“I don’t know? Punk rock and roll, you know, fast and furious.” Joey Blitzkrieg’s answer is direct, almost like it wasn’t really a question. Fair enough asking the Jolts to describe their own music is like asking a hurricane to name itself: sure, it probably could, but why would it bother? People are just going to call you whatever they want and actions speak louder than words anyway.
Hailing from Vancouver, The Jolts consist of Joey Blitzkrieg, Joshy Atomic, Matt Von Dander and Evan Dabbler and they first started making local bar scenes long for the days of underage drinking back in 2005. Since its inception however, the band has undergone its fair share of changes. The newest addition, Evan Dabbler (his “working title,” as of press time) on bass is so recent that Calgarians will be among the first to hear The Jolts as they are now. “This Alberta trip will be the first real trip with the new lineup actually,” mentions Blitzkrieg. Not to say The Jolts haven’t been on the go — they just returned from shows in both Seattle and Portland — but regrettably, Dabbler wasn’t able (or legally able, more accurately) to partake in the Stateside adventure. “It was rad, but our new bass player is only 20 so we had to take another bass player down there with us.”
Amidst the ups, downs and switch-ups, the band manages to stick to its DIY approach. If anything, it’s the changes that keep the band progressing musically, something that can prove difficult as a “classic” punk band. “It kind of just happens naturally. We’ve changed members through the years and every guy kind of brings in another few influences,” says Blitzkrieg. “It’s based all around the Ramones and everyone else brings in their own thing. We’ve all got diverse inputs and the better musicians we become the more, kind of, weird stuff we can do. I think? Like, we’re going try and throw some synthesizers in and stuff like that.” Blitzkrieg’s comment helps prove that there’s always room to push the confines of what you know, even if you’re sticking with tradition. Because punk rock can be a lot of things, but it should never be comfortable.
Like so much else about The Jolts, when asked for some famous last words, Blitzkrieg’s reply is to the point and perfect: “Make sure you all get pretty drunk before we play, that always helps.” It’s advice that should be easy to follow. Sometimes it’s nice when a band just plays really awesome music, there’s no reason to complicate things. Grab a beer and get ready for a ruckus, we’re all here for a good time.
Catch the Jolts with a new bassist in tow at Broken City on February 1.
By Cobra Collins
Live photo: Bev Davies