Bone Yard
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Bone Yard

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"Bone Yard: Drawing from the greasy well"

Boneyard is a walking rock 'n' roll contradiction. Bands have been known to flush tons of money and spend too much time in the studio. Boneyard's new CD, "Voodoo Highway," was recorded in two days for $300. The band dials it in heavy, incorporating elements of metal, blues, and even Southern rock. Yet none of these sonic injections trample the others.

Boneyard - JJ Lang, guitar/vocals; Kevin Rothbeind, bass; Brian Donnelly, drums; and Mick Lee, guitar/vocals - is a new band that isn't really a new band. Though debuting on New Year's Eve 2008, Boneyard has been brewing in singer/guitarist Lang's head for years. He just got a little waylaid.

"In '94 I came up with the idea for the sound that is similar to what we're doing now," Lang says. "That harder, raw, bluesy-edged music; just drop D and chunk. And then that Motley Crue album came out without Vince Neil on it - just bluesy and heavy and raw - and I was like, That's what I want to do! Not be afraid to play a Tele, not be afraid to have a little acoustic in there."

Lang put a band together to pursue that sound, but it inadvertently wound up taking a detour away from his vision. He blames the name.

"We settled on the name rachelsDEAD," he says. "And with that name you fall into this darker thing. I grew up on KISS and I liked the Rob Zombie thing, the image and the theatrics and whatnot."

Even heavy bands have a fragile dynamic; tweak one little ingredient and it becomes something else entirely. "Like when you get certain drummers that play faster and heavier and it turns into a metal band," says Lang.

In this case, it was the imagery the name conjured. So Lang woke up in a goth band. But he liked the music and the musicians he was playing with.

"It turned into something really exciting and I thought, ‘Wow this is better than what I can do,"' he says. So he stuck with it.

RachelsDEAD was doing songs that have since morphed into Boneyard tunes. There was just more of a theatrical emphasis. Lang dove in head first; others did not

"I always loved the dark, theatrical stage show," he says. "But I really couldn't get everybody on the same page. I'd be wearing the goth thing and I'd have somebody wearing their soccer shorts."

Today Boneyard is on the same page for sure. It's not nearly as theatrical, but it is cohesive. And there aren't any soccer shorts on stage. In fact, when pressed to compare show to talent, Lang errs on the side of the show.

"We're not at the level where we're on the radio," he says. "Most people are coming to the show. I think the show's more important."

In-depth analysis aside, Boneyard is just a good ol' hard rock band, drawing from the greasy well of past generations and still - like those before it - trying to cut off a piece to call its own. The band's music may be rooted in classic rock, well worn, and played before in varying degrees, but it's catchy and well written. It rocks with a certain unforgiving tone; it will not be denied. This comes from the band's simple treatment and rudimentary approach. Remember; two days, $300 bucks.

You have to wonder, how can this be? Are most bands that shell out thousands of dollars on a disc made up of complete idiots? Is Boneyard that genius?

"I just think some people aren't thinking clearly," Lang says. "I don't think we're that good, I think that we're just raw. We just wanna go out there and be a simple and raw band. We do a couple takes and we're like, ‘That was it, we nailed it.'"

Not bad for a new band that isn't new.

"This will be my 20th year of actually being in a band," says Lang. Was it worth the wait? "It is now, because I'm pumped."
- City Newspaper, Rochester, NY


"CONCERT REVIEW: Boneyard at Main Street Armory"

CONCERT REVIEW: The Cult, Boneyard at Main Street Armory
By Frank De Blase

The Cult/Bone Yard show Saturday at the Armory had me torqued with nervous anticipation.
Just like The Cult, Boneyard draws upon the sounds and moods and ghosts of the American landscape. There's big-sky beauty in that desolation, and Boneyard conjured it, kicked it, claimed it, and sent it back toward the sky. But this wasn't just some rain dance. Boneyard mixes in just as much machine and accessory as it does the ethereal and inanimate. There are ghosts and demons swirling about, but they're all on choppers. They don't stop at red lights, and your mama's on the bitch seat. It's outlaw, it's Southern rock, it's fuckin' beautiful. And the band was in its element on the Armory's huge stage --- plenty of room to stretch out and pound out a tremendous set. Singer J.J. Lang's voice busted cobwebs and clouds; I tell ya, it is made for the arena. The band was well received by the crowd of about 2,000 and certainly won new fans with this show.
I left with my head ringing. It was an awesome show.
- By Frank De Blase


"Bone Yard at Valentown"

Valentown Museum Isn't Just For Old Folks Anymore

Rochester-based rock band, Bone Yard, thought Historic Valentown would be the perfect setting to film their newest music video.
Last Sunday production and film crews joined band members and building owner,Victor Historical Society's volunteers, Carol Finch and Channing Mabbitt for a rocking' good time. Although the 130 plus year old buildings at Historic Valentown are badly in need of sprucing up, their rustic charm was just what Bone Yard was looking for as a backdrop for their video production.

