Jack Ketch’s causes California Havoc

Southern California has had its brink of the metal scene but what about the Northern Terrance? Well it just so happens, that Sacramento has been causing some havoc of its very own. Jack Ketch has released two albums to their name thus far and has been working endlessly on perfecting their source of sound. Being influenced by bands like Dream Theater, Opeth, and Between the Buried and Me they are trekking a course that has yet to be reckoned with. Leading vocalist Nick Bakkie spoke to me about Jack Ketch and where he sees them heading to next.
1. How did you come about obtaining the band name?

Nick: Well we went through a ton of ideas when coming up with the name. We wanted something kind of dark but not so obviously death metal that people will judge us just on it alone. Then I came across the legend of a 17th century executioner named Jack Ketch. This guy was the most notorious executioner in history and yet rarely anyone has heard of him. We really liked the kind of unknown darkness feel of it.

2. How would you describe your music?

Nick: We get asked what we sound like all the time and it really depends on what kind of music fan you are to answer this. The easiest way is to say we are progressive deathcore. But we have a lot of fans outside of your typical metal listener so they may not understand that. Haha!

3. What one thing do you feel sets you apart from the rest in this genre?

Nick: Probably our influences. We have such a wide variety in this band. Our guitarist Corey Parks listens to a ton of classical and opera music and our bassist Squeek Jones is really into stuff like Muse. Our writing gets all over the place sometimes but it always comes together and I think the diversity really shows in the outcome. We just don't necessarily think like your average metal band with anything we do.

4. How long did it take to record your latest material?

Nick: We spent a few weeks back and forth up to Portland, OR tracking the album. Mixing and mastering after that was the longest part though. I'd say we wrapped it up in about two months or so.

5. What is the inspiration behind your latest material?

Nick: There are a lot of things that inspired Bringers Of The Dawn. Mostly I would say the current state of the world and its societies. People really take things for granted these days. No one thinks about the future or consequences for their own actions anymore. The albums concept is around and alien invasion of the Earth, but there's a lot of hidden meanings within it. We'll let the listeners decide what those are for themselves.

6. When you go into recording mode, do you find it easy or challenging?

Nick: It's a bit of both really. We get really excited to record. Every time we write a new song we already start thinking about recording it. Once you're in the studio tracking it's a bit different though. It's still fun, but can also be pretty hectic at times. Recording this type of music is never really and easy task but at least we can still enjoy it.

7. Who's responsible for the bands artwork?

Nick: All of the artwork is actually done by me [Nick Bakkie]. I find it pretty hard sometimes to create artwork for something I'm personally involved with. An artist is their own worst critic. But with this album we really spent a lot of time on the concept of everything together and I couldn't be happier about how everything turned out.

8. What kind of message are you trying to relay to your audience?

Nick: That there are hardworking bands still in existence. The Information Age has changed a lot of things and the music industry is one that has been tremendously affected by it. Everyone talks about the big companies falling but the bands themselves are falling too. Sites like MySpace help to get you more known on a wider market, but also throw you into a melting pot of 80% garbage. Internet friends and event invites are just not enough. Bands need to get out and support their music scene and build there their name. If you have 50,000 internet friends but can't get 30 people to come out to a home town show, you need to rethink why you are playing music.

9. Where can people purchase your music and merchandise from?

Nick: We sell albums and merchandise worldwide through our website www.jackketch.com and download on iTunes as well as a bunch of West Coast stores that stock the most recent album Bringers Of The Dawn. The albums are still available through Amazon and many other online retailers also but being a hardworking band we like to try and do as much ourselves as we can. Our label Transmedia Records allows us to do that while still being a huge help.

10. When it came to Transmedia Records who contacted who? How did you get your album released through them?

Nick: Well we got hooked up with them while we were recording our first album up in Portland, OR. They were up there talking to another band recording at the same studio and we just started to talk about business. That ended up leading to them putting out our first two albums.

11. You guys plan to hit the road this March, where do you plan to cause havoc?

Nick: All over the West Coast pretty much. We're still confirming a few dates here and there but we'll be heading from Sacramento down through Vegas, San Diego, Hollywood, and the Bay Area for the first leg. Then up through Eugene, Portland, and Seattle up North.

12. Anything you'd like to add?

Nick: Be excellent to each other. Haha! See you all on the road this March!

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