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by Keavin Wiggins

The first time I ever saw this month’s Unsigned Heroes’ band was a very strange night indeed. Please hang in there, I have to set the scene. 

It was right before Halloween and I was hangin out at the Cat Club with my buddy who had come in for a visit from Chicago. Another friend, Kelly Shaefer (Neurotica, Atheist), was in town auditioning for the lead vocalist slot with Slash, Duff and the other GNR guys, so Kelly came down to hang out and brought along evil j. from Otep. 

The four of us were hanging out in the back patio (you can’t smoke in bars in California) b.s.’n etc and then Jugulur hit the stage and we dropped what we were doing to check them out. They rocked the house with their powerful pure metal. To me they sounded like Pantera except in a more modern metal context. (you have to follow the links at the end of this interview to hear it for yourself). I think we were all impressed with their powerful music and stage presence. I knew right then that they would be a great band to feature here, so here we are with the interview at last. 

Now when I mentioned strangeness I wasn’t talking about Jugulur, it was more of the entire night. Some “different” acts were playing that night, I guess it was all in the Halloween spirit. 

After Jugulur played, Wonderlove hit the stage with a rare unplugged set. It was great to see them in this context, since I’m used to the full blown rock show they put on. But after they finished their set we got to see one of the strangest shows I think I’ve ever seen. 

This all girl band Ophelia Rising took the stage. They were all dressed in weird gothic / bondage outfits (except one girl who was pretty much entirely nude). How would you describe this band? Lesbian goth about hits the mark. The music was a droning mediocre offshoot of Marilyn Manson but no one cared about the music, it was the strangeness of their stage show that took everyone by surprise. Apart from the girls in the band, they had “dancers”; one sat on the stage with a coloring book and well the other, I can’t go into details here but it was enough to make Larry Flint blush. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, the girls broke out cupcakes and started tossing them at eachother and the audience. 

By now you are wondering why I’m writing about this band of lesbian Goths and not Jugulur. There is a good answer. During the cupcake toss I saw Monster, the bass player for Jugulur, laughing his ass off at these turn of events but that's the point, That show was actually perfect for Jugulur as it really showed the contrast between gimmicks and musicianship. While the audience’s collective heads were turned by the theatrics of the lesbian girls, which ended up more a comedy act than rock show, Jugulur didn’t need to resort to cheap tricks to impress everyone. They let their music speak for itself and while I’ll never forget the cupcake tossing lesbians antics, I walked away that night with Jugulur’s music in my head and at the end of the night it wasn’t strangeness that won the crowd, in fact most people were turned off by it. I think most people who saw the show that night walked away impressed more by the power of Jugulur’s brand of metal than the cheap gimmicks employed by the lesbians. Because at the end of the day, if the music can’t stand on it’s own, you’re nothing but a novelty act. And let me assure Jugulur’s music does stand on it’s own and these guys are primed to take things to the next level. So don’t be surprised if you being hear more about these guys in the months to come because they are the real deal! 

Now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s get to know the band a little better. 

RNW: The standard opening question, how did JUGULUR come together? 

Jugulur: We all wanted a band that was serious, a group that wanted to work hard and make this their career, that understood it took blood, sweat, and tears.

RNW: And where has the journey taken you so far?

Jugulur: To ALL kinds of strange places.  From cupcake throwing strippers to doing a show for GHS Strings at The Whisky-A-Go-Go.  We’ve gotten nationwide and even international T.V. and Radio exposure. As well as, endorsements from some very respected companies and people in the music industry.

RNW: Where did the name JUGULUR come from?

 Jugulur: We wanted a name that said in a word, “In Your Face and At Your Throat”.  Our manager came up with JUGULUR.

RNW: You guys are one of the heaviest bands I’ve heard on the Hollywood strip in a while, (even your so-called ballad is heavier than most band’s power songs) where would you place your sound in the musical spectrum?  In other words, how do you describe yourselves to those haven’t heard you?

Jugulur: We’re Power/Groove/Metal.

RNW: Who are your biggest influences?

Jugulur: “Black Sabbath”, old “Pantera”, old “White Zombie”, “The Ramones”, “KISS”, “Aerosmith”, and “Alice Cooper”

 RNW: If you only had one chance to win a fan over with one song. Which song would you use, that you think best represents what you are all about?

Jugulur: “TORN”  It’s a song about our deepest humanity.  Our songs are about experiences common to man. The music makes your body move.  “TORN” has all of that.

RNW: What first inspired you to become a musician?

Ash: Some black dude who looked like Bootsy Collins but played like Randy Rhoads.

Paul: It was a way to get away from life.

Jim: It gave me a way to vent my frustration.

Monster: I wanted to be famous and in front of people and let everyone know just how I feel.

 RNW: What is your song writing process like? Does one person come up with the songs and the rest of the band add their parts to it or is it a full group effort?

Jugulur: There’s a concept or riff that we develop into the song by bouncing ideas at each other.

