Fort Worth, TX heavy rockers Lockjaw have recently unveiled a video for their latest single, “Living in My Head.” The group is currently working on new music. We caught up with guitarist Jeff Ogle asking to list five things he learned recording new music during the COVID-19 pandemic.
01) WE LEARNED TO WRITE SEPARATELY. Early 2019 we decided to really jump back into Lockjaw headfirst and record this album, but we had to figure out what players were going to be able to tour and which were not. We unfortunately had to replace our vocalist and guitarist who had been a part of the line up for 15-17 years. We knew our singer wouldn’t be able to tour one the record was done, so we decided before writing that we would go separate ways and allow a new vocalist to be in the writing process from the start. We recruited Joe Ortiz of Jacknife in Dallas. Very shortly after, everything started shutting down due to the first wave of Covid in early 2020. We had not totally solidified the relationship with Joe yet and with everything so uncertain, I just began writing. After about 5-6 months I was 10-12 songs into the process and started sharing the ideas to Scott our Drummer, and sending files back and forth. It was really a learning experience for both of us, but I think we learned we could flesh out really cool song ideas by just sending files back and forth and each of us working respectively on the parts. I would lay out guitar riff ideas to drums using midi samples. It really works well for mapping out the song idea, parts, timing ect. I found that when I was thinking about the whole song, drums included, I would write the guitar parts differently than if I was just riffing. So it was more to the point, and much for efficient to get the job done. After creating the initial idea, I would send the drum tracks to Scott and he would edit them to Humanize the drums and I would go back and redo the guitars. It was just revision after revision until we got to a place everyone liked.
02) WE BUILT A STUDIO- During 2019/2020 I spent a lot of time working on my studio here in Fort Worth. It started as a rehearsal space and office but quickly transformed into a fully functioning studio. We are set up to record drums, guitars, vocals, or anything else for that matter. I found that recording at my place significantly took away some of the nerves I had as a player. In previous situations we would demo the songs and go into the studio on someone’s dime and it was a constant grind against the clock. It always felt rushed and stressful. I really enjoy laying out the drums and guitars and taking my time, and revising until I get the perfect idea formulated. I think that process also helps me get the idea or riffs really tight, so by the time we are ready to record the track, its much tighter and ready for the final pass.
03) WE GOT A PRODUCER- I think the biggest jump we have made is to hire our producer, Chris Collier, who has worked with acts such as Korn, Prong, Tim Lambesis, George Lynch, KMX, Ray Luzier and so on. We met through a management company we were working with at the time. Chris and I really hit it off, on style and the overall vision of what we were trying to accomplish. We would get the pre production songs either done or parts done and send them to Chris and he really helped us mold the arrangements, timing, tighten performances, and create the sound we were looking for. The devil is always in the details and he really has a knack for pulling out the less obvious ideas with each song and really making them the best they can be. Chris really helped me see just how much could be done remotely when we started recording vocals. We had him take over the session from his place in Las Vegas, as we were recording vocals and it was just like having in the room, or control room. He and our vocalist communicated, recorded performances, and perfected them, as Chris would point out good takes or even weaker ones that got us to the final product much faster.
04) WE LEARNED TO LOVE RECORDING- Recording music was always a love hate for me as I mentioned before, but I really learned to love the process. We started getting together again after a few months and started passing ideas back and forth and really becoming this new unit. We have learned so much about each other working like this. We have our 6th member Chris (Producer), who has our back creatively and won’t let us slip something in there that isn’t going to be worthy of the vision. We have learned to communicate ideas and compromise when ideas don’t work and it has really been eye opening and fulfilling. Being able to say no this isn’t good enough, or no that part sucks, or that performance isn’t your best has become less stressful. Everyone has the same goal in mind, and that’s to make the best music we can.
05) WE MISSED PLAYING LIVE- I started Lockjaw over 2 decades ago, granted we took a few years for family and careers, its always been what I loved and was determined to do. From day 1, we wanted to melt faces live. It was to go to the club, slay everyone at a show, and party all night and do it all over. Since then we have taken our live show very seriously. From lighting, staging, video production, sound, everything we do is to captivate our fans and give them the best experience. I love it. We have played a few shows since we came back this year, and its been amazing. We host the Ridglea Metalfest, at this awesome theater in Fort Worth, called the Ridglea Theater. They have 3 rooms with one main room that holds about 1200. Its amazing sound and lighting, in this huge room with huge vibes. We did an awesome show this NYE and had it packed out with some awesome bands joining us. We are getting some tour dates booked slowly and look forward to playing all these new songs for everyone.
A FINAL NOTE- Lockjaw has grown more in the past year than we did in the last 10. We are so thankful to all our fans that have continued to support us, and all the new fans exploding on our social media and youtube page daily. Its really shocking honestly. So thanks for all the kind words and encouragement!