Los Angeles-based four piece Jagged Baptist Club makes music between art rock and post punk and are comprised of Blake Stokes, Morgan Ponder, Josh Boyd and CJ Ramsey.
They released their debut album Reptile Super Show in Summer 2019 via Chain Letter Collective.
Flash forward to January 2021, NPR member station KCRW premiered their newest single 'Temptation Death House', which is the first taste from the band's forthcoming album of the same name and they just joined forced with Dublin based label Blowtorch Records.
How did you guys meet? Who came up with the band name and what is the meaning behind it?
Morgan, Josh and myself all knew each other from the local music scene on Eastside of Los Angeles (echo park, downtown LA). CJ I met at my day job and it was love at first sight!
I came up with the band name, it came to me in a fever dream when I was very ill. I saw it like a vision in massive black letters in my mind's eye. When I woke up and recovered I knew it was the name for us!
You describe yourself as “Sonic Terrorists” - interesting choice of words. Please tell us a bit more about your music style and your main influences.
I'd describe our musical style as direct, intentional, pumping, itchy and of course JAGGED. Our influences include: guitar bands like The Vines, Blur and Division of Laura Lee and bands that blend rock and electronic music like Primal Scream, Kasabian, and Public Image Ltd. We also like Grinderman, Sleaford Mods and Soulwax.
You started of 2021 with joining the roster of Blowtorch Records in Dublin – how did that connection happened and what do you hope to achieve now that you have the backing of a label?
I connected with Blowtorch through Instagram DM's! I heard a great Blowtorch band called Turnstiles on satellite radio over here in the states. And through Turnstiles, found Blowtorch. I sent them the record and here we are!
Richard from Blowtorch is the real deal; straight ahead, thoughtful and fucking funny. We have now teamed up to bring JBC music deeper into Ireland/UK/Euro. Spread the word.
You released your latest single 'Temptation Death House' on 5th of February, what is it about and how was the process of writing and producing it?
Temptation Death House means something very specific to me, but it is open to interpretation. I want each listener to have their own unique relationship with the song, so I will keep my meaning a secret for now!
We wrote it in our rehearsal studio, bit by bit. Starting with the groove then adding tons of synth and then I finalized the vocal. The drums and bass are live (not programmed) and I think that combination of "real" instruments with the symphony of synths really give the song a special edge.
What do you do outside of music? / Do you have any hobbies that you turn to to rejuvenate your creativity?
Outside of playing music, I LISTEN to a lot of music. I have a big record collection and I'm always checking out things (new and old) on Spotify. I love movies and go on hikes at Griffith Park here in LA. Other than that it's all about the band!
What impact did the pandemic had on your music career and how did you stay motivated throughout it?
Like everyone, everything ground to a halt for us when the pandemic hit. We were two dates into a small tour and were finishing new music. So we had to adjust our plans and navigate the ever changing shape of reality. We stayed motivated by safely meeting twice a week nearly every week in 2020. We worked on new material, sharpened the old stuff, made videos, and just kept each other sane.
You all L.A. based - please give us a little insight into the L.A. Music scene?
Like most big cities there are a lot of subcultures and smaller movements that make up the overall L.A. scene. We spend most of our time with what is happening on the Eastside of the city. The last few years has seen a new shift happen where we are getting harder edged guitar bands again and that's exciting. Kills Birds is a great newer LA band. There is still a fair amount of Radiohead-lite bands and pop artists but if you look in the right places there are exciting groups.
From March on you start a new show on The Satellite LA...what can we expect?
Josh (keyboards in JBC) and I will be delivering our rapidfire opinions on a variety of music related topics. Bands, songs, genres, and just other aspects of the industry. We won't be too mean but it'll be salty for sure.
What’s next? Plans for 2021?
We plan to release more music! Singles and the full-length. We plan to continue spreading the gospel of JBC all over the world...and beyond. Aliens maybe?
Check out the Lyric Video for 'Temptation Death House' here:
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