Binary Code’s Jesse Zuretti discusses the bands latest release “Moonsblood”

Jesse Zuretti is the founding member of the New Jersey based progressive metal band Binary Code. The group recently released their four full-length album titled “Moonsblood” in May of this year and are set to begin touring in support of the release in July. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jesse recently about the new album, his new found writing freedom and about the groups upcoming summer tour.

Ryan Albro: It seems a lot has changed in the band over the last 7 years since your first album was released, most notably, line-up changes. How much would you say the band has changed over that period of time?

Jesse Zuretti: That time period was mostly due to the writing process. This is the first release we have done where I was in control of writing the entire thing. I would say that because it was put into a position of songs get written when they get written instead of forcing them out it took a little bit of time. The end result was songs truer to the mindset that I was in each time they were written. Since nothing was forced it kind of allowed the songs to come at a natural pace, which is for me, in hindsight, a better way for the music to come about in the natural process. My drummer and I at the time used to jam a lot and write songs very quickly because we both had one another to hash things out with. This new stuff comes from me sitting down and very methodically coming up with the songs and being able to emphasize more of a song structure behind it. In my opinion as much as I like the contribution from the whole band it was definitely easier for me to come up with the songs in those moments. In the future there’s going to be a lot more involvement from the guys that are in the band right now. It will be more of a fusion. I think it’s for the best.

RA: What was the recording and writing process like this time around versus your previous releases?

JZ: The last two releases that we did were a combination of DYI mixed with help from a friend of ours who was manning the studio. It was very hands on for me in the recording process the last time. This time it was 100% we had a producer there. He would very uniformly tell me when things were right and wrong. The input from having an outside prospective on the music really helped with getting the best out of the music. It’s always really good to have a second set of ears on something. Having Eyal Levi involved with his music background thrown into the mix with guys who aren’t super musically schooled really made me a better musician at the end because the amount of preparation that goes into recording with Eyal is unbelievable. You go into it and you come out a better musician. In the past we would write a song and then show up to the studio. This time I would write the song and have it pre-produced. That would give me the option of look back at the songs and adding or changing things that I wish I could have done before. I just really got to have my influences shine through a little bit more because it was kind of like a representation of the song writing that I do.

RA: That album art is killer, what can you tell us about that?

JZ: The artist who did it, his name is Acid Toad, he’s an artist from Bangalore. I was blown away when I first saw his artwork. He does everything with paper and ink. I just feel like the market in the progressive metal scene right now in terms of art is very homogenous. There’s a constant flow of similarities between the bands, like everyone is drawing influence from another band. This guy’s artwork is so otherworldly that I thought he would be the guy. We had a lot of amazing guys do art for us and we noticed a lot of it was similar to the style of other bands and we didn’t want to do that. He was awesome, he’s going to do stuff for us in the future without a doubt. I really want to have a relationship with an artist. The influence behind that was the relationship H.R. Giger had with the band Triptykon and their history together. I really wanted to do the same thing with this guy.

RA: What made you to decide to release the album yourselves?

JZ: It came down to whether or not we wanted to continue waiting for a business opportunity to come along to help with the release. We had just been waiting so long. We all decided it was time we did this on our own and it ended up being really exciting for us. I expected to be devastated be the idea of doing this on our own after all this time and it actually was a very exciting thing for us. We’re really happy to be doing it this way. There’s definitely a possibility of it in the future, just at this point we had to make a move.

RA: What are your plans to tour the highly anticipated new material?

JZ: We have a tour that’s being worked out for the end of July into August. We decided instead of wearing ourselves thin with a one month long tour we’re going to have a little space in-between and change it up with different bands. That will be hitting most of the U.S. After that we have something we’re working on with a band from Norway. We’re not really at a point where we can really say who it is, but they’re a band that we’ve played with before. We’re hoping that works out and the line-up for that tour’s killer and if that goes through that will be September. We’re definitely going to be a very busy band over the summer. We put so much work into the music and we waited so long and have been so patient, so the best thing for us is to go out and work as hard as we can.

