Published Feb 01, 2000Jahmeel, the bandleader of the new Winnipeg swirl-rock band Projektor, is well aware that most people's first point of reference is going to be his work with heavier-than-thou metal band the Kittens, who are on a semi-permanent hiatus. "To be honest, every interview I've done, that's the main topic of conversation thus far," says Jahmeel. "Once the record comes out and people hear it they can judge it on their own merits."
But because the creative Kittens were hardly a one-dimensional metal band, it's not surprising that a moodier rock band like Projektor could emerge from its ashes. "Some of the stuff we were working on before we split was quite different," says Jahmeel. "The songs that didn't end up on the Night Danger album were quite melodic and triumphant-sounding, and that's where Projektor's coming from. I've always been a huge fan of melody, and I've tried to inject that into any band I'm in. Sean wrote most of the music for Kittens, but the song The Water Skier' on Bazooka and the Hustler is probably the most melodic song on that album, and that's the one that I had the most writing input on. Projektor is my opportunity to do exactly what I wanted to do. I've always been in really aggressive bands, but this time I wanted to do something different so that no one would compare it to what I've done previously."
The Kittens split in 1998, when Sean and Dave left Winnipeg for scholastic exploration, and Jahmeel wasn't immediately sure what his future would hold. He took a break from playing music for a while and worked two jobs, before jumping into the fray through stints with Duotang, Transistor Sound & Lighting Co., and Shallow North Dakota. When he took the mic for the first time on some basement demos, the seeds of Projektor were sown. Projektor is rounded out by bassist Chris Harder, textural guitarist Dustin Leader (Leaderhouse) and drummer Darren Achorn (Meatrack), and their debut album Red Wolf Glass comes out on Endearing in May.
"At first I was concerned that most of the songs have the same time signature and a moody feel to them," says Jahmeel. "But with most of the records that I like that are moody, when they have a really upbeat rock song, I don't want to hear that; I want to hear the mellow ones. There are pop elements present, but it's not Sloan or anything. But mostly we write moody, dark-sounding songs. It's kind of selfish, making a record for myself and what I want to hear."