Hate Writing Bio's.
Born John Terlesky in Easton, Pa. 1962. Called JT since 6th grade. Indoctrinated into rock music through older brothers playing the White Album late at night. Remember singing "House of the Rising Sun" at rehearsal of brother's band in grandmother's kitchen circa 1970. Endured thick, brown haze of the 1970's. Intrigued by 1977 punk explosion because they didn't sing about love, but more taken with cousin's copy of Nuggets, the candy sound. Brother Nicholas demonstrated barre chording and basic keyboards and lent fuzzbox, that was that. At one point convinced that John Lennon's soul entered body in 1981 as punishment for being mean to his first wife. Later disproved, though there are definitely some odd folks kickin' around in there.
Heard the Velvet Underground and thought 'I could do that'. 1982 began playing bass in a band called Senseless Hate, Angry Samoans covers. Then guitar with Chesterfield Kings-acolytes the Creatures in 1985 after answering an ad that mentioned 13th Floor Elevators. Started writing songs and recording with Creatures' rhythm section, among them frenzied Gun Club/Jesus & Marychain mash-up, "Just 14". Friend's brother heard it and offered to put it out as a single on his new label, Bar/None, under name the Original Sins. In 1986. Followed with album, Big Soul, in '87. The ball was, uh, rollin'.
Sins went on to put out quite a few albums of in-a-hurry garage pop, toured US and Europe, played with Replacements, Ramones, Fleshtones, Lyres, Kinks et al. Videos on 120 minutes with that Dave Kendall guy, reviews in Rolling Stone, Spin, album produced by Peter Buck (Move). Too 60's for grunge, too grungy for 60's. At some point people stopped dancing. Wearied of trying to be James Brown in a now Moby kinda world.
Must have come into a batch of LSD somewhere along the way. Wanted to do a slower version of "Metal Machine Music" filtered through Coltrane's "Ascension" for some reason. This became first Brother JT record, Descent, due to the intercession of writer Byron Coley, who thought it sounded like ravings of a defrocked monk, hence the name. Albums of lo-fi wanderings followed, some self-released, others on labels like Drunken Fish and Siltbreeze. Had begun playing with friends from Phila under name Brother JT and Vibrolux. Rarely practiced because the songs were just riffs and it was 2-hour drive to Phila. Toured some with Bardo Pond, later with Bevis Frond and Royal Trux, who would, under the name Adam and Eve, produce first Brother JT3 album (Vibrolux having disbanded), Way To Go, for Drag City in 1999.
Between then and now three more albums on Drag City, three on Birdman, and most recently two on Thrill Jockey (2013's Svelteness of Boogietude and 2018's Tornado Juice). Not to mention even more self-released projects, the books of drug-fueled automatic writing/drawing, the obsessive mixed media artwork that's piling up in that one room. Like to make stuff 'cos it's so fun. Can't seem to stop writing songs almost no one will hear. Ah, well.
When not crouching in front of tape recorder have walked the crooked line between drunken chaos and occasional moments of grace in several noted bars, playing with the likes of Oneida, the Make Up, Blonde Redhead, Smog, Come, Dead Meadow, GOAST, and Mudhoney. Also helmed internet talk show called Trippin' Balls, and took meeting with the good people at Viceland before deciding TV stardom seemed a tiresome prospect. Prefer driving jobs so as to be in motion and not 'trapped'. Self-diagnosed as a 'highly sensitive person' and nearly incapable of self-advancement or social interaction unless holding guitar. Hate writing bio's almost as much as emptying the litter box.
Been a short/long 3 decades, felt like 4. Wish there was a nice ending here, like, "obscure, passive songwriter championed by Taylor Swift and becomes her houseboy". But, failing in that, please to note many nice people with labels have tried to help over the years for little recompense, not to mention countless bandmates who have selflessly given of their time and energy to help realize a sometimes questionable vision. Again, for no money to speak of. And the people who stayed till the end of the night when many had left. Feel lucky to have gotten to do all this stuff, like a stowaway on Her Majesty's Ship Indie Rock (a slow boat to China if ever there was one). Maybe that's a nice ending after all...
"A bear. A big black bear."--Splendid
"...bleary-eyed, gummed-up...bliss"--Ptolemaic Terrascope
"...Captain Beefheart reads Edgar Allan Poe over some early Funkadelic..."--Index
"...JT enjoyed playing in cemetaries when he wasn't drinking Kool-Aid or recreating
the JFK assassination on his Etch-O-Sketch."--Magnet
"Does he have a recipe for some super vitamin formulated by the Russians?"--Your Flesh
"...stench of warm booze and lysergic opacity."--Sample Magazine
"...a nerdy looking guy behind the controls of a dayglo-painted Stealth bomber..."--Wire
"Get thee behind me, stoner!"--Puncture
"Stripped to the bone and dense as a massive head cold..."--CMJ
"...the music makes you want to chill out in your bean bag and just be beautiful."--Phila. City Paper
"Droghe e Cristo, veddi che copia."--Blow Up
"JT...is just a whole lot more sexier."--Silver Juice
"...stringy hair, glazed eyes...too many midnight Twinkies."--Ghettoblaster
"Cherubic...space cadet.--Time Out NY
"...like something someone might have taped through the garage door of a Crazy Horse rehearsal."--The Onion
"...Brother JT keeps perfoming his peculiar psychedelia to little fanfare or monetary reward."--Alternative Press
"I don't know the story with this album. I am uninformed."--Drippy Gazette