RNW: You guys have been getting a lot of attention  from a lot of circles lately. New endorsement deals, San Diego’s Rock 105 really seems to high on you.  So can you fill us in on what’s going on, on those fronts?

Jugulur: We’re starting to work with Jagermeister, EMG Pick-ups and Mojo Gear Pedal Boards. GHS, Rocktron Effects, Samick Guitars, Carvin Amps, and Dunlop Pics have supported us for awhile.  We’re getting reviews in national magazines like MK Ultra Magazine and being played on X103.9FM locally and in Michigan on WPON and worldwide. Pretty cool stuff with more to come soon.

RNW: You guys aren’t from LA but from the Inland Empire (non So Cal readers, this is an area to 75 miles East of the LA and Orange Counties). What's the music scene like out there?

Jugulur: It’s a bit more hardcore and raw but like everywhere these days the I.E. is in need of bands like JUGULUR to raise the bar and excite the audience.  It’s starting to pick-up.  There’s just not enough clubs.

RNW: On a similar note, you guys have been making waves on the LA scene, what do you make of the state of live music in LA right now?

Jugulur: There are lots of bands in L.A.  They come to be discovered only to leave two years later wondering why it didn’t happen.  Music needs to be dangerous.  You can be dangerous anywhere.

RNW: So our readers can check you out. Do you have any CD’s out?  MP3's on your website etc?

 Jugulur: Yes! We have “Torn”, “Planet Dead”, and Pain 4 Sale” that you can download from our website  and turn friends onto.  I.E. Zine Skinnie Magazine is putting two of our songs on their compilation CD. JUGULUR produced 2 prior CD’s but the singers on them never really hit the mark. 

RNW: A new CD in the works?

Jugulur: We were about to release it but decided that we needed to record one more song.  So held up the release for another month. It’ll be a 5-song EP with a Bonus track.  We’re not going to say which song is being added. But fans can guess.

RNW: What’s the collective goal for the band?

Jugulur: Music is our life. We’re working to make it our living.

RNW: What do you think of the current state of rock? Any bands that do It for you?

Jugulur: We need more ROCK! No more folk songs. Bands? Oh, yeah…”System of a Down”, “Mudvayne”, “Disturbed”, “Murderdolls”, and “Bronx Casket Co.”

RNW: What do you think sets you apart from other bands?

Jugulur: We’re willing to put on a show, to speak about the things that make people angry, and give our audience 150% in everything we do.

RNW: Monster has some really cool designs for a custom bass. So this one is for him. What would be your dream set up: guitars, amps etc..  Hell everyone else can answer this if they want!

Monster: I pretty much have my dream set-up. All I need is Samick to make me a bass using one of my designs and Carvin to make me a 21-inch speaker. Then my life would be complete!

Ash: Pretty much the same for me. Gotta have Jackson Guitars and Marshall Amps. They are the center of my sound. The rest is candy.   Jim & Paul: no answer

RNW: Where did the name monster come from?

Monster: Actually, my mom gave it to me as a child. It just fits.

RNW: What would be your dream tour, the band you would most like to go out on the road with?

Paul: “Pantera” or “System of a Down”
Monster: “Soulfly” or “Metallica” Circa 1986
Jim: “Disturbed”
Ash: “Mudvayne or Ozzy”

RNW: What do you think is the biggest obstacle for new bands there days to making it in this crazy business?

Jugulur: Finding 3-4 other people you can get along with, “Pay to Play” gigs (those have to go), and commitment to the craft and each other.

RNW: You’ve been together a little while now so far what has been your proudest moment as a band?

Jugulur: Getting voted one of the “Hot 100 Unsigned Artist” in Dec 2002 by Music Connection

RNW: On the other side of the coin, what has been worst experience?

Jugulur: We did one show where we didn’t even get to play because a riot broke out that another band incited. Our singer and guitarist got hurt trying to protect our equipment and family that had come to the show.

RNW:  Has the Internet helped you reach new fans?  Do you think like some that the net will eventually open up the music business or will the
major labels still dominate things?

Jugulur: Yes, we meet new fans everyday!  Chat rooms are great. Sites like point the fans to us and vice-a-versa.  The Net is definitely powerful. Labels and bands need to utilize it. It’s the MTV of today! 

RNW: What’s next for JUGULUR?

Jugulur: Giggin, touring So. West U.S. (but getting offers to come to Chicago & N.Y.C.), more radio airplay and Monster on NBC’s “Dog Eat Dog” in spring.

RNW: Where do you hope to be five years from now?

Jugulur: In the WORLD’S Face and at IT’S throat!  We want to be the band that everyone else is trying to be.

RNW: Finally, what do you want people to take away from your music?

Jugulur: It’s O.K. to be angry about s*** that sucks.  Face your anger and change your world.

Ok now that you know a little about Jugulur it is time to go to their website and learn more

Know of a great unsigned artist or band? Let us know. 

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