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A Dirty Dozen with JORGE RAMIREZ from JET JAGUAR – March 2021

| 30 March 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “After much success from their highly anticipated debut album “Endless Nights”, Mayan power metal powerhouse Jet Jaguar planned to release a video for their larger than life track – “No Surrender”, but like everything else in this world, things became complicated due to Covid–19. Filming became impossible and production came to a halt. After some time, opportunity presented itself again and Jet Jaguar pounced. JET JAGUAR was formed in 2014 and hails from Cancún, a city located in the Mayan region of Mexico. The band’s name was partially inspired by the jaguar, a sacred animal for the Mayan civilization and for the areas where the Mayans used to inhabit.” We get bassist Jorge to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest record (which is actually our debut) is called Endless Nights, and I think the title will first of all make you think about partying or having a night out with your friends, and of course some songs are about that; but if you listen closely, you’ll realize that the title has a double meaning, because I mean we obviously do have a great time when we’re on the road, writing the songs and recording them, but some songs on the record also imply that there is a lot of hard work going on backstage. A lot of nights of traveling, of late night recording at the studio, and lots of sacrifices in order to complete and release this record.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My dad used to play his Beatles records in the car when I was a little kid, I absolutely loved Abbey Road, and I still do! I think that was my first real approach to music, and from those early years I’ve always felt something magical about discovering new good music. And the moment I realized I wanted to become a musician was when (don’t laugh) my parents bought me Guitar Hero 3. I was 13 at the time and was completely blown away by Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Slayer… I’m certain that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that game.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I think personally Maiden played a key role in my love for metal, but definitely for me and my bandmates it was the NWOTHM bands that made us want to form a heavy metal band. Skull Fist, Enforcer, Steelwing, Cauldron… they 100% motivated us, and without those bands I doubt we would have formed Jet Jaguar. Apart from metal, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories completely opened my mind about music in general; that album made me realize that there were no rules.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Personally, I’d say The Beatles, Metallica, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and Radiohead. I just admire artists that evolve and expand their sound, it’s really inspiring. Obviously every band member has their own different influences, and that’s something positive, I believe. It keeps things interesting and always moving forward.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

It may sound weird but I think it would be awesome to collaborate with  Björk, simply because I cannot imagine what would the result sound like. But I think we can all agree that she does have a powerful voice for recording a metal song.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I think as of now the 2 key elements for a Jet Jaguar song are that it has to sound powerful, yet very melodic. So maybe Melodic Heavy Metal would be accurate? I try not to think too much about that. The cringiest review was actually from a Mexican website that said we so desperately wanted to be the next Iron Maiden and that we copied everything about them. Ironically but not surprisingly, the harshest reviews often are from your own Pisano’s.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We don’t hang out much, as most of us live in different cities. Most of the times we see each other is while on tour, but fortunately we have found a way to adjust to that and make things work.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

To be completely honest, it’s never happened to me. It’s weird because I always thought I would experience that feeling when meeting some of the musicians we’ve had the chance to meet. Most of them are usually very kind though. But our drummer Jimmy was completely starstruck when we met the guys from Gojira, he even got a guitar pick from them! That was a great moment.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

There are tons of great sides to it that I can’t just chose one. From creating a new song, showing it to your bandmates, working on it together, then recording the first demos; you can slowly but surely realize how the songs come together… then you have the album ready and you feel an incredible rush of emotion the night before release, then  there’s touring and going to new exciting places with your bandmates. The excitement and euphoria you get from the crowd, meeting new amazing people. It’s really hard to choose just one thing. To be honest I haven’t thought about having another job because this totally is my dream job.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I have to say it, I’m actually having a blast answering this interview because you’re making the kind of questions nobody asks! I’m sorry but I can’t really think of one question I always wanted an interviewer to ask me… but I really enjoyed talking about my musical background and influences. On the other hand it’s a little bit annoying when interviewers ask the same cliché questions such as “When was the band formed?”

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Working with our former manager, there I said it. But answering more seriously though, I’m one of those who always says “Things had to occur this particular way, otherwise we wouldn’t be here”; so, was it really a misstep? It’s all about the way you look at things.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Goddamn, that’s a hard one. Sorry, but I have to go with Abbey Road, because of what that record means to me (I’ve already told you about my dad) and also come on, that was the last time the 4 Beatles were in the studio together!

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Unsurprisingly, touring. We were already planning a European and a Mexican tour for supporting Endless Nights; guess we just have to be patient.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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