Black Jacket Resurrects Their Style and Sound Headed for the Top

Hard rockers Black Jacket have been hard at work writing and recording for their newest EP release "Resurrection". Bassist/vocalist Zelick has taken the time to discuss it's process and the plans for their upcoming future.

1. Can I get a back story on the band/ band biography?

Zelick: Here is our BIO:

Black Jacket plays rock 'n' roll how it was meant to be played.

The Miami quartet's brand of Rock is a rollicking, raw, and rough affair fueled by invigorating riffs and unforgettable hooks. The group— Phil Letizia [Vocals], Zelick [Bass], Frankie Stone [Guitar], and Mauricio Aguilera [Drums]—injects modern attitude into a traditional palette. As a result, you're going to be wearing Black Jacket for a long time to come.

"It's modern rock with a retro feel," affirms Zelick. "We all come from different backgrounds ranging from thrash to pop to classic Rock N’ Roll. All of our influences converge to create an original sounding rock band that is uniquely Black Jacket."

In the summer of 2012, Franky Stone contacted Zelick and Mauricio about jamming for fun. There wasn't any pretense or pomp and circumstance. It was purely meant to be a good time with some loud tunes and cold beers. Fast-forward a year (and two singers) later and, with the inclusion of current lead singer Phil Letizia, the band is now exactly where it was meant to be.

In his original band Endo, Zelick released two acclaimed albums via Columbia Records and shared stages, touring extensively with everyone from Marylin Manson & Korn to Sepultura & Megadeth. After the group disbanded, he joined Scott Stapp [Creed] for a special run performing at military installations in the Middle East for Armed Forces Entertainment. He wasn't necessarily in search of another band however, from the moment Black Jacket first came together, these four individuals knew they had something special.

“When I was first approached by the guys, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about joining another Rock band,” says Phil. “I come from more of a pop back ground (believe it or not), but once I heard the music and went in for our first jam session, I knew this was where I wanted to be. The writing process is so fluid, it seems that the songs write themselves.”

"It clicked immediately with Franky, Mauricio, and I," remembers Zelick. "We ended up writing five songs in just a few short jam sessions and, through much trial and error, once Phil joined the band we knew we had found that missing link. Phil's innate ability to write on the fly to whatever we throw at him keeps new music coming. Our fans will never want for new material and that's quite refreshing."

"I come from a heavier rock background, my first thrash band having shared the stage with acts like Testament, DRI, and Cannibal Corpse, and Black Jacket allowed me the space to be more creative and actually WRITE big songs," Mauricio says.

"You feel magic when it comes," says Frankie, a veteran of the South Florida music scene and previously signed as a songwriter to Peer Music Publishing. "I have toured throughout the US with bands like Sister Hazel to Type O Negative and I wasn’t looking to start a band again, but when you have such immediate chemistry playing with the caliber of talent in this band you just have to go for it.” He continues, “It's a raw and straight sound. Rock music out there today is too processed. We wanted to hearken back something more organic and traditional with these songs."

The group has already started on the road towards artistic change first by focusing on a bit of a lost art in this day and age. In only a few short months, Black Jacket has solidified their place in the South Florida Rock scene and have already landed opening slots for national acts such as Soil, Wayland, and Hed(pe).

“Black Jacket is more than just hard rock,” says Phil. “It’s a fusion of all of our influences combined with a mainstream sensibility. I want our music to connect with people’s emotions on any level. I believe that almost all of us have similar life experiences no matter who we are, so I try to write about things that have happened in my life that everyone can relate to. Even though rock is not at the forefront of today’s popular music, I feel what we are doing is relevant and I want Black Jacket to spearhead a new rock revolution.”

"We're trying to bring the true energy of rock music back," Zelick concludes. "We're not trying to be over dramatic or metaphorical. Our music is easy to understand and grasp. Our message is simple. It relates to everybody. We want audiences to feel entertained. We hope our forthcoming release makes people want to drive fast, bang their heads, and fuck like animals—like the old days of rock 'n' roll."

