Drummer and original member Jimmy Lozano – Jet Jaguar
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Birgitt Schwanke at GerMusica PR for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Pride and Joy Music for the promo pictures of the band.
Jet Jaguar comes the city of Cancun located in the Mayan region in Mexico and has been active since 2014. Prior to the release of their debut album the guys released an EP titled ZERO HOUR in 2016 and now it is time for the debut album titled ENDLESS NIGHTS to be unleashed. ENDLESS NIGHTS is released by the label Pride & Joy Music in July and I had the pleasure to talk to the drummer and original member Jimmy Lozano. This is a very short interview and I didn’t have much time but we talked about the bands past, where the band name comes from, and how it was to win the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle back in 2017. Besides that, we of course talked about the new album on which the guys sings in both Spanish and English. If you like melodic metal you have to check out Jet Jaguar.
Hi guys, how are you doing today? Hope you’re healthy and safe, what’s the status regarding COVID-19 in Mexico at the moment?
Hello, first of all thank you very much for taking the time to interview us. The COVID in Mexico hit us hard because we do not have the human nor financial resources to cope with the pandemic, but we remain strong and hope that it will pass quickly. Fortunately none of us has been diagnosed with the virus, so we are safe.
Let’s take it back from the beginning, I know the band was formed back in 2014 but who is the bandleader and what’s the story behind the band name? Does the name have any special meaning to the band?
We have the philosophy that there is no leader in Jet Jaguar, all members contribute in different areas and we are all equal. The band was founded by Sergio Quintero (Guitar), Jimmy Lozano (Drums), Jorge Ramirez (Bass). Then Maxx Mendoza (Vox) joined in 2015 and Nehuen Pacheco (Guitar) completed the current lineup in 2017.
Originally the name of the band came from a Godzilla video game; Jet Jaguar is a character from the Godzilla universe and upon knowing about him, we felt that the name was perfect for a Heavy Metal band. Later we felt that we had to find a deeper meaning for the name and so we remembered that in this region of Mexico the jaguar has a mystical and important meaning for our Mayan ancestors. So it kind of has a double meaning.
What did media think of the 2016 EP ZERO HOUR and how was it to tour through Mexico the following year?
Fortunately Zero Hour received very positive reviews, especially our lead single “Rompiendo El Acero”, our first song in Spanish. We believe that people really liked it because of the lyrics.
Our first tour was something incredible and at the same time hard. Earning yourself a name and a reputation in the world of Heavy Metal in Mexico is very difficult. As an emerging band, nobody supports you, every investment comes out of your own pocket and the sacrifice is very big, but if you really love what you do, none of that matters, you keep on chasing the dream, and hopefully the rewards will come, as long as you work hard enough.
Which bands have influenced your music through the years?
Something that characterizes the band is that we not only listen to Metal, of course our great influences are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept, Skull Fist, Enforcer, Motley Crue, Dokken and all those great bands. But we also try to keep an open mind listening to other genres in order to become better songwriters; we analyze musical structures of artists such as ABBA, Madonna, Daft Punk, Michael Jackson and other great artists not exclusively of Metal.
What was it like to win the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle back in 2017?
It was fulfilling a dream. For us, playing at the biggest Metal festival was already something amazing and winning the contest was incredible for us; That was the moment when we realized that if you work hard enough, nothing is impossible. We practiced every detail of the show, every movement, every beat, trying to achieve a millimeter perfection, for hours and hours in a row until we had the sense that we were going to win. We had the “all or Nothing” mindset. Thanks to Wacken we were invited to large festivals back in Mexico, like Corona Hell and Heaven or Tecate Mexico Metal Fest.
I think you were the first Hispanic-American band that won the contest, congratulations! What do you think of the festival, was it nice to perform there 2018?
Thank you very much. It was an honor for us to represent Hispanic America and our country at the festival. Being in Wacken was like being in Disneyland, seeing all those bands that influenced us sharing backstage with us, seeing Metal legends walking next to us, sharing your culture with bands from all around the world thanks to music, it’s a very nice feeling. We made great friends and we got the chance to meet really nice people.
Last year the band performed at one of the largest festivals titled Costa Rica Grito Latino Fest, what kind of festival is that and how many visitors were there?
