Rock Blog Tour presents Skinn Jakkitt

bed13cb4962672dc2bab365a2f983a43I am very happy to be today’s stop on the Rock Blog Tour.  I have seen several shows with Skinn Jakkit and they are a hard rocking band with a lot of energy.  Their self-titled CD went live on November 5 and covers a range of topics in some really interesting, relevant, and sometimes surprising lyrics.  You can find the CD on Amazon, iTunes, Tate Publishing, and ReverbNation.  You can also find the guys on Facebook  and at their SkinnJakkit page.

Skinn Jakkit is Greg Stephens on vocals, Barry Sams at lead guitar, Shane Farris on rhythm guitar, Jeff Hayworth at bass, and Jeff “Pup” Price pounding the drums.  I had the chance to ask the guys a few questions…


Describe your writing process. Is it lyrics first or does a particular melody catch your attention?

 Jeff Price: Melody First

Barry Sams: A cool riff usually sparks the writing process. Me, Shane or Hayworth will toss around a few notes till one of us has a spark that will ignite a song.

Greg Stephens: Barry and Shane are the masters of the riff. They usually jam and I start trying to formulate a lyric pattern. Sometimes I have some lyrics but most of the time I write them at the same time.


Who are your musical influences?

Barry Sams:   We have the late 70’s- 90’s metal influences, I myself prefer bands like Fear Factory, All That Remains and GZR.

Jeff Price:  Tesla, Stryper, Metallica

Greg Stephens:  My influences are all over the board. I love Iron Maiden, Clutch, COC, Alice In Chains and Megadeth. New bands I love Eye Empire and Kill Devil Hill.  Guilty pleasure would be Journey.


Who would you most like to perform with?

 Barry Sams:  At this point Fear Factory or Five Finger Death Punch.

Jeff Price:  Shinedown

Greg Stephens: Id say Clutch, Megadeth or hell I said it Metallica.


What are your favorite and least favorite songs to perform?

Barry Sams:  Favorite song to perform is a new one we wrote “Cover Story” and       then “Farther” off the album. Least favorite is none of the above 🙂

Jeff Price:  Shame 🙂 / End of the Line 😦

Greg Stephens:  Id favorite is a tie with Shame the brand new one and Change. Least I really don’t have any.

Jeff Hayworth:  favorite any of ours ,/ least favorite anyone else’s. (covers)


Tell us about your experience shooting the video for Epiphany.img_22161_005

Jeff Price:  Difficult, wasn’t able to have much volume to the playback so it made it hard for me, the drummer to really show much energy or aggression in my playing. Still was a great experience.

Barry Sams:  You have to be still, then more energy, then don’t look at the camera, then the cops get called, then break, then change clothes, more pictures. Its cool I like it!!

Greg Stephens:  It was a very overcast day. Industrial park, old steel mill. In the shadows of downtown. Had people driving by and watching. Got the cops called on us for noise. Funny enough we had a hard time hearing the music. Lol, the noisy one was Mr. Price. Trouble maker. We had a scene that is only briefly in the video where I had to walk down this fence line while all the band members were scattered along the fence line. I walked slooooooow at their orders we did it a few times. Price says man there is a bag at my feet and something stinks. We go look and it’s a dead animal. Ewwwwww true story.


Let’s talk tour riders: what is the one thing you MUST have when on the road?

 Jeff Price:  Peace Tea, BBQ or Hot Pork rinds, Granola bars

Barry Sams:  Nothing but the essentials for the road. Well…maybe Diet Sundrop.

Greg Stephens:  Water, Juice, Fruit and some Cheerwine as a special


Any road stories you can share without incriminating anyone?

Barry Sams:  Scaring Price into thinking he was late for the plane. Being laid over in Chicago for 9 hours. Hayworth scaring the hell out of convenience store patrons hollering WHAT THE F*%K!!!  [He’s over 6′ tall.  Would scare me!]

Shane Farris: ( The Quiet One)  Yeah I would agree with the WTF story.

Jeff Price:  Getting woke up abruptly while sleeping on a bench while waiting on the flight to leave for Oklahoma.

