Guillotine is a heavy industrial band from Nashville, TN. Formerly known as Jake J and the Killjoys, Guillotine is the new name in industrial metal with a vampiric live show, and anthemic arena ready metal music. Jake Johnson is the band’s vocalist and lead guitarist, as well as the creative force behind Guillotine. He has brought together some of Nashville’s best talent to bring his vision of Guillotine to life. The band consists also of drummer Zakk DuBois, and bassist Jeremy Barbour. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Guillotine are currently working on their debut EP that has so far been compared to Rammstein, Slipknot, Ghost, Avenged Sevenfold, and Rob Zombie. Music infiltrated every aspect of young Jake Johnson’s life from learning to make chords on the guitar with his dad to moving to New Jersey at eight years old and learning more advanced techniques from his step dad, Hugh McDonald, the bassist for Bon Jovi. He showed an undeniable talent from someone so young, and many great players took him under their wing, mentoring the young man and helping him develop his skills.
Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Alice Cooper, Doc McGhee and Desmond Child all took an interest in Jake and encouraged him to make music of his own. Jake left Utah for Nashville, Tennessee in 2016 to work on refining a sound he was just starting to embrace. Jake J and the Killjoys debuted in 2017 and opened for Bon Jovi, KISS, Bret Michaels, Ratt, Blue Oyster Cult, April Wine and Vince Neil, just to name a few. They played at the Bridgestone arena, the Vivint Smart Home Arena, the KISS Kruise, but even with acclaimed reception to his music and an impressive show record under his belt, Jake wanted a sound and aesthetic that was more authentic to who he was. He has always loved heavier music, and in Nashville he found the inspiration and inner turmoil to manifest that sound from within. According to Jake, before Nashville he had lived a comfortable and easy life in Coalville, Utah. He had never known real anger and pain, but Nashville and the traumatic events of the Covid-19 pandemic brought him a new appreciation and awareness of the difficulties in personal relationships, traumatic events, seizing destiny, and surviving life. For the first time he found himself frustrated, scared, and alone.
Rather than give in or turn around, Jake embraced his suffering and turned it into a sound that reflects the passion and emotions that had engulfed his soul, and speaks to others that have endured the same experiences. His music became darker, grittier and more aggressive, and beginning in the spring of 2020, Jake began refining the band. After building his home studio, wearing out the grooves of a Rammstein record, and discovering the roar of the Eddie Van Halen 5150 amplifier, the sound of Guillotine was born. The new songs carry an authentic message with anthemic choruses that march heavily to industrial grooves that make you want to dance, fight, or screw. Soon after the sound was found, the Guillotine live show was born consisting of unapologetic industrial metal, visuals created by Jake and former Cradle of Filth graphic artists, and exotic dancers performing with fire, live snakes, and other shocking stunts. With a live show unlike any other, Guillotine delivers a loud and memorable performance fit for any metal or horror fan. On and off stage, Guillotine believes in the power of music, and how it can unite people through times of uncertainty.
A group of misfits coming together to bring more misfits together, and celebrate life through the eyes of darkness is what the world needs, and what the name Guillotine represents. Jake tapped into a universal concept that when you reach deep inside yourself, when you feel pain you think you will not be able to endure, you may come out the other side of the experience scarred but more alive than ever. What lies on the other side of our comfortable lives may be a darker side of ourselves that terrifies us, yet forces our true selves to come alive. The blade of Guillotine drops heavily in 2022…