Nov. 7, 2002

The Blood Brothers Set to Turn Heads

By Randy J. Klodz

Though its oldest member is only 24—with the youngest being 20—the Seattle-based punk metal quintet the Blood Brothers have had quite the experience while out on their road to big-label pandemonium. This chaos includes a Chicago show supporting Glassjaw at the Metro on Nov. 17.

Johnny Whitney—he of the high-pitched, almost Cartman from TV's "South Park" voice—comprises half the lyrical assault with vocalist Jordan Blilie. Guitarist Cody Votolato, bassist Morgan Henderson and drummer Mark Gajadhar complete the Blood Brothers cast of characters.

That’s right, the band showcases two singers, a feat not often seen in the music industry. “When we started a band it was just to make it different and to make it more intense and screwed up,” Whitney said. “It’s evolved into something weird because we both are singing more and we both have different voices so it’s this weird kind of like a metal duet."

Though, as Whitney said, "there's no funny story," behind the band name, Whitney did give a recount of a time last year when the Blood Brothers were playing their first song at a venue in Columbus, Ohio. He thought the nearly tragic accident was more funny than scary. “Our guitar player [Votolato] did one of those around-the-world-tricks [where a guitarist swings his guitar around his back] and did it way too close to me and the neck came down and smashed over my head,” Whitney said. “He smashed his brand new SG, the neck of it clear broke off his guitar and I had about a 4-inch gash in my head.”

Whitney can laugh at the situation now and can look forward to playing in front of a Chicago audience, now that six stitches fixed the wound, last year. The Blood Brothers are no strangers to Chicago audiences; in fact, they've played two shows at Fireside Bowl and are one of the three bands scheduled to open for the Long Island, N.Y.-based Glassjaw on Nov. 17 at the Metro.

With off-the-wall melodies, one would think that this group of young adults were deviants, just as stories surface of young bands like Sum 41 trashing hotel rooms and the like, this unusually is not the case.

“We’re all pretty level headed, so spend most of our time reading or watching TV,” Whitney explained. “Older people have this perception that if you are in a band you live this swanky lifestyle and you throw your mattress out of your hotel room into the pool every night and get wasted every night. We don’t really buy into that very much.”

Show up early to Metro on Nov. 17 to check out the Blood Brothers, who are set to release "Burn Piano Island, Burn" their major-label debut in the spring of 2003, and are one of three bands that go on before Glassjaw takes the stage. Metro is located at 3730 N. Clark St. Tickets are $12.50, with the show start time listed as 6:30 p.m. More info on the Blood Brothers can be found at www.thebloodbrothers.com.

The Blood Brothers Photo: Martyn Atkins