HOMEGROWN: Party Jannetty

Interview and text by Joey Dizon


“There isn’t really an effort to bring the music back since, for me, it never really left,” says drummer Eric Hotchkiss, one-fifth of the hard rock/metal outfit PARTY JANNETTY. This band is among the current few who keep the old flame burning of the genre by releasing original material. Think harmonized lead guitar lines and blistering solos, chugging riffs, soaring melodic vocals, and stadium-sized ground n’ pound drums in the vein of bands like Iron Maiden and post-Sabbath Ozzy, with a healthy dose of 80s-approved hair metal sensibilities, and you’ll come pretty close to what the band is trying to capture sonically.


Featuring Konrad Andres on vocals, guitarists Wacky Acosta and Janrod Bonanza, bassist Mark Rodriguez, and drummer Hotchkiss (the latter two of SULTANS OF SNAP fame), the band released their high-octane debut single “Laban Kung Laban” in April 2023. The follow-up drinking anthem, “Isa Ka Pa,” was a raunchy, stop-and-go sludgy hard rocker that literally blew up speakers everywhere. Both tracks were made even more effective with the band’s slick overall production: they were unafraid to turn up the frequencies and wisely used their collective studio-savvy approach for the music.


You can listen to both tracks here.


Just recently, the band announced on their Facebook page that they would be releasing an all-new track, “Tayo Na,” on July 28th, so PULP decided to chat with these gentlemen who seem to know what a lot of us like.


PULP: Though it’s the worst way to start any interview, I have to ask you about the band’s name.


Mark: “Marty Jannetty” was the most agreeable suggestion when we were thinking of a name because it has an 80s rockers vibe. But we changed “Marty” to “Party” since we planned to make music that’s more suitable for drinking. Songs that could be used for karaoke.


Wacky: As for forming the band, Mark messaged us in early 2022. Eric and I were doing quarantine covers, so I thought it was just a collab of one or two songs. But it was a full band. I got excited when Mark said that the music would have an old-school vibe, so I said yes. After that, we got Janrod on board, who had already been in a band with Mark in Supremo, and Andy, who we knew from college.


PULP: With your first single, there was a strong, made-to-be-obvious thrash metal/80s hard rock-glam thing going on. Since everyone’s had their tenure in local music, what prompted you all to finally release a song in this vein?


Mark: For me, the challenge was to write and create songs and music that weren’t angry and dark. It’s a new color and emotion for me as a songwriter.


Wacky: I think for this band, everybody’s mindset was to make music that’s just really enjoyable to play and to listen to. Since old-school metal and glam rock are big influences for me, naturally, that’s the well I draw from when writing songs for Party Jannetty.


PULP: Hard rock and metal—especially of this variety—has taken the back seat as far as mainstream music is concerned… is it part of the plan to bring it all back? Is it challenging to channel your collective influences and write music at a time like now?


Mark: I like to think of it as “rock music written and performed by metalheads.” Initially, the plan was to create tito rock/party rock songs that are more relatable to people, but since we’re also metal, we can’t avoid having that feel, whether in some sections, the tone, or whatever.


Eric: I’ve never really paid attention to what’s popular at a given time, so I don’t think there’s an effort on our part to bring anything back since, for me, it never really left! And because of this, it’s not much of a challenge to channel collective influences because I think we all do that naturally. What we write comes out naturally.


PULP: There’s a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humor with this kind of music. Does that mean the creative process is easier and a lot more fun for you guys?


Mark: The process is easy because we’re friends and comfortable with each other. The writing and arranging are natural because this kind of music is natural for us, so we didn’t need to study it. We’re also used to passing ideas online. We’re used to .wav files, and we’re lazy to go out because we’re too used to the pandemic lifestyle, so it’s fun for us to do…


Wacky: Definitely, it’s easier to write a song when everyone is happy. And yes, Mark is right that it’s a big deal that we’re already friends and have a common language since most of us majored in music. As for the process, like everyone else, we pass ideas online and cobble together what we think sounds good to make a song. If we had the biggest challenge, it would be overthinking. We’re more prone to nitpicking the sound files sent than figuring out a song while jamming.


PULP: Are there plans to play live soon? If so, where do you see yourselves playing, and which bands would you do great playing alongside?


Eric: We’d love to play live soon. We just need to shake off a bit of rust, and then we’re ready to go. To be honest, I don’t know any place where they play music. Mayrics? It’s fun there! (Laughs) But seriously, we want to tour everywhere. As for the bands we could play with, we’re looking for bands that follow the Tito time: those who are at home by 10 pm. Just kidding. Anyone! As long as it’s fun.


Wacky: Definitely. I’d like to play in venues with bands of different genres. You learn many new things because you step out of your circle. And, of course, we want to play alongside bands that are our friends. You know who you are, so please book us! (Laughs)


PULP: What’s next for the band? Feel free to let us know!


Wacky: Just keep creating. Write and record songs. Make a few MVs. Practice a lot. Then play gigs. Starting a new band from scratch is an entirely different beast, no matter how much you’ve been through. Mark has migrated to Canada, so we’ve lined up a new bass player: Yai Agustin, my bandmate from Halik Ni Gringo. But we still have several pieces of work that include Mark, like our first MV and some songs we’ve already recorded.


Eric: As of now, we’re focusing on writing more and playing those songs cleanly.


You can watch the band’s most recent music video for “Isa Ka Pa” here

Follow and support Party Jannetty here, here, and here.