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INTERVIEW: Jokatech

How would you classify your music?

I would call it spacial music. I spent the last 10 years of my career working to this point. I took a while to understand the concept of the music I do now. Then I took more time to get the confidence. It’s like Jeet Kun Do, there is no genre. It’s my expression, which I feel is the height of performance. If I had to label it- free jazz.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Miles Davis is number one, then John Coltrane, Incubus, Nas, and Don Cherry

What do you want fans to take from your music?

I want fans to understand and appreciate that my music is not just an educational exercise, but just like all my art, it’s about making you perpetually think and reinvent yourself. I said recently in a writing that we all put on a costume.

We all wear something. When we’re naked, we can’t be anybody else. We are then our own flawed essence.

Experimental music is said to be for a select crowd. It’s not the music that is; it’s the vulnerability and honesty.

Tell us about your latest release?

My latest release- Standing Still Symphony X, is an experimental, free jazz composition. I was inspired by some great local acts, and some inner searching as well. I’ve always been looking for new sounds. But now, I see the power in creating your own, along with your own structure.

What do you love and hate about the Music Business in your opinion?

I love how the music business has the ability to channel and expose the great sea of talent out there, and give it a voice. However, I don’t like how much politics play a role in music. I wish it were about the music itself in all facets, instead of the social maze that’s presently in place. Whenever I bring my music forward, I have to deal with the fact that preconceptions hamper my progress. I’ve been turned down from even Indie labels, like Anime For Breakfast, and Stone’s Throw, without an honest consideration. This is due to the other aspect I dislike, which is that the game is far too flooded.

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

I’m an admitted hermit. The last mainstream concert, gigs aside I went to was Robin Thicke in 2006. I did get to play with jazz greats like Anthony Wonsey, and Cyrus Chesnut, at jam session. The best concert I’ve seen was on TV. It was the Stevie Wonder tribute concert a year ago. When he took the last set, I was beside myself.

That is a special dude, who really is eternally in love with music.

How have you evolved as an artist or band over the last year?

I learned the importance of creating form and space. As artists, we rely on established patterns, rhythms, and progression, from the pop music star who can’t read a note, to the session jazz musician tied to the real book. But what about the classical composers like Bach that we love so well. They were constantly pushing the limits, and relying more on emotions for their work. That is the height of creating music. What do you say when you are bare naked.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

Miles Davis. I feel like we connect.

What is next for you?

I really don’t know. After the last 2 records, I was going to step back and take a break. But        whenever a new sound presents itself, I have to attack it. I’ve been making music for over 10 years. This is my 16th album. And I still have so far to go.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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