XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Jon: The latest news for us is that our debut album is now available on CD and digital download. You can order either format through our Bandcamp page at
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Jon: I started writing the material for what became the 3 main songs on our debut album in late 2015. Once I had the songs ready for a band, it actually took a while to settle on a lineup that could function as a live band and also move forward in a progressive state. We finally hit the stage in Sept 2017 and have collected quite a few gigs in that time. The current lineup Is the strongest one yet.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Jon; I grew up on MTV when they still played music videos and I think aside from liking music already, it had an impression on me to get an instrument and play in a band, because it looked really cool. It just seemed like a fun and creative avenue.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Jon: I picked up a guitar at 13 and took private lessons for a couple years but was also very self taught. I was a kid who had a subscription to Guitar World and it really did help me a lot learn cool songs and private lessons from guitar heroes. I learned more by playing in bands and understanding the chemistry of playing with other people. I did a lot of different genres of metal and also stuff like Punk, and also really got into Experimental and Noise. In my mid 20s I spent a significant amount of time away from metal and focused in on other genres like blues, jazz and jazz fusion, and a lot of old rock from late 60’s to early 80’s, especially prog rock. Around this time I went to college for music to better myself as a musician and it made a huge difference. I’ve been playing theremin for about 10 years and do my own projects as well as collaborations with other bands. I also do a Frank Zappa cover band once a year for a local tribute show.
Janine: I actually started off playing violin and went to college for that initially. I never sang in school. But I sang karaoke with friends, realized I didn’t suck at it, and joined a 70s cover band for a part time job. The rest is history I guess.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Jon: I think image wise we conjure something dark in nature that can be beautiful as well as frightening.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Jon: Promoting our debut album as much as possible is what we are currently pursuing. Now that we have an album available, we are making a conscious effort to get outside of our region more to further places to perform and make people aware that we exist. In the next couple years we hope to cover some good ground around the states. We’ve played with so many cool bands from around the country that we would love to go to their hometown and share the stage in their neck of the woods. We have a lot of new material in the working stages right now and a primary goal is to get this lineup in the studio to record an album within the next year or so.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Jon; To allow this band the ability to sustain and survive all the throes and issues that plague a lot of bands from being able survive. I would love for this band to continue through out the rest of our careers, because I think we are a collective of talent and have good chemistry together and that should never be taken for granted.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Jon: Well, it’s almost a horse a piece for me, I think of each as in the same wheel of progression. You need composed songs to perform live and once you’ve honed it in, it’s appropriate to capture it on a proper recording. I’ve always loved the feeling of performing live, that’s never changed. When I was younger, I didn’t always have the best recording experiences but later in my life that eventually turned around so I’m more into the recording process nowadays than I’ve been in the past. I’ve been recording with a fellow named Shane Hochstetler for the last few years and he has made a lot of difference as to how I perceive a recording experience. Making our debut album was great, and I had a really good time in the process.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
(Janine) The overarching theme in our songs is going to be from the Nightbreed comic book realm, where our name comes from. I like to work in multiple layers of meaning even though, at the end of the day, people are going to interpret any art as how they relate to it personally. The secondary themes I work with are historical or mythological in nature because I’m a big Iron Maiden nerd.
Jon: The Nightbreed to me falls in that same universe of mythology, so instead of being too specific, we cast a larger net to tell all the different kinds of dark tales there is to tell. In the earlier stages of the band, we were more focused lyrically on tales of Nightbreed, but when Janine joined she wanted to rewrite some stuff which I thought was a great way to put her own artistic identity immediately into the band. It also opened the doors further into covering more subject matter. I don’t think it was ever a conscious thought to keep our themes strictly reserved for Nightbreed subject matter and Janine really helped in expanding our lyrical universe.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Jon; Well, we’ve only played a total of 4 out of town gigs so far, so nothing outrageous has happened as of yet but next time around hopefully we’ll have that covered.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Jon: I played Maryland Deathfest once performing theremin with Inter Arma. After the show a woman asked me to sign her sweater. I was happy to oblige, but was taken back slightly on the notion to have a garment like that autographed by someone. Strange perhaps, but humbling and cool.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Jon: They were always to some degree, but once I got older and really established my musical skills, they saw me perform live and realized how much work I put into my playing and have been my #1 fans since!
