Clunk goes to America….sort of. A Back and Forth interview with J and the 9s

Tell us a little about how you guys got together and where you are based now.

We are from NYC, and met in the NYC rock scene. We are now a married 2 piece power rock duo with me (j9) on vocals/flute/guitar, and my husband Beatz on drums/programming, but the band didn’t start out that way. It used to be a 4 piece and I had the band a long time before Beatz joined. He was in another band and were together for a year beforehand. We were tired of touring separately and having separate experiences. 9 months after he joined we became a 3 piece with our bassist. Shortly after The Lancaster Music Fest in 2017 we moved to California and since our bassist was unable to make the move with us, we reformed as a 2 piece and have been ever since. We now live in Long Beach, California.

You obviously enjoy being in your stage costumes, you make a striking image, or perhaps that’s your attire for all occasions? I am of a certain age to remember the early 70s glam rock scene in the UK. What inspired you to get on the gladrags and glitter?

Haha. Definitely not. It’s a huge process from start to finish from choosing the wig I’m going to wear first, then figuring out the costume and makeup around it. After that’s all said and done it’s another big process to take it all off and get all the glitter off of my face. When we go out to events I’ll do what we call “j9 light”, where I wear cool rocker outfits, and some creative makeup/glitter, but not nearly as much or outlandish as what I do for the shows. In my every day, I’m in Clark Kent mode wearing my black glasses and unlike my costume attire, all black.

The Rolling stones once played on a flatbed truck driving along Fifth Avenue, NYC. I see you have converted the top of your RV into a stage. What sort of reaction do you get whilst performing on it?

 Ooh, that’s cool! We didn’t know that! We think we may be the only ones to actually ever do it on an rv. Our rv is covered in murals which already attracts a lot of attention and sparks conversation, so adding a rooftop stage seemed to be a no brainer.  Everyone loves it! People freak out and say that they’ve never seen anything like it. Lots of people take video/pictures too – a lot while driving which always makes me kinda nervous. I don’t want them to get in an accident!

Of course, there are another 2 members of the family, Rusty the dog. You found him on a freeway? And a cat?

Yes! They are very important to us. We’ve had our cat Max for over 3 years now and he is an indoor/outdoor cat. He loves traveling with us in the rv, and is really like a dog. He goes on walks with us, and comes when we call him. That’s correct about Rusty. We found him in a 4 lane intersection a few months after we arrived in LA. I got out of the car, stopped traffic, and he jumped in right into my arms! We put ads out trying to find his owner, but no one responded, so we kept him. He loves traveling with us in the rv as well and is a great addition to our little family.

We saw you guys a couple of years ago at the Lancaster Music festival. Any chance that you may head back over to the UK?

 We loved our time there and would love to come back. Hopefully for the next Lancaster Music Fest? I lived in London and in the southeast previously for a total of 6 years and loved it. It would be great to do a tour of the north and south next time around if possible.

Here at Clunk HQ a few bands are currently on the turntable…Squid, Beak, Bodega, Working Men’s Club, Girl Band, Bilge Pump, iLL (you might enjoy the pictures of iLL in their make-up). Can you tell us what bands/artists we need to be checking out from your current playlist?

 Cool! We’ve never heard of them. We’ll definitely check them out. We’ve been fortunate on our travels to perform with lots of great independent bands. Some of our favorites are Glass Mansions (from South Carolina), LTrain (NYC), Bad Mary and Megawave (both from Long Island), Grown Up Avenger Stuff (from North Carolina), Deirdre Kroener/Chosovi (also from North Carolina who is now working on her solo album in northern England), Small Town Titans, and Medusa’s Disco (both from Pennsylvania). All very different as you’ll discover.

What are the plans for 2019 and 2020? Tour? Tell us about the new single releases coming up.

We have 3 singles inclusive of music videos which we will be releasing at the end of the year rolling over to the beginning of 2020. They’re our 1st releases since 2017 so we’re very excited about them. We’ll continue to do shows in the area (on our rv stage as well as the more traditional ones), and will most likely do a tour out to the east coast next summer. We also plan to record again sometime next year as well. And as previously mentioned, will hopefully make our way out to The U.K. again too – inclusive of Carlisle. 😉

Thanks for the chat with clunk. When you come back over we look forward to sorting a gig in Carlisle!

Website: www.jandthe9s.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jandthe9s

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jandthe9s

YouTube: www.youtube.com/jandthe9s

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1vRU143pEFxYGdpGTYFCNk?nd=1