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J and the 9s

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Beyond the Record: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you're from and a slight glimpse into what you're working on musically at this time. 

j and the 9s: 
Hi! We are j and the 9s, an original rock band from Brooklyn, NY.
There are 3 of us:

j9: vocals/flute: “Originally I’m from Staten Island, I moved to Brooklyn after living in England to model and attend music school.” 

Kojo: bass/backing vocals: “Originally I’m from East Texas, I came to Bk to find something different. J and the 9s definitely falls into that category.” 

Beatz: drums/hypeman: “I’m a born and bred south Brooklynite, a natural born rocker who has energy for days, and found a musical home with my beautiful girlfriend and friend kojo.” 

j9: We just released a single and music video off of our upcoming ep called “Love to Be” and our ep “The Terrible Twos” will be released this summer.

BtR: There are various ways musicians and artists find their love for music. How did you find your love for music and at what age? Would you say your childhood played a role in your love for the arts? 

j and the 9s: 

j9: “I found it the first time I watched the film Fantasia @ 4 years old. I remember watching it and knowing that music was what I wanted to do. All the time. My parents immersed me in music, dance, and theatre classes at a very young age and I started performing soon after. It was my everything. And, still is.”

Kojo: “My childhood was surrounded by music, even though neither of my parents are particularly musical. I played around on our inherited, but decent, piano until I was old enough to join the school band program. I picked up the bass my freshman year of high school and haven't put it down since.”

Beatz: “When I was 9 or 10 I used to play on my uncle's drum set in my grandmother's basement. This sparked my initial love for the drums and when I was 12 or 13 I used to cut class and sneak in the band room and would play the drums in the band room. My parents refused to buy me a drum set at this time and at age 14, the summer before high school, I saved up money working for my father and bought my own drum set. I developed a love for the arts after receiving formal drum lessons.” 

BtR: Labeling your band and fitting yourself into a genre is something that most do not like to do. If you had to label your music, what genre do you think j and the 9s would fit into? 

j and the 9s: 

We call it glam punk. Glam: since j9 wear wigs/glitter/costumes, and punk: cause of the attitude. Although, when listening further, there is a lot of blues, classic rock, soul, and metal that can be heard within it. Glam punk blues alternative classic rock soul metal is a little too long, so we just stick to the basics. ;)

BtR: Let's talk a little bit about your latest music video "Love To Be." What was the experience like for you and the group? How does it feel to be recognized by your peers? 

j and the 9s: 

j9: “The music video was really fun to do. We had actually planned to shoot it outside, but it ended up torrentially downpouring, so we ended up moving it inside in our rehearsal studio and garage. There were a lot of people that came together to support us in it and make it happen—all of who you see on camera and many that you don’t see off camera. All of them are artists as well. To me, that was the most amazing thing about it. The community that we have around us. Artists supporting artists. 
Funny, I’m not recognized by my peers because I’m always in costume. Which is a plus sometimes! But, the ones that have been in my life for a long time, it’s really amazing to experience. I especially love when I connect with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and they make it out to a show. The look on their face is priceless!!”

Kojo: “In the beginning it seemed as though there were many ideas bouncing around. However, the finished product ended up being a near perfect representation of what you can expect at one of our live shows. CHAOS!”

Beatz: “I came up with the idea of Dagger (former drummer) to be in the video, since he played on the recording, and was a part of the band for a long time. I got to know him pretty well before I joined the band a year ago, and we became friends while I was touring with the band as j9’s boyfriend/driver/drum tech/merch guy. We all wanted him to be a part of the video, but we didn’t exactly how to incorporate both of us in a way that made sense. I came up with the idea of having him play for the first half of the video while I’m in the crowd rockin’ out in the “chaos”, and mid way through have a passing of the torch scene (or, in our case drumsticks), illustrating the changeover.”

BtR: You plan to release something this summer. Elaborate on the recording process, when the collection of songs will be released and what direction you are taking with this. 

j and the 9s: 

J9: “Yes! We are releasing our new ep. Its actually taken a very long time to record unfortunately due to many things, but we are so happy to have it out and share it with the world. The ep itself was actually recorded twice. The first time in 2015, but it wasn’t to the standard that we were led to believe it was going to be. So, we had to go back to the drawing board, save some money and find the right person to record it, produce it, mix it, and another to master it. We finally found the right people to do this, but in Jan 2016. The process took awhile because of our tour schedule, and everyone’s work schedule, plus, there were lots of mixes that went back and forth. We were extremely blessed on the mastering side of this, and had legendary guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal do it for us. We were his backing band @ SXSW 2 years ago and have been friends since. We are planning to release the ep in July with a possibility of another single from it being released sometime this month. We’re still working out the details now as well as the video idea for it which we’re very excited about. ”

BtR: Your live shows are known for being quite physically demanding. What is a typical live show like for you guys?

j and the 9s: 

j9: “A very engaging and interactive experience where you don’t know what’s really going to happen. We were recently named by Good Deed Seats as one of the “Top 45 Up and Coming Rock Bands” (in the world), and they talked about how much fun it is to go to one of our shows, and that people forget that rock music is supposed to be fun. That’s my main goal—for people to have a great time, to rock out, experience something new each time, and to most importantly, HAVE FUN!”

Kojo: “CHAOS!”

Beatz: “SEXY TIME!”

BtR: Recently j and the 9s upgraded from using a van to an RV. What are the big differences for touring? 

j and the 9s: 

Huge differences. We never have to have a hotel or stay on people's floors. We are completely self sufficient, and have our own mobile green room before and after every show to hang out in, can sleep whenever, cook/eat whenever, watch tv on a big screen whenever, and use the bathroom without stopping. 

BtR: As far as a tour schedule, what towns do you plan on arriving to? How is the tour funded? 

j and the 9s: 

We're planning to go out west, and south right now, but there are always last minute dates added, so who knows where else we’ll be? The best way to make sure that you don't miss out is by following us on the app bandsintown. It lets you know when bands are coming to your town up until the day before, or by signing up on our email list through our website: 
The band is funded by door sales and or/guarantees from the venue, merch sales, and tips for gas. 

BtR: Moving forward, what are j and the 9s ultimate goals to come from this latest music video and upcoming EP? 

j and the 9s: 

To reach and connect with as many people as possible online and in person. For it to be their summer jam or go to ep when driving, working out, hanging at the beach, or just to blow off some steam. 

BtR: Aside from the glamour of being a rock star, what are some of the struggles you have gone through in regards to making your music? 

j and the 9s: 

As previously mentioned, the ep took a long time to finish and now release. We had a few member changes over the past few years which stilted the process, as well as funding. The last ep was released in 2013, so this was a long time coming. 

BtR: On the flipside, tell us what you overcame and your successes!

j and the 9s: 

We finished the ep, are releasing it very soon, and prevailed over all the odds against us! We found new players/members, we’ve played in other countries, lots of festivals, met and connected with amazing fans and bands, and have toured in many different parts of the U.S.!  

BtR: Where can we listen to j and the 9s music? 

j and the 9s:

Streaming, on our website: or
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud/jandthe9s or the new single on Bandcamp: 
You can also buy the single as well as the 1st ep on iTunes, or listen to them on Spotify.

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