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Jon: Well, since we only have 3 songs, that makes up our set list and I really do like them all equally for their own reasons. We actually just added a cover of Kill The King by Rainbow to our live set to augment our set time until we get our new material up to par. Playing that song is a lot of fun, it has a good up tempo speed and climbs keys throughout the song.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Jon; As I mentioned, I’m definitely a by product of the MTV generation. The first stuff I really latched onto was grunge rock like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, etc. Shortly thereafter I found metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden etc. and during that phase and getting into more underground stuff like death metal and grindcore that I really wanted to play live with a band because it looked like a lot of fun to be on a stage playing guitar through loud amplifiers. I think music videos definitely allured me into the musician/artist world. I had no other real ambitions at that time in my life so I figured it was an avenue to pursue.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Jon: If we are speaking from within this current timeline I think Yob would be one we would all be pretty happy with. And since this IS a dream tour I’d put Uli Jon Roth and King Crimson on as well. I think that could work for one bill, anything more would be a dream fest!
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Jon: Staying alive. The older I get the more I appreciate that notion. Graduating college with a degree in music Playing in multiple bands for years and enduring the highs and lows and the sometimes inevitable breakups but still having the desire to pursue playing music in a band as a vehicle to express your art. That might be my single greatest accomplishment of not losing the burning heart of desire after all these years.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Jon: I would like to think it’d be in music somehow, whether it was recording behind the controls or being a session recording performer. I teach private guitar lessons part time, so perhaps I would be pursuing that as a more full time thing if I wasn’t so busy perusing my art.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Jon: My primary guitar for this band is an early edition Charvel San Dimas model. My amp is a 100w custom Crate Blue Voodoo that I replaced the transformers and choke with Mercury Magnetics upgrades. I have 2 4×12 Emperor speaker cabs but I only use both when it’s necessary. I just picked up a Tyrant cab from my friend Sean who was the designer of Emperor and these cabs sound even better! They have great controlled bass response.
Jeremiah: 1970s Pearl fiberglass 5 piece drumset with a 24” bass drum
Ben: I Play a “Fender Style” custom bass through a Sunn Beta Bass 1×15 combo
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Jon: I think there’s a ton of good bands out there making good music worth checking out, but since there’s an insane amount of bands out there, it takes effort to swim through music sources to find them. Between Youtube, Bandcamp, Spotify, Pandora, and streaming sites like that, you can find so much stuff, good but there’s an endless amount of stuff and you have to dig for what really moves you. I feel in today’s music scene, where there’s not as much money going around, that you’ll find more bands who are doing it purely because they love music and performing it, as opposed to people who think they can make a paycheck from it. I think that plays a positive role on music that is being made today.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Jon; My Ms. Pacman skills are exceptional. My NBA Jam skills are even more so to whoever wants to challenge me!
(Janine )I’m a published scientist who now does furniture refinishing and repair.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Jon; It’s always fun trying to use words to describe your band that doesn’t oversell it or give the wrong impression. I would generally say that we are a 4 piece heavy metal band that has doom influences as well as late 70’s/early 80’s influences and as some elements of black metal and folk to make up long indulgent songs lyrically based in mythology and historical tales.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Jon: Thanks for digging our sounds and your support and keep up to date with us through our Facebook page for show schedules and announcements. Hope to see you in your hometown soon!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Lost Tribes Of The Moon is:
Jon Liedtke Guitars
Ben Wright Bass
Jeremiah Messner Drums
Janine Marie Vocals