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Zelick: Actually, it was our guitar player, Franky, who came up with the band name. I personally SUCK at coming up with band names (always have) and he was like, "What about 'Black Jacket'? I mean, literally EVERYONE has black jacket hanging in their closet, so why shouldn't they have our music in their library??" We were all like, fuck yeah, that works.  Honestly, it almost doesn't matter, the MUSIC matters. Dave Grohl said it best when he said "What the fuck is a 'Foo Fighter' anyways? What a stupid fucking name". LOL.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Zelick: We are based out of Miami, FL and the scene here sucks for rock music. It used to be awesome and there are a handful of bands and promoters that are trying their best to make shit happen, but South Florida is just too transient and over-saturated with entertainment outlets that people just don't value the live music scene. It's easier to just go out to a club and get fucked up all night then have to use your brain to enjoy some art.  There are a lot of bands doing cool things down here, but it wouldn't be fair to list some and not others, so we will plead the 5th on this one, LOL.

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Zelick: There really isn't a centralized theme to our lyrics. Phil and I write about our lives and experiences, mostly. Sometimes its about relationships, sometimes it's about letting loose and having a good time. It just depends on where the music takes us. And sometimes we have a subject we are very passionate about and decide to consciously write lyrics about that subject. For example, we just wrote a new tune called "Miles Away" after Phil and I were discussing my time overseas playing for the military. He was very moved by the stories of the families I had met out there who were living on base and basically just waiting for their loved ones to return. So, we decided to write this song about those relationships. We are not looking to make some sort of deep, political statement, we just want people to be able to relate to what we say and most all HAVE FUN.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Zelick: Wow, that is always the toughest and easiest question at the same time. We are all four influenced in our own way by different types of music.  Our drummer Mauricio comes from a more thrash metal background, our guitarist Franky a classic rock and blues background, our singer Phil a R & B and pop rock background, and myself I was listening to everything from Motown to Hair Metal to Alternative, to Jazz.  It's a mixed bag, but all of our influences and individual styles are present in our music. You would think it would have been a challenge but there is enough overlap in our musical taste that we are able to make it work and come up with a sound that we feel is pretty unique to us.

6. Is there any story or concept behind the wanting to the title?

Zelick: We called the new EP "Resurrection" because this band has gone through so many issues (with singers) since its inception that we felt the band, with Phil, was our true re-birth.

7. Who produced it and what was it like working with them?

Zelick: We produced this record ourselves with some help from my good friend and old touring mate, Corey Lowery. We tracked the record initially here in Florida at Power Station Studios and it was pretty much us in control of the arranging and production of the songs with the studio owner, Rob Roy engineering. After tracking the record, we felt it was time to enlist a "heavy hitter" to mix the record and take it to the next level. Corey was that guy. Corey is the shit and we look forward to working on a full production with him in the next couple of months.

8. Who did the cover art for it and how much input did you have on it?

Zelick: I enlisted an old acquaintance of mine that I met back in 2003 when I was on the road with my band Endo at Ozzfest. His name is Bill Curran, but goes by Evil Little Clown. This dude is a seriously talented illustrator. He does a lot of work for Sevendust.  I gave Bill the concept of what we wanted and he laid out the bulk of it, then I finished it. Our drummer, Mauricio is in the film industry and a very talented 3D animator and Photoshop genius, so he helped with the band photo. It was a truly collaborative effort and a lot of fun to put together. It's only two panels, but there's a lot of thought in there.

9. Do you have a favorite song on the EP?

Zelick: That's a tough one, I love them all in their own way. They all have a life and vibe of their own. "No Lyrics" is my favorite vocally.

10. What are your upcoming touring/show plans?

Zelick: The month of June is out for us because our drummer will be spending most of the month in his home country of Chile. We plan on booking a few CD release shows locally and we are going to start planning regional touring towards the end of July.

11. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Zelick: You can stream the EP before it is released at - The EP will be available to purchase  June 23rd pretty much anywhere music is sold.  We have videos in the works, as well and you can check out some of the recording process at our YouTube channel:

12. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Zelick: Well, the key is to have them remember some part of the song (the "hook") that draws them in and makes them want to listen again and again. We would like them to simply remember Black Jacket. :)

13. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Zelick: Expect us to hit the road towards the end of the summer. Expect a kick-ass original video and expect our second EP release some time in the Fall/Winter!

14. Any final words of wisdom?

Zelick: Don't just follow your dreams, MAKE THEM.  Oh, and don't eat the brown acid.

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