Mr. JR has always been a cool and interesting figure within Core of Destruction Radio‘s family to me. He’s a man with a sense of humor that doesn’t always align with everyone, but you’d be hard pressed to to find him caring about any impressions he may or may not make. Personal taste of anyone aside, he is undeniably a talented individual whose main band, Tjolgtjar, has broken into the arena of mainstream music journalism via this article on Terrorizer. As always, enjoy the read and give JR’s projects a listen!
Black metal seems to be your main niche in making music, are there any other styles that you have/do play?
Yeah, I play country and rock. I like to dabble in everything, though. Not just black metal, not just country or rock, either. I like so many types of music and it's hard to answer this question in the right way. Black Metal is the place where I was accepted, even though my style was very different than the main style people associate with Black Metal.
What would you call your style?
I don't know! Preston style?
[Laughter] So, it's just a mix of different styles with some "conventional" black metal elements? A fusion?
Yes, I think when I started, Black Metal was a catch-all style, meaning you could do whatever you want as long as you walked on the dark side. Your only confine was this idolization of Satan.
Is that why felt accepted by that community more than others?
Many years ago, yes. After that, it changed. I was not accepted, especially in Europe and the USA. It was too different for them. That's fine. I was making outsider music anyway and never asked for acceptance. I'd have chosen something different to put out there if I needed mass attention.
What brought you to the dark side in thd first place? The path to..Satan. That is assuming that you have an affinity for the concept and/or diety?
The path to the opposite side is really just a path that's on the same line isn't it? Not a stretch for someone raised ultra-religious in a small Christian village. The difference was that I was raised Catholic and was already on the side of Evil according to most of the place I grew up in. I have an affinity for lots of things that aren't religious as well as for things that are. I do not believe in a box. I will not choose any organized religion's ideals or boxes to conduct my living experience in or through.
True. How do you feel the music scene has changed in Black Metal in the USA and Europe? Do you notice the same change in other genres?
I do not feel that anything has changed. Everything is the same but there are 1000 new bands every day thinking they are unique and attempting to live like rock stars. There is no such fucking thing. A musician plays music. An attention seeking dipshit seeks attention out of playing music. Music is like a drug and should be used as such. Whatever you like is what you like and that's good enough for me.
The internet really has made us exposed to a lot of material. Only difference I think. So, what inspired you to start playing music? First instrument?
Just wanted to play music. I was exposed to all these different bands and sounds by my mother, the radio, the television, my aunt, my uncle, my grandparents, and my friends when I began going to school. First instrument was an electric organ, I think. I can't remember.
An organ? Now that's different. How many instruments have you played so far?
Yeah it was like this toy type of thing you'd get in a music section in a Sears Xmas catalog. It was a small electric organ that sounded like an organ. I always just called it an organ. We were very little. My cousin and I both received one. We fiddled around with them.
Sounds like a lot of fun. Mine was a fisher price piano. How many instruments have you played so far?
From organ I went to keyboard and then piano. I played trumpet and shit like that. Bass, drums, and other percussion things you'd find in a school music room. My music teacher is probably the reason I play music and sing. I hated the other classes! Voice would be the first instrument I learned to use and the xylophone and single drums. I was quite a soprano singer as a child.
Guitar I started to take serious around 12 years old.
What sound were you aiming for when you started to get serious on the guitar?
"How the fuck do I play something on more than one string?"
Haha..I am laughing hard at that since it was my reaction to bass.
It is every musician's reaction, I'd think. "How do I do this better?"
One would think. What was your first band like? Something that was outside of school functions, that is.
We wrote and played rock songs leaning toward a punk/metal type of thing. This band morphed into Blood Cult a long time after that. This would've been like, when I was in high school. The difference in our music between any other band at the time - and we had 0 where I grew up , but there were some surrounding - were the guitar solos. The vocal and drums and attitude I think added to the "uniqueness."
How many projects are you currently working on now? Did you have periods of long hiatus? Over the years I mean.
I never let myself go on any real hiatus. I was always up to something. Hospitals and money were the only things keeping me from pursuing what I wanted. I don't know how many projects I'm doing right now. In metal? 3 or 4?
Tjolgtjar/Enbilulugugal/Lord of Depression. Those right now but more are in working stages. I'm hoping to collaborate with people on Tjolgtjar more in the future but if I can't, it'll remain solo material.
Metal aside. Any other projects you have working?
I am recording country songs and play in a cover band here locally. I'm doing metal stuff and radio show comedy bullshit (that no one listens to but I enjoy doing) that is way outside the realm of self-promotion. I prefer when people stumble on all that shit!
You get interesting stories that way. Speaking of radio. How did you get started with CoD?
Friend asked me if I'd do something on there. I stumbled my way through that. I wasn't doing anything special. I heard that people didn't like it much. I didn't go to the page or the chat or anything. I would just record the show every week and ask others to listen. Then I quit so I can do 'em whenever I want, and have them be about whatever I want them to be. I hated playing music like a DJ. I just wanted to talk about my life or do dumb shit.
So you are no longer part of CoD?
Nope! I quit a while back.
Did not know that. I am out of touch. So, you post on your own server or something? What's the name of the new show?
It's still The J.R. Show. I throw em on youtube whenever. Mixcloud n whatnot. I don't have a server.
If you do not have a lot of ways to waste time happily you may want to listen to it on occasion. It's all comedy all the time, and I can get a little out of hand.
Not bad. I should check it out. Something of interest from old talks, have you always be in Illinois?
Yes, except for a brief period when I traveled in space.
I envy you. I love space.
I've told the story to a couple people. It is supposed to be written about in a magazine. I'm either insane or I've been to space. It depends if you ask me or someone else!
And by the way, it was quite fun.
Any other hobbies? Music, comedy, and inventing floatation devices perhaps?
One of my favorite things to do is stare at people with intent. Then they wonder at my intention while seeing that I am indeed staring at them with intent. It's pretty cool.
Then you find yourself being "asked" to leave the premises..
Then I'm just like "What'd I do? I didn't do nothin. What did I do? I ain't done nothin."
While women shield their children's faces from you. What are your favorite comedians?
The Three Stooges, Popeye, and Daffy Duck.
[Laughter] Well, The Three Stooges and Daffy are up there. Never looked at Popeye in that light. Any closing remarks for whatever small audience I may still have?
I want everyone to know that at some point they will die so they better stop taking shit so seriously all the fucking time.
But how else will I be able to maintain my unbeatable resting bitch face technique?
Thank you for your time! It was fun.