There is a special place in my heart for thrash punk that makes me want to just flip a table and wild out, and The Jereactors deliver just that kind of sneering energy. For about four years now, the band have been causing mayhem and mischief wherever they go, and have a handful of releases available designed as a soundtrack to setting shit on fire and howling at the moon. You want that sweet fury, you blast this at full volume. You can listen to their most recent release below, and catch them tonight at the Inaugural Bash at the Cure Lounge, an anti-Trump rally for everyone disenfranchised with such (editor’s note: raises hand). We caught up with them to ask about the state of the world, getting fired up, and archery!
Never Nervous: How did The Jereactors start? What is the ex-members of list for the folks involved and how did previous experience, if any, influence the band?
Lester X Bolles: The Jereactors came on the heels of the prior band JS and I were in called The Righteous Wrongs. I knew the singer in the band, Clyde Deluxe, from playing pool with him at the Mag Bar. He wanted to start a band and introduced me to JS. That was almost 7 years ago. JS and I started writing songs and playing with drummers (a few old school scene guys even) but nothing came of it until we enlisted JS’s older brother – who went by “Fuckin’ Gary” (and is the Gary mentioned in the song “Gary’s Got A Headache”). After a while, we went a different direction than the singer was going and I – temporarily (see: 4 years) – took over on vocals. That’s when we officially adopted the name Jereactors (a play on “geriatric”… due to me dating a girl much younger than me at the time). After a bit, we decided to part ways with Gary, and I placed an ad on Craigslist and found ET. I jammed with him one time and knew he was the guy for the job. ET is the backbone of this band now.
Escoria Toxico: Well I think Lester took mag bar as an interview office, because after finding it on craigslist it was our first date jejejee
NN: What drew you to thrash and punk? How does that best express your voice?
LB: As for me, I was handed a bass at 18 and was told I could be “SID VICIOUS!!!” and while I’ve done a variety of other styles, I’m always drawn back to the visceral anger behind punk.
ET: I feel that the world can hear me.
Leroy Spectre: I’ve had anger issues most of my life, so I can kind of resonate with some of the harder edged stuff. I was more of a metalhead in high school, but what made me gravitate more towards punk and away from metal was how punk felt like there was a bit more freedom to it. You could say whatever you want however you want.
“What made me gravitate more towards punk and away from metal was how punk felt like there was a bit more freedom to it. You could say whatever you want however you want.”
NN: It seems that the members of the band have a “punk name” thing going on. Why embrace that aspect of the genre? I don’t mean that to be critical either, I’m seriously interested in how that renegotiation of your own name might affect your identity or perspective.
LB: Interesting question. First, MY name – Lester Bolles – Les (pronounced LESS) is the shortened name for Lester… and Bolles is pronounced “balls”. Less balls… I have one testicle. 😉
As to identity, I took it to another level by dressing like a super villain/hero. It’s fun to lose myself in that persona. For a while, my schtick was to insult the other bands and the people in the crowd. Some dude almost punched me at a Cincy house show because of it. Also, like my two idols (problematic as they are), Lee Ving (FEAR) and Oderus Urungus (GWAR)… pissing people off at “punk” shows helps the crowd get into an angrier/”moshier” mood.
ET: We are the scum for society, so why not be toxic also? LOL.
“We are the scum for society, so why not be toxic also?”
LS: My story isn’t that interesting. People either refer to me as Leroy or they refer to me as Spectre. It’s just a part of who I am.
Lester Bolles Making Senor Wences Style Puppet Hand To Answer For Jimmy Shithead: They call me Jimmy Shithead because I’m a shithead.
NN: I understand the band recently went through a line up change. How has that changed your sound?
LB: See above about my role as singer. I never really wanted it… but I also like being a fucking loudmouth asshole on stage. Honestly though, and this sounds sad to say, my health has been kind of bad lately… so, I wanted a break from singing. We enlisted long time scene fixture, Leroy Spectre, and that’s changed a few little internal things… but, outwardly, he can get in with the crowd more and has the power/stamina that I was starting to lose. As to how it will affect us in the future, we’re taking a little time off in a few months to write new stuff with LS in mind.
LS: Well, it hasn’t shut Lester up during shows, that’s for sure. When they had me try out, I tried my damnedest to learn the songs the way Lester sang them, while trying to put my own little spin on them. I still feel like it’s a work in progress on my end.
(LB: Good luck shutting me up)
NN: Relative to that, when should we expect an album with the current line up?
LB: Recording time ain’t cheap.
LS: And when we get the money for that is anyone’s guess.
LB: To this end, I’d like to get something with LS recorded soon. Our Bandcamp could use the update… plus, we have LS now and should really have recordings that represent that. I MAY pull down a chunk of stuff from the BC page. I dunno.
NN: How does the band operate? Is it wholly democratic or is there one primary mover?
LB: *I* think it’s a mix. Songwriting, we’ve all written things that are full or parts of the songs we play. All of us do some kind of vocal part. As to the business side… that’s me… and I’m a cruel fucking dictator.
ET: (Lester) Is not a dictator – lies, mostly steals my ideas lol.
LS: Still trying to figure out how this band operates.
LBMSWSPHTAFJS: No one ever listens to me… for I am a lowly puppet hand.
NN: Tell us about the inauguration show. What do you hope people take away from this and why?
“Whew… man… I hate that fucking Trump guy.”
LB: Whew… man… I hate that fucking Trump guy. Anyway, when he won, my first thought was some kind of protest show. I saw that the inauguration was for the 20th and noted it was a Friday. I messaged Elliott at Cure on November 9th or 10th. I HAD to do a show. My next thought was angry snarling punk… and then, my thoughts went to marginalized people. They’re the ones who are going to feel the most heat while this administration is in office. The first band I asked was Bathroom Laws. Not only are they a great band, but that’s one of the voices I wanted people to hear. Clearly, Bathroom Laws are a hot button issue, so they’re a band I want in this mix. Also, our drummer – ET – is a Cuban refugee. His voice needed to be heard. It went from there. I’m very happy with the acts we ended up with. You have Yoko and the Tycoon$ Of Teen crew bringing some dance stuff. Ron brings their brand of crazy. Archaeas is a one person band thing and I dug it from first listen. I’ve mentioned Bathroom Laws… and we end the night off with Mouth To Mouth. They have a song about a white nationalist piece of shit. I like that.
LS: For people who feel marginalized to realize we’re all in this together, that we have a lot of work to do these next four years. That we need to pay more attention to whatever legislation they try to pass and fight it. Something to that effect.
NN: How can music, punk or otherwise, influence minds, if at all?
LB: Lyrics and tone. Of course it can. Personally, I keep a chunk of my politics out of my music… but ET has a lot to say in the political arena. In some cases, I’ve translated it to English… while in others, I let it go in his native tongue.
ET: Is a bridge to be heard and scream what you feel when you want to explode.
LS: I try to do the songs in his native tongue as best I can. A good song can catch the ear, and matched with the right words the message sticks with you.
NN: How does the music of The Jereactors intersect with politics? Where do you all stand? How important is it that bandmates share the same ideals, at least in a general respect?
LB: I’m a “______”… heh. I guess I’m a slightly socially minded “fuck em all” anarchist. I dunno. I know we can do better in the way of leadership. THAT I do know. That being said, Trump is a horrible pick for the job. While I know a thing or two about the rest of the guys, I’ll let them answer.
“I’m a slightly socially minded “fuck em all” anarchist. I dunno. I know we can do better in the way of leadership. THAT I do know. That being said, Trump is a horrible pick for the job.”
ET: Fuck communism, socialism and fuck usa.
LBMSWSPHTAFJS: YAY TRUMP!!!
NN: What constitutes a good show and why? As an audience member what do you look for? How does that differ, if at all, from your experience as a performer?
LB: Engagement. Is your crowd engaged? If you’ve got only 20 people and they’re transfixed on what you’re doing, that’s as epic a show as any. As an audience member, I feel the same. If I’m watching a band… I want their set time to “take an hour” before I feel restless… and I want them to end making me feel like I only saw 10 actual minutes. Timelessness while in the crowd.
LS: Energy. I want the band to be excited to play, then let that translate to the audience. I usually walk out if everyone in the band is looking down and if the singer has all the presence of a seventh grader having to read a book report in front of the class.
NN: You can teleport three people into a Black Hole. Who is it and why?
LB: Into? As in, poof… you’re gone? Fuck… I dunno. There’s too many people that could and should go. TRUMPPENCEBEVINMCCONNELARPIAO?
ET: ONE MORE CASTRO
(LB: Castro is already dead, dude)
LS: Martin Shkreli- really, is there anything redeeming about him? Rupert Murdoch- Former and current acting CEO of Fox News. Need I say more? Mike Pence- he’s more dangerous than Trump.
“Martin Shkreli- really, is there anything redeeming about him?”
(LB: Can we add the corpses of Ronald and Nancy Reagan?)
NN: On a scale of one to awesome, how would you rate your talent with a bow and arrow?
LS: 1.5 – I have failed this city.
NN: Does it ever bother you that there is a device identified as a “hoverboard” that does, in fact, not hover?
LB: I was promised transporters and replicators.
LS: It still looks silly no matter what you call it.
NN: What non-musical interests have you interested lately and why? Have you read, watched, eaten, or drank anything worth mentioning?
LB: I make some art and jewelry. I liked some things that I watched from Netflix and “internet liberation.” I eat salad for lunch these days. That’s tasty.
LS: I’ve been auditioning for and acting in some local films for the past few years. Some were really good, some were a waste of time. Taking a class on method acting once or twice a week depending on my work schedule, so I can try to actually be better at this. Fortunately, these don’t interfere with band practice and shows.
NN: What are your top three desert island album picks and why?