By Andy Thunders, Rock N Roll Gypsy
Jake Blatchly is the lead singer in White Devil Detroit, an Australian hard rock band. A great frontman inspired by Bon Scott and Dee Snider, he’s a funny bloke with the wit and wordplay that keeps you laughing. From Aleister Crowley to synchromatic orgasms, Jake is an open book.
Hey Jake, thanks so much how the fuck are ya?
Hey Andy! No wuckin’ forries at all mate! I’m feeling pretty opti-mystic and well rested! How are you?
When did you decide you wanted to be a singer in a rock n roll band?
In the beginning I didn’t really decide to do it, it was thrust upon me haha. My best mate when I was 12 years old got a guitar for Christmas one year and I’m pretty sure before he could even play a note, he decided that he was going to start a band and I was going to be the singer. So I just took it from there and it basically became my entire identity, it took me a long time to get actually any good at singing though! Haha. I’ve been thinking back on different things from my childhood recently though and it makes a lot of sense that I’ve ended doing what I do now…. I had a pretty shitty childhood due to my mother being physically and emotionally abusive towards me but when she sat down to put on make-up, she was usually very calm, so I think it’s very possible that I associate make-up with a feeling of calm or brief feeling of safety. Also, my dad only had custody of me every 2nd weekend but on the drives to pick me up on the Friday and the Sunday of those weekends he ALWAYS had AC/DC, Metallica, Twisted Sister, The Angels, W.A.S.P. etc cassettes blasting through the stereo in his commodore while we drove down the highway and when I jumped in that car after not seeing my dad for 2 weeks boy did I feel good, so rock n’ roll has also been an association with happiness and safety from a young age too. The first time I put on make-up it felt so natural, I felt more like myself and experienced a new sense of euphoria. The same thing happened the first time I ever played a show as the singer in a band, I’ve never had stage fright from the get go, it was like I became ‘’alive’’. Like that vibration thing your phone does when you plug it into a charger, that’s how my mind and body felt. An altered state of consciousness. So it’s really no wonder that I’ve become a cross dressing, rock n roll screamer or it’s because I was bitten by a radioactive Mick Jagger and that’s how I got all of my powers.
Who are your biggest influences?
I take influence from lots of different thing for different things for example with singing and vocals I draw heaps from Axl Rose, Sebastian Bach, Rob Halford, Brian Johnson, Marilyn Manson and Layne Staley. I love singing a long to Highway To Hell too, Bon Scott is one of my patron saints. One of the ways I learnt to sing was by sticking my head in a bucket and singing Hardcore Superstar songs, haha. I really love Ray West from Spreadeagles voice too, it’s absolutely savage. I try to sing like James Brown but with the approach of a death metal vocalist, haha. My influences as a performer/frontman/lyricist are everything from Dee Snider to Aleister Crowley, Club Kids to Steve-O from Jackass, Eric Andre to Eminem, Evel Knievel to Leigh Bowery to Robert Anton Wilson and everything in between. I love studying language and etymology of words, so there are heaps of double and triple layered meanings in our lyrics for people in the know.
You mentioned Aleister Crowley as an influence, how much is the occult influence in your life?
In the last few years I’ve begun studying and practicing magick/meditation/mindfulness/working with sensory deprivation tanks and it’s helped me change for the better and slowly but surely I’ve become and am becoming a better person. It’s always been around though, my mother used to use tarot cards and we had occult books on the bookshelf in our loungeroom. I’ll never forget one time after school, I was around 8 years old and she wasn’t home for some reason. So I went snooping in in her cupboard and found a stack of Penthouse magazines, a homemade and bong a voodoo doll she had made of her ex-boyfriend. The detail on the doll was perfect, the crazy bitch even drew his tattoos and put a nipple piercing on it.
How does one get Bon Scott as a patron saint? Does Bon choose you or you choose Bon?
You know what? I was just using patron saint as a term for him in a joking way. Loosely and not seriously at all but your question just now has got the chaos magician in me thinking…… You know I had shrine dedicated to Bon Scott in my room from the age of 12 through my teens. I always referred to it as my ‘Bon Scott shrine’ without ever thinking about the religious connotations and effect that may have had on how my sub conscious perceives the concept of Bon Scott and in the last few years I’ve been referring to him as a patron saint without considering what that means either…. I’ve had dreams with Bon Scott in them. So who knows? Maybe I’ve built up Bon Scott as a deity in a part of my sub conscious because I’ve gone from having a shrine of him, to having him speak to me in dreams and now calling him a patron saint. The first thing I do into a new house these days is put up this one laminated poster I have of Bon Scott and I hadn’t really thought about that until now either. Hahaha, people reading this are going to think I’m cooked. I’ve been inadvertently practicing Santeria with Bon Scott as my saint for years. Thanks for making me realize! Haha.
When did you first start singing in bands?
I started jamming on the mic with mates after school and on the weekends since I was 12 but didn’t play my first proper show until I was 16 years old.
How did White Devil Detroit come together?
We were all jerking off at rehearsal and timed our orgasms so perfectly that they sync’d up….. but the way the band formed was that I met Kyle after our previous bands had played together and we started writing music together for what was going to be a ‘’Jake Blatchly solo EP’’ but then we had an awesome SynchBronicity, locked into the zeitgeist and the stars aligned because my partner at the time and I had decided that we were going to move to Melbourne. This was unbeknownst to Kyle and one day when he and I were talking he told me that he and his girlfriend Charlie were moving to Melbourne, so I was like ‘’No way! So are me and my partner! Fuck this solo EP bullshit!! Let’s start a whole new band down there together’’. We found Jayden and Dave thanks to the power of social media and the internet and now we’re all living happily ever after in this crazy rock n’ roll band.
You just released your first video Cummin Down, what was that like?
It was full of ‘1-phenylpropan-2-amine’. So much fun. I’m wearing an Evel Knievel shirt and goggles in the video because I wanted to embody the feeling of going fast and dangerousness.
Are you pleased with the response?
We woke up the morning after releasing the video to people in Spain and America talking about how kick ass they think our band is, so that’s a good start I think. We’ve had nothing but awesome and positive reactions from everybody.
What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced being a singer in a rock band?
Opening for The Misfits and having Jerry Only come out to watch me from the side of the stage while I was singing The Rolling Stones was pretty surreal. Playing before Bruce Kulick at the KISS Konvention here in Melbourne a few years back was really dope too. We hired a dwarf for our last show and he punched me in the left testicle, humped my legged and smashed all of us in the face with cream pies during our last song, so that was pretty crazy. You know only the top elite performers get punched in the balls by a midget.
Was Jerry Only impressed with your band when you opened for them?
I’m not sure, you’d have to ask him that. He came out and watched us side stage while we played a Stones cover though and he was a really nice guy.
What’s next for White Devil Detroit?
We’re working on an EP and a book right now. We’re keen to get around Australia a few times and play to all the peoples pupils and ear canals. Every single show we play this year is going to be completely different. Different themes, songs, stunts, performers, outfits etc. Every show is going to be completely unique, so come see us live!
Anything you’d like to tell your fans?
We love you! Thanks so much for the positive response and support for Cummin’ Down. It means a lot and it’s only the beginning of all of the things we’re going to do with this band. If you live in Melbourne, get out to our show ‘White Devil Detroit presents: Chaos Musick’ at The Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood on February 23rd & Do what thou wilt.
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