Greg Stephens:  Welllll, we pull a lot of pranks and Price is a common target but the best prank was one I Orchestrated in the studio on Barry.  Barry took his prized “never take it off the wall don’t even look at it” Schecter guitar to OKC to record and do the video.  I immediately started to scheme.  He is laying down scratch tracks for Price to do his drum tracks and he has to go to the restroom.  I get Shane to be lookout and to let me know when Barry is coming, I have Price lay in the floor and he wraps Barry’s guitar chord around his leg.  I litterally take about 5 mins to carefully lay the guitar down on the floor.  Shane gives me the high sign and I kick over an empty guitar case and Price starts with the “OOOOOooo Ooooo.”  The look on Barry’s face was priceless, if you will.  He is gritting his teeth taking it all in.  After about 3 or 4 mins he’s like “are you ok” with gritted teeth.  “Because if you are I’m gonna kill you.  Of all the things to happen,  you and your big clumsy feet.”  “Hey Barry” I’m pointing to the guitar case.   “I swear I should have never brought it.”   “Hey Barry,” the case. “You are so damn destructive.”  Finally I drop the case again. “You sorry Son Ofa”…and he walks out of the room!


Sounds like these guys are as much fun off stage as they are on stage.  They are based out of the Hickory, NC area but are about to start touring to promote their CD.  Be sure to check them out!  The next stop on the Rock blog Tour is on Thanksgiving, November 28 at Kristyn Phipps blog.  Here is the video for Epiphany to whet your appetite:





Busy Busy

color6It’s hard to believe it’s almost Thanksgiving.  Yes, I have started my Christmas shopping but only because I don’t want to have to deal with the crowds later on.  And I’m making a present this year and would like to not have to worry about more shopping while I try to finish it.

What else is going on?  I was sick the entire month of October.  I’m halfway through the current quarter of school.  And I’m attempting NaNoWriMo this year.  Attempting because I really haven’t had much time to write until one of my classes ended this past Friday.  But I am really excited about my story.  I think it will be good once it’s finished.  I’m also still editing at Voluted Tales.  That’s actually been a lot of fun.  I’m glad to have had the opportunity to help out Mark Turner and the rest of the staff.

One big thing I have coming up is a blog tour I’m putting together to help showcase an awesome band.  I’ve seen Skinn Jakkitt perform live a few times now and will happily go see them again.  I love music and will gladly help showcase and promote good performers.  Be sure to come back soon for a run down on the blog tour.


What color are your leaves?

Fall is in the air.  Candy is on sale after Halloween.  Temperatures are dropping.  Everyone is complaining about Daylight Savings Time.  Picture 015

It’s also National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo.  I recently read a rather derogatory blog about NaNo.  I am participating this year.  I don’t have a lot of word count yet, but I’m still working on it.  I’d like to address a couple of the things mentioned in this other blog.  I’m not naming names, that would be rude.  But I do think it bears discussion.

NaNoWriMo runs the entire month of November, all 30 days.  While some may think it’s impossible to write a complete novel in that time, you are writing 50,000 words.  A lot of novels are much longer.  Thanks to e-books many novels are shorter, also.  There are many authors who give pep talks during NaNo that talk about their own adventures writing a novel in 30 days.  Yes, it can be done and many do so.  Not all of it is publishable, but neither is everything you could write in 3 months.  The time limit is not a race.  It is supposed to help you prove a point to yourself.  Yes, you can make time to sit down and write every day for 30 days in a row.  Guess what?  It takes 30 days to create a habit.  *gasp*

Wow.  I’m making a habit of writing.  Imagine that.  A lot of people need that deadline of November 30th.  They write better under pressure.  Some people can crank 5-10 thousand words a day with no problem and breeze to the finish.  Some people do NaNo for the challenge itself, to jump-start their creativity for a project, for some camaraderie while following a solitary pursuit.  The reasons why we NaNo is as diverse as the thousands of people worldwide who participate each year.

Many people who NaNo do write everyday of the year.  There is nothing wrong with a little competition among friends when writing.  Especially if you have an in-person writing group to write with.  And don’t forget the kids.  NaNoWriMo has a Young Writer’s Program to encourage young people to write.  The son of a friend in my local group participated last year.  He got inspired after tagging along to a meeting.  Not only did he write, but he met his goal and had a great time flexing his creativity.

NaNoWriMo knows that we write more than just in November.  That’s why they have Bootcamps twice a year where we get to set our word count goals and still face that challenge with a little less pressure.  Sometimes it makes it easier to silence the inner editor and simply get words on the page.

I think what struck me most about this other blog was that it assumed it was a waste of “valuable time” and that NaNo people only write in November.  Any time spent writing is good time.  All word on the page are a success, especially for those who struggle to get those words.  That other blog was almost discouraging despite the author’s well wishes to those participating.  I’ve always believed that you should encourage other people to write or express themselves in whatever creative way they choose.  Never discourage someone from writing.  Be honest about your own experience with the written word, but always, always, always encourage people to write.  Sometimes that one person saying “Go ahead, you can do it” is the only encouragement they get.

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