Guillotine is a heavy industrial band from Nashville, TN. Formerly known as Jake J and the Killjoys, Guillotine is the new name in industrial metal with a cryptic energetic live show, and anthemic metal music often compared to Rob Zombie, Rammstein, and Ghost. Leading this band of bloodsuckers is Jake Johnson, the band’s vocalist, lead guitarist, and mad scientist behind Guillotine. He has robbed the crypts of Nashville’s finest musicians to bring Guillotine to life. The band of creatures consists of drummer Zakk DuBois, and bassist Steve Stokes.
Music infiltrated every aspect of young Jake’s life from learning to make chords on the guitar with his dad to moving to New Jersey at eight years old and learning more advanced techniques from his step dad, Hugh McDonald, the bassist for Bon Jovi. He showed an undeniable talent from someone so young, and many great players took him under their wing, mentoring the young man and helping him develop his skills. Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Alice Cooper, Doc McGhee and Desmond Child all took an interest in Jake and encouraged him to make music of his own. Jake left Utah for Nashville, Tennessee in 2016 to work on refining a sound he was just starting to embrace. Jake J and the Killjoys debuted in 2017 and opened for Bon Jovi, KISS, Bret Michaels, Ratt, Blue Oyster Cult, April Wine and Vince Neil, just to name a few. They played at the Bridgestone arena, the Vivint Smart Home Arena, and the KISS Kruise. Even with acclaimed reception to his music and an impressive show record under his belt, Jake wanted a sound and aesthetic that was more authentic to who he was. He has always loved heavier music, and in Nashville he found the inspiration and inner turmoil to manifest that sound from within. Jake embraced his suffering and turned it into a sound that reflects the passion and emotions that had engulfed his soul, and speaks to others that have endured the same experiences.
In the summer of 2018, Jake began his Jekyll and Hyde transformation, and began writing his debut metal album with Grammy Nominated producer, Jim Lightman. Telling Jake’s true horror story in the style of sonic gothic literature, the concept album “ODIUM” was born. With the band name, Jake J and the Killjoys, in tact with fresh music and imagery, the album release was abruptly put on hold when the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world. Taking the isolated time to reflect, rebrand, and reimagine, Jake was inspired to hone in on his genre, and put Jake J and the Killjoys to rest. His music became darker, grittier and more aggressive than before, and beginning in the spring of 2020, Jake began rebuilding the band. After a year of marketing mentorship from Michael Brandvold, wearing out the grooves of a Rammstein record, and discovering his sound from a Fractal FM3, Jake created GUILLOTINE. Soon after the sound was found, the Guillotine live show was refined. Consisting of unapologetic industrial metal and visuals created by Jake and former Cradle of Filth graphic artists, Guillotine became an immersive experience fit for any metal or horror fan. The band also began hosting “the industrial metal sideshow” where the band performs alongside professional fire dancers, live snakes, and other freaks and creeps. Signed to Brain Candy Management in April of 2022, Guillotine is set to release their debut album, ODIUM, in August of 2022.
On and off stage, Guillotine believes in the power of music, and how it can unite people through times of uncertainty. A group of misfits coming together to bring more misfits together, and celebrate life through the eyes of darkness is what the world needs, and what the name Guillotine represents. Jake tapped into a universal concept that when you reach deep inside yourself, and you feel pain you think you will not be able to endure, you discover what lies on the other side of our comfortable lives may be a darker side of ourselves that terrifies us, yet forces our true selves to come alive.