Sometimes we all need a little chaos and uncertainty to shake things up, so that you can take stock of what you have and simply get back to basics. Mickey Finn’s unexpected departure from Jetboy in late 2010 left band co-founders Billy Rowe and Fernie Rod (along with current bassist Jes Reckless and drummer Jesse Mendez) without a frontman as they were about to embark on their first overseas tour. Enter D.K. Revelle, a gritty yet charismatic frontman that has been knocking around the industry for years, looking for a home. I recently had an opportunity to speak with both Billy Rowe and D.K. Revelle about the how this version of Jetboy came to be, and more importantly, where they intend to go.
According to Billy, the band was not willing to give up the European tour that they had worked so hard to book. “We were determined to do the tour, we were committed to do the tour.” Billy continued, “It probably would have hurt us more than anything to cancel the tour, and our mindset was ‘We gotta do this,' but now its like 'Oh, f--k, how are we going to do this…we need a singer.’” Enter D.K., the second guy to audition for the lead spot, and by all accounts, he nailed it. Recommended to Billy and Fernie by Jes and Jesse, after playing only four songs together, Billy thought, “It was great, it was like, f--k, this will totally work, let’s do this.”
So now the real work begins, as the new Jetboy had to come together as a unit and deliver to the fans what they were expecting….because as Billy says, “It’s all about the songs.” Initial thoughts were correct, because D.K. instantly became part of the machine. Musically, Billy states, “Fern and I wrote all the music to the Jetboy songs. Sam had his part and Ron as well, but for the bulk of the riffs it was Fern and I, so musically it’s going be the same.” D.K.’s approach to add a little flavor of his own while still staying true to the original recordings, and this approach worked with the rest of the guys, and the machine just kept rolling. As D.K. said, “Once I got that call that I was in the band, I was like cool, now I have like 8,000,000 things to do to prepare for the tour. Literally, I started sleeping with those headphones on, listening to those songs day and night; and I started writing out the lyrics, because there is something in my weird little head that helps me to remember them if I write them out.” Unfortunately, time wasn’t on D.K.’s side, as he only had four full rehearsals before leaving to do twenty-two shows in seven countries, but he pulled it off. As Billy said, “From Bon Scott to Brian Johnson; from Paul Di’anno to Bruce Dickinson…those guys were drastic changes of the singers, but the band still stayed the same.”
Rehearsals were done, and then it was time to cross the pond…but how will the crowds react? I asked D.K. about any nerves that he had at the time the tour was taking place… after all, he was replacing arguably the most recognizable face in Jetboy. According to D.K., “I was just welcomed overwhelmingly, which was really cool. We were ready for some of the ‘Mickey’s not on the band’ reactions from promoters or venues, but thankfully everybody gave it a shot, everybody gave it a listen.” But D.K. was more excited than nervous, and his goal was to prove himself in front of the fans and to put on a rock n' roll show. “Everybody in that band just knows their role and we just bring it.” And how was crowd reaction…according to Billy, “The reaction was good. There were people that knew Mick and the old stuff, but they came up after the show and they loved it. D.K. puts a good, current twist into it, in like a Buckcherry kind of way. It was a great vibe on the road and the shows went over great. As far as tours go, this was one of the most pleasant ones that I’ve done. The energy was there, a lot of laughing and good times.” According to D.K., “We were doing four encores a night almost every night. We did 'Nice Boys,' a few AC/DC songs, even a KISS song.” Bottom line is the European tour was a success for the band.
Now, for the immediate future, Jetboy is looking write some new songs and get at least one song up for free on the website. Then there are labels overseas that are interested in putting out new material. Additionally, Jetboy has a show on March 6 opening for Skid Row at the Avalon in Santa Clara, CA. Per Billy, “The key for any band is to work the Internet right now,” but he is also looking to book some additional shows that would be right for the band. Announced after my conversations with the guys is their participation at the third consecutive M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, MD. As for D.K., he could not be happier with his current situation, “Here I am with the guitar players I’ve always wanted that play really well together, and to boot, everybody is so down to earth and so cool. And the new music is freaking awesome. We’re back to basic rock n' roll. I’ve put everything else I was doing right on the back burner because that’s how I roll, once I get invested into something, I want to be true to just this one sound…I put it all into one big basket, and that is Jetboy.”