LOCKJAW – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

LOCKJAW: LOCKJAW is an industrial fused goth band with influences from the blues to trip hop to thrash metal. A band that is always evolving and trying to be the best version of who we are and what we do. I’d describe myself as a hippie with depression that tends to reflect on the darker things in life, yet always searching for the positive.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

LOCKJAW: I am from Milwaukee, WI. My soul was born in Egypt. I started playing guitar when I was 12. I discovered Shout At The Devil by Motley Crue and it changed my life. It started my path to heavy music and a desire to be in a band with a bunch of cool dudes that rocked. Along with causing an extreme fascination with darker tinted metal and rock. Eventually I started playing in metal bands just as a guitar player when I was 17. Somewhere along the lines I decided to attempt singing. It was always a challenge but something that frees me like nothing else. Eventually I started teaching guitar for a living. Now I teach kids how to perform at School of rock. We play shows and festivals throughout the year. It is a pretty awesome thing and often re inspires me when my sparks sometimes fade.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

LOCKJAW: I’m most inspired by love. The pain that it can bring when gone. The joy when you are drowning in it. My fiancee was responsible for motivating me to play shows again and get this band on the level. She has a huge hand in all I do and I appreciate it more then anything. Nature and the outdoors is also a huge influence on my mind and spirit.  Musically I am all over the board and my influences are always changing. Some huge ones have been Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Slayer, Tricky, Massive Attack, NIN, Elton john, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. Currently and in the last couple years I have been getting more into bands like Aesthetic Perfection, Julien K, Psyclon 9, Rammstein. Largely in thanks to my lady and her listening habits. Song wise I write about what is going on in my head or around me. I try to present optimistic ended songs as much as I can.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

LOCKJAW: I’d love to be able to just be in my band as a living. Realistically I’d like to get to a place where I can consistently play bigger venues to bigger crowds. I’d love to one day open for NIN, Skinny Puppy or Ohgr. I want to collaborate with as many of my influences as I can. In any form from remixes to guest spots. To me collaborations are one of the most important things in a musicians growth. And can often symbolize the true meaning of success.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

LOCKJAW: Opening for Type O Negative. Having a killer set that the crowd loved. Right after I got off stage I ran into Peter Steele. He shook my hand, said something funny about fake blood I had on my face(was a Halloween show) and asked me if I had a good time? It was such a priceless moment as he was also a huge influence on me musically and I never could of imagined that would one day happen.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

LOCKJAW: A part of me feels that the notion of a band or even most business’s success in this day and age is all based off of statistics. Which is very misleading when statistics can be bought. If bands can’t get on a label then they have to find ways to get their music to mass media sources, get thousands of plays, pay for boosts, get on spotify playlists, get mass fans to have easier access to promo tools. I just think it is all bullshit and we live in a world guided by stats verses quality. But at the same time I want to get and maintain my band at a higher level. So I have to play the stats game in order to keep that momentum. And the stats are going up so…yay! Yay for stats.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

LOCKJAW: Booking shows is my biggest struggle. I as in LOCKJAW took a 6 year break from performing. I reformed the band and we started back up last April and opened some shows for Wednesday 13. Those were great and at amazing venues. But overall, booking shows now compared to before that break is a huge pain in the ass. Venues want more money for sound. A ton more bands out there and trying to book shows at the same venues. Booking agents that never return messages. We have a show on April 27th in Kansasville, Wisconsin an a venue called 1175. It is about 30 minutes from Milwaukee. We have a few others in the works but nothing on paper yet.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

LOCKJAW: I love cds! I still by cds of my favorite artists and new bands I discover. Occasionally vinyl. I had been very anti Spotify for awhile. More recently when I decided to try and play this new form of music business 101 I was told I need to get on Spotify playlists and create playlists of bands I love. So I said F it…lets make some playlists. It was actually sorta fun and realized i can find practically any band I ever listened to and create a mix tape in an essence with all this music. So it kinda screws artists out of mass money but at the same time it gets music to people that otherwise may not hear or be able to find your music.  Unfortunately it is an integral part of the music industry that we must all accept.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

LOCKJAW: Rocket Man by Elton John.  It is about being that part of you inside that is the super hero. The savior unrealized. The person you relate yourself to but everyone else just sees you as that quirky guy next door. And most of all about letting go. At least that is my interpretation. And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you w@LockjawOfficialould change if you could?

LOCKJAW: That it feels like such a business monopoly filled with streams and stats where the artists make pennies for priceless creations.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

LOCKJAW: The upcoming LOCKJAW album the Annihilove EP comes out on April 7th on all digital platforms including Spotify. 😉 We just started rehearsing for the upcoming show/shows. But we are also working on more new music and already have 4 songs for the next album. Trying to stay a step ahead of the game and also create as much as I can while I’m feeling in that mode.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

LOCKJAW: We love when people visit us on Facebook and I tend to be there the most. All of our social media and music sites can be found at our Linktree site.

And check out our new video for Annihilove on YouTube at @LockjawOfficial

Thank you so much for giving me this moment to talk about my music and self. Much appreciated.

~Medavon DeRaj’e

Lockjaw links:
Band/Artist location – Milwaukee, WI
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