Cleveland-based heavy metal band Voodoo Brother is returning to Jamestown.
Voodoo Brother and Blind Society will perform at Mojo's on Friday at 8 p.m. The show will be Voodoo Brother's first Jamestown show since the band last appeared at Infinity's annual Local Music Showcase in September.
Voodoo Brother features bassist Curt Briscar, drummer David Doyle, guitarist Joe Campo and vocalist Jay Monaco. According to Briscar, Voodoo Brother started when he met Campo in 2000 and formed a band under a different name.
"We couldn't get anything going, so we went our separate ways," said Briscar. "Then, in 2009, we decided we were going to try to make it work by finding the right guys. The biggest problem we had was finding a singer, and the hardest thing to do in Cleveland is to find someone who doesn't sound like the Cookie Monster. Everybody wants to scream, growl or yell, and if they do want to sing, they sound like Rob Halford of Judas Priest."
During the process of hosting auditions to try to find a singer, Briscar decided to put an ad out with a list of criteria that read, "If you meet any of these criteria, don't call." Within an hour of having that ad up Briscar received a call from Monaco. Monaco, who currently lives in Cleveland, is a native of Mayville, studied theater at SUNY Fredonia and graduated from Jamestown Community College in 1997. Some may also remember Monaco as a finalist in the 2008 Chautauqua Lake Idol. Monaco joined Voodoo Brother after responding to the Craigslist ad posted by Briscar.
"I thought it was a joke at first, because he sent a video from Chautauqua Lake Idol, and there he was with a cowboy hat, buttoned down T-shirt and singing a country tune," said Briscar. "I said to Joe (Campo), 'Is this really the guy who wants to sing heavy metal?' And, Joe said, 'Well if he can sing that, then he can sing anything.' He came down and sang for us for five minutes, and we knew that he was the right guy."
The final step to complete the band was to find a drummer. So, Briscar posted another ad and was soon after contacted by Doyle, who had just left the nationally touring band Revery. According to Briscar, Doyle had a series of unfortunate circumstances with a record label during his time with Revery and decided that he wanted to forget all the "trying to make it stuff" and just have fun.
"We've been a solid unit ever since," said Briscar. "We put all our focus into writing music that has no aspirations of trying to make it big at all. That's what I think has made it as good as it has been. We've been getting a lot of good responses because we don't have to worry about the garbage; we just write the music and give it away for free."
Those interested in hearing the band's material can visit voodoobrother.com and click on the link that says "free download." The link takes users to dropbox.com, where five tracks from the band's debut EP can be downloaded for free, as well as album artwork, photos and a bio. Monaco and Briscar recommend giving "Stillwater" and "Love I Don't Take It So Well" a listen for a good representation of what Voodoo Brother provides.
"David (Doyle) said it best: 'Voodoo Brother is the good and the bad in everyone,'" said Briscar. "It's kind of like the idea of having the angel on your right shoulder and the devil on your left shoulder, telling you what you do. That internal struggle is your Voodoo Brother. You can see that on the album cover's artwork; it has two faces morphing into one."
In addition to being the second time that Voodoo Brother has appeared in Jamestown and the first time the band has played at Mojo's, the show will also serve as a homecoming for Monaco.
"I'm very excited about it, and it's an honor to play in what I consider Infinity's town," he said.
Admission to the event is $5 at the door. Mojo's is located at 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown. For more information call 720-4621 or search for "Mojo's Of Jamestown" on Facebook.