J:dead Interview - "Infacted Recordings and I have a very exciting year ahead of us with J:dead"
Updated: Jul 30
J:dead is a UK based solo project from Jay Taylor, live drummer of EBM/Synthpop bands such as Tactical Sekt, Tyske Ludder and Harmjoy. For the last 16 years Jay has frequented many stages across the world performing in his own signature style of aggressive, hard hitting acoustic noise to the forefront of electronic acts. Now, with the creation of J:dead he is certainly a newcomer to watch out for! With elements of 80's and 90's electro mixed together with a metal edge when those angry vocals kick in, it's quite a tasty mix, a five star meal of sound that is served to the ears.
J:dead is whatever it needs to be: without labels, stereotypes, scene driven boxes or goals other than to inspire others. J:dead's ambition is to make others feel alive by listening and feeling the creation of someone losing themselves. Providing emotional and lyric driven tracks with a dark synth-pop vibe, inspired by a range of artists and genres.
J:dead announced signing to Infacted recordings in November 2020 alongside the release of the single titled Feeding on Me on December 19th. The single release will also include remixes from Grendel and Tactical Sekt, two acts which are close to the heart of Jay, as they were the first acts he played in (Tactical Sekt) and alongside (Grendel) when he first started playing live shows.
It was a pleasure to catch up with Jay and find out more about the J:dead project and the upcoming single...
Q. Hi Jay and welcome to the unscene.
Thank you for having me, it is a pleasure!
Q. Your long awaited solo single Feeding on me is due for release this month (December 19th), can you give us some insight on it's development and how you would describe it?
I have been working on the album for quite some time now and Feeding on me was one of the first songs I wrote specifically for the J:dead project. I have been writing my own material for many years, but never did anything with it so the creation of J:dead is very much the exploration of me putting a lot of my existing work into a new form . The song was first made about 8 years ago and like most of my early creations was written on an acoustic guitar. For this track and the whole album I have been working with some good friends of mine at Motel-Music for the final production (http://www.motel-music.de). They have been fantastic to work with and really listened to what I required as an artist. The song is about jealousy and how this emotion can feed on you and all your other emotions. This theme in terms of lyrical content is very much in tune with the rest of the album. And again, very much like some other tracks which are very much vocally driven tracks. Like most other artists I struggle to describe my sound into a box (probably to avoid the stereotypes of which ultimately I fit into anyway). But it is safe to say this is a clear synthpop dance track with some darker undertones.
Q. So, with a new single coming out this must mean a debut album to shortly follow?
Yes! Finally! The full album will be out in early 2021 and it hosts 11 original tracks. There will also be a run of physical copies which will include 3 remixes and 1 Featuring track not included on the digital version.
Q. You already have a wonderful track that was released back in December 2019 titled Haunt, will this be making the cut for the new album at all?
Yes I decided to keep this song for the album as well as it was remastered again. I am really happy with the new master as it brings out those darker tones. I always treated HAUNT as a soft launch to get the ball rolling with the project. But it fits extremely well on the album and I realize with a soft launch others may have not heard this track before.
Q. Were their any reason(s) for the year long hiatus for the Feeding on me single launch since the release of Haunt? Hopefully there were no major setbacks to contend with?
With the world how it is at the moment I am very lucky to say that my personal and musical life hasn't taken an impact to cause me any financial detriments (unlike many friends and family who are and have been suffering greatly recently). But that's not to say that the pandemic has not altered my timelines. I went on holiday to New Zealand in Feb and got stuck out there for a month longer than expected which put a halt on any music creation. Then once I returned my time had to be refocused on certain things like my day job getting extremely busy. The main delay was actually my own perspective on things. I wanted everything right and in place before releasing anything further (the right label partner, videos, marketing etc., etc.) and this took more time than I thought. However, I am happy I waited as between Infacted Recordings and I, we have a very exciting year ahead of us with J:dead.
Q. It's awesome to see your old friends Tactical Sekt and Grendel doing remixes for the single release, I can only imagine how much it means to you to have these acts give their spin on your music.