Spero’s Jesse Hofstee talks about new EP “Pride”

Jesse Hofstee is the guitarist and vocalist for the band Spero. Based out of San Diego, CA Spero plays a blend of rock, folk and blues and have been compared to the Black Keys and Jack White. The groups newest EP titled “Pride” is set for a mid November release and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jesse recently about the group and their new release.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the formation of the band?
Jesse Hofstee: I think everything started in or around 2011. I had known Hillary Laughery the keyboard player from high school and had just gotten out of another band I was in while in college. I wasn’t really playing at the time but would jam and work on some songs. Hillary and I got together to play some songs and we connected almost instantly. We spent the whole summer just playing and writing songs. We would play for 8 hours at a time. Things just went together really easy. After that we decided we were going to try and make it and set out to put a band together. I got Nick Hankins to come play bass and then Ryan Malette to play drums. I had actually played in a heavy metal band with both of them in high school.

AL: How would you describe the band’s sound as it is quite unique?
JH: We have elements of blues, rock and roll and at time indie rock. It’s really just a mix of blues and rock. Some of our songs have more blues elements while others are more rock. We sort of cross a number genres but I think if I had to pick one to put us in it would be more of the blues/rock genre.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands new EP?
JH: For most of the songs it’s either I or Hillary writing the foundation or structure of the songs. We then work on them as a band and change things around as we want everyone input and style to be a part of the process. One of the first songs we did for this EP was the title track “Pride”. I think that song was sort of a theme over the others that were written. It’s about taking pride in your work and who you are while not giving up. That’s really the overlying theme on the EP. I wrote 4 of the songs and Hillary wrote 2. We really were refining our sound as we went along and were happy with how things went. The release has a lot of variety and doesn’t really stick us into a specific genre.

AL: How would you describe the progression from your previous release to where you are now?
JH: With the last album we were still sort of figuring out what we wanted to do. We sort of just went straight through with things on that record. With the new EP we were able to expand more and spend more time on each of the tracks. Some of the songs came quickly while other took a little longer. We did some demoing and then sent them over to a producer. We wanted a more complete release and push things a bit further this time.

AL: What was it about doing an EP that was more appealing rather than doing another full length album?
JH: Where we are at right now we are still just trying to get our sound out to new people. I felt we had a handful of songs that went together well and followed the same theme. I wanted to get new music out there and wasn’t really concerned with doing a full length. We are still trying to attract new people and I think giving people a full album can be a bit overwhelming. With an EP it’s a little easier to digest and it’s a less expensive process.

AL: What are the bands current tour plans?
JH: We are hoping to do another coastal tour once the EP is out. We did a run of shows up the west coast a little bit ago and that went really well so we definitely want to do something like that again. We are looking to find a team to help get us out to more people as its hard to focus on both that and the writing aspect of things.

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Win a DVD of the Action FIlm “Jesse” [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed up with ARC Entertainment to give three lucky readers a chance to win a DVD copy of the film “Jesse,” starring William Forsythe, Armand Assante and Stephanie Finochio.

Wrestling fans will remember Finochio as WWE star Trinity. All you have to do to win is let us know which pro wrestler (male or female) you’d like to see on the big screen. Who do you think will be the next John Cena, Hulk Hogan or Dwayne Johnson? Let us know below and three random comments will be chosen to receive a DVD copy of “Jesse.”

This contest runs through Friday, August 29, 2014.

Good luck!


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Emmure’s Jesse Ketive talks about new album “Eternal Enemies”

Jesse Ketive is the guitarist for the Queens, NY metal band Emmure. The group released their 6th studio album in April of this year via Victory records titled “Eternal Enemies”. The album landed at number 4 on the Top Hard Rock charts giving the band some solid ground to stand on as they join this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Media Mikes spoke with Jesse recently about the album’s release and what the band is most looking forward to during this summer’s tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us the lowdown on the band’s new album “Eternal Enemies”?
Jesse Ketive: We mostly stuck with the same formula that we have always used but added in a few new tricks. The biggest thing with this record is how the vocals and instrumentation go back and forth.  Things like this always seem to happen during production because we hear something happen that was unplanned and like it so we keep it. Those are pleasant surprises.

AL: What is a general studio session like for the band?
JK: Ever since the very first album I have recorded all of the guitar and bass. Sometimes the other guys will come in and throw some things down but for the most part I am the guy doing the recording. We all do different things and contribute to one another’s ideas.

