Posted on May 23. 2017
Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Jason: Hello Jack “Rokk” Kaye and Thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule to speak with us here at Metal To Infinity. I really do appreciate it.
Jack: My pleasure Jason and Metal to Infinity.
Jason: A few years back when you and I first made a contact it was when we had done to interview your Los Angeles based Black Sabbath band: Children Of The Grave. Right at the top of this interview I want to talk a little bit about Children Of The Grave since it was that band that first connected us. Is Children Of The Grave still an active band?
Jack: Okay, yes, that was fun. No. After 3 stages of singers, bass players and drummers for COTG 2004 to 2015 (11 years), I decided as the band leader and founder, to only make Tribute appearances dressed and role played as Tony Iommi of the early 1970s, I go by the name J-ommi. It would be nice and fun to do a full on Tribute to Black Sabbath again, but, I feel COTG had it’s run and played many good gigs on big stages with good Tribute acts that role played and dressed the part. My main focus these days is JACK Sabbath, my solo Black Sabbath project.
Jason: While I know you’re a very talented Guitarist in your own right Jack talk a little bit about why you made the decision to form a Black Sabbath tribute band?
Jack: Thank you, I appreciate that, always strive to be better. In 2004 my bass player and I from 120 PAIN original band decided it would be fun to emulate the mighty Black Sabbath, we both grew up on Rock n Roll and this music, so why not, right? We had the chops and look to make it happen and bring it to the stage for our enjoyment and for those Sabbath fans to enjoy as well.
Jason: What was the initial response to your band: Children Of The Grave?
Jack: After several smaller gigs starting out, the word spread like a wild fire. COTG was known as the Black Sabbath tribute band to go see that would musically and visually bring you back to the 1970s era. Wow! We were stoked to say the least and kept getting better, the fans grew at every show, singing along with us, we were in aah.
Jason: You are obviously a Black Sabbath fan so I’d like for you to share with Metal To Infinity and our readers the story of how you first became a Black Sabbath fan?
Jack: Okay, there was many Rock n Roll artists I was listening too growing up as a teen, my main influence then was Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, by 1975 the Sabotage album of Black Sabbath had come out, I remember a couple tunes that got my attention, Symptom of the Universe and Hole in the Sky, they kicked. now War Pigs and Iron Man were the main tunes from the Paranoid album hitting the air waves too at the time, so you could say, I kinda went backwards in time listening to those early albums Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Masters of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath later on and saying, wow!. This stuff is dark, heavy and chilling. I wanted to know more about Tony Iommi.
Jason: As far as Guitar Players go Tony Iommi is no doubt your greatest influence when it comes to Guitar Players. What was it about Tony that really inspired you and what was it about his playing that really made you take notice of him?
Jack: My first reaction to Tony Iommi’s playing was, wow! This riffing is the coolest, it’s different and interesting. The way he put the riffs with the music, like no other, great song writer and known as the riff master.
Jason: We talked earlier about your first Black Sabbath tribute band which was: Children Of The Grave, a standard Tribute band that featured a complete band…Your latest project is called Jack Sabbath which is indeed a Black Sabbath tribute but it’s quite unique and different from what you did with Children Of The Grave in that it is one man tribute to Sabbath and that in Jack Sabbath you are indeed playing Black Sabbath music but the twist is that it’s just you on stage, no backing band and you’re playing the “Classic” Ozzy era Sabbath material in an instrumental versions with no vocals. Talk a little bit about how you came up with the idea/concept for Jack Sabbath and what is the biggest difference to you playing Black Sabbath music in Jack Sabbath VS. Children Of The Grave?
Jack: Yes, that’s right. Isn’t it wonderful? I love Ozzy’s early vocals, after playing Black Sabbath tunes for 11 years straight, you tend to hear his vocals in your head while riffing Iommi’s part, so this made it easy for me, when it’s time for the vocals in JACK Sabbath, my Wah-Wah pedal kicks in with guitar vocal melodies. again, I am hearing Ozzy as I play. No one else that I know of has attempted this venture. I am pleased with the out come.
No, I use bass guitar and drums backing tracks from the original artists and sound effects when needed, like the Air Raid Siren on War Pigs and Thunder, Rain and Lightning on Black Sabbath, so it sounds like a full band playing, just in a Instrumental format.
There are two LIVE videos Fairies Wear Boots and War Pigs form two of the last shows in Hollywood, CA on the JACK Sabbath official Facbook page to watch and listen to, please have a look and everyone out there, you Sabbath fans out there be the judge, comments, shares and Likes are welcomed.
Jason: You have now done a number of live Jack Sabbath performances already. Are you happy with the response that you have been getting from your fans in regards to Jack Sabbath?
