`Seamlessly blending melody with adrenaline fueled, heavy rock and roll, Blacktop Mojo draws in everyone from old metal heads to people who’s radio dials have never left top 40 stations. With soaring, gritty vocals and impeccably blended heavy guitar riffs over top of a rhythm section that won’t falter, Blacktop Mojo’s live shows are sure to leave fans’ screaming at the top of their lungs with metal horns in the air.
Blacktop Mojo was formed in September 2012 by lead vocalist Matt James, drummer Nathan Gillis. Armed with a demo EP and a dream, the band set out to play as many shows as they could, anywhere that they could, playing any type of music they could think of to hone their craft and find their sound. In their short time together, playing shows across the state, the band has shared the stage with a range of touring artists including Bon Jovi, Sammy Hagar, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Candlebox, Drowning Pool, Aaron Lewis, Saving Abel, Puddle of Mudd, Whiskey Myers, Dirty River Boys, and The Bigsbys, among others.
Through touring, the band was introduced to lead guitarist, Ryan Kiefer. Through a series of impromptu sessions at the band’s infamous “Jam Shack”, Kiefer fell right into place with the band. He liked the same music, had the same taste in off-color humor, and most importantly, his style of guitar playing fit flawlessly into place to form the dual guitar attack to birth a heavy, grunge-inspired southern Rock. Some have even proclaimed, “If Soundgarden and Lynyrd Skynyrd were to take a roll in the hay, nine months later, out would pop Blacktop Mojo.”
While the band enjoys playing their favorite cover songs every now and then, they are truly impassioned with crafting their own original music. “The thing that makes us different from a lot of bands today is that ALL of us write the songs,” says drummer Nathan Gillis. “My best five songs have to beat out Matt’s 5 songs. Matt’s best 5 have to beat out Ryan’s best, and so on. It makes us really versatile in our styles and how we write. The thing that I also love about this band,” Gillis continues, “is that we can all sit in a room and write songs TOGETHER as well.”
Through many months of this type of collaboration, between playing shows, the band recently put together their first Full-Length album, titled, “I AM”. The album was recorded and mastered at Rosewood Studios in Tyler, Texas with the help of Producer Philip Mosley, Staff Engineer Drew Hall, and Mixing Engineer Austin Deptula. “We titled this album, ‘I Am’ because it makes a statement about who we are as a band, which is taking a crazy group of scatterbrained guys, with different writing and playing styles, sitting down in a room together with all of our separate thoughts and approaches to writing songs, and turning that into a singular energy, that we can all be proud of,” says vocalist Matt James.
“I Am” has received sound reviews in multiple international publications, both online and in print, including La Heavy Magazine, RockFreaks.net, and Team Rock’s Metal Hammer Magazine and Classic Rock Magazine who are quoted as saying, “As far as debuts go, it’s damn strong”
In the years since “I Am” has been released, the band has been hitting the bricks and playing shows to spread the music to as many people as they can pack into numerous venues across the state of Texas and beyond as well as writing new material.
In recent months the band has begun collaboration with famed Muscle Shoals Sound producer Jimmy Johnson (Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger) to record a follow up to their debut record. The new album entitled, “Burn The Ships” is set to be released March 10th via Cuhmon Records.