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Jazan Wild

Interview with Jazan Wild from Jazan Wild
by David Kaluza at 29 January 2006, 6:38 PM

The least you can say about Jazan Wild is that he is fast. He basically managed to reply to my interview questions and send them back in less time than it actually took me to write them down (now if only all the other musicians were like that too – it would save us interviewers a lot of headaches repeatedly going after their ass to get an interview done)! Luckily for us, not only does Jazan have speed on his side but also a healthy dose of talent and attitude to go with it. Read below and find out what he has to say about his first album Carnival Of Souls and the accompanying comic book…

Well, to start off, why don’t you introduce yourself a bit to our readers. Have you previously played in other bands and what inspired you to start off this solo venture?

I’ve been a member of the carnival since the 1940’s. I have only been a carnival performer; this is what I do and who I am. I have always felt music in me. I play all the instruments on the CD because I hear and feel all the parts of a song. So to be a member of a band playing and living someone else’s vision doesn’t appeal to me.

Judging by the music, it seems that bands like KISS and Alice Cooper have been major influences, both musically and image wise. Are there any other bands which influenced you as a musician apart from these two?

I love Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and Motley Crue! I love Rock Stars. There is nothing more boring than going to a concert and watching guys on stage who look like they pump gas, trying to play as many notes as possible or a better description would be musical masturbation. I love the P.T. Barnum effect!

And how much would you say that Cooper and KISS have been important as an influence to you over the years?

Huge!!!!! KISS are the best showmen ever! In my opinion. Not only did they make a soundtrack to millions of people’s lives, but they did it over 4 decades! They, like Carnival Of Souls, are timeless.

Where and how did you come up with the band name? Also is the band/project name simply Jazan Wild or Jazan’s Wild Carnival Of Souls?

In the CD there’s a picture of me at the age of 5 dressed up as Jazan Wild. The Carnival has always been with and in me. I am a character in the carnival. So the show will be Jazan Wild’s Carnival Of Souls and the band’s name will be the same. Because when you come to the show I hope to bring the whole Carnival effect. It should feel like you just entered an old make-shift tent in the 30’s and 40’s. Bearded Lady, Two-headed Baby and all!

How do you go about writing the music? You pretty much play everything yourself but does that also mean that you compose it all on your own? Or do you actually work with others while doing this, I mean… it is kinda hard to jam just with yourself so tell us a bit about your average writing session and what inspires you.

I always loved concept albums such as Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare (1975) and KISS’ The Elder (1981) and so on. I hear and see songs as a movie (storytelling) or like memories playing in my head. The music is just a soundtrack to the movie I see in my head. I just have to stay tuned in and let it flow out of me. If I feel hurt, I’ll write a song like Don’t know me , fuck what you see! cause you don’t me or horny like The Snake which says  Bring the snake alive, feel it deep inside, you don’t have to try, to bring the snake alive! As far as writing goes, I co-wrote 3 or 4 songs with Curt Cuomo who co-wrote half of KISS’ Carnival of Souls (1997) CD as well as the Psycho Circus title track. He’s a great writer. I come up with all the songs and the three I did with Curt, he just added his magic and they Rock!

What instrument do you personally enjoy playing the most? How did you end up playing so many different instruments in the first place? Did you take music lessons or are you self-taught?

I get along with myself so it was easier than fighting about someone’s nagging girlfriend or a lame idiot not showing up for practice. All of that doesn’t appeal to me at all. I have a vision and no one has the right to, or will stop me. I am determined to succeed! That is also why I play all the instruments. Someone very important to me once said,  If you want a helping hand, look at the end of your own arm.

Apart from writing music, you are also the inspirator / creator of a comic book based around the same story. Tell us a bit more about that. How big is your role for the comic? Do you deliver the ideas or do you actually write or draw something yourself?

Like I said before, I see everything in my head like memories. My memories are always accompanied by a soundtrack. I never wanted to do one without the other. I supply every story. I write it down in both words and images. Then I send it to Kevin Conrad (artist for KISS’ Psycho Circus, Hulk, Spawn) and he does his magic! Then Stefan Petrucha (X-files writer) comes in and scripts the book. Stefan is incredible! I’m a big fan of his work. It all comes from my head! Scary thought!

Are there any other comic book projects or graphic novels from your hand? Or will there be any in the future? If so, tell us a bit more about them (story, background, where to get them from).

Jazan Wild only exists in the Carnival grounds. I am however telling a story that is currently being made into a novel titled The Tree. I am under contract and cannot say any more about that project. The Carnival Of Souls series however, is slated to run for 13 issues. But it will always keep its gates open and there is always room for one more soul!

