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Janus Just Wanted to Put Their Heads Down and Make a Great Record

Visiting Dimebag Darrell’s grave while on tour was a moving experience for some members of the hard rock band Janus. “I’m not a huge Pantera fan, but pretty much everyone else in the band is,” singer David Scotney told Noisecreep. “I actually didn’t even bother to get out of the van. I’m just not a huge fan. Everyone else was super excited about it. It was pretty crazy. They said it was awesome. They said it was really cool to see.”

Janus are on tour in support of the album ‘Red Right Return.’ The album’s first single, ‘Eyesore,’ is spinning on more than 20 rock radio stations nationwide. A video for the track — directed by Noah Shulman (Sleepless City Productions) — has more than 500,000 views and can be seen on the band’s MySpace page. The imagery in the video and on the album cover is rooted in Russian Constructionist art.

“The imagery on the album and in the video is based on the concept behind the record,” Scotney said. “The title of the record is ‘Red Right Return,’ which comes from a nautical phrase, red right returning. Ship captains used it when returning home to port — always keep the red buoy on the right side of the ship.”

That imagery really worked for the band in a lot of ways. “It felt like the perfect kind of metaphor for us, because this record was really about doing our own thing, kind of returning the core of writing and playing music. Then the imagery came out of that as well. We wanted to make a statement that was different from a lot of what we were seeing in the heavy rock genre, this 1920s Russian Constructionist vibe jumped out at me. I presented it to the band, and they loved it. Sure enough it worked its way into the video for the single.”

The album was written out of pure love for the music, said Scotney, who is joined in the band by Johnny Salazar (percussion), Alan Quitman (bass), Mike Tyranski (guitar/programming). Janus didn’t have a record deal until the album was finished in November 2008. It was released in their hometown of Chicago in January 2009.

“We had no clue it was going to do well,” Scotney said about the album. “We had no clue we were going to get signed. All we really wanted to do was put our heads down and make the best record we could and kind of make a record for ourselves, essentially. The whole plan was to release it ourselves and take a DIY approach. Sure enough it came out great, it started turning heads and things have been kind of moving quickly ever since.”

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