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Interview with Jeff Dixon
Vocals - (Lowbuz)

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: March 2007

Brian Rademacher: Let's go into a little about the younger years of Jeff Dixon. Where did you grow up and what kind of kid were you growing up?

Jeff Dixon: Actually grown up in Pennsylvania in the Pocono's, it really wasn't that cool. It's a nice vacation spot, nice spot to visit but for a fourteen year old it's not a lot to do. Every phone called you made at that time was long distance because there was no cable; anywhere you wanted to go, it was an hour in the car so to get your parents to drive you somewhere was a pain in the ass. So there was a lot of smoking pot in the woods (laughing).

Brian Rademacher: Tell us a little about your school years? Good kid bad kid.

Jeff Dixon: I guess it depends on who you ask (laughing). I was a pain in the ass, class clownish, didn't pay attention, left school at eighteen and never finished and moved to Jersey.

Brian Rademacher: Did you play sports?

Jeff Dixon: When I was young, I played a little basketball ball but I didn't fit in much with those kids.

Brian Rademacher: Were you in school chorus or church choir?

Jeff Dixon: I didn t fit in with those kids either (laughing).

Brian Rademacher: Did you collect anything as a child or even now?

Jeff Dixon: I collected music then early on comic books.

Brian Rademacher: What was the first CD you ever owned?

Jeff Dixon: When I first got a CD player, CD's were just coming out so the selection was minimal, but the first record was KISS 'Alive.' The first CD I bought myself was DEF LEPARD 'Pyromania'. My father was big into music like KISS, BLACK OAK ARKANSAS, NAZARETH and old HEART. KISS 'ALIVE' is still a great record to this day.

Brian Rademacher: How about the first concert you attended?

Jeff Dixon: Unfortunately, it was the BEACH BOYS (laughing) which I didn't have much choice in I was eight or nine at the time and the whole family was going. Looking back I wouldn't have chosen the BEACH BOYS to see at the time, but it was very cool seeing how the whole thing is done putting on a show. The first real concert I went to was the reunion of JEFFERSON STARSHIP with Grace Slick. I was about ten years old.

Brian Rademacher: Was that the first live band that had an impact on what you're doing now?

Jeff Dixon: Yeah! because the BEACH BOYS thing was more of a sanitized thing in a stadium, The JEFFERSON STARSHIP show was at a smaller venue, smoky, dark different kind of people there that were at the BEACH BOYS show. Grace was actually attacked by someone who jumped on stage at that show.

Brian Rademacher: Did you sing in any bands before joining LOWBUZ?

Jeff Dixon: When I lived in Pennsylvania, I tried to sing in a cover band that didn't bow too well. I wanted to be a guitar player.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me about the story behind you joining LOWBUZ& because in the LOWBUZ bio it says you were reluctant to join to the band?

Jeff Dixon: I came to Jersey putting up ads everywhere for guitar player. I didn t know anybody in Jersey. The first day someone called me who is still a friend of mine till this day Duke Lake who was a drummer. I started to play guitar with him in a garage and who ever showed up showed up; we were just having a good time. That's how I met Mike who is in LOWBUZ now. I was singing backup for somebody at the time and he said why don t you sing. I said I can t sing I have no interest in singing. He called me persistently for five months and said come audition I have this other band, I kept saying no...I really didn't have any confidence, but I got tired of him keeping bugging me and I said screw it and went down and did it. I just open my mouth and things come out and people like it.

Brian Rademacher: LOWBUZ release their debut EP in 2003, the song which got the most respect was 'Nothing'. Was that your favorite track off the debut EP?

Jeff Dixon: Yeah that was the first song I wrote that made sense to me. When Mike played me the song it sound so cool and made me feel something and we went from there. Lyrically I do all the writing in the band.

Brian Rademacher: Your 2nd EP 'Breaking Point' came out in 2005 that included the same tracks as your EP in 2003 with a few new tunes. Why add those 2003 tracks?

Jeff Dixon: Basically, we only did a short run of only 2000 for the first EP and it was gone. Everytime you put something new out you're reaching new people everytime, rather than reprinting the first EP again we decided to build it on to the new EP so fans can enjoy the past tracks and the new. We re-mastered those 2003 tracks.

Brian Rademacher: 'Breaking Point' had a new track called 'Swallow' which is my favorite LOWBUZ song. Can you give us some background on that track?

Jeff Dixon: 'Swallow' was a weird song for us and it came together in a day, which usually doesn't happen for us. We kind of second guess ourselves and we fill in the pieces and songs take time a couple weeks of us tinkering with them. That one just came out.

