Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Jersey Metal band, Locked, looking to come back with a Vengeance

Locked is a New Jersey based Metal/Hardcore band consisting of: Jess (Vocals), Greg (Guitar),Rick (Bass),and Ralph (Drums). Forming around 2002, Locked has two demos CD's out- Locked (2002) and Demolition (2005). In 2009 after a two year hiatus, the band recorded an EP as well, Back to War. 

The following interview was with Locked vocalist, Jess Volina.

Any significance on the name of the band?
Not really, when we started out we were really more death metal sounding. I was a "Corpsegrinder mimic" for a while but the lyrics never really reflected that. We didn't want to be pigeon holed as a DM [Death Metal] band or anything. "Locked" sounded strong and short, Greg (guitars) came up with it and it just stuck.

You said, "We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel, for metal. "So what makes the band's style distinctly yours?
I think one of the big things that makes our style distinct is that we could give two sh*ts about what anyone else is doing. A lot of newer or younger bands seem to be trying to out do each other in the way of "who is more brutal." Some of those bands are incredibly talented...and some of them just sound jumbled and I don't hear a lot of structure. I think Locked takes the best elements from different sub genres of metal and hardcore and just writes what we want to hear. There is without a doubt an old school vibe or should I say, "a more traditional" approach to a lot of our song writing. I think the combination of all those elements keep Locked a little bit different than some of the current bands out there.

What was the reason for the long hiatus, and why did you come back?
Man, a few things. We've been around awhile and initially there was a short hiatus due to everyone just being burnt out. I think song writing stopped being fun...thats going back. We reformed once and got a great reception and everything was cool. 2009 came around and we wrote and recorded the Back To The War EP. Basically as soon as recording was finished our drummer flaked out and it took literally three years to find a drummer that could hang. We could write a book on drummer auditions. Having said all that, we really never went away. Even when the bass player who appears on the recording left there was a time Greg and I would practice with drum tracks off of a lap top just to keep our chops. Then we got really lucky with Rick comming in on bass and it was the three of us and a laptop. Finally Ralph came in and really as soon as he learned the material, we started booking shows. We've always wanted to write and play, I guess it gets harder to find committed indivduals as you get older....and very hard to find a drummer who can play double bass correct!

Did you lose any fans, gain fans, keep fans: because of the extended break?
I think a little of both. With how fast music works especially with the internet these days, if you "take a break", unless you've made a serious mark like say...what V.O.D. is doing, you can be forgotten pretty quickly. There were always myspace hits and stuff like that...but being out of the loop it really got quiet.

How did it feel to be back, and describe to me the energy? How was the reception?
F***ing fantastic! The energy was f***ing insane. I felt like I was an original member of KISS or Sabbath. Dingbatz in Clifton has phenomenal sound, a true sound man and a great stage. The minute I heard the feed back of the guitar and saw people in front of me it was just nuts. We got a really great reception. In between every song there was plenty of cheers and applause. People were moving and just feeling it and when I hopped off the stage I had nothing but hand shakes and hugs....I didn't go to sleep until 6 A.M. that morning due to the energy. A great, fun night and I cant wait to be back there on the 12th.

Is there a band that you guys aspire to be like?
Anyone who sticks to their guns and gets recognition for their hard work and creativity. Muscially we pull influence and inspiration literally everywhere, but I don't think we try to sound like anyone. I've always admired bands that had a "crew" or a scene. You look at all the great Tampa DM bands from the early 90's and there was a scene with bands hanging out, playing on the same bill etc. Look at the unity in NYHC, the support factor with the hardcore scene in general...Hell look at the early Black Metal bands comming out of Norway back when. It would be nice to have a "family." I guess I would aspire to be a band that can offer and gets support from fellow musicians within heavy music.

Any particular reason for changing members throughout the years, or would you rather not talk about it?
Well, you heard the drummer story. It boils down to committment. We've had the pleasure of writing and playing with some really talented musicians that were also cool people. For whatever reason they just couldn't commit. It was never intentional to have line up changes.

How's the "new style" different from your music in the past?
The EP is the "new style." I guess you're reffering to. First, I can tell you it's just a lot tighter. We've upped our game and came into our own, but you gotta understand that EP is kind of old for us now. The stuff we're working on right now? It's gonna bury that f'ing EP. It's just as tight, we're pushing ourselves harder and there is no sign of it slowing down. When the "new" new stuff comes out...jaws are gonna drop.

How did you guys all get together?
Initially I had placed an ad in the Aquarian looking for a death metal band. I wanted to be a straight forward DM band. Greg answerd the ad and the two of us jammed in the studio. The rest is pretty much history. On a side note, a drummer had answerd the ad as well and it was a guy named Jay. When we were still working out the kinks Jay went on to form the DM band Ominous. Locked formed and was very different than what Jay was going for. Either way the early days had us crossing paths a lot, playing shows together, etc. Jay actually would fill in for us at rehearsal a few times. Finally we got our sh*t together and became a full band. Ominous are good dudes, wish 'em' the best.

Anything else you want to add?
Thanks for putting this thing together man, any press is good press. If any young dudes are reading this...go out and get yourself some classic metal and hardcore. Put the damn guitar hero down and start a band!(Haha) The more the merrier...create a scene and support each other. Also, we will be returning to Dingbatz on March 12th on the bill with Merauder and Generation Kill (Rob Dukes/Exodus).

Check out Locked and their music on:

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