Black Jacket
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Black Jacket

Miami, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Miami, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Hard Rock




"Black Jacket EP Features New Singer - Recording Recreates Energy of Live Shows"

Miami hard rock band Black Jacket may have a new singer in Phil Letizia but they haven’t missed a beat, at least if its newest EP is any indication.
The first track, “Innocence,” is the strongest song. Letizia’s talent is fully on display here, from his emotional performance to a more technical side, like when he shows off the lower register of his voice. It’s also one of the few rock songs on the release that has a prominent bass line as well a great guitar solo.

“No Lyrics,” the second track, follows a current trend of writing angst-ridden lyrics with a positive message tacked on (whether genuine or not). “No Lyrics” doesn’t exactly radiate sincerity, but there are elements that save it from being completely formulaic: from the bass line to the cutting guitar riffs to the pounding drums, the rhythm section brings it home. I’m familiar with Black Jacket’s previous work as well as their live performances and they’re talented enough on their own without having to resort to trends or gimmicks. I feel that this is especially true when a band goes to such pains to make the rhythm section instrumentation different from the typical songs of the genre.

“Resurrection,” the third and final track, has extremely well crafted vocals and shows a different side to Letizia’s voice. The effect used in the intro that then guides the listener into the hard rock surge of the song is a nice touch as well. “Resurrection” is lyrically the strongest of the songs, and seems like a perfect fit for a live show.

The instrumentation on the EP evokes the feelings that the songs are trying to get across, especially with the emotion that the guitar work envelops. - Miami Artzine

"Black Jacket and The Bell Ringers Bring Rock Back to Miami"

Apparently, the secret to success in the bar business is having the bar be open 24 hours, having musicians run it and supporting the local music scene by booking original bands. At least, that seems to be the recipe for new bar Will Call’s success. Located in Downtown Miami, Will Call is the new go-to for original bands. This was the case on August 16, when Black Jacket and The Bell Ringers took over the stage.

Although the show was scheduled to start at 11 p.m. it started closer to 12 a.m. Despite the late start, Miami hard rock band Black Jacket came out raring and ready to go. This show was the first with Black Jacket’s new vocalist, Phil Letizia. After a long search (and a few vocalist changes), local DJ Oski Gonzalez came through for the band by finding Letizia. Letizia’s excitement to be a part of Black Jacket was apparent in his performance. From the band’s better-known songs “Too Much Bitch” and “Your Touch” to a cover of “What I Like About You”, Letizia fit right in. From Black Jacket’s bassist, Zelick Gimelstein, to drummer Mauricio Aguilera, it was obvious that every band member just wanted to put on a great rock show for the packed bar, a mission Black Jacket accomplished. - Miami Art Zine


Hey Z!

What was it like working with Scott Stapp?

Though, admittedly, I wasn’t a Creed fan when I landed this gig, it truly was a great experience working with Scott. I don’t care what people may think about his voice or music and what he may have had going on in his personal life, the fact of the matter is that he is an incredible front man & entertainer. It was a pleasure working with someone on stage that you never had to worry about in regards to vocal ability, performance, and crowd participation. Dude loves to rock and that makes him righteous in my book.

How did that job come about?

At the time I owned and ran a pizza joint in South Beach, FL with my family. I had been out of the music game for about 4 years at that point (my previous band ENDO having been dropped from our label and breaking up), and though I LOVE food and cooking (I was on Master Chef US Season 3 by the way… for a whole 15 seconds), I was dying inside a little being away from the studio and stage. I got a call from a friend of a friend that Scott was holding auditions for a local bass player for an upcoming solo tour and my buddy thought of me before anyone else in town. Never having auditioned for anything before and not being too sure if I wanted to play Creed songs, I went to my sounding board (my wife) and she pretty much said: “Are you nuts?! Get to learning those songs STAT!”. I had about 12 hours to learn 6 songs and stayed up all night doing so. Next day I went into the audition and nailed it.

Are you still in touch with Scott?

Nope. The tour was pretty much it. He had asked me to come in and record on his next solo record, but the whole Creed thing started happening and that opportunity went bye-bye. I saw him once since then at a solo acoustic performance he did down here about two years ago.

How did it make you feel personally performing for the troops?

I can honestly say that the Armed Forces Entertainment tour was the greatest musical and touring experience of my life. I am a HUGE supporter of our Armed Forces and it was an honor to play for them. You ask how it made me FEEL…. PROUD. Proud to have been accepted into the daily lives of our troops and officers that most people will never experience. Proud to have been treated as dignitaries with the utmost respect. Proud to have brought a piece of home to every man, woman, and child away from their homeland in defense of our country. Proud to be an American. I remain humbled to this day and would go out and do it again in a heartbeat!

Is there a new Black Jacket record in the pipeline?

YES! Actually, there are quite a few things in the pipeline for Black Jacket. For the moment, we are playing around town in order to get our chops up and integrate our new singer, Nick Voss, into the performance and we are writing like crazy because as much as we love the stuff we wrote before, we want to move on. Nick has amazing songwriting skills and ideas and we gel incredibly well, so we want to exploit that chemistry and focus on new material. We are dabbling with having Nick record his vocals (and new melodies) on some tracks off the EP we previously recorded. We have also set a date to go into the studio and record a brand new track in the next couple of weeks.

