An Interview With j and the 9s

j and the 9s are a hard hitting, glam punk rock band from brooklyn, new york that breed together rock and roll riffs, the raw sound and agility of punk, lyrical spontaneity, glam visuals, a rock flute, and a very interactive stage show.

often referenced as a mix of some of the most influential rockers of the 70’s: led zeppelin, iggy pop and the runaways,  j and the 9s strip back the beast that music once was: true rock n’ roll that is not so politely thrown at you on a dripping, glittering platter. they have toured both nationally and internationally. 

 notable credits: warped tour li 2014, cbgb fest 2014, cmj 2014/15, sxsw 2015-2017, russia 2015: moscow and vladivostok (including a performance at the v-rox festival for over 5,000 people), zandari festa: seoul, korea 2016 (and other korean venues), nyc’s most prestigious venues as well as smaller festivals/conferences/venues up and down the east coast and through the midwest. their music video for song “ball and chain” aired on mtv russia, as well as 30 stations throughout the u.s. for 3 months via a reverbnation/bongo boy t.v. opportunity. 2015: they were bumblefoot’s backing band for his only sxsw performance, and later in the year shared the stage with love psychedelico (japan), hani el khatib, and yb (korea). 2016: direct support for mumiy troll. russia’s most famous rock band.

their 2nd ep “the terrible twos” will be released in the summer of 2017. 

 J and the 9S

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Ans.We’re j and the 9s from Brooklyn, NY. An original rock band with a flute, crazy stage show and lots of glitter. We were recently named one of the “Top 45 Up and Coming Rock Bands To Check Out In 2017” (in the world), and have just released a new single/music video called “Love To Be”. Members: j9: Vocals/Flute, KOJO: Bass/Backing Vocals, Beatz: Drums/Hype man.

  1. Q: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?

Ans: Glam punk hard rock with a flute. (Sorry, we answered in 7!)


  1. Q: What’s your motto or the advice you live by? 

Ans.j9: Take risks and always be true to yourself.

Beatz: If it’s free it’s for me!

KOJO: Live, love, laugh/roll with the punches.


  1. Q: You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process? 

Ans: j9: I improvise vocally and musically a lot. I can be inspired by a word, or a situation, but lots of times I’ll wake up with melodies in my head or have ones that’ll pop into my head randomly throughout the day. I have so many 30 second recordings on my phone it’s unreal. My favorite part of the process is deciphering the words I’m actually saying, cause a lot of times I have no idea what’s coming out!


KOJO: It’s never-ending. The process never stops. The HARDEST part is recording. Because you have to pick ONE way to play a song that can never change.


Beatz: Everywhere and everything–life! From relationships, to our musical influences…every facet of life really. My favorite part is performing a new song to an audience for the 1st time. I love seeing their reactions and getting their feedback.


  1. Q: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to sing as a career or just advice about careers in general? 

Ans: j9: Being a vocalist is extra tough because the sound is coming from you. Not from an external instrument. Which means that it’s easier to take things more personally than if you were playing an actual instrument. So, learn as much as you can, take lessons if you can afford it, and practice and work as hard as you can. Perform as much as you can as well. Whether it be at an open mic, a show, or for a few friends in your house. Be open to constructive criticism as well. It’s really important to get helpful feedback/insight from people so you can grow and be the best you can be.


  1. Q: When and why did you start playing? 

Ans: j9: I started playing the piano @ 4 years old. My older siblings were taking lessons at the time and I was completely drawn to it. I couldn’t help it. I took to it and excelled at it so quickly that my siblings stopped taking lessons cause they were mad I was surpassing them! I began learning different instruments in the years following.

KOJO: I wanted to play in my high school jazz band, and the tuba wasn’t an acceptable instrument.

Beatz: I bought my first drum set when I was 13 years old with my own money and I never looked back.

  1. Q:  What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous? 

j9: You can do it!! It always turns out better than you think. And, most importantly breathe!!

-KOJO: Sounds cliche, but you simply cannot be afraid to fail.

Beatz: Don’t quit, stay with it.

  1. Q: Tell us about your new release. 

 Ans. It’s our 2nd release, but the 1st since 2013! We are very excited to share it as it’s been a long time coming. We have recently released a single/music video from it (that you can buy on iTunes, or bandcamp, listen to on our website: or watch the video on our YouTube page:, are planning another single release/video from it this month and release the full ep in July.

  1. Q: If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?

Ans.j9:  There are so many, it’s hard to whittle it down. For me, it would have to be albums: every Led Zeppelin album, Royal Blood (Royal Blood), White Stripes (Elephant), Iggy & The Stooges (Raw Power), Radiohead (Ok Computer and In Rainbows).

KOJO: There’s always something new that grabs my attention, but Say Anything’s “ADMIT IT!!!” and Twelve Foot Ninja’s “Coming For You” are undying to my ear.

Beatz: “I Got 5 On It”- Luniz, “Hits From The Bong”- Cypress Hill, “That’s Life”- Frank Sinatra, “Life’s Been Good”- Joe Walsh, “No Weapon”- Fred Hammond, “3 Little Birds”- Bob Marley, “We Are All We Have”- The Casualties, “Slaughtered”- Pantera, “Black Label”- Lamb of God”, “She”- Green Day, “Nick’s Dream”- Eddie Palmieri version, “Solo”- Puya, and “Rock Show”- Blink-182

  1. Q: What was the first tune(s) you learned?

Ans: j9: “Hey Jude” on the guitar: The Beatles

KOJO:” Johnny B Goode”: Chuck Berry

Beatz: “The Beautiful People”: Marilyn Manson

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and you can listen/purchase our music on our website, ITunes, and Spotify.