The Januariez is a Seattle-based rock band that mixes punk, funk and blues to create an eclectic sound with the standout Little Rock-laced voice of vocalist, rhythm guitar player and song-writer J-kNee, bassist Tony Rivera and drummer Reno. The three passionate and long-time musicians came together in 2011 with a goal to deliver something special; a female-led punk rock band with meaning and depth.
“It’s hard to be both eclectic and accessible at the same time. Usually you end up being one or the other. The Januariez manages to be both, “says bassist Tony Rivera. “In the 90s we would have just called it ‘alternative’; in the early 2000s we would have called it ‘Indie.’ It’s a cool combination of energetic, rumbly interesting chord voicing backing a clean, accessible melody.”
Their debut album Authentic (Epochalyptic Media, 2012) is produced by Jack Endino and will be released on October 27, 2012. A collection of work with substance and meaning, Authentic has something to say. It’s a rock manifesto of personal evolution and resolution. “The unifying element between all songs is conflict. Each song is inspired by some sort of past conflict. The album title and title track is a mantra I used to conquer the conflicts explored throughout the rest of the album,” explains vocalist and song-writer, J-kNee. “One tune may be upbeat and fun, while the next is slow, grimy and intense; a well-rounded overall sound,” drummer Reno. Innocent Words Magazine describes them as “painting with an abstract of influences including 1970-80s punk, straightforward rock with down and dirty blues, The Januariez have made it work and work well…think T. Rex with a little Thin Lizzy and Veruca Salt fronted by Ani DiFranco.”
Jason’s Jukebox described lead single “Dying Man” as “a song with an angular feel to it, evoking the spirit of the great Olympia, WA band Heavens to Betsy. A repetitive guitar riff anchors the song down with a minor (but beautiful) guitar solo….fades out with singer J-kNee singing her heart out.”
J-kNee is originally from outside of Little Rock, Arkansas and now lives in Seattle by way of Tacoma. She made the move to the Northwest with a one way bus ticket and at the suggestion of a musician passing through Little Rock who told her the Northwest would be the perfect place for a female rocker. She carries the challenges and scares from her youth: battling with family mental illness and rebelling against the imbedded racism and segregation of the South. She’s a socially charged artist, dedicated feminist and has experienced first-hand how music can change a life. “I wanted to pursue music since I was a toddler. I used to get on the coffee table and air guitar. In fact, I had drawn life-sized people all on the walls and told my mom they were my audience. That’s when I went to my first psychologist,” says J-kNee.
Drummer, Reno, whose name reveals his place of birth, but not the boisterous energy that follows him from studio to stage, has been playing drums since he was a kid, and first performed in front of an audience at the age of 12. “From that moment forward I’ve been striving to improve as a musician, as well as a person, and establish a good reputation,” says Reno. Highly influenced by Tim Alexander from Primus, Danny Carey from Tool and John Bonham from Led Zepplin, Reno is known for his ability to play a variety of different styles and techniques. “I don’t limit myself to one style or genre of music because I believe versatility is a virtue in music and in life.” Previous projects include A Sic End produced with Dudley Taft and two full-length albums with Southside.
Bassist Tony Rivera is a self-proclaimed 80’s metal kid but was exposed to all types of music, and introduced to the possibility of making music a career, when he joined a 50s/60s cover band in college. The introspective and easygoing bassist strives to make the songs cohesive, give groove and life to Jane’s quirky bass lines. “I find myself reaching into classic rock, blues, early metal ,70s funk and experimental, more King Crimson than modern free-form,” says Tony. Since 1993 Tony has recorded 23 demos, compilations and full-length albums and has played most notable venues throughout the Northwest.