When it happens will it be an EP or a full album?

Most likely we will release an EP. There are many reasons for that. It seems that EP releases have become the status quo nowadays both because recording music WELL is not cheap AND because it helps to keep the band & our music fresh in the ears of the listeners by releasing less material but more often. Also, and this unfortunate, but it seems that in this technological and cultural society, we have an attention span that can be measured in nanoseconds

What’s it like working with new addition Nick Voss?

Nick fucking rocks, straight up. He makes the band sound how it was meant to sound from the very beginning. He learned a lot from his experience on X-Factor, is a true professional and brings all of that to the band. Not to mention, the boy can SING! This could quite honestly be the first time I have ever been in a band where I have zero uncertainty about my singer’s ability to come up with not only killer vocal melodies, but lyrics, as well. He is motivated and hungry like the rest of us and 110% dedicated to his craft and musical career. He has also made ME a better singer.

How did you guys meet him?

After we parted ways with our old singer, we auditioned 7 other singers in town. Nick was one of those singers and was introduced to me by one of the local promoters I have known for many years. It was fate. As cheesy as that sounds.

How would you describe your sound?

Straight up Rock N’ Roll. We have so many different influences from Elvis & Michael Jackson, to Van Halen & The Beatles, to Pantera & Slayer and it all comes out in the music. I have always hated pigeon-holing my band’s sound. That’s why -

"Hed PE and Soil rock out at the Culture Room"

Local bands shone again at the Culture Room date of Hed PE's fall tour.

Miami bands Black Jacket and Urban Rebel opened for the famed punk/hip-hop band on Friday, September 7, at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets were still available at the door for $15, so the closer it got to the doors opening, the more the parking lot filled up and the line wrapped around the club.

The show started around 7:30 p.m. with hard rock band Black Jacket being the first band to play. They got off to a great start, energizing the crowd with a song called "Too Much B---h". Their second song, "Wicked Ways", while not bad, may have suffered from being played after such a high-energy song. It was a slower rock jam that just didn't seem suited to continue the energy of "B---h". "Your Touch", played later in their set, would have fit that bill better. Black Jacket was the whole package: they had the music (the standouts being the guitar solos and the drumming), great stage presence and good crowd interaction. It was especially impressive that this came from the first band of the night. It's unusual for a crowd to mosh so early, and more unusual for a singer to ask for it, but, for the last two songs, they did. Singer Raw-B ended the set with a flourish as he took a pair of sunglasses out, put them on and walked off the stage. -



Release date: June 24, 2014

Track Listing:
1) Innocence
2) No Lyrics
3) Resurrection

Produced by Black Jacket & Corey Lowery
Mixed by Corey Lowery
Recorded at Power Station Studios, Pompano Beach, FL
Mastered by Rodney Mills Masterhouse



TThe Miami quartet's brand new EP, "Resurrection", is a rollicking, raw, and rough affair fueled by invigorating riffs and unforgettable hooks. The group— Phil Letizia [Vocals], Zelick [Bass], Franky Stone [Guitar], and Mauricio Aguilera [Drums]—injects modern attitude into a traditional palette. As a result, you're going to be wearing Black Jacket for a long time to come.

The debut EP is described by the band as "modern rock with a retro feel". Coming from a wide variety of musical backgrounds and cultures, from Thrash Metal & Classic Rock to Pop & Latin, all of the members' influences converge to create an original sounding rock record that is uniquely Black Jacket.

The band came about as all great rock bands do... without pretense. In the winter of 2012, guitar player Franky Stone contacted long-time friends, Zelick and Mauricio about jamming for fun. There were no expectations, no pomp and circumstance. It was purely meant to be a good time with some loud tunes and cold beers. "The immediate chemistry between us was electric," remembers Zelick. "We ended up writing five song ideas in just a few short jam sessions. At that point all we needed to do was the voice to complete our sound." Fast-forward a  few months later and, with the inclusion of current lead singer Phil Letizia, Black Jacket was officially born.

Black Jacket's members are also no strangers to the music industry... In his original band Endo, Zelick released two acclaimed albums via Columbia Records and shared stages with everyone from Korn, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed and Ozzy Osbourne to Sepultura, Hatebreed & Megadeth. After the group disbanded, he joined Scott Stapp [Creed] for a special run performing at military installations in the Middle East for Armed Forces Entertainment. Drummer Mauricio Aguilera found success at an early age in his home country of Chile with his band Requiem, who played countless festivals with Metal legends such as Testament, DRI, and Cannibal Corpse.  

Black Jacket is more than just hard rock. It’s a fusion of a variety of influences combined with a mainstream sensibility. "We want our music to connect with people’s emotions on all levels," says Phil. "I believe that almost all of us have similar life experiences no matter who we are, so we try to write about things that have happened in our lives that everyone can relate to. Even though rock is not at the forefront of today’s popular music, I feel what we are doing is relevant and we want Black Jacket to spearhead a new rock revolution.”

"We're trying to bring the true energy of rock music back," Franky concludes. "We're not trying to be over dramatic or metaphorical. Our music is easy to understand and grasp. Our message is simple. It relates to everybody. We want audiences to feel entertained. We hope 'Resurrection' makes people want to drive fast, bang their heads, and party like animals—like the old days of Rock 'N' Roll."

Sounds like a good time…

Band Members