Laying It Down With Level-C's Janean Buch
Formed in 2002, Level-C is an all female metal band that has begun to make its rise out of the local Cleveland, Ohio music scene. They were featured on the premiere episode of "Battle For Ozzfest" and though they weren't chosen to move on to the finals of the competition, they impressively placed in the top ten overall. They have shared the stage with many national acts such as Rob Zombie, Seether, Mastodon, Kittie, Otep, Crisis, Dope, The Misfits and Slaves on Dope. Along with countless internet radio stations, Level-C is currently on rotation throughout the entire United States, as well as in several European countries and portions of Canada. I recently got on the level with the band's bassist, Janean Buch, to learn more about this talented heavy music act.
Rocket: I notice that your guitars are being played down-tuned ala Korn. Is it one or two steps? And do you think it's easier to write that way than say writing in standard tuning? It works well for what you're doing, song-wise by the way.
Janean: Well, Korn is in A and Level-C is in B so that makes us one step higher then them. I don't really think that it makes a difference on writing songs depending on your tuning. I just like heavier. To me it feels like it has more feeling in it.
Rocket: How does the writing process work for Level-C?
Janean: How we usually write songs is when somebody came up with a random idea and wrote a small piece around it and then letting the rest of us hear it and working off of it. But a couple songs were actually made just from goofing off or making a mistake during practice.
Rocket: When did you start playing bass guitar? And who are some of your biggest bass playing influences?
Janean: I started playing bass guitar about 2 years ago. I'm really motivated by the bass players of my favorite bands like Fieldy from Korn, Evil J from Otep and a few others.
Rocket: What kind of basses are you playing on in the studio and out on tour?
Janean: I use the same bass in recording as I do on tour which is my Soundgear bass by Ibanez.
Rocket: What brand bass strings do you prefer right now and why?
Janean: I like playing on Ernie Ball heavy gauge because I like my string's fat and clanky sounding and they never really break on me either so I think they're dependable.
Rocket: Do you play with a pick?
Janean: No, I just play with my fingers.
Rocket: That's cool to hear. All my favorite bass players use their fingers. There's just so much more depth to the sound. Tell me how Level-C got together as a group. Is this the original lineup?
Janean: Level-C formed about 3 years ago in Cleveland, Ohio. The singer, Christine, is my cousin and started a band with Christina (guitar) and Misty (drums) but there was a different bass player, Kim. At that time I was the light tech for all their shows. Then Kim left and I came into the picture.
Rocket: How much did Dimebag mean to this band? I notice you have a tribute blog for him on your MySpace music profile. This guy seemed to have an incredible impact on so many coming up now in metal.
Janean: Dimebag Darrell made a huge impact on this band as he did many others. He was a amazing guitar player and will always be a legend.
Rocket: Suck A Fist is a great song. I mean, not only do I believe that you ladies can kick some serious ass in person, this song is well written and does some unique things throughout. What's this song really trying to say? Besides kicking chicks asses.
Janean: Well, the song was actually written up about a guy and his band just being a real big ass to Level-C and so we kind of just summed up a song about how we really felt about them. If you listen, their band is actually mentioned in the song. He he he.
Rocket: Tell me about your band's recent shows in the clubs of New York, Virginia, South Carolina and Ohio. I imagine the band is getting a strong reaction all over, correct?
Janean: We make a big impression everywhere we play. There is always people screaming, mosh pits going and encores begged for. We can never get a enough of it.
Rocket: I notice that Level-C is still un-signed. If you do get signed do you have enough material for an album? I have yet for someone to say, "No, Rocket, we only have those four songs that are on our MySpace music player." Haha...nonetheless, I need to ask.
Janean: Oh, definitely. We have all sorts of songs. Most of them are played at all shows and a lot of them are just to change the set around a bit but we are well prepared.
Rocket: Where did you record these demos? They sound very well done.
Janean: We did our recording at Spider Studios in Cleveland, Ohio.
Rocket: I know that Level-C is getting played currently on radio stations: 101 WRIF in Detroit, 99.7 WBNX in Columbus, 106.9 WRQK in Canton OH, and 92.3 WXTM in Cleveland. That's got to be pretty exciting that this is all going so well in a relatively quick period, right?
Janean: Yeah it's the most exciting thing that could ever happen. I mean just imagine driving done the road to practice and all of the sudden hearing your band being played on a big radio station. It's just great.
Rocket: Tell me about your street team for Level-C. I know you have some shout outs to make.
Janean: They are greatly appreciated by us all for helping out, but there are too many to name, ha. They take time out of their day to help make it known to people that we're coming to town and they might wanna check it out, which makes the shows great.
Rocket: What are some of your next few performance dates for all the fans to be aware of?
Janean: Well we have two shows lined up in South Carolina currently and a few on the way in April down in Texas and around but you can get the details on those and more up coming shows by going to our web sites at WWW.LEVEL-C.NET and WWW.MYSPACE.COM/LEVELC. There's a new manager that we're in talks with who we really want to take us on, and we're extremely confident in her abilities and look forward to all of the possibilities that exist with her in our future.
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