Brian Rademacher: Is that one of your favorite songs to sing live?

Jeff Dixon: Singing live I am more geared to singing the newer stuff. One that record 'Breaking Point' my favorite to sing live is 'On The Ledge.'

Brian Rademacher: With the two CD's out did you get any label interest, since there were some great tunes to be heard?

Jeff Dixon: Briefly but nothing materialized. We had a brief little thing with Windup that some girl who worked in their office would play everyday, the guy there said who is it I love it. Next thing we know the guy who loved it didn't work there anymore and that was over.

Brian Rademacher: Last year 2006 you put out another called 'On the Inside' which is a great new release again with some old and new tracks. One song that sticks out is 'Betrayed' can you give us a little background on that song?

Jeff Dixon: That's a lot of people's favorite, it's not my favorite on the disc. but it's my favorite to sing live. That song took a long time, that song had periods of make the CD and not making the CD. We get bogged down a lot in editing with pro-tools and stuff, we do all our own stuff and we have too much free time in our own studio tinkering with things. Our formula is unfortunately, no formula. Mike is the primary songwriter and he's says I got this riff and we all work around it.

Brian Rademacher: Tell us about the cover for 'On The Inside'?

Jeff Dixon: The cover was done by Jesse. Our bass player at the time was Dave Neabore who was working at Sam Ash and this kid Jesse was working with him and he had a portfolio of all the stuff he done. Dave was in charge of our direction at the time that was his thing. We looked through this kid portfolio and he had some amazing things. He would take a photograph and mix it with digital things and has his own style. There was this one picture that what's kid of on our cover with the skeleton and Dave liked it and said I want that one. The he worked with him and got it to where he wanted it. His girl friend Kimber Lynn is actually the one who works with colors and the layout and that's where it all came from between Kim and Jesse.

Brian Rademacher: Your songs got good airplay on internet radio. Have you heard that internet radio looks to be over with by big business reaping the benefits once again, with fans not getting to hear new and upcoming bands like LOWBUZ. What are your feelings about no more internet radio?

Jeff Dixon: Is that across the board, that's a problem. I heard that the major radio stations have to free up 8 thousand hours to unsigned band, not the standard. That's been big for us because we were reaching people in Germany and other countries and it seems that's the corporate thing and that's why people hate corporate music. Internet radio was so huge because we can reach people all over, cutting out the middle man basically. That's sucks and a problem. I don't understand that they are saying they are losing money when they are making money hand over fist, I don't see how. The record industry made 600 billion on ring tones last year. There making money for banners and everywhere you turn, they need to get on board and support people who help and stop suing people for download and find a way to get in there and get your cut.

Brian Rademacher: How was it working with Dan Lorenzo of HADES?

Jeff Dixon: Ah Dan is an interesting guy. They did THE CURSED thing at our studio and working on new OVERKILL there also. Dan loves to see himself, when I moved to Jersey I met this girl and moved in with her and her mother for awhile and her brother is Mike Christy of NON-FICTION with Dan Lorenzo. So I met Dan as soon as I came here and he was a pain in the ass. He's not this way now, but back then he was the kind of guy who would prank call you at 4 in the morning for no reason. He would come up with these elaborate schemes to ruin your day. So he was always a pain in the ass. Fast Forward ten years and we meet up again, he is a much different guy being married and settled down. He's actually a good guy to know and has helped us out a lot. I sang on a bunch of his solo work and a great guitar player.

Brian Rademacher: And has Dan contacted you to sing on his new project THE CURSED with Bobby Blitz?

Jeff: They have talked about, but we never got around to it because they were moving quickly because Bobby has some obligation with OVERKILL to take care of.

Brian Rademacher: Tell us what's the problem with the music scene in New Jersey, since many artists play New York and PA yet skip over NJ?

Jeff Dixon: I think it's a combination of things. First there is not a lot of places to play anymore, they closed down so many venues. The main problem is the cover band situation; every bar owner has frozen out bands unless you're a cover band. The original bands you're hearing today are tomorrow's cover bands and you have to support those bands. Back in the day when you had Rock the House, you would get national acts in there as well as local bands. I also think the people are different, now you have so many cross sections of kids, like emo kids they don't all fit together. Back in the day you were just going out and hanging out at the club. What do you have left, The Saint, Stone Pony, The Convention Center and others, we don't have Club Bene' and others, we are losing place after place. It was easier back in the day because people just wanted to go out and have a good time, now everybody is like show me something, do something you owe me something because I paid to get in. When I was younger you went out when the club opened and left when the club closed, kids don t do that anymore. You want to go see what you went for and are coming just before they come on and don't want to be exposed to other things. It's a shame because that's how the scene dies.

