Truth and Janey interview with BillyLee Janey

September 3, 2013

Truth and Janey interview with BillyLee Janey

By the mid ’70s there was a whole lot of hard rock albums out there. Some were really good, but a lot of them were just average. There were a few ultra heavy stuff and among them also recordings of a band from Iova, that formed in late 1969 called Truth and Janey. They recorded their first LP in 1975. In my opinion there is only one album as heavy as their LP by Randy Holden titled “Population II”. Truth and Janey’s “No Rest For The Wicked” is a mixture of heavy and amazingly performed songs. A mix of Hendrix, Sabbath and maybe Holden inspired riffs. On their next album they changed direction. Rockadrome Records reissued their first album and live concert from 1976, which is out on double vinyl titled “Erupts!”. Erupts is a monster live record. A must for any fan of hard/heavy rock. BillyLee Janey is still very active and has a few solo albums out, but he is also planning a new Truth and Janey album. More about that soon on It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine. 

You released in my opinion one of the most raw and heaviest
records of all time and we are really lucky, to talk about it
with you, but first let’s start at the beginning. Where were you born and how
did you get in contact with music as a young kid?
I was born in Cedar Rapids, IA. I first got into contact with music watching
Elvis movies and the British Invasion.
Were you in any bands before forming Truth?
Any releases?
Yes; “Driving Wheel Blues Band” in 1966, but no releases.
In 1969 you formed Truth. Tell us how did
you guys get together?
Met the members at a jam session in Iowa.

What can you say about the early basement
sessions you had? Where all did you play at the beginning and what gear were
you using at the time?

We knew we had magic, it just gelled. I was
using a Ampeg V4 amp and a 67 Sunburst Fender Strat.
About a year later you changed the drummer.
In 1972 you released your debut, a 7-inch, “Midnight Horseman” along
with a cover of The Rolling Stones song, “Under My Thumb”. The
following year you also released “Straight Eight Pontiac” and
“Around and Around” on their own Driving Wheel label. Would you like
to tell us about these two singles; where did you record them?
I wrote “Midnight Horseman”. We recorded at A
& R Studios with old crown analog recording gear. Used 67 Sunburst strat
through an old Fender tweed amp.
In 1975 you recorded one of the most
amazing hard rock albums, No Rest For The Wicked. What are some of the
strongest memories from producing and recording this LP? It was released on
your own label in quantity of 1000, right?
It was an analog studio and all the great
material just flowed!
Yes, 1000 copies.
What gear did you guys used and by the look
of the cover artwork you must have been a big amp worshipper?
Marshall amp 69/70 model.
In a few words I would describe an album
like you borrowed sounds from Hendrix and common musicians and you build on
them, taking them to a higher echelon. Do you agree?
I’ve always been into Hendrix. Also influenced by Blues bands, Led Zeppelin & Cream.
Would you mind comment tracks from the LP?
Not at all.
Down the Road I Go                    
Like a Blues Rock, off time, Jazz Fusion…
The Light                         
The light lyrics say it all, touched with spirituality.
I’m Ready                        
 Muddy Waters blues song, rearranged.
Taken from a blues poetry paper back book.
a. A Child                         
child speaks for itself, astro flair.
b. Building Walls                          
Building walls has double meaning words with great guitar tones thru B3
Leslie Tone Cabinet
No Rest for the Wicked
Live album version, like a national anthem.              
It’s All About Us     
Songs about us trying to break through sewing seeds!       
Ain’t No Tellin’               
Redone Blues song by Mississippi John Hurt in a blues/rock format.
My Mind            
Great intro, great words, a rock anthem ending.
Where all was your touring territory and
with who all did you play?

& Canada toured with Lesley West of the the band Mountain, Blue Oyster
Cult, Ted Nugent, Seigel-Schwall Band.
Psychedelic drugs? Yes or no?
Not Really.

What happened next? Your second LP titled “Just a Little Bit of Magic” was really different. Why is that so?
Band broke up, made a jazz/funk/blues album. The Disco scene caused the
demise of our band.
Dennis at Monster and now Rockadrome
released “Erupts!”, which is your live recording from 1976. What can you tell me
about this recordings? Where was concert held and how did the audience accept
your music?
Analog 8 track machine Ampex.
A live concert at the Col Ballroom in
Davenport, Iowa. The audience listened more than they applauded.
Now Rockadrome reissued  your albums.
How do you like it? What do you think about young people listening to your
music more and more, these days?
My new CDs are just as interesting if you
listen closely. Keeps kids away from Rap 🙂
What happened in late ’70s, through ’80s
and what currently occupies your life?
Still recording and performing. Have a country
estate that keeps me busy.
Where are all other members?

Steven Bock passed away a few years ago. Dennis retired in the 70s.

Any future plans?
Would like to tour Europe and keep recording…

Thanks very much for taking your time.
Would you like to send a message to It’s Psychedelic Baby readers?
Thank you to the readers for all of your
support and just keep supporting REAL musicians who play original music.

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2013

© Copyright

  1. Andrew Gomez

    i gotta say i was really excited when i saw the title, but now im a bit disappointed, the guy doesnt even sound like he really wants to do this. kinda phoning it in



  2. grimtraveller

    I agree. That was a lame interview that told us virtually nothing. We glean more info about Judas in the bible ! If you're going to agree to an interview, the least one could do is answer the questions and give some info. I appreciate that he was asked about events and things from 35-40 years ago but that's neither here nor there.
    Get with it, Bill !

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