In our October 2016 issue we took you “Behind The Kit” with Jack E. Roth… Working musicians are hard to catch up with sometimes which is good for them, it means the gigs keep on coming! We didn’t quite get to finish up our Q & A with Jack in the October issue so we’re going to wrap it up here for you.
We saw this beast for the first time at KISS Night Las Vegas 5, he has so much charisma you can’t help but be captivated by his presence when he’s on stage. A power-house rock drummer with a style of playing that combines solidity and finesse with an unmistakable pocket.
Hi there Jack! As promised we didn’t forget about you… it’s been such a crazy couple of months for the scene let’s get started and dig right in with some questions…
You’ve played with so many incredible artists, I bet you have quite a few tales you could share..how did you get started in drumming, and what is your best touring story?
Thank you. It’s been a long road, for sure! As far back as I can I remember, I was always pounding on the back seat, couches, the dog… whatever I could find! I got into Drum Corps in middle school where I learned to read music formally and started really focusing on rudiments. Set-wise, as a kid I remember throwing on headphones in my room and playing to whatever was on the radio. There was no You Tube, or even CD’s yet (what?), there were like 5 FM stations here in Vegas… so you played to whatever was on! It’s funny, because all of that variety growing up, from bands like Van Halen to Prince to Queen to P. Funk, actually ended up really helping me get way more gigs later in my career!
As far as “war-stories”, there are so many (and most are so corny)! There are few I really can’t share, as to protect the innocent. But I can tell you one great gig story which comes to mind. It was a 3ALIGN show, here at home, opening for the Guns and Roses residency at the Hard Rock. GnR?!??! What a thrill, especially in my hometown! A DREAM GIG which exceeded my every expectation! The kicker was that we got to do part of it over a Halloween weekend, which was like a dark, twisted Fellini film back there! Costumes, weirdness, booze… so much fun!! Those guys were all totally cool… lots of late night shenanigans, hot sauce and otherwise! I’ll leave it at that.
Whoa now that is an awesome story… G n R right here at home!
Is there anyone on your bucket list that you haven’t played with that you’d like to?
Of course! The list would go for miles… McCartney or Ringo (obviously), Eddie Van Halen, Trent Reznor, Paul Stanley, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Mike Ness, I don’t know… just so many. But, I mean when you boil it all down, I’m really just a huge music fan, who actually gets to get up and live it every now and then, it’s crazy! Not a lot of people can say that. It’s all still pretty incredible, something I never lose sight of.
If you could put together your “dream” band to play for one gig … Who would you call and who where would you play?
Tricky question!!! I know people want to hear big names or some crazy lineup, but MY dream gig would be, to grab a handful of old friends (no names here), set up old-school, and play a pool party / kegger in someone’s backyard! Bust out all the old Van Halen, Maiden, Cult, Dio all that stuff… really get the neighbors nuts! Dead serious though… of the all decades and long miles and endless hours, the big shows are always super-cool, but those friends and those gigs where you play just to play, especially with your best buds, are by far the most special!
That would be one hell of a party!
Who were your early influencers?
I was a huge Tommy Lee / Peter Criss disciple, I mean every lick! Alex Van Halen, Neil Peart, Charlie Benante, then Vinnie Paul… another huge influence early on was Robert Sweet. Perfect 2 and 4, Hat chirps always on the 1/4’s, Always swinging for the fences! At the time, no one hit harder. He’s awesome!
Do you sing or play other instruments?
I sing a little and play just enough guitar to be dangerous… and Kazoo.
Hey the Kazoo is making a comeback! Just saw a clip the other day with Doc Ellis and a Kazoo. (lol)
Tell us a little bit about your kit…
I’ve been lucky enough to be an AYOTTE DRUMS artist for almost 20 years! They are a custom drum company out of Canada, who literally make the finest drums I’ve ever heard. This particular kit feels like an extension of me, like my right hand! In fact, I’ve actually had the same drum set since the beginning of my deal. No need to have ever switched them out, which is ridiculous! It’s got dings, blood, spit, chunks of god-knows-what literally embedded in the paint and I wouldn’t have it any other way! My kit is all Maple with 10 x 9 and 12 x 10 rack toms, a 16 x 14 floor tom and a 16 to 18” gong bass. It has a 22×18 kick and 14×5.5 snare, both maple as well. I also endorse Aquarian Drumheads and Gibraltar Hardware, both of whom I’ve been with for almost two decades as well! I use Vic Firth 2BW sticks, DW 9000 pedals and a mix of Paiste Signatures and 2002’s, depending on the gig.
Do you have any gigs coming up? Where can our readers see you in action? Where is the best place for our reader to keep up with you?
I always try to have stuff happening, it’s crazy! Right now, I have a new project that just came out on iTunes called, “The Dark Holidays”, which will be playing a few shows in LA and Vegas around New Year’s. I’m also working on securing a showroom for a Vitntage-Vegas style rock review that is happening, 3ALIGN is set to come off hiatus in 2017, which is always a lot of fun and I have a bunch of local shows coming up with The Wedge Brothers and Kelly Sheehan & The Strays, who are both fantastic cover bands… I guess I’m just trying to keep up with Danny Robert! LOL!!
10/29/16: THE STRAYS (The Draft House, Las Vegas, NV)
11/1 – 12/28: RECKLESS IN VEGAS at Caesar’s Palace (Every Tuesday & Wednesday night, 9pm)
Keep up with Jack for upcoming shows and appearances at:
Thanks so much Jack! You have some great history we’re gonna’ have to circle back to you again soon and dig a little deeper. We’ll see you soon onstage in Vegas!
Featured Image Photo Credit: Kevin Lastovica All images provided by artist.