ION INDIE MAGAZINE September 2014, Volume 4 - Page 61

comes back from a multi-year hiatus, and storms back onto the scene. That’s what happened here, and though there’s been some changes in how they sound, and personnel additions since the last version…THE MESS ARE BACK. From what they tell me, they’re also here to stay. Never having truly broken up, The MESS took a few years to explore some other musical options. Drummer JOE LONGO formed another band, UMAN ERA, in which he plays lead guitar, while JANSON HARRIS was playing lead guitar in another area band, SUCKER, while also playing bass and electric violin for THE WAY. During this downtime, JAY LUKE, founder and singer/guitarist of The MESS, concentrated on his solo performances, while also being the host of a weekly open mic that blends unknown musicians, top name area musicians and international superstars, such as ADAM BOMB--who happens to be a very close friend of Jay’s. The time was right for The MESS to get back going and start making music again. A few changes were soon to be in order though. During the hiatus, Janson Harris, former lead guitarist/keyboards, had somewhat of a musical awakening for himself. He felt as though he’d achieved as much as he personally could achieve on lead guitar. His musical creativity had peaked within the confines of the instrument, but he’d found new life in his evergrowing love of keyboards and electric violin. A shifting of things took place. Jay would now assume lead guitar duty, while Janson added a new feel to their sound with his increased keyboard, as well as Keytar playing. Another big change in the band was the addition of ALAN ROWSDOWER on bass guitar. With this lineup in place, The MESS are poised to take back their spot among the elite of the NEPA original music scene. I was lucky enough to have sat with them during a break in their practice session recently. Ironically enough, their practice hall is a former apartment that is now used as a storage facility for construction materials. So The MESS actually make their music surrounded by a MESS. I don’t think they’d have it any other way. ION: Since ending the hiatus, you guys are somewhat of a “supergroup”. With all of you in multiple projects, how has that affected this “getting back together’ thing you’ve got going on here?