We get to know the glam metal band heating up the Bahrain music scene
Time Out Bahrain staff
We chat with Rob ‘Jungle’ Jennings and the guys from glam metal rockers Hot Laser one of the bands heating up the island’s music scene.
Tell us a bit about the band? RJ - I founded the band along with Joe ‘Danger’ Dalton (bassist). I was looking to form a new rock band after the members of my band Daggers for Glory had to leave for work. We knew each other from Gaelic Football and the band was founded at a great party in the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. I knew Ash ‘Tray’ (drums) and Rob ‘Rock’ (lead guitar/vocals) through previous shows and bands. With regards to ages, we are around the 30 mark. 30 years of life experience to sing and play about.
What are your musical backgrounds? RJ - I have a colourful musical background. I was taught to play piano and violin at a young age and then at 18, I taught myself electric guitar. Once I had learned the basics, I started singing for fun. At school though, our choir master didn’t like my singing style so I was kicked out.
One of Rob Rock’s early influences was Prince for his magical musical writing and explosive stage performances and charisma. As a late teenager heavy metal made up a big part of his world with bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica alongside punk bands like Dead Kennedy’s and The Ramones. Now Rob is into The Killers, Kings Of Leon and Paramore. Dalton dabbled with Irish folk music as a kid playing the tin whistle. He says: ‘Though I tried the guitar and the drums on occasion, most of my playing was air guitar until I joined Hot Laser and took up the bass. It’s never too late to try new things!’as long as possible.
You list your main influence as glam rock, that’s kind of old school, where did you first start to hear it? RJ - Good question. What you listen to as a child has a lot of influence at a subconscious level. I was born in the 80s so guess my brain absorbed the fun and melody, big hair and big guitar solos. When the Darkness released their album it definitely re-ignited my passion for hair/glam metal. In my opinion no other genre comes close.
Do you have any particular favourites? RJ - My favourite bands are quite mainstream, but quality. Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden (I challenged Bruce Dickson to a fencing match and won), Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Motely Crue, The Darkness, Skid Row. Ash is a big fan of math metal, but none of us really know what this is…
Rob Rock – The Killers, Kings Of Leon etc. It’s got to have a melodic vocal line and a rocking guitar solo.
Dalton – I like bands like The Hives, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and some Irish-influenced punk bands Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly.
What are your faves to play? RJ – We try to avoid covers because writing and playing our own songs is so fulfilling from an artistic angle, but during a show we’ll add a few covers to mix things up such as ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey, a tune from Kings of Leon, and more recently, to test my vocal range, ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry.
When I’m in the mood, I love playing and singing ballads on the piano. And I know Ash likes to play challenging and fast drum tracks.
Rob – I like to play acoustic songs like Jeff Buckley.
Joe – I like to play punk songs on the bass like The Stooges.
You’re planning to release an album of your own stuff this year, who’s writing and can you give us some clues what it will sound like? RJ – All the band members take part in creating our songs, I usually lay down the foundations along with Rob Rock. We have 10 songs written now and ready to record. Variety is obviously important; we have a mix of different tempos and key signatures. Firstly, we are going to release a debut single and video of our flagship track self titled ‘Hot Laser’. Then we’ll work on the album. It will have a very rich sound full of drums, rocking bass, elaborate guitar solos, synth and vocal harmonies. It is so difficult to pin down a favourite song, but look out for the tracks ‘I Want to Live’ (love ballad) and ‘Daisy Chain’ (punk style).