It's the End of the World as We Know It 

Local bands weigh in on the impending apocalypse

Will the world end on 12/21/2012? Probably not. But that's not going to stop local bands from playing a show like it'll be their last one. And to keep things in the apocalyptic spirit, we asked iPhonic singer Joe Q, the JiMiller Band singer Jim Miller and Chemtrail X guitarist Ed Jackson to provide their perspective on what they'll if it does. — Sam MendezWhat song will you be playing last? Is it the best 'end of the world' song in your repertoire?

Joe Q: We have a surprise for everybody. I'm going to let the cat of the bag, right now. We wrote a song about the end of the world, and that will be the last song we play. Who knows? Maybe it'll be the first one. It's about how if the world is gonna end, we better start living. That's the name of it: "Better Start Living." We try to live every moment to the fullest, and we try not to depress everyone so our music is pretty happy most the time. The world might end, but let's just get drunk.

Jim Miller: The last song we're gonna play? We have no idea. We like to improvise, but most of the time, we play "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad" by Woody Guthrie. It's an old blues song, and it's all about imagery, about death and rebirth. One of the reasons we're playing this show is because of the idea of the ouroborus. One of our logos is a Mayan glyph of a man emerging from a snake's mouth, which is also the symbol of the end of the world, but also the rebirth. So it's also continuing on, which is why we're throwing this show. We're a genre that really fits what's going on. We improvise one song into another, just like one day goes into another.

Edwin Jackson: I would like to put out there "The Second Coming Of." It's about the many scenarios that are about the end of the world. There's supposedly a comet that's gonna hit the earth, the earth could blow up and the song addresses that.

What song do you want to listen to right before the world ends?

Joe Q: That's a tough one, man. I would say Tupac's "Changes." It was one of my favorites growing up. I first heard it on a Discman when I was 11 years old. He's one of the reasons I got into hip-hop.

Jim Miller: "Weather the Storm," my own song. It has a positive slant on death. I don't want to sound egotistical, but that's the first thing that came to my head.

Edwin Jackson: I would say any one of ours. But if I could pick one particular song, I dunno. I think I would have to go out with our song about the end of the world. There's no other way to do it because of all the time and thought that went into that particular song. The song is actually 17 years old. It was written a while ago, and it wasn't geared towards the end of the world scenario. We were still in high school and we weren't into the conspiracy stuff like we are now. And once we started the band, we thought, "Man, we gotta bring this song back." So we tweaked it, and that song's concept is what really made the band.

What would be your last meal or drink?

Joe Q: My last drink would be a straight shot of Crav vodka. No question. For the last meal, I'd have to go with crab legs.

Jim Miller: A hamburger. The first thing that came to my mind was Wimpy from Popeye. "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

Edwin Jackson: Last meal would be a place in Savanna, Illinois called Manny's Pizza. It's the best pizza I've ever had. As far as a drink, get me a Dr. Pepper, and I'm happy.

How do you imagine the world will end?

Joe Q: I am always scared that this giant tidal wave will take everyone out. All that water, man; it's gonna get us one day.

Jim Miller: It wouldn't. That's the whole point of what the Mayan Calendar is about; there is no end. It's a cycle. What we know would end, but something new would begin. I don't imagine a flood, or a comet, or an atom bomb ending the world, so there really is no end; it's just a new beginning.

Edwin Jackson: I want it to be a zombie apocalypse, like Walking Dead style. So I sure hope if it ends, it's not just a blackout and the world ends. I hope it turns into a game, so definitely a zombie apocalypse.

What's your favorite end-of-the-world movie?

Joe Q: I like Armageddon. That was a good movie.

Jim Miller: The last movie I would want to see is Broadway Danny Rose by Woody Allen, because it's exactly about what the whole day is about. It's about birth and death and forgiveness and continuing onward.

Edwin Jackson: I don't have one in particular, but 2012 was a really good one. I could also see Red Dawn be a really good one, since that's a different take on the end of the world.

What moment as a band are you most proud of?

Joe Q: Oh man. The proudest thing I think we've did is that we've given the city a good anthem to bump with "This City." Cleveland never had a song that was clean that you could play at a Cavs game or a Browns game or a family setting. Bone Thugs have been putting out for the city for years. They make tons of Cleveland songs.

Jim Miller: Well, there's too many things. We do our own show at Nelson Ledges. We open for really great musicians like members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, etc. I got to play with the Allman Brothers. I've got so many memories, but I can't choose; it's like asking what tree is my favorite.

Edwin Jackson: Well there are two things we're proud of. First, is possibly being featured in a soundtrack for the movie Gray State, and second, having the opportunity to play with [Mushroomhead's] Dave Felton with his new band, Kriadiaz. We played a couple shows with them, and they've kinda taken us under their wing. I've always wanted to play with Mushroomhead. Well, I haven't been able to, but hey, this is close.

If there is an afterlife, what do you hope it to be like, and with whom would you want to jam?

Joe Q: That's a tough one. I'd like to rock with all those guys: Elvis, Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Biggie, Tupac, Big L. There are plenty of dead rock stars up there to keep me company.

Jim Miller: It would be a whole rebirth that I couldn't even fathom. It depends on what you're doing in this life. I sometimes think this world is a test, and if we pass the test, we move on into another state. I think we just reach another spiritual form. First person I'd want to jam with is Jerry Garcia. Our band has been doing a Grateful Dead-type thing, not just in music, but with what they represent, and now here we are playing a show based on the end of the world.

Edwin Jackson: Aside from my band mates, I would have to flock directly to Paul Stanley because he's the reason I got into music. I took a look at him and thought, "I wanna be just like that."


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