How different is the creative process for you when coming up with the comic as opposed to writing music? Which of the two do you enjoy the most? What came first, the music or the comic book?

It all comes very easy if I’m tuned in. I can wake up from a dream and in that 5 seconds between waking up and sleep I can see and hear a full song or story. It is pretty much always both. You don’t look at a movie with the sound off. I don’t write a story with the sound off either.

I enjoyed the album, it was definitely a good debut, but I couldn’t help but think that perhaps it would have been even better if you actually got to work in a band environment. Somewhere where you can exchange ideas, jam together and let other people refine some of your ideas (or do the same thing to other people’s work). Is this something that you aspire to in the future? To have a real band? Or would you prefer your current method of working on your own and why?

Bands are tough because they are like a marriage. It’s tough to stay with someone you can have sex with, now try four dudes in a room fighting about their parts not being loud enough. I like my vision to not be stepped on because someone wants to take a 30 minute solo or play a 10 minute drum fill. That being said, I love working with great songwriters and great producers. Because they are there to write great songs and tell great stories. That is what stands the test of time.

How did you end up working with Curt Cuomo and Bob Kulick as producers? Both are well known and acclaimed producers / musicians / songwriters so how did you come into contact with Bob and Curt and how was working with them?

They both have very different styles but were both very professional. I learned a lot, not only about music but also the business from these seasoned professionals. I heard KISS’ Carnival Of Souls and just had to write with Curt! I called up everyone I knew in the business and wouldn’t take no for an answer. After working with Curt for a few months, Axl Rose and Desmond Child were both in the studio I was in. It got a bit crowded and I had to go to another studio to get the CD done. I think the world of Curt but I needed to complete my vision. That’s where Bob Kulick came to the rescue. I went to Gene Simmons’ Asshole CD release party in Hollywood and saw Bob Kulick. I again knew this was the path I needed to take to complete this vision. I didn’t take no for an answer and Bob was gracious enough to work with me. He taught me about being professional. He is a Grammy Award winning producer and has survived for decades in an industry that leaves carcasses along the roadside everyday!

How was working in a recording studio overall for you as an experience? Tell us a bit about the production process and where the album was recorded?

I recorded the record in three different studios, all in L.A. Elias Arts, Woodland Ranch (Curt Cuomo) and Office Studios (Bob Kulick). At Elias Arts (a commercial making studio house) I was able to use thousands of sound samples. There I learned a lot about engineering. At Curt’s I learned more about writing a great song. At Bob’s I learned more about making a great CD and a product.

You are or used to be on the Markosia label. Just recently I read that you actually split with this label. Do you care to tell us a bit more about this situation? Why did you leave? Weren’t you satisfied with how things were run and do you have any prospects for the future as far as a new label is concerned?

I am still with Markosia for the extent of our contract. Which is for 3 issues and a graphic novel of Carnival Of Souls. The CD is also with Markosia Music and contains a digital comic book version of issue one. They have contacted me and asked me to stay with them. We are talking but I want my vision to be taken worldwide. I have never been accused of small thinking. My main concern is that I get the Carnival Of Souls out on the road and bring it from town to town and country to country! That’s a big dream and it is going to take a big company. I am currently being distributed through Perris Records. Bob and I will be talking to record companies this month. You can be with 3 or 4 companies this day at one time. Each serves a different function, as long as they all work together, great things can be achieved.

Are there actually any plans for live shows and / or complete tours? If so then who will be the musicians joining you on stage and what will you be playing (obviously vocals but will you also do guitar or bass or…)?

I will be playing guitar (lead/ rhythm) and singing lead. I have a few guys in mind. I was just over in London at a KISS Expo and met a great drummer named Pauly. He’s my guy. I think the world of him. I also have been talking to a great guitarist and good friend J.D. Bradshaw.

What can we expect from live shows? Will it be more theatrical like for example KISS or Alice do / used to do or will it be more back to the basics?

I want it as balls out as possible! I want it to be big as I can make it! Ringling Brothers comes to mind! This is what I have to achieve. It’s tough to start out with a bigger show, but this is the task in front of me. I love the big Rock Show!

What would be your ideal touring partners or touring situation be? Any bands which you would absolutely love to tour with?

KISS, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper and Aerosmith.

Last, thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions and are there any final words you would like to say to the readers of Metal Temple?

Thank You for keeping Rock music alive and thriving! Keep Rocking!! Don’t let some guy in a suit say, Check this out, Beck is cool and this is the latest Rap tune, ain’t it great? Fuck Them!!! Continue to make up your own mind. You’re the Best!!!


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