AL: What steps do you take to try and evolve your sound while still keeping in-line with what you are known for musically?
JK: Our songs don’t have standard structures. We like to change up the flow and style of things. Sometimes a song will be short and sometimes it will be a bit longer. We just try and keep things aggressive with a groovy pace.

AL: What are you guys most looking forward to about being a part of Mayhem Festival this summer?
JK: We are ready to get out there and have a great time and put on an awesome set. We have some shows lined up in Canada and overseas where we will be working on refining the set so it’s going to be really great.

AL: What was it that made you choose Mayhem Festival over a traditional solo tour?
JK: There are a lot of bands and tours that go out during the summer. They all sport great lineups and to go out on your own it can be very easy to get passed over. So it’s that “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality. You look for a package that best fits your style and you go out there and put on some great shows. Everyone involved with Mayhem is great so joining up with them again was an easy decision.

AL: What are the plans for the band after Mayhem wraps up?
JK: We have a very exciting headlining tour lined up for the fall/winter seasons. I can’t announce it just yet but we will be out there doing shows for sure.


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Jesse Ventura talks about his new show on Ora.TV, “Off the Grid” and 2016 Presidential election rumors

You might know him by the name Jesse “The Body” Ventura or Governor Jesse Ventura, the former pro-wrestler and Minnesota governor has a new online TV series on Ora.TV called “Off the Grid”,a daily political news show, starting January 27th, 2014. If you want to know what happens when the mainstream media is owned by the corporations and isn’t diligently investigating or reporting the news? Then you are going to want to turn in to this show at Media Mikes had a chance to ask him a few questions about the show and about the rumors of him running for President in 2016.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what we can expect from your online TV series “Off the Grid”?
Jesse Ventura: Tune in to find out! Every episode will feature news you won’t hear anywhere else. Mainstream media is too focused on entertainment. We hear more about when an actress trips in a dress during an award show than the fact that the majority of Congress only works three days a week. The main focus of my show is the hypocrisy of America’s political leaders – nothing and no one is off limits. I am “Off the Grid” in the sense that I don’t have anyone telling me what to report or how to report. All I am interested in reporting is the truth.

MG: How did you end up getting involved with Ora.TV?
JV: Through Larry King. After I went on Larry’s show [Politicking] he told me that Ora TV gives him the freedom to report what he wants and that greatly appealed to me.

MG: What do you think the benefits are of working in internet TV?
JV: My show is being produced at undisclosed locations in Mexico, so I can avoid any threats of government censorship. That’s the true benefit of internet TV. I give the people the news they want to hear and I don’t have to worry about corporations or big brother getting in the way and censoring me.

MG: Tell us how you plan to interact fans on social media like Facebook and Twitter?
JV: The show will have several features which will allow me to answer questions from Facebook and Twitter fans. There will be an #AskJesse segment where I’ll answer any questions fans have and they’ll also be able to suggest questions to ask my upcoming guests too. There’s more information about this on my blog:

MG: Can you talk to us about the rumors of you running for President in 2016?
JV: I’ll be addressing those rumors on my show, but again, running for president as an independent comes down to two things: ballot access in all 50 states and participation in the debates. Like I say, if I can debate ’em, I can beat ’em.

Here is some Media Mikes exclusive content from “Off the Grid”

Here is the first episode of “Off the Grid”


Jackyl’s Jesse James Dupree talks about “Throttle Fest”

Jesse James Dupree is chainsaw wielding front man of the rock group Jackyl who have been terrorizing stages around the world since the early 90’s. Jesse also appears on the popular TruTV series “Full Throttle Saloon” which documents the venues daily operation during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which is held yearly in the black hills of South Dakota. On August 22-24 “Throttle Fest” which features elements of the television show and live musical acts rolls in to Kansas City for what could be the events biggest show to date. Media Mikes caught up with Jesse recently to discuss all things Throttle.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us an overview of “Throttle Fest” which kicks off on August 22nd?
Jesse James Dupree: We have been taking “Throttle Fest” all over the country. In May we were in Myrtle Beach and then in June we were in Chicago. From there we go to Sturgis and after that wraps up we will be in Kansas City starting August 22nd. I think that show is probably going to be the biggest “Throttle fest” we have ever done. On the entertainment alone for this fest we have a million dollar budget. It’s going to be a huge gathering and in all honestly I think people are going to make a pilgrimage to Kansas City that weekend. I have actually challenged the people of Kansas City to show off and bring all their friends and relatives. You can always count on Kansas City to come out and support an event like this.