In short, I wouldn't be the person I am today without these two individuals (Anthony at TS and Joss at Grendel) . Their music and friendship started a catalyst for my whole life and not just in music itself. Anthony asked me out of the blue if I wanted to play a show with him whilst I served him coffee at the Starbucks I worked at part time, and the snowball effect happened from this very moment. Both of them are a massive inspiration and influence to my own music, so to have them create their own take on my song is a heart-warming feeling. I love both of the tracks they did and they both really listened to the core emphasis (the lyrics and vocals) to create something great!
Q. After being a longstanding live drummer for many years with various bands and acts, how does it feel to now be writing your own solo music, and then to be signed by the German label Infacted Recordings?
Like I mentioned above, I have always created my own music - but I have previously had a bad habit of creating a riff/lead line/melody, loving it, and then never doing anything with it. It has been a fulfilling experience building all of these snippets together from the last decade and creating this album. These are melodies that have filled a large part of my adult life and at times I feel this album is the sound-track to my very own Truman show haha! It is a very empowering feeling doing this as a solo project but at the same time feels like there is nowhere to hide. However I have had amazing support from lots of very talented people and of course Torben at Infacted is in that group. I think I fit well as an Infacted Artist and feel very honored to be in such great company as a debut newcomer.
Q. You have filmed two music video's for each of your releases so far, is this something that you directly get involved with personally and if so how do the idea's come together?
The concept for the Haunt video was done by me and the focus at this stage of the project was more so on the song content as I didn't feel like I had finalized the "concept" for the J:dead project at that stage. The song is about emotions and truths being pushed down, which ultimately come back to Haunt you. The content idea for this video came very quickly to me and I had the support from my friend (Pete who featured in the video alongside me) and my brother (Rhys who filmed the content) to get the final product. I have some minimal experience in video editing and media so I completed the video myself with a few learning curves on the way. In regards to the Feeding on me video, well this was a completely different ball game. I worked with Mark Wickson at Mondo Cheapo productions and he took lead on the whole project. My only request was that now the project had a concept and the track was vocally driven the video needed to have shots of me singing in it. Mark and his team did everything else and I am very happy with his work and results!
Q. I'm sure you will be hitting the stage at some point once the Covid-19 lockdowns are lifted? Do you have any future shows in the pipeline or being discussed?
So I have just started discussions on shows for 2021. Nothing can be confirmed at this point in time but without a doubt J:dead will be performing in 2021 and like with all my other shows I am planning for them to be high in energy and something everyone watching can feel they are a part of!
Q. Your live shows as a drummer are quite intense and the aggression and passion certainly shows on stage. Who would you say has been the most influential drummer and inspiration for you? And if you could pick anyone from music past or present to play percussion for J:dead who would it be?
It is strange to say but in terms of live presence there are no drummers of which i admire that can say had an influence. My influence more so comes from front men/women and even more so being a personal fan of live shows. In Tactical Sekt we always played to the audience reaction. They get crazy - we get crazy. I grew up with the metal scene being my main go to for shows, and I remember how I felt when I could see the energy and adrenaline flow through these musicians on stage. Humans are simple in the fact that we feed on energy that we see and that's why I have always had that urge on stage to be as energetic as possible. I probably have 5 drummers who really make me say "wow" when I hear their work and most are from the metal or prog scenes. However in terms of who I think would be a great fit with the J:dead song style and stage performance would be - Michael Schack . That man has some serious energy, and MAJOR groove in his playing style.
Q. It has been a pleasure to have you with us here at the unscene for this insightful chat, any final words you want to share?
Thank you so much for having me. I hope you all enjoy the new music from J:dead and please get it touch to share your feedback or where you would like to see us play live in 2021!
You can pre order the new single Feeding on me (release date December 19th) with remixes from Tactical Sekt and Grendal from Infacted Recordings Bandcamp page:
And be sure to check out the J:dead social media platforms:
J:dead teaser trailer for the new single and music video:
The music video for the track titled HAUNT: