Only Living Witness
:: A Chronicles of Chaos Exclusive ::Conducted at the 1995 Foundations Forum
by: Adrian Bromley
"Right now, too many bands are writing heavy riffs, and how angry they are but there is real music to be made," says Jonah Jenkins, frontman for one of Boston's heaviest bands, Only Living Witness. "Maybe we're not making it, but we are trying."

It has been three years since the release of their critically acclaimed first outing, _Prone Mortal Form_ (Century Media), and even though the music industry has changed in more ways than one, Jenkins and the rest of his crew - guitarist Craig Silverman, bassist Chris Crowley and drummer Eric Stevenson - are setting their sights on one thing and one thing only: touring. "We want to tour the States as soon as possible. I just want to tour with the new material," says an excited Jenkins.

He goes on to add, "we've just wrapped up working on our latest LP, titled _Innocence_ (we here at CoC have one of the few two-song demos circulating right now), and are awaiting its release in January or February 1996. The artwork will be done real soon, and the promo discs will probably be out sometime in October. So tape it for your friends," he says with a huge smirk.

The band has for years been a favorite underground hard/metal band, willing to play loud music that stroked emotions and delivered heavy riffage. How has the band managed to stay such a success in the underground music scene? "I have no idea. I am happy being this way as long as we can tour. I'm not really going to make money doing this. The main thing is that I want to travel, play everywhere. Hey, if Century Media is going to make enough money to put me back in the studio and I can pay my rent, I'll be happy."

Speaking of studio work, it has almost been three years since the release of their debut. Does Jenkins believe the band will be able to fit the mold of the '90's? Is the music timely enough to stand on its own? Jenkins responds, "I think our music is timely. It has been a big progression for us. I mean it has been almost three years now since _Prone Mortal Form_. It has been a long time, and the music we play now, we all love it and I think it is a natural progression for us, but I don't think the music is the same thing any more though."

How so? "The songs are just as heavy as the last album, some heavier, and we have more melody this time around, a bit more catchier than last time but it's still very dark music. We are trying not to take it as seriously anymore, because I smile too."

With the amount of time that went into making their forthcoming sophomore effort, has the band been reading up on how to follow in the footsteps of music's 'key procrastinators,' Guns N' Roses? About the album delay, Jenkins accounts, "we had lots of problems with the label and other people at the label. But we talked with our lawyers and eventually got on better terms with our label. People that were working there shouldn't have been there, and now they (the label) have a new revamped crew in there and they are right on. Things are going to happen the way we need them to happen right now."

"Fortunately, from working full-time jobs, we have a bit of money right now and new equipment. We are really happy with what the future holds for us." Confident that 1996 will bring about success for the band, how does, or better yet, how will Jenkins monitor the success of the band with their new album? "It can be monitored already as some form of a success. This time was more relaxed. We used more money and had more time (recorded in only ten days with producer Tim O'Hare) to do the album. It is easy to work in those conditions - not restricted - whereas in the last recording it was tense in the studio. That recording you can hear the tenseness. It is very much polished, and everyone was anal retentive about the recording process. Now you hear the squeals and the squeaks, and I don't care. I just want people to hear the songs. That's it."

Only Living Witness delivering the goods in '96. Long wait, eh? But well worth it.

(article submitted 1/10/1995)

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