AL: How involved are you in the production and logistics of these events?
JJD: I am more hands on with “Throttle Fest” than I am at the place in Sturgis. I kind of take the lead on pulling things together. I sort of pulled Michael and Angie in to this kicking and screaming because Sturgis takes so much out of them. I am able to go up and have fun during Sturgis while they are working 24/7.

AL: Do these live events feature all the things we have seen on the television series?
JJD: You will see everything from the “Globe of Death” to motorcycles being ridden on high wires to the Flaunt girls and the Rockstar bar tenders. Everything you see, smell and touch will be “Full Throttle”. We have been doing events like this even before we had the television show so with the success of that it was a no brainer to start doing more of these so people who couldn’t make it to South Dakota could still get the chance to experience what it’s like to attend one of our events.

AL: Can you give us some background on how the show initial came about?
JJD: I had executive produced other television shows and I was the one who put this package together and brought it to the network. I was the one who told them this needed to be a television show. For every one person that goes to Sturgis there are a thousand at home who go vicariously through the show. It took a couple years to find a network that understood what we were doing but once we put it in the can and the TruTV saw it they got it right away.

AL: Jackyl are on the bill for this show but will you guys be doing any other shows throughout the summer?
JJD: We are out there touring every week. I just got back from Nashville and I will be heading out to Iowa and Indiana. People can check out for a full list of dates because we will be everywhere.

AL: Do you find it hard balancing all the different aspects of your career?
JJD: I wake up every day and take a big bite out of life’s ass. I am a blessed guy in that everything I do is energetic and I try not to over think things. These things all come from an organic place and weather your talking to the guy on the television, the stage or the guy holding the bourbon you’re getting the same guy.

AL: Do you have any other plans or projects in the work?
JJD: Jackyl has started working on some new material as that’s something we will always be doing. We start filming for the new season of the television show in a couple of weeks and that will air in November.

Patrick Duffy and Jesse Metcalf gives a sneak into TNT’s “Dallas”

This summer TNT is reinventing the classic TV series “Dallas” and bringing back to TV. It is bringing a mix of original and new characters. Patrick Duffy is returning to his role, along with new co-star Jesse Metcalf. “Dallas” premiers Wednesday, June 13th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on TNT. Media Mikes had a chance to ask the guys a few questions about what we can expect from the new 2012 “Dallas”.

Mike Smith: How do you feel that the new version of “Dallas” differs and how is it similar?
Jesse Metcalf: Okay. Well, I don’t think we’ve changed what made the original series great.I mean the show still centers around the major themes of family dynamics, greed, loyalty, love, and betrayal. But we’ve just updated it. We made it modern and definitely socially relevant to the times. And in addition to that we added some new characters. Obviously, Christopher and John Ross were established in the original series. But, now you now get to see the type of man that these two children have grown up to be. We also introduced the character of Elena Ramos, who is the one side of the love triangle between, Josh Henderson and Jordana. She’s the daughter of our…
Patrick Duffy: The Ewing housekeeper…
JM: Yeah, the Ewing housekeeper. She definitely wasn’t a part of the original series. Then we also have my fiancé, Rebecca Sutter played by Julie Gonzalo. It’s a great marriage of the original show and the original cast and some new cast members.
PD: Yeah. The difference also is just technologically speaking television is done so differently now that if we tried to duplicate the old school “Dallas” I think it would be slow in appearance and in substance for a modern audience. So with the technology that we have with high def cameras and the new way of directing television, which is so dynamic and so intense in terms of the pacing. And the scripts reflect that also. They’re much more condensed. We get maybe four or five episodes of an old “Dallas” in one episode of the new “Dallas”. So all of these things I think contemporize the old show. But we maintain the honor that Cynthia Cidre and Mike Robin feel towards the show. So that hasn’t changed. And I think that’s what will impress old viewers as they look at the new Dallas is it’s so much similar to what they were used to. But it’s done for a contemporary audience. So we think we got the best of both worlds. And we’re hoping that everybody out there is going to agree with us.

