Take the heart of a classic rock band, mix the energy of a house party in the Fort and the result will be Johnny Astro and the Big Bang.
This local band, formed in 2009, is made up of Paul Wakefield, Mike Carroll, Patrick Tice and Nathan Gilleran. It was Wakefield, guitarist and lead vocalist, who compared JABB's sound to that of old rockers.
"If you take old rock, the feel and the balls from it – when you actually had people who were really good at music and they gave a (expletive) and all they did was play music – the mindset of those people," Wakefield, senior in psychology, said. "We don't want to do the same things they did, but we want to add to and contribute. Think about what they would do now, if they were alive.
"We want to keep rock moving forward, but still stay on a good track."
Andy Vinson, long-time fan of JABB and music director of UT radio station WUTK, said that this sound is what sets the band apart from others.
"They put on a really great, typical rock show, which is kind of hard to find now days," Vinson said. "It's loud, it's high energy ... and it's really well written.
"People try to go super indie or folky or pop, and Johnny Astro is a conveyer of pure rock and roll."
This feeling comes through in the way the songs are written, according to Tice, guitarist for JABB since 2011.
"We're very music intensive," the senior in public relations said. "We start writing songs with the music and add vocals in later, so sometimes it tends to get sort of intricate... there are a lot of layers."
Carroll, the band's bassist, said that the music starts with one idea and is written as a group, with each member contributing to the songs. Wakefield adds that he uses his voice as an instrument, singing "gibberish" with the music until lyrics are pieced together to form a cohesive song.
"For the people who really like music and are into what's going on beneath [the surface] they can stop for a minute and look at it and see that there's a lot going on if you have the ear for it," Wakefield said. "We want to make music that people like, but we want to make music that music people like."
Tice said that JABB's music is conducive to the band's love of audience interaction. Wakefield adds that the venue influences this interaction.
"We played a house party in the Fort ... and that was one of the most fun shows we've played in a minute just because the lack of a stage is kind of a turn on for me musically," Wakefield said. "It's so much better being right there with people in your face. I fell over a drum set in a show, which would never happen on stage."
JABB won the 2011 Sound Off competition, and singles such as "You Got Me Confused" can be heard on WUTK.
"(Hearing your song on the radio) inspires you," Tice said. "Especially if you hear that it was requested and you didn't request it."
Tice is not above self-promotion though, and laughingly adds that he frequently requests his own music on WUTK.
The band has a chemistry that is hard to find in today's music world, Wakefield added. Nearing graduation for some members, this creates a desire to stay together as a band after leaving UT.
"If I move to another city, no way am I going to find three guys that I'm going to mesh with better and be able to start a band that's anywhere near the quality of this," Wakefield said. "There's no way I want to let that go just for my next stage of school."
The future for JABB holds a new album, hoped to be released by the end of this year, produced by Blake Cass.
"We care," Carroll said. "We put in the time, we put in the effort and we hope that that product shows and we make sure it does."
JABB will perform at Rage Fest Saturday, which will raise money for children with disabilities through Camp Koinonia. Rage Fest will be held at The Hill on Forest Avenue.