Drummer Jay Weinberg Discusses His Split With Madball
In September, Madball issued a surprise announcement that drummer Jay Weinberg would not be finishing off the "Through The Noise Tour" with Comeback Kid. Jay has since spoken with Metalunderground.com to explain his side of the story and discuss the circumstances of his departure. He also explained what he'll be doing in the world of music in the coming months, his role in writing and recording the latest Madball album "Empire," and even the show "Cake Boss."
xFiruath: Before we get into your time with Madball, let’s go over your musical history and when you first got started in music.
Jay: I first got into music at a really young age. My mom was really into classical music and she would play me great composers like Beethevon and Mozzart. I’ve been into that stuff since I was three and since I could first make out sounds. Then I started to get into rock music when I was probably about 5. The Who came to New York to do the “Quadrophenia” album and I hadn’t had any real exposure to rock music or anything like that. My dad told my mom you have to show the kids The Who and they have to get into this stuff. I got into The Who and The Rolling Stones and all that kind of stuff. After that was heavy music around the age of 9, I started getting into bands like Slipknot and Slayer. From there it just went into bands that are more under the fold and not as mainstream like Mastodon and Neurosis and Sleep. It’s been a real gradual process of all the music I’ve got into from the time I was 3 to now I’m 20, and I’m still finding new music I’m into. I started playing music when I was 9. I got a guitar, and it didn’t really stick with me that much. I still play, but it’s not really my main focus at all. I picked up the drums when I was 14 and I started my first hardcore metal band and I’ve been playing drums ever since.
xFiruath: Prior to your split with Madball, how was touring with the band and meeting other groups like Comeback Kid?
Jay: It was great. I’ve been playing with Madball since January of 2010, and all the bands I’ve had the pleasure of playing with have been awesome. I hadn’t toured with a band of that genre in that level before. Playing with local hardcore bands is one thing, but when you’re playing with a hardcore band from Belgium, or Terror from L.A., or Death Before Dishonor, it’s really cool to meet kindred spirits on the road. Everybody was so nice and we all got along. Being with those bands, you’re all working towards the same goal. You’re working on bringing a certain type of music you love to a lot of people night after night. It takes a lot to get that done and we all have a mutual respect on that level, and all the people I met, I love all those guys. I’ve made some really good friends on the road with Madball.
xFiruath: I’ve read some conflicting reports and I’m wondering what you did as far as writing and recording on the new Madball album. Were you involved with that whole process?
Jay: Yeah, absolutely. I go to school in Hoboken, New Jersey, which is about 15 minutes outside of Manhattan. For this record, “Empire,” we had a rehearsal space in Queens, which is about an hour from where I live. While I was going to school I had a full course load of 18 credits at the time, which is enough to drive anybody insane. While I was still doing that I would go to Queens four or five days a week and we’d do six to seven hours a day, and it would be just Mitts, Hoya, and me writing and arranging all the instrumentation for this record. It was a long, arduous process but Mitts, Hoya, and I came together every day and sometimes it’s like nothing’s happening and creativity doesn’t hit. But other times it flows really well. I really love those creative sessions. With bands I’ve had in the past I took a similar approach of arranging and it was nice to have feedback with the guys. Telling me they really liked this idea I had here and being one third of writing that music was really special, especially when you do it with guys who are veterans of the scene. To be the new guy and still having a heavy hand in writing the music and arranging it, putting in my own style, that was a really good thing.
xFiruath: This is a little off track, but you mentioned you were from Hoboken, so I have to ask if you’ve been to Carlos Bakery from the show Cake Boss?
Jay: Oh yeah. That place blew up with the show. I had been there before the show started. It’s a great place, and ever since that show started, you can’t get in there. There’s a line that goes down for blocks, it’s crazy. The family that runs it has certainly made it into a crazy empire of business.
xFiruath: Back on track, what specifically prompted your split with Madball during the tour?
Jay: Well, it was announced in the statement that I put out that there’d been a couple of things that came up on the road and I felt like we weren’t the best fit for each other. They would be better suited for someone who is more in tune for their lifestyle and what they did. I brought that to them and we decided it would be best to respect what we did in the past and move on from there.
xFiruath: Do you know who is filling in the drummer position in Madball? I haven’t seen an announcement from the band.
Jay: When I quit the band, we were doing the Canadian tour, and I told the guys that when we get home maybe we should pursue other avenues, but I have obligations obviously that I will fulfill. But I think we were really close to their former drummer Ben, who also played in Throwdown. He lives really close to where we were at the time and they got him to finish the rest of the Canadian tour. I’m not absolutely positive he’s still playing with them, but I think its Ben now.
xFiruath: Have you moved on to another project or do you have any upcoming plans for a new band?
Jay: Yeah, I’ve got some things in the works. It’s not anything that I’m ready to announce just yet, but that will come in about mid-November. I do have a radio show coming up on Sirius XM radio, and that’s going to start at the end of the month or next month. We’re still trying to figure out which station it’s going to be on, either on Octane or Liquid Metal.
xFiruath: So in a perfect world, if you could immediately jump to touring with another band, which band would it be and why?
Jay: I’d guess I’d have to go with my current musical obsession. They’ve been my favorite band for a couple of years now since they put out their most recent album, and I think it’s their best: the band Neurosis. I’ve gotten to know those guys and their drummer Jason is one of my favorites, there is nobody like that guy. I’d almost not even want to tour with them because I know Jason is the only drummer who can play with that band. Even that’s not even possible in my wildest dreams, but I’ll go with Neurosis because I barely go a day without listening to that band.
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