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"A Clean Start"

“Something new. Something fresh. A clean start.” We all find some place along
our lives where we may think these words or utter the phrase, often on New
Years Eve. For many of us the decision falls in January. Not only the first month
of the year, but a Miami based band who proudly wears the same name and
reiterates its meaning. It represents what they do and the music they play, in a
city where rock and roll is packed deep into the far corner of the closet.
January’s sound is something that will surprise most people; it is unexpected
and experienced. Rock with an emotive edge, driven by pop melody and
powerful atmosphere, steeped in pleasant jazz chords and head nodding
beats, which at times seem surprisingly energetic yet somehow calmingly
smooth. Live the band offers a powerful performance with an emotional
energy that permeates the crowd and captivates their listeners with songs
that ring on personal experience, messages and meaning. Every show and
song is a window into the lives of this quintet.
The band started up in 1994 after founding member and vocalist, Jacob Gabriel,
decided to start up his own band after reaching a crossroads in his life. For
Gabriel, a new band, a new sound and a new direction was best represented
by the month of January. It has been 13 years now and the band has come a
long way. January’s current line up consists of Curtis Lewis (bass, guitar,
backing vocals) from New York, Zeus (drums) from New Jersey, Jacob
Gabriel (vocals), Castor Pauls (keys) and JP Romano (guitar) all of whom grew
up in Miami. Each member is from a different background, has a different
approach to the music and adds to the unique feel and sound of the band.
The sound of January is flavored by the band’s unique mixture. With influences
ranging from Janis Joplin, Guns and Roses and James Brown, to Red Hot Chili
Peppers, Miles Davis and Army of Anyone, the band combines to make a
melodic rock that Gabriel describes as “Maroon 5 with balls.” The band’s
foundation is in jazz, though, giving them a pretty good edge; utilizing their
technical prowess and jazz chops to add credibility to the outfit, becoming
known as gifted musicians who utilize the value of other genres in the music
they play.
Miami is not exactly the best city for rock music. “The city is more about drugs,
clubs and beautiful women, not that that’s such a bad thing,” as Gabriel says,
but its not an easy place to be when rock is at the very bottom of its artistic list
of integrity. For the rock musician in this city, finding gigs, earning fans, and
making bank is twice as hard and twice as frustrating. January has built
themselves up over the years, but not without their fair share of frustration and
hard work. For Gabriel it’s a hard scene because the appreciation doesn’t
exactly rival that of other cities such as New York. He says, “In a scene like this
its unfortunate. Don’t get me wrong, I mean, I love Miami. I love my town man,
but unfortunately it’s squeezing me.” The pressure to play in Miami is sometimes
overlooked or taken for granted; but it doesn’t keep January down. In fact, it is
quite the opposite. Despite the deterring nature of the scene in cities like Miami,
there are still fans - they are far and few between - but when you find them
they are likely to be a little more die-hard. The same goes for the bands. For
January, it is about the music and the passion, not the setting. Miami rock bands
have a stronger work ethic because their craft is not so prevalent here. They
all love what they do and simply being based in rock-starved Miami doesn’t hold
them back. January is a totally independent band, and puts forth a lot of
personal time, effort and money into making it work and doing what they feel a
passion for.
Their first album Things I forgot to Mention, is scheduled for release at the end
of April if everything goes according to the band’s plan. It will be released under the title. “” It will be mastered by Mike Fuller, who has worked on big name
releases by the likes of Eric Clapton and Shakira. The album’s been two years
in the works but that’s not to say the band is slow at writing songs. Gabriel
says, “We’ll be together and, like, write a song in ten minutes. We all know
where we’re going and we all know what we want so we’re pretty productive.”
The time spent on the album is primarily spent developing the “meaning” of the
album. All the songs have been thought out, planned and organized as to give
the album its own feel and own meaning. In this case “the meaning is about
things you want to say but don’t say or forget to say.” Gabriel explains, “Like
when you forget something, go home, figure it out later and say ‘oh shit, I should
have said that.’” Each of January’s songs has its own message relating back
to this theme. To the band, “Every song is a different experience in this world;”
an organism of sorts where each song is a separate organ functioning on its - THE RAG MAGAZINE


Debut Full Album coming up in April 2007



January, the beginning of many things to most, but for the band, it's a simple approach to music. The meaning behind January is pure and honest. The concept started one day when lead singer Gabriel was standing over looking a crowd of people celebrating during a New Year’s party. He thought it was the perfect moment. Everything becomes brand new again and the beginning of a new you emerges from within. Experimentation has transformed January's music from alternative rock to the soulful sounds of Jazzy Rock as defined in Just a Kid and Amazing. January conveys many honest experiences, but with one message: If life ever tries to get the best of you, always stop and think…things will be better when January comes around.

January at the time is very concentrated on the release of their first album Titled “Things I Never Mentioned.” The band is putting every ounce of energy into the vibe of the album making sure the fundamental nature of the band is captured in the sound of the recording. The band will schedule events to support the long awaited album in places they feel liberates the emotion of the album. It’s always about the right vibe for this group of guys.

Like every other band January has had its peaks and valleys. Withstanding the fallout of many members, including one of the band's major forces, Zeus, who took a leave of absence in 2005, which was an obstacle January thought would be hard to fill. Luckily he returned 3months later to his leadership role as the heartbeat of the band to complete the original line up created in 2002. Gabriel has kept the project January alive since 1994 and recently with the help of JP and
Zeus who have played the true anchors and backbone of the project. After several years of exploration, the present crew undeniably proves the determination in finding the right people for the January sound. The band has had its share of success playing venues such as The Indy 500 tour, Dade and Broward County Festivals and Professional sporting events. January was fortunate enough in 2005 to have been picked as Pepsi’s Top 25 band in a nation wide contest and won the Vizcaya Battle of the bands sponsored by Virgin Music. In 2006 the song “Just a Kid” was played on a feature show on ESPN for a hockey documentary on a player going back to his roots. January also was hand picked one of the top 5 finalist to open up for Bon Jovi from thousand's of Florida bands.

The forming of the present line up was not an easy task. After many try-outs and disappointments Gabriel and JP were able to put together an amazing group of guys. January consists of Jacob Gabriel (vocals) JP Romano, (guitar) Castor Pauls, (Keyboards) Curtis Lewis, (bass/vocals) and Zeus (drums). Each member was hand picked and they truly bring a unique essential part to create the January sound. Gabriel’s captivating melodies, JP’s smooth touch, Pablo’s sultry edge, Curtis’s solid bass lines, and Zeus's aggressive style is what keeps the sound intact.

January wants to be the shoulder you could lean on when the day seems to have no up side. Just sit back relax and let yourself go. Don’t let the problems of the world consume you. Put it all on the backburner and look ahead for better days are sure to come. Just like a perfect calendar day with a new beginning there is always time for change.