The boundaries of hip-hop and metal blurred a long, long time ago; however, we’re now in 2021 and the world has gone to shit so, when the two hard-hitting genres collide to tackle the social and political shitstorm that is modern life, it’s no surprise that the end result is explosive.
Earning their stripes on the tough streets of New York, and inspired by everyone from Slipknot to Method Man, Jynx recently dropped the visceral new single “All In Caskets” through 333 Wreckords Crew, so we spoke with vocalist Tommy Roulette and guitarist Jerry DeLorenzo about their background, working with the label, and modern life in New York.
Thanks for your time, how is life treating you at the moment?
Jerry DeLorenzo: “Life is pretty cool right now, (it) sucks that we can’t play shows or tour given the state of the world, but we’ve released a song with the most confidence we’ve ever had behind a release before.”
Tell us a bit about who Jynx are…
Jerry: “We’re just a group of people from New York City from different backgrounds that have an obsession with being creative musically. We’ve luckily been able to live social lives and have experiences that not everyone has access to, and we try to express that with our musical diversity, and that’s ultimately what keeps us together.”
You’re putting out your brilliant new single through 333 Wreckords Crew. How did that partnership come together and what was it like working with Jason?
Jerry: “Working with Jason has been incredible, he really understands us as people and understands what we’re trying to do musically and it’s really all we could want as artists.”
Given the visceral nature of your music, how much inspiration is working with someone like Jason and Fever 333, and what did you take away from it?
Tommy Roulette: “I first saw Jason live while with letlive. in the Bronx in 2011 at a venue called The Point which was a spot that everyone in Jynx grew up going to back in the day. I remember being blown away and was a fan ever since. This is a real movement and if we were ever going to be a part of something, it would have substance and integrity like 333 Wreckords Crew has.”
Jerry: “I’ve been following Jason since the letlive. days, and how absolutely wild he is on stage to how unapologetically real he is off stage was a huge inspiration to how we wanted to approach this band. NYC is a place where we don’t appreciate bullshit and ass-kissing and that’s a trait that we have in common. His energy and live performances with both bands were always off the charts and that’s something we try to have with our live experience as well.”
Do you have any plans to work together again?
Jerry: “Hopefully that’s something on the table, he just has a brilliant mind and a work ethic that we enjoy, and as we said before he understands what we are about and actually cares for us to keep that as genuine as possible.”
As we said, your sound is utterly ferocious. How much of it is inspired by life in New York in 2020?
Jerry: “Our approach, in general, has been inspired life in NYC, lyrically there’s always something personal in every one of our songs, and it all stems from our living situations. The aggressiveness just comes from our experiences in the heavy music scene, the diversity and genre-bending comes from living in a cultural melting pot.”
You’ve talked about growing up on metal and hip-hop, who were the artists that had the biggest impact on your life?
Jerry: “This feels like an almost unanswerable question because I listen to so much different music, and my personal inspiration as a songwriter just depends on where my head is at in life. If I had to narrow the list down, my biggest inspirations without a doubt are Korn, Slipknot, and Between the Buried and Me, they were all artists who pushed the limits of what genre means to me when it comes to heavy music, as far as hip hop, the genre is always changing and something fresh and exciting is always popping up. Clearly I love all the legends like, NAS, Biggie, Jay-Z, etc. But I love what a lot of newer artists bring to the table, again pushing the envelope on what genre means.”
Tommy: “Rakim, Dipset, Jadakiss, Slipknot, DMX, Kiss, Linkin Park, Seo Taiji, Method Man, Trivium, Korn, Tool, Limp Bizkit, Onyx, Machine Head, Biohazard. I could go on all day about artists that have impacted me. There are A LOT!”
Metal and hip-hop crossover isn’t a new concept. What do you hope to offer fans of both genres in 2021?
Jerry: “We hope to legitimize the crossover aspect from the metal side and be a gateway act to those who may be too timid to dive into either genre. The hip-hop game has been pumping out tons of incredible crossover artists and I feel like they’ve been doing a lot more to keep rock music afloat in the modern world. Hopefully, the crossover movement can bring something exciting enough to make metal more prevalent in the eyes of the world and provide those long-term massive careers we really haven’t seen since the late 1990s/early 2000s.”
Tommy: “We hope to offer our fans the ability to speak for themselves and we believe a lot of them already do so. They don’t care what other people think of what they listen to and I love to see that.”
The video for the single is equally as hard-hitting. Tell us about how the concept came together. Are the visuals of the band as important as the music/lyrics?
Jerry: “The song is intentionally jarring, we wanted the transition to abrupt and eye-opening, a lot of artists like Drake, Travis Scott, and Kendrick Lamar, will put out a song and change up the beat or flow into something completely different in the same song, and that’s how we wanted to approach both the song and the video. We live in a time where visual representation is everything so that’s always been a priority to us. I could go on for hours about this video in particular, but I just want to say a lot of hard work went into it and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone involved in the process.”
We’ve talked about the last twelve months being completely screwed. Have you been involved in any protests or demonstrations?
Tommy: “Me and my crew were at the first protests happening in Brooklyn and Manhattan in May. It was insanity. Tear gas, rubber bullets, people getting trapped, arrested, etc. Some people took advantage and did bad stuff. It would go on like this for a while. Since the song was written/recorded in January 2020, everything started feeling more real as the months went on. The message was always clear but it was also how relevant it started to feel for us being in the center of all of it.”
Jerry: “A few of us have attended some protests and demonstrations over the course of the summer, it was a surreal experience and really eye-opening into how much still needs to be done to fix social issues that plague not only America but the whole world for sure.”
What have you noticed have been the biggest changes to life in New York during the last twelve months?
Jerry: “Man, COVID has fucked with every aspect of our lives. We’re social people in one of the most culturally diverse cities in America. It’s weird to be home for months on end when we used to have the ability to do whatever we want almost whenever we’d want.”
Tommy: “Thousands of family-owned businesses shutting down. It’s just sad that this happens only for corporate businesses to come and replace them. It’s BS!”
Now that the single is out, are you writing new material and what else can we expect from Jynx going forward?
Jerry: “Well, we might have a ‘lil something going on with some new music, ya feel me?! Expectations are something we try to exceed every time we do a release. We never head into the studio with an idea of what kind of song we want to write, we just let it flow naturally, so just always expect us to push ourselves into different territories every time we drop something new.”
Thanks for your time, over to you for the final words…
Jerry: “Our message is always about being as unapologetically you as possible. Fuck the fake.”