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A Dirty Dozen with JESTERS OF DESTINY – September 2022

| 29 September 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Jesters of Destiny have announced the details of their upcoming new studio album! The Los Angeles heavy metal outfit will release the follow-up to their 2017 comeback LP (The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown), titled Distorting Everything, on October 25th, 2022. To celebrate the announcement of their fourth full-length, the band has dropped a music video for their new single “Your Lord Good God,” directed by Kent Holmes, which can be seen below. Since their not-so-humble beginning in a recording project from which the earliest Jesters music festered, way back on Halloween 1984, Jesters of Destiny have been helmed by bassist/vocalist Bruce Duff and guitarist Ray Violet. Their latest, Distorting Everything, gestated over a five-year period. Upon the release of their previous crowd-pleaser, The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown, Violet suggested they get right to work on another album.” We get the duo to collectively 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?

Ray: There are three songs that have a musical underlay of synthesizers and it strings them together. They come and go at beginnings and endings but are very undercurrent while the songs are playing. Additionally, there are ghostly sounds in “Atrocity Queen” that were produced by sending the rhythm tracks through a synth called Falcon. It’s like listening through a big moving mouth it that makes any sense.

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

Ray: At around age seven or so my parents bought a record player and a series of big band (but sappy) music called String of Pearls and they put a record on and I was smitten with music – not the music that was played just the vibrations of the sound through the speakers. Looking at the vinyl pictures I realized that humans were making that. I wore those records out. I wanted to be one of these people on the record cover.

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

Ray: At 15, I rode my bicycle around eight miles to a venue called Three Rivers Inn to see Link Wray. From the down beat until the end my hairs stood on end!!! I walked out of the performance dazed and electrified at what I had just witnessed.

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

Ray: This is an easy one for me. Bruce. He is so musical that any music I play for him, he expands on it and before long, Voila! He has a natural gift to hear music and understand what it is. That’s always worked for me. I’ve been lucky for a long time.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Ray: I love to make meatballs and sauce. Also, I really enjoy roasting coffee: the aroma alone is relaxing but the overall process is gratifying. Lastly sailing is enjoyably exhausting.

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?

Ray: Humorous, literate, metal. I’ve never cringed at any review. Cringing is for crybabies.

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?

Bruce: Ray and I are thousands of miles apart in the world.  We communicate digitally and telepathically. We record via Wetransfer.  We’re both pretty good cooks and bartenders. Acoustic guitars are for crybabies however.

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

Bruce: Interesting question.  I’m gonna say… I was backstage at the Teragram here in L.A. with my friends in Frightwig.  One of the band members put her arm around a lady I didn’t recognize and said “Bruce, meet Johanna Went.”  I sorta froze up and tried to come up with something to say, while simultaneously trying to reconcile that this reasonably normal looking woman was the legendary L.A. performance artist that had ripped my mind wide open so many times in the 80’s.

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?

Bruce: Just being in a room with other musicians getting something cool together, or that moment in the studio when it finally sounds like you think it should. Dream job, mattress tester?

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?

Bruce: Boy, I dunno, the starstruck one was pretty good. Maybe about early influences as a kid.  People always talk about the bands they listened to, but for me it was guys that were just a year or two older that already had bands organized and were playing the local dances and functions we wanted to do (I’m talking about being 13 and 14). Musicians that I could just stand in front of and learn from in real time.  Part two, I don’t get interviewed all that much to where I’m tired of anything per se.

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?

Bruce: Not really, it was all a learning process. I always worked on music I wanted to be a part of, whether it succeeded or not it was what I wanted to do.

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?

It would be pretty wild to have played bass on Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, an all-time fave. That record is just a complete journey, a sonic adventure. It put Hendrix in league with people like Ellington, Mingus, Miles… Even just being in the room in any capacity would have had to be a complete revelation.






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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