Grito Latino is the largest festival in Central America, many people from countries like Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, and more South American countries gather at the festival. It is a festival where you find many different genres, we were one of the few Heavy Metal bands. Although Metal is not that strong in Central America, we were lucky that many fans of the genre attended the festival and listened to us.
When did you start to work on material to the new album and who in the band writes the music and lyrics?
The composition of the album started in the winter of 2017. Production started in spring of 2018, from there we had to pause it due to budget problems and then resumed in autumn 2019. The songs were written by all of us. What we did was rent a house on the outskirts of the city and we lived there for a couple of months. We had established schedules, to eat, for exercising, sleep and the rest of the time was for writing the album.
Jet Ranger (Lyric Video)
You write your lyrics on both Spanish and English why and what inspire you to write lyrics?
We write in English because we are aware that in order to belong to the International Metal market, you must write in English. We want to compete in the big league so we have to adapt. On the other hand, we must not forget the roots and where we come from. Inspiration comes from everywhere; personal experiences, movies, games, history, characters. Race Or Die was written after experiencing the earthquake of September 19th in Mexico City. It was something extreme and dangerous, as soon as we got to safety, the riff came out of nowhere, that same day.
In 2018 the band released the singles “R.O.D (Race Or Die)” and “Up To The Top” which also are featured on the album, how come you wanted to add some older songs on the album?
Actually the original plan was to record the entire album back in 2018, but due to budget problems we had to record those songs first. We decided to release them earlier so that people would have new material to listen to while we finished recording the rest of the album.
Why has it taken you so long to release the album which is the bands debut album?
There were several factors, we felt that our debut album had to be perfect in every way. We worked every detail, every guitar solo, every drum fill, every word, every riff, always thinking in favor of the songs. We did a lot of demos to test and experiment with the songs. If we felt that something was wrong or simply did not express what we felt, we discarded it or tried again from another perspective. We also made several mixes until we found the right engineer who turned out to be the Swedish Engineer Henrik Udd. We did not want to speed up any process, sometimes you have to be patient to get the best result.
How would you like to describe what kind of music Jet Jaguar plays?
We always describe Jet Jaguar music as classic Heavy Metal refreshed by our youth. We are fans of everything about the 80s, but the reality is that we are in our early twenties so we have to play what we like and adapt it for the new generations.
Blinding Lights (Official Video)
If you would give some examples of bands that Jet Jaguar is musically related to which band would you mention? The bio states that fans of Judas Priest, Hammerfall, Metallica, Dokken, Accept and Iron Maiden would like your music, that’s quite a wide range of bands and genres..
That is something we like about Jet Jaguar, we managed to cover different sub-genres without losing the essence of the band, we feel that this is something that works in our favor. The band is just beginning to find its own identity, and there are many things to live and many songs to write; we think that the important thing is to play what you like and keep Heavy Metal alive.
The band got about 70 000 likes so far on your facebook site, that’s quite a lot, do you think you’re going to gain a lot of new fans with the release of ENDLESS NIGHTS?
The number of FB likes exploded back when we won Wacken. Before touring Europe we had like 25k likes on FB. Hopefully yes, we want to gain new fans all over the world, but our main goal is to create an impact and a great impression on those new fans when they hear the new album.
Before the pandemic hit the world the band was ready to tour through Latin America and Europe, but what happens now that the world is pretty much going through a lock down? Any plans on re-schedule the tour did you have any dates already?
We have Shows in Mexico at the end of the year, let’s hope that everything goes well and the pandemic will be controlled so that we can return to Europe in the spring of next year.
No Surrender (Audio Video)
How eager is the band to head out on tour meeting fans and promoting your music at the moment?
We just can’t wait anymore. We started working on this album 2 and a half years ago and we are eager to share it with all our fans, go out on tour, meet new bands, meet new fans, playing at festivals again, we are like mad dogs on a leash right now.
What would you like to say to the ones who haven’t heard the music of Jet Jaguar yet?
Try it out, You Wont Regret it.
Well, my time is up now and I’d like to thank you so much for taking the making the interview. I wish you all the best in the future and congratulations to a great debut album in ENDLESS NIGHTS. Do you have any final words of wisdom to share with the fans and readers?
Thank you very much for the interview and for your time, greetings from Mexico for you and all the readers. don’t forget to follow us on our social media: