This Ain't Rock and Roll, This Is Roky Moon & BOLT!

In this week's issue of the Houston Press, you can find our in-depth interview with Roky Moon & BOLT! and the team behind their debut release for ZenHill, American Honey, which sees its debut tomorrow night at Fitzgerald's. The show promises to be a stunner with Tax The Wolf, Young Girls, sIngs, and JW Americana as well as a few more also on the bill. We hear that fans are already camping out front of the venue, and that Dita Von Teese is due to be doing a routine during BOLT's "Hot Saturday Night."

Just yesterday morning on Fox 26, you could see them playing live on-air, even though someone at the station billed them as "Roky Moon Bolt." Lead singer Roky Moon looked like Jim Morrison in his shades. Well, the whole band was wearing sunglasses, to be honest.

We sifted through some of the pieces of the interviews we conducted the past few weeks and knew that it was all too good to leave on the proverbial cutting-room floor of our laptop.

Rocks Off: What is a typical RM&B rehearsal like at the Mink with no one else around?

Roky Moon: You kidding me? It's heaven!! We have a full PA setup with all the mikes we need. For a band doing the kind of thing we are doing, this is crucial. I mean we have five to six people singing together sometimes and, without all of that PA power, I wouldn't be able to hear a thing. Plus it means we can really hear the sax and piano.

Jeoaf Johnson (drums): Yeah, rehearsing at the Mink really is great. We owe Mark big time for letting us. Its cool because when we're working on stuff and we're really buckled down, in the zone and focusing, its nice to have a lock on the door and have a little world to ourselves.

But at the same time, every so often, someone will pound on the door and it'll be one of the guys coming in to work or something and it'll turn into a fun hangout with buds. And sometimes we'll have just finished up a new song or arrangement, so then we can show it to someone fresh, right off the line.

I think the best thing about it, though, is that the Mink is so absolutely home base for us. We practice there, about half of us work there. I met my girlfriend there, so it's very near and dear to our hearts.

Aaron Echegaray (guitar): The Mink has very much become our home. We experienced some of our first great high energy shows there; now it's sort of a hotbed for our creative energy. We fill the floor in a circular arrangement, the PA pumping the vocals, keys and sax back at us.

The BOLT! feeling permeates the air there and on any given night you can find half of the band behind the bar or sound board, custom making glam era playlists to wax philosophic over; you'll likely find the other half of the band hanging out and drinking with the music lovers in attendance. Truly home base.

RO: Were there any directions the band wanted to take along the way, but decided against?

RM: I would say we have stayed pretty steady. We don't really make decisions like that anyway

JJ: Not really. When Roky brings ideas to practice, they're usually well on their way to where they need to go. And we're all pretty much on the same page, so when Roky gives us a skeleton, we all kinda have a general idea of what the final outcome is gonna be like.

At that point, it's really just a matter of us finding the best way to get from point A to point B. Luckily, all of our musical sensibilities are more or less on par with one another, so there's never really a situation where we'll be working on a song and someone will pipe up and go "What if we were to take this in, say, more of a rap-metal direction." I don't think that person would have even gotten in the door to begin with!

RO: Is the germ for a rock opera stage show still in the future?

RM: Perhaps. I haven't really worked on any of that in a while. I am thinking of a way to make it work in the future but, as busy as we have been as a band, I don't see myself having enough time to out something like together any time soon.

RO: When you look out a crowd, especially in Houston, what do you see? People seem to be very happy at your shows, besides the usual boredom with see with everyone else.

RM: It is absolutely amazing! I can't speak for what goes on at other folks' shows, but I know that coming to a RM&B! show means it is time to boogie. Everyone seems to have a great time and I reckon that's why the people keep on coming out.

JJ: Being up onstage and seeing a room packed to the gills with people dancing around, hands in the air, grinning from ear to ear is one of the most amazing and gratifying things you can imagine.

Considering the fact that over the years, Houston crowds have been notoriously jaded and have had that reputation for being too cool for school to enjoy the finer things like cutting loose and outwardly looking like they're enjoying themselves, having that notion start to crumble and completely fall away is very exciting. And for us to come along at a time to get in on that is absolutely phenomenal.

AE: We've been thrilled at our fortune with the response we've gotten. There's often a lot of smiling faces, rock signs held high, and dancing. Lots of dancing. We work hard to make each performance not just a handful of songs, but a continuous show; we like to tell a story, with highs and lows, conflict and resolution.

There are precious few bands these days that take the stage with a sense of purpose and preparation, delivering a performance that commands attention and delivers an experience. We hope to fall into that category.

8 p.m. Saturday at Fitzgerald's.

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