The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

 

MARK ROCKPIT

SPEAKS WITH JASON KLOOS from TOXIN

 

 

Toxin may be a new name to a lot of you out there, but with a heap of shows under their belt, some great slots on Festivals such as this year’s ROCK N AMERICA; and the backing of a great management team; this young band from Long Island whose ages range from 16 to 18 may just be one to watch…

Erudite lead singer Jason Kloos already shows a maturity and a confidence beyond his years and with an avowed mission to bring great music to the youth of today you can’t help but agree with his sentiment.

The Rockpit.net met up with Jason this week, and we found him working late in the studio.

 

M: First of all thank you for talking to us, we appreciate your time. We are really interested to know a bit about your past. We read in your bio that you got together in 2007 and as it’s been a few years since then we thought that maybe you could fill us in with a bit of a back story: how you guys got together?


J: Matt and I started TOXIN back in 2007. We recruited Ross and Joe and a couple of months later discovered Brian who was the missing piece of our puzzle. The bands ages are 16 to 18 I’m 16. We all came together for one purpose to show the new generation what rock and roll was all about. You know you listen to the radio and rock and roll is dying out and we just had to show our generation what it meant.

 

M: that’s amazing. We didn’t actually realsise you guys were so young. I think you are right we need that sort of thing. It’s amazing to find a band so young who like the kind of music old guys like us do! Rock never dies and your generation need teaching a lesson!

 

Laughs

 

M: Who would you say your biggest influences are at this stage?

 

J: I grew up in a rock and roll house, and I come from a rock and roll family so I listened to everything from Elvis to Kiss, the Beatles, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi. You know a lot of eclectic rock. I also like a lot of music from today like Nickelback, the production of Hinder, the Buckcherry stuff and that’s what Toxin is all about taking a bit of the new and the old school stuff and putting it together to create our own sound.

 

M: That’s great and I agree. Some of those newer bands you mentioned we really like as well I am particularly looking forward to seeing Buckcherry this year when we come over to the States.

 

M: Looking at your plans for May things must be in a bit of disarray for you with the sad news about Brett? (Toxin was due to support Brett Michaels on a number of dates). Best wishes to him and the family.

 

J: We got the call about it and Brett is still in hospital and we heard that the local show for us has been postponed but obviously we aren’t concerned about that we are more concerned that Brett pulls through OK and that he gets healthy again. Brett’s a fighter though so we know he will.

 

M: TheRockpit says amen to that my friend.

 

M: The campaign to support Bon Jovi, how is that going?

 

J: It’s going great, things are going crazy we have the band on board, we have a whole bunch of street teams involved for us , we have teams in different States and tonight at midnight (this is 9.00AM WST in Australia on 28th April) we find out of we make it to the final round.

 

M: That must be pretty exciting

 

J: If that happens that will be great

 

M: We notice that there is a Twisted Sister connection there too. You are playing Dee Snider’s “Bikes For Babies” in May and you have a few big European festival dates with the guys in the Summer?

 

J: We are with a great management company at the moment: Coallier Entertainment and they handle great bands like Twisted Sister: Sebastian Bach, Lita Ford, Foreigner and whole bunch of big acts like that. And they were able to put us out with these great acts that we have looked up to al our lives is just amazing.

 

M: It is. I mean we noticed that you are on the bill for the BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL which is a big one in Europe and then you hit the States for the ROCK N AMERICA FESTIVAL in Oklahoma which The Rockpit.net are coming over to cover. For such a young band how do you feel about being on stages like that? Have you experienced anything quite like that before or will they be your first really big shows?

 

J: This is going to be the first time we are going to this level and we are on these big festival stages, but we did this show back in October with Twisted Sister at the Hard Rock in Orlando opening up for them and that was huge – over a thousand people were there. But this is different we’ve seen a few festivals and the amount of people that show up to these events is amazing, so it will be awesome to look into a crowd like that and know that we are sharing the stage with such amazing artists. And what is even cooler is being backstage, learning from them, hanging out and just being around them.

 

M: Spoken like a true fan. Which we love!

 

M: What can ROCK N AMERICA fans expect from your set?

 

J: You know we are a live rock band and that is where we’re at. We love recording but live is where we come alive. We love being out on the road, we love performing and to us that is what it’s all about. It’s more than just getting onstage and playing the set to us it’s about performing: getting in front of people and putting on a production, putting on a show. We want everyone on their feet, not sitting down, we want everyone up and to have a good time. We want people to walk away and say that was a helluva Rock and Roll show: that was a Rock n Roll party.

 

M: So you guys sound like you are pretty well rehearsed then. Do you spend a lot of time at the moment rehearsing not just the songs, but the show as well?

 

J: We’re non-stop here! We’re rehearsing – basically our schedule now is getting it right for all these shows. It’s pretty non-stop.

 

M: To someone who hasn’t heard you before how would you describe you sound in just a few words?

 

J: It’s a mix between the new and old school rock: Classic rock with the new rock production of say Nickelback or Hinder.

 

M: Don’t get us wrong there are some very cool new bands out there that we love and production has come on a million miles since the eighties so that sounds perfect.

