I recently had the opportunity to speak with Shatterglass, a popular and talented local Florida band and the winner of the Hollywood finals competition for the largest global battle of the bands competion, Hard Rock Rising. Band members Zoog (Vocals), Jinx (Guitars), Donnie J (Bass), and RonJon (Drums & Percussion) are re-inventing the ‘sing along’ with their unique and irresistible commercial rock. The band’s drummer, Ronald Johnson (RonJon) discussed their involvement with Hard Rock Rising, their new EP and what’s in store for them in the near future.
CS: This must be a very exciting time for you guys. Congratulations on your impressive win April 5th at the Hard Rock Rising 2013. How did you get involved in this competition?
RJ: Thank you Cindy. Hard Rock Rising 2013 has been a great opportunity for us. We had the honor to share the stage with these great South Florida local bands (The Cadillac Creeps, Makayla Duvall, David Shelley and Bluestone, Dj Crash Barbee, Midnight Kahuna, My Electric Heart, The Deadly Blank, Ryan Riche, Seven Sins, Godsend, and Shadow Reborn). We are so honored to be a part of Hard Rock Rising 2013. Thank you so much for coming out and watching us that night. We were invited to compete as a wildcard entry after Robyn Melvin (Sales & Marketing Manager for the Hollywood Hard Rock) and sound guy Rory Romano (For the Hard Rock) caught one of our shows when we were playing Nova Southeastern University’s “Community Fest 2013.”
CS: The waiting must be so nerve wracking, I’m sure. The next voting period runs from April 22nd to May 1st on Facebook. Do you have a large social media presence?
RJ: Yeah, the waiting was a little bit nerve wracking. We have a lot of great fans supporting us on Facebook. We have a band page and we each have our individual pages with thousands of friends ready to back us up.
CS: How long has your band been together/performing?
RJ: We’ve been together almost 2 years now and have been particularly active the past year after we released our EP.
CS: What was the inspiration for the band name?
RJ: We wanted a name that evoked the energy and explosiveness we bring to our music and each show, something that catches everyone’s attention, and few things make everyone in a room stop and look than the sound of glass shattering.
CS: Who writes the original music for the band?
RJ: We all contribute to the song-writing, musically and lyrically. On any given day, Jinx or Donnie will share a riff or Ron Jon a beat or Zoog will sing a melody, and we’ll just build on it if it clicks.
CS: Who are your musical influences?
RJ: 3 Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Motley Crue, Nickelback, Lit.
CS: Do you usually incorporate visual effects into your show?
RJ: Ron Jon has a killer custom LED light system in his drum set that radiates a glow through the performance. They also strobe and fade different colors. Other than that, we try to get the crowd involved in the songs and show them how much fun it is to be on stage playing music.
CS: Your band has a rather large following – what is the primary way that you promote the band?
RJ: We think the best way to get loyal and supportive fans is to give them what every music lover wants and needs – good songs. We don’t write anything that is unrelatable or unidentifiable to the average person. We love the close connection to our fans. That’s why we operate our own Facebook band page and website ourselves. Every comment that comes in is read by us, and every comment that gets posted by the band actually comes directly from us.
CS: What are some of the obstacles that your band has encountered?
RJ: Maintaining a schedule for practices. With Donnie and Ron Jon working crazy hours, the demand for Jinx’s lawyering skills, and Zoog’s classes, it can be a process finding a consistent schedule that works for everyone. Other than that, a major obstacle is reaching the music label execs that can help us broaden our reach and bring our music to others on a larger scale. It’s not easy getting their attention, but hopefully we’re causing a few ripples to reach their shores.
CS: Do you have an opinion on downloading music online?
RJ: As a local band we think music is created to be enjoyed by all and ideally shouldn’t be only enjoyed by those able to pay for it. But we also realize that music is a business and career musicians have a right to make a living off of their creations the same way a carpenter should get paid for building a set of stairs. Generally, we encourage fans to find music they like any way they can and wherever they can find it.
CS: What is your favorite part of being in a band?
RJ: Playing live. There’s no feeling in the world like standing in front of a crowd of screaming fans going crazy over the music you wrote and play. When you can make a room of people have a blast with all their clothes on, you’re living the dream.
CS: Have you recorded any music?
RJ: We’ve recorded a 3-song EP self-titled “Shatterglass 3 Song EP.” It has 3 songs on it “Psycho Girlfriend,” “Coming Undone,” and “Talkabout.” We are scheduled to hit the studio again in June with our good friend and South Florida’s number one producer, Paul Trust, to record a few more songs for a full album to be released hopefully by the end of the Summer or early Fall.
CS: If you could share the stage with any band or musician, whom would you choose?
RJ: We are really pumped to be sharing the main stage with The Smashing Pumpkins at SunFest 2013 on May 1, 2013. They’re one of those bands that always stay relevant and will be playing shows for our kids’ kids. 3 Days Grace would also be incredible. If we could pick any band from any era, touring with Motley Crue in the 80’s would be a heck of a time. There are also a lot of great local South Florida bands we can’t wait to share the stage with, like the Cadillac Creeps who put on an awesome live show.
CS: When the contest is over, what is next for Shatterglass?
RJ: Coming up, Shatterglass will be releasing a full album and looking to tour. Hopefully, we’ll be touring with Springsteen as the Hard Rock Rising 2013 global champions!
You can download music and vote for your favorite winning band from each of the competing Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world by accessing their Facebook link right here.