – bass
It was a cold, dark night. No wait, it was a hot, hazy day filled with the sound of music and the aroma of the Hayman fire. It was the weekend of the Westword Showcase, in the 1900 block of Market in Lodo, where people gathered outdoors and in bars to check out the 2002 Music Showcase nominees live and in the flesh.
One of these nominees in the Hard Rock category was Jet Black Joy. Before they took the stage, I got a chance to hang with the group outside the Soiled Dove where they were preparing to play their aggressive, grab your ass rock, enjoy a cold one, and converse with them about their rock ‘n roll lifestyle and their second release due out this summer.
Although the boys have been together as a group since 1999, they’ve actually known each other a lot longer, “We’ve all been in local bands for ten or fifteen years in this area,” Jimmy touts. Beyond the realms of the incestuous music community, Biggie and Bryon have been buddies since they were wee lads, learning to drink beer, play their instruments, and undue girls bras in a single snap.
This tight brotherhood within Jet Black Joy was evident after only a few seconds of conversation. Like married couples, they often finished each other’s sentences and bickered (albiet harmlessly) in front of the children. But they’ve used this to their advantage, honing their style and evolving the essence of their groin tingling, power plant sound that is only done justice with the volume cranked, whether you’re driving your B-Mer with a mochachino or a 70’s Camero with a PBR in your lap.
“We’ve now gotten a lot more into our sound. The first record was all of us coming together. The second record is everything that we’ve done up to now, since [we] formed,” comments Biggie.
But Jimmy point out that the main difference is, “there’s no slow songs on this one.”
Biggie laughs and seems to deny this point, “No, that’s not true. On the first one, we jumped around on in a few different styles. Now we’ve zeroed in on classic, straight riff rock. It’s more grooving, kind of southern sounding.”
“With the little twinge of garage rock thrown in,” Jimmy adds again, “You’re still gonna have instrumentation and the performance of the first record. But the second record is just as intricate with a lot of things going on. A lot of ear candy.”
With new song titles such as, “Coke Out” and “Wax the Needle,” you actually get some nose candy melded with various connotations that leads one to guess – these guys are on a path of seduction, pulling helpless rock music fans into their den of sin and pleasure. “I used to sing in a hard-core band. I used to be a lot more political. But with this band it’s just straight up sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll,” Jimmy says, describing the undercurrent of their new material as, “the saga of every day life and heterosexual sex.” When asked why he had to specify which way the willie swings, “Well, if Bowie, Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop showed up. There could be naked men running around. So ya never know.”
Even though the release won’t be out for a few months, Biggie states they’ve been playing a combination of older and newer songs for a while now, “We’ve settled into that over the last year. So by the time this record comes out, we may already have some newer stuff going on.”
Since the nomination by Westword, they’ve gotten label attention from Warner Brothers/Reprise, Statue Records in Los Angeles, Sweat Shop in Olympia, WA, and HapiSkratch here in Denver. But any recognition they’ve received up until now has been gained through their dedication to self-promotion.
Listeners of KKPL, a commercial station in Fort Collins, have started to get a dose of the Joy, and local college station 1190 in Boulder have supported them as well. They’ve even gotten airplay in foreign lands, including Germany, Australia, and Costa Rica, “by sending hundreds and hundreds of demos. Just a lot of DIY promotion.” Beyond sending out 300-400 CDs themselves, they also do all their own management and booking.
To promote the new CD, they’ll be doing “regional [touring]. So hopefully in August we’ll get out to support it a bit,” says Biggie.
The Joy of sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll can be had on their web site, www.jetblackjoy.com, where you’ll find their comical band bio, song samples, and access to buying their debut CD, “Jet Black Joy.” Or, can get the CD from local record stores Wax Trax, Tower Records (Denver), Independent Records, and Twist and Shout.
But to get a taste of the real thing, you gotta check out the boys when they’re on stage, bustin’ at the seams with sweat, testosterone, beer, smoke and Van Halen guitar riffs. This particular night there were no naked guys running around, but there was plenty of sexual tension and adulation that danced back and forth between the rockers and their fans. The band took the small stage by storm, with Jimmy ripping out the vocals and working the crowd, Bryon wailing his aggressive drum beats, to Biggie cranking out guitar riffs that would fill the rafters of any arena rock show.
Here’s the scoop on their current show schedule:
Saturday, July 13th – Iliff Park Saloon with Concrete Sandwich, Cryptobiotic, and Project Endless