Lockjaw has played alongside some big names like Type O Negative and Lords of Acid to name just a couple. Medavon joins us for a talk about his latest EP and his unique sound known as 'Hell Rock'.
On April 2nd Milwaukee’s long time “Hell Rock” band, Lockjaw, released their newest EP, Reverent, which includes a cover of the Cars hit “Just what I needed”.
With their latest release, Reverent, Lockjaw are bringing the Hell Rock revolution back into the minds of the masses. Long time Milwaukee Industrial Rock veterans, Lockjaw, led by their charismatic frontman, Medavon DeRaj’e, have returned to the midwest’s Industrial Landscape and are determined to make their presence felt. In dealing with all of the of the challenges and emotions that the year long pandemic brought, Medavon wanted to re-invent the band not only musically, but also lyrically, as he strived to deliver more positive and deeper messages in an effort to combat the previous years darkness and feelings of isolation. To help with this transformation Medavon decided to reach out to well known engineer Ted Jensen (Vast, Mastodon, Evanescence, the Faint) to master the upcoming release. Ted’s mastering highlighted the bands new found 80’s Darkwave meets Industrial sound. The EP boasts not only the aforementioned Cars cover, it also delivers its second single in the lead track “Never Say Never” and the Bauhaus inspired “Keep On Trying”. Plans are underway to shoot videos to supplement the upcoming singles off of the EP.
Lockjaw became a household name throughout the Midwest thanks in part for sharing the stage with national acts including Mudvayne, Type O Negative, Damage Plan, Wednesday 13, Hell Yeah, Prong, KMFDM, Powerman 5000, Mindless Self Indulgence, Lords of Acid and also providing direct support for multiple sold out shows for MARILYN MANSON.
Since starting out in 1998, Lockjaw has released 14 albums to date on Dark Drug records with their previous effort being 2019’s “Drowner”. Lockjaw's "Bored Again" from the CD "Dirty Minds and Smiling Faces"(2004) is featured on the X-Box360 game "Dead Rising".
A political and religious uprising against the system. Abrasive vocals, dark chord progressions and machine gun like electronics define this band's sound. Don’t let their new found positive messaging fool you, their live intensity and their over-the-edge stage show, filled with all the necessary elements of sweat, smoke and unrelenting honesty; will continue to keep its loyal following coming back for more while becoming more accessible to a entirely new generation of dark alternative music fans. Hell Rock for the masses forever and always!
Q. Medavon, you’ve said about wanting to change the band in to a mostly positive vibe and direction musically. Can you tell us how this EP differs from previous EP’s and if you feel this is the direction you will carry on with in future or will the sound perhaps change even further with each release? A. The positive vibe is more related to my lyrical messages and just in general how I want to come across. In the past a great majority of my songs revolved around my ego and inner problems and needing an outlet to release that. Not all but 6 out of 10 songs on an average album. I'm sure I will still go there on a song or two but I'm more about focusing on outwardly themes and the now. Lyrically some things may still come across pretty dark but there is usually a lesson in the lyrics or some ending optimism to make the listener not feel as alone in their plight. But positive energy just vibrates at a higher frequency so when one can tap into that, it not only helps them but everyone and everything they come in contact with.
Q. You describe the band as ‘Hell Rock’ and “A political and religious uprising against the system.” How would you describe Hell rock to those unfamiliar with your music thus far, and what religious and political aspects do you address most, and how? A. Ever since I was a kid I have always been more attracted to music with dark chord progressions or edgy lyrics. Growing up I'd seek out records that had curse words on them cause I was told you aren't suppose to say those things. And I'd listen to songs like that and get all charged and be laughing, singing them all around the house. Later I became more into bands like Motley Crue and WASP who had that super evil dark image. So for me hell rock represents the rebellion of youth, things you aren't suppose to say. Singing about the Devil or hell. Not as often political back then but in more recent times it is hard to avoid. Religious and political institutions have always seemed to be the major forces in trying to control society and ones mind. I don't really sing about religion but have always gone back to it for references that everyone can understand. Like God, Heaven, hell, the soul. Religion is man made. Faith and spirituality come from within. Q. Tell us about the history of the band. Where did it all start, and what inspired you to start making music? A. I started recording 4 track demos in my bedroom when I was a late teen. In 98 I put out my first official album that was much more trip hop inspired then hard edged rock. In 2002 I decided to put a live band together and it became more of an industrial influenced rock band. So many things have inspired me to make music from