Brian Rademacher: How hard is it to make a name for yourself in this area?

Jeff Dixon: Next to impossible, now if you're a cover band you play. If you're an original act you hope the open acts bring fans with them. The Underpass is one club in Elmwood Park probably the last place on the planet that will cater to original local bands.

Brian Rademacher: What are the plans for LOWBUZ as we speak?

Jeff Dixon: We are working on new material all the time; we have five or six songs ready to be demoed. It will take us a year to tinker them down. 'Breaking Point' took a year and has four new songs, so we take time to do things. We don't put a CD out every year just to out material out; we don't make songs as a filler just to get it out there. They have to be songs we believe in and we try to make the best music possible.

Brian Rademacher: If you had a chance to open up for a national act whom would that be?

Jeff Dixon: KISS, we would fit better with STAIND or CROSSFADE. I know they guys in the band are TOOL fans and they would love to open for them. My favorite band is KORN but that would not work out. But it would have to be KISS, back in the day all I wanted to be was Ace playing guitar.

Brian Rademacher: What other bands do you like now?

Jeff Dixon: I am a big fan of ELVIS, newer bands I like STAIND and AARON LEWIS, I like local bands like SIXTY MILES DOWN, SMOKE STAR and RAHWAY.

Brian Rademacher: So what do you hope for the future of the band?

Jeff Dixon: The main focus is just to have fun, not to be a job. I always have fun, a little while ago at one of our shows the PA blew up. We were the last band of the night, the night went great and the two songs into our set we have no mic. so I ran around the bar singing to people individually. From now on, I am bringing a megaphone, I like to have fun and if you're coming to see LOWBUZ , you're coming out to have fun.

Brian: What are your feelings on MySpace?

Jeff Dixon: Well since Fox bought it, it is way too corporate now. You do get exposed to things, but I don't go there to get a large amount of friends. You do get to hear new bands and learn what's out there. So as long as it doesn't get more corporate it's cool.

Brian Rademacher: Do you feel that your music changed since the first release?

Jeff Dixon: Yeah! With the first one it was all written except 'Struggle' before I was in the band. So I just sang over the top that was done already. 'Struggle' we all wrote together. 'Breaking Point' was the first time we all wrote together for the record it was different for me. Because I don't sit down and write, I don't have a journal I kind of go off the cuff. Now we have a sound where we didn't before and we know where we wanted to be at. Our music has progressed.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me your feelings about each member?

Jeff Dixon: I love Mike, there is nothing you can say bad about Mike everyone loves Mike. He's very open and honest and a fun guy. It's very easy to be friends with him and the best songwriter I've ever come across. Because when he writes a song on guitar, he doesn't write it with him being the main focus; he writes songs that compliments each member.

'When we decided as a band that we wanted to add a 2nd guitar player, there was only one guy that came up. Rob Tarulli. Guitar players are a dime a dozen, and most of them want the spot light and attention, but with Rob we found a guy that is more into the band then he is himself. He's super talented but doesn't carry that same old guitar player attitude. He has definitely added a new dimension to the band.'

"L.J. comes from a very musical family, his father played in some big bands back in the day with all the big names, and L. J. definitely got that gene. He's the most talented drummer I've ever played with. He also plays just about every instrument and can hold his own. He's very musical and he really is a big part of what we do."

Working with Dave Neabore was interesting, because I grew up listening to him in MUCKY PUP. I never knew years later I would be in the same band with him. I never met him personal until he walking in the studio with him and I guess I was star struck since he has all these gold albums over in Europe. "Since we've parted ways with Dave there's not too much to say about him. He was a great help to this band. His real talents were in the art direction and production side of things. His band DOG EAT DOG is blowing up again in Europe and we wish Dave all the best. We love and respect Dave and wish him all the best."

So now, we have a guy playing bass from the band TRUDGE that split up and we will see how it works out.

Brian Rademacher: When will the next release be?

Jeff Dixon: Well we have three or four songs ready for demos and we recorded one called 'My Fault', which we are playing out already.

Brian Rademacher: Jeff thanks for stopping by the home of Rockeyez, Would you like to say anything in ending?

Jeff Dixon: Check out our MySpace site, check out CD Baby and come see us live and pick up 'On the Inside'. Thanks!


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