MS: So Patrick, what was it like to hear the news that they were recreating the show? And did you ever see it coming back as a series?
PD: No, because I didn’t think that anybody knew how to do it as a series again. The real brains and heart behind the show is our executive producer, Leonard Cassman. And he died. All of these other attempts to write scripts and to promote a movie or a television show that fell so far short of what the original concept was. I didn’t think anybody had the ability anymore. Then Cynthia Cidre wrote a script and it was submitted to Larry and Linda and myself. And it was phenomenal. The pilot script for the show had everything even better than I would say half of the original “Dallas” scripts that we got. So from the moment, the three of us read it we were onboard. And it was the first time I ever thought it was a possibility of returning as a series. And we filmed the pilot. I was sure that we were going to series. I was sure we were going to do this show. I’m still as optimistic that it’s going to go for years and years, because the quality of it is so satisfying having done the show for 13 years to see how well it can be redone again in 2012. I would be more than happy if this were my swan song.

MS: Do each of you have a favorite scene that you’ve done or favorite moment from the first few episodes that you could each talk about?
JM: I probably have a favorite moment from every episode. It’s really difficult for me to pick just one scene. I mean the fun thing about this show is that it’s a magnificent ensemble. Every single day you get to work with a different actor. I love working with all these different actors on the show for different reasons. But I’d say from the pilot episode my favorite scene would have to be the scene where Christopher confronts Elena about possibly betraying him and about the email. Patrick and I have had a number of really strong scenes
PD: Yeah.
JM: What do you think, Patrick?
PD: Well it’s interesting to me, because several of my favorite scenes didn’t make it to the show. That’s what’s interesting is that these scripts are so compact and so intense every scene is so brilliantly done. You finish filming and you think I can’t wait to see that. And then it’s edited out. Well because, you just can’t put everything in each episode. I am sure it still exists somewhere; especially when it comes out on a DVD there will be, additional scenes as an ancillary side to the DVD. You have to as an actor let that go. But I had a scene with Jesse in a barn, which they only kept the lead in scene for that. And they eliminated it. And it was one of my favorite ones of that episode. But over the years I’ve learned to let those feelings go and just enjoy what I see. Most of my new scenes that I have with my wife, with Brenda Strong, are really satisfying, that to me is the big test to find someone who would be the new Mrs. Bobby Ewing is a tough decision that casting had to make. It was a tough role for somebody to accept and Brenda is so good and I feel like when I watch us on camera anymore that we’ve been married for 20 years. There’s just an ease that we have with each other that makes those particular scenes very enjoyable for me. And I like being a father. So every time I work with Jesse it’s another level of satisfaction.

MS: Jesse, what really made you want to be apart of this show?
JM: It was the writing. The pilot episode was the initial script that I read. To be honest, I think this probably speaks to our critics a bit.
I was a bit hesitant to even audition for the new “Dallas”, because I wasn’t sure of remaking such an iconic show was a good idea. With the wave of remakes and reboots of various different shows over the past five years, it’s really been a trend. Most of which weren’t very successful, I was definitely hesitant. But after reading that pilot episode I was like, wow, this is really good story telling. The characters are really well defined and complex. I was like, wow, I think I want to throw my hat in the ring. Initially I auditioned for the role of John Ross. There was some interest there. But they ended up going with Josh Henderson, who I think is perfect casting for the role. And they came back for Christopher and I was even more excited for that role. Then I think the thing that really pushed it over the top for me was that Larry, Patrick, and Linda were going to be a part of the new series, which I think is completely necessary.

MS: Patrick, what do you think it is about the show that really captures so many viewers?
PD: Well, Jesse nailed it because we’ve been approached over the years both to be in a show or how do we feel about, you know, redoing “Dallas” or movie versions that didn’t even involve the original cast members and they all fell so far short…even approaching the original show that I didn’t think it was possible to do. And as Jesse said, once I saw the script and Larry and Linda saw the script and read it we realized not only was it possible but it could end up being better than the original because of the timely nature of how the scripts were written and what we could do with technology now. So the three of us got onboard, and I’ve not been disappointed in a page, a paragraph, or anything since the original pilot episode. So I’m onboard as long as they can squeeze another year out of this old horse.