 

M: These days though with the industry the way it is: for example it’s so easy to set things up on Myspace and Facebook from your bedroom: the only way to differentiate yourself from the homemade acts is all about the package. To really make it you need that push behind you. It seems to be becoming more about the ‘package’ for example last year we caught bands like Steel Panther at the Key Club who almost had a Vegas show – they had the songs and the show and they have actually gone down really well in Europe. Do you think that bands these days need that?

 

J: First of all I love Steel Panther. They’re great!

 

M: Do you think bands need that today: That additional factor aside from the Music?

 

J: I agree. I think that bands these days, to get noticed, need to go out with more of a production. Unfortunately some people who go to shows walk right past the music which is really what it is all about. Some people want more: they don’t just want to go to a concert and to sit there and watch. People want to feel they are a part of that concert, they want to be involved. They want to be there and have a good time and that’s what we try and do every time we play a show. It could be in a smaller club; it could be in a theatre – we always have a production and we always have a big stage set.

 

M: Your debut album is to be called SKINDEPENDENCE: When will that be released?

 

J: It should be right before ROCK N AMERICA sometime in July; we’ll get it out in time for the festival. We have two singles out which are the mixed versions that will appear on the album and those songs are what the album will really be about: having fun; partying and your teenage years.

 

M: Sounds good! I think we can just about remember that I think!

 

Laughs

 

M: Some people say that CDs and Vinyl are dead. As a young band what is your take on that? Do they still have a place or is the future just download?

 

J: I wish there was I just don’t think there is anymore. I think it’s all done with the internet. I think now a lot of bands even who release CDs are getting a push from the internet too. Now we have the advantage of Facebook and Myspace people go to a webpage and they know everything about you.


M: I think you’re right. We spoke to JJ from Twisted Sister a few days ago and he was more or less saying what you are. It’s interesting that the older bands and the newer guys are both coming to that same conclusion and seeing an end to those formats. He was saying it was even hard for those guys to even think about putting a new product out especially in that format. It’s pretty sad really from an old guy’s perspective.

 

M: For younger bands like yourselves then how hard is it to keep ticking over financially especially without major product out there? Is it all good local gigs and great support from a good management company?

 

J: It mostly comes from the support of the management company and we do a lot of local shows: it’s especially the shows because without the support of our fans we definitely wouldn’t be where we are. We have such a strong fan-base here in Long Island and we have to thank them so much. Everything is great right now.

 

M: So what is the rock scene like around Long Island and New York right now is it pretty strong for our kind of music?

 

J: For rock and what we are trying to do it is pretty limited. I think that that may be why we are getting so much extra attention: because of the genre that we fit into. It’s great. There are so many pop bands out there, and don’t get me wrong I love all kinds of music too, we’re not just limited to Rock. But there are just so many of the same types of bands that because we are trying to bring the whole atmosphere of party rock back that we are getting a lot of extra attention from that.

 

M: There’s obviously a lot of great music out there at the moment it’s just these days you don’t really get a feel for how big a scene is locally. I mean there are obviously a lot of cool older bands out there. But you go to places like LA where it all started and you tend to feel that the scene for eighties rock is kind of dying off a bit. Maybe it’s just moving and spreading out?

 

M: So maybe it is up to guys like you to get out there and show people how to rock again?

 

J: That’s exactly what it is. You listen to radio stations and they play the same stuff over and over again and how much longer can that go on before we get some new rock out there? Show the new generation that hey, there is a whole new type of music and a whole new type of scene that they are missing out on!

 

M: I think that things are sort of cyclical and they do tend to come around again if you wait long enough: but I’m not sure how it will all pan out. Especially as the music business is going through a pretty strange period. Let’s just hope our type of rock does come back.

 

M: We do have a final question for you Jason, though it seems a bit unfair now that we know you are only sixteen, but we do ask everyone this question: What is the meaning of life?

 

J: The meaning of life?

 

Pause.

 

M: It stumps everyone!

 

J: I’ve never been asked that before: this is a good interview!

 

J: To me personally life is about taking each day and living it: living every single day. One of my favorite quotes is “Forget the past, live for today, and hope for tomorrow” and that is kind of how I live my life.

 

M: That’s a pretty good sentiment to leave us with.

 

J: That’s it. I take each day I hope we get somewhere with this band; and I hope people start coming round to our side: but we’ve just got to hope for the best. But I have a really good feeling that we are gonna run with this!

 

M: I think you will do well. I mean you have all the elements there: you’ve got the songs; you’ve got the right attitude, you have management behind you.

 

M: We are really looking forward to seeing you at ROCK N AMERICA and we hope you put on a great show for us there.

 

J: We will, we promise you we will!

 

M: People are out there out looking for new bands that capture that thrill of the eighties: and you guys fit the bill: plus you pull the younger crowd under the spell of great rock music. All the best and see you later in the year.

 

J: Talk to you guys real soon thanks a lot for having me again. Thanks Mark, bye.


JASON TALKED TO MARK @ THE ROCKPIT.NET