Band spokesperson, JJ Lang explains, "Bone Yard felt that Valentown was a perfect place for the video for "Chosen One" because the look of the Museum has that Americana Vibe with a Rustic, Ghost Town look. The lyrics of the song fit well too. Its about a haunting and spirits...what better place than a Haunted Museum. The song is an original song as that is all we play."

The actress in the video was Haley Bissonette. Vocalist for "Chosen One", Mick Lee owns Michaels Landscaping. Bassist, Doug Mac is a reknown artist and owns Doug Mac Art. www.dougmacart.com. The bands website is www.myspace.com/boneyardtheband and we've recently shared the stage in front of 2000 people opening for The Cult and will be opening for Vince Neil of Motley Crue to a sold out crowd of 1000, this Saturday, Nov 28th at the Harro East Ballroom. Bone Yard has been together since Oct 08 with JJ Lang & Brian Donnelly and added Mick Lee in March of 09. Doug Mac joined the band in June of 09. The Director of the video was Richard Harris of Arch Angel Entertainment.

Long time volunteer, Carol Finch notes, "This isn't the first time Historic Valentown has caught the eye of movie producers and we would love to host more production companies' projects in the future. Our period buildings and grounds at Historic Valentown, complete with original artifacts from the 19th century and earlier available as props and backdrops, suggest a myriad of visual possibilities for creative minds to conjure up - for a wide variety of venues from historical documentaries and period romances to Sci fi horror films. We would welcome more opportunities to offer our homestead and museum buildings for these kinds of uses."

- Valentown Museum & The Daily Messenger Newspaper Victor, NY


"The Cult/Bone Yard - In Concert"


Wow - what a terrific show last night. Hubby and I have been long-time fans of The Cult, specifically Ian Astbury (singer) and Billy Duffy (guitarist). We've been listening to their music since the mid-1980's. So when I heard they were coming to Rochester, which is only about 90 minutes from here, we decided to go. We haven't been to a concert in over 10 years, but this is one band we would give anything to see live.
They played at the Rochester Armory which looks like a huge castle. This cell phone pic really doesn't do it justice, but it's all I brought cuz I figured no cameras would be allowed in.

Then the opening band came out. I never heard of Bone Yard before, but they were really great. I guess you'd call it southern heavy metal? They were awesome and really got the place jumpin'. When they were done, there was about an hour delay waiting for The Cult to come on stage. During that time, members of Boneyard were walking around and hubby had a chance to meet and talk with the bassist. Pretty cool. - Kim Hill


Discography

Bone Yard CD-"Voodoo Highway" was released in 2009 and has had 4 songs hit the radio locally. "Voodoo Highway" and "Rainshine", "Train Wreck" & "Preacher Man".

Photos

Bio

Boneyard, On the voodoo highway................ JJ Lang - vocals, guitar..... Doug Mac - bass, vocals..... Mick Lee - guitar, vocals..... Brian Donnelly - drums...... …The stranger kicked the dust off his boots and ordered up a whiskey. His tall frame eclipsed the door, but nobody looked up… all eyes were fixed on the stage. Steam heat fogged the front window giving the neon a soft glow. Inside, bottles clinked, pool balls clacked and bodies writhed together in electric anticipation. There was a hush over the room. The lights went down and the hush got louder. Four cats mounted the stage with no fanfare, plugged in and peeled out. The place immediately ignited. Boneyard began to play… The stranger’s story was unclear, as was everyone’s in the joint. But how they all got there was unimportant, serendipitous as it may have seemed. What mattered was that this moment in time in this joint du jour had an immediate soundtrack… a sonic backdrop of faded denim and leather full of metal power, blues passion and guitar-driven Southern pride. And as cinematic as this seems, Boneyard --- these nomads of the American soundscape--- paint this picture nightly… With classic rebel swagger, they own the immediate world around them. They’re the dudes all the guys wanna be… they’re the dudes all the girls wanna do. It’s an all-around seduction. Few bands do this well, hell, few bands do this at all. This quartet simply does not fool around. Where bands will flush thousands of dollars in the studio trying to capture something that ain’t there, Boneyard recorded its “Voodoo Highway” CD in two days for 300 bucks. You can’t pull that off unless you’re for real, Jack… Boneyard knows it’s not enough to simply play or hear this music. It has to be lived and felt. It has to be breathed in before it can be breathed out. You have to straddle it before you can ride. It’s gotta burn… Boneyard brings this rock n roll, this relentless reality to everyplace they play. Whether it’s a metropolis, the end of the road, or somewhere in between. You can see it in a wake of roof-less gin joints and broken hearts. Just ask the stranger… Better yet, you be that stranger…on the voodoo highway. --- Frank De Blase September 17, 2009 Rochester, NY