CJ Sleez, vocalist for Punk Rock group CJ Sleez from Toronto, Canada.
CJ Sleez Interview
How is 2012 starting off for you CJ?
So far, so good. Thanks Babe.
Can you tell me about the process of recording the latest CJ Sleez album?
The main differences in the recording of this album compared to my two previous CDs are the double-kick drum, which gives it a bit more of a metal edge and the layered vocals which incorporate both melody and harmony. I chose Rob Sanzo to once again produce. We’ve developed such an amazing working relationship over the past 2 CDs and he’s never disappointed me. He respects my input as both a songwriter and as an executive-producer and he really listens when I speak. He understands the sound that I’m after and knows how to push me creatively without ever pissing me off. Those qualities along with his easy-going personality and undeniable talent keep me loyal to him.
CJ what is your idea on the sex appeal in the music industry?
While I can’t speak for its validity in the industry as a whole, I do believe that sex and Rock n’ Roll are an inseparable entity. Aside from the obvious appeal that it adds to the music’s presentation and image, it’s also about how Rock makes us feel. On a carnal, primitive level, rock has the ability to empower us sexually. The bass, the driving beat, the rising riffs and raw lyrics all have the power to reach deep into our souls and stoke our fires. It moves us beyond our inhibitions and reality based judgements to a place of pure expression. It transcends our insecurities and audibly illustrates our unspoken passions.
We have one of the best local rock scenes in the world and could easily be the next geographical musical hot spot, like LA in the 80’s or Seattle in the 90’s. We have such amazing talent in this city and although our rock scene is thriving, unfortunately for whatever reason, Canadian bands often go without the worldwide recognition that they deserve. I’m confident that this will change sooner than later.
What’s your vision on the Internet as a tool to promote and market Music?
The internet is an invaluable resource for musicians. It’s changed the entire construct of the industry and challenged the monopoly previously maintained by the big corporate major labels. For the first time in history independent / DIY artists have the ability to expose their music to the world directly. We have the chance to take charge of our own careers like never before. With drive, determination and a decent grasp/ working knowledge of the music business, the opportunities are virtually endless (pun intended).
With all the bands coming out today. Do you keep somehow updated with what comes out online, etc?
I like to think that I keep on top of things- I always keep my ears open anyway. I listen to a lot of radio and read music based press all the time. I love finding new bands to listen to.
I love all types of rock. Garage, cock, punk, psychedelic, metal, goth, sleaze, grunge, industrial, glam- there are artists that I admire from all of these genres. It’s hard for me to narrow it down. Off the top of my head though, I could say that some of the bands that have influenced me immensely are GNR, The Stooges, Motley Crue, L7, The Sex Pistols and The Cramps.
Where do you find inspiration to write music?
I’m inspired by my feelings, my personal life experiences and my perception of the world around me. Writing music is one of the ways I’m able to express myself- it’s both how I internally cope with the challenges of everyday life and how I outwardly communicate to others.
Are there any other products or projects we can see from you in 2012 and in the future?
I’ve just released an album with the Italian label Lunatic Asylum Records (on Jan 20th) called “Play It Loud- A Collection of Personal Favorites”. It’s a 10 song CD that’s available for sale in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. As far as new material, I’ve already started writing my next album and have the first three songs down with the band. I hope to be back in the studio recording this fall which would put the release date in early 2013.