Jack: Yes, at first the people didn’t know what to expect for one person, but as soon as the set began, volume cranked up, there was a buzz going about, the fans are starting to like it more and more. I encourage everyone in the audience to join in singing along with the vocals if they want to too. let’s make it a party.
Jason: Like I said earlier I think the idea/concept for Jack Sabbath which is you performing Black Sabbath music in it’s instrumental versions is something that indeed helps to separate you from the many other Sabbath tribute acts out there. Is that part of the reason you feel this is such a great concept for a Black Sabbath tribute act?
Jack: Me too Jason, cheers to you. I believe in my heart and soul that what I have to offer in this Instrumental Tribute to the Music of Black Sabbath is genuinely brilliant. The fans seem to like it. I believe it will catch on more and more, all positive responses so far and that means I must be doing something right. Crank it up and ROCK!
Jason: Being that Jack Sabbath is your one man tribute to Black Sabbath when people come to a Jack Sabbath performance all eyes are on you….Do you enjoy that aspect of the Jack Sabbath show knowing that all eyes are watching you and you alone and that you don’t have a backing band up there on the stage with you?
Jack: That’s right. Yes…….but, I do have a backing band in a box, hah! you would need to see the videos and also experience a JACK Sabbath Live show before you make a decision of what is being projected off the stage to the audience, yes, one person, Jack “Rokk” Kaye….multi-Instrumentalist with backing tracks of the original bass player and drummer. I love playing Black Sabbath with Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. It is a challenge, but of course, I love a challenge, it keeps me on my toes.
Jason: I have to ask you Jack what is your all-time favorite Black Sabbath album?
Jack: Hah! 1970 second album PARANOID.
Jason: I know you play a lot in the Los Angeles/San Diego area Jack but do you have plans to take Jack Sabbath on the road to other Cities and other towns?
Jack: That would be the next step. I am establishing myself as a solo artist with early Black Sabbath music. I ultimate tour for me would be going on the road with two other Instrumental tribute acts, like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai or other Instrumental Rock artists. That way the fans are expecting a Instrumental night of music. That is my plans and future goals.
Jason: Like I said earlier in the interview Jack you are a very talented Guitarist in your own right and in addition to Jack Sabbath you have a really fantastic original band called: 120 PAIN. Talk a little bit about that band and share with our readers how they can find out more about your band: 120 PAIN?
Jack: Okay. 120 PAIN started as Mindkill, then became Heavyosity, then 120 PAIN all in 2001. Dark Day in the USA was written for the 911 attacks that year and the band was known for being one of the LOUDest bands in the original music circuit. We had a hard time most of the time with the sound man where ever the band played, but hey! That’s Rock n Roll. If your ears don’t bleed, it isn’t LOUD enough. Through the years the original members left to pursue other projects, as sometimes is the nature of the beast.
It would be fun and time for a band re-union, but alas, the drummer is the only member I have been in contact with currently. I have been writing newer tunes and dropped the tuning a half step from the original down a whole step “D” to “C#”. It’s more dark and heavy, now I know why the later Black Sabbath music is so dark and heavy, “C#” as well. So it is cureently 120 PAIN original music with Live recordings from the beginning years with the original line-up on the Facebook page linked to Soudcloud. The 120 PAIN album is titled: Threshold of PAIN – 120 Decibels of Ear Piercing PAIN. Rock it!
Jason: Jack I was curious how old were you when you first started playing Guitar? Did you take lessons or would you consider yourself to be more of a self-taught Player?
Jack: 10 years old. No, self-taught, listening to albums and watching my big brother’s band. Look and Listen, key points to follow.
Jason: Do you remember what was the very first Black Sabbath song that you learned how to play?
Jack: So many, but I really enjoyed the PARANOID album the best, so I would say: Fairies Wear Boots.
Jason: Do you have a favorite Sabbath song to play?
Jack: Again, so many brilliant tunes, okay and not to be predictable…..hah! War Pigs.
Jason: What is the one album in your record collection jack that you feel had the greatest influence on you as a Guitar Player?
Jack: It’s not by Black Sabbath.
Jason: You know that one album that had the greatest influence on you and really Rocks Your World all these years later just as much as the very first time you heard that album?
Jack: LED ZEPPELIN I. The entire album from 1969 is brilliant, so simplistic, raw and loud.
Jason: Anything else that you’d like to say to all the Jack “Rokk” Kaye fans out there?
Jack: I just want to finish up with: It’s been fun doing this interview for you Jason, Metal to Infinity and everyone reading this. Cheers to you all! Keep it real and rockin…. Rock it, Jakk
Find out some more info about Jack Sabbath at: