Jay Pepito: Reign Supreme

By: Ed

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Did an interview with Jay from Reign Sup recently.

After we did the mini bio on his new band (Vengeance) with Donny Mutt, he said he hadn’t done a Reign Sup interview for ages- so here’s some new stuff with Jay.

DR: First up introduce yourself and tells us a bit about what you do in Reign Sup and how did the band come about?

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JP: My name is Jay Pepito, I serve as the vocalist for Reign Supreme.  Our band started some years ago, purely as a sort of fun project among a group of friends.  We just wanted to write heavy hardcore, and I guess enough people dug us early on that we got to do some really cool things.

DR: where are you guys all from?

JP: We are all from the Jersey/Philly area except for Randall, who is from Plymouth, MA.  We all live in the Philadelphia metro region.

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DR: Who’s in the current line up?

JP: Currently, it’s me on vocals, Klint on bass, Mikey on guitar, and Randall on drums.

DR: Do you write a lot of the music or does everyone get involved?

JP: Sort of both, I’m like the main song-writer, but everyone kind of adds and subtracts parts and we have a pretty organic creative process.  It used to be more me just writing everything, but we’ve evolved since then, and now the song-writing process is more about collaboration.

DR: What’s new for Reign Sup?

Are you working on anything at the moment? Who are you currently signed too?

JP: Nothing new actually, in fact we are about to go on hiatus for a few years.  Mediaskare put out our last record, an EP called “Sky Burial”.

DR: What usual topics do you focus on in Reign Sup songs?

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JP: Usually they’re pretty personal.  Songs like “Failure” and “It Feels like a Thousand Years” are about my frustrations with myself and the way I’ve spent my life.  Songs like “Heartsick” or “Apostle” are more about critically viewing society and my place in that, and about re-imaging our priorities.

DR: Who are some of the influences behind Reign Sup?

JP: Sepultura, Ringworm, Hatebreed, Converge, Cursed, Baroness, 100 Demons, Mastodon, Disfear, and Integrity are really big influences on the later-era of our writing, and stuff like Madball, Figure Four, and Earth Crisis were big influences on our early stuff.

DR: When was your last tour and with who?

JP: We did a US tour with the Ghost Inside, Xibalba, Beartooth, and Relentless from Australia.  It was probably the funnest tour we’ve ever done, except maybe when we did a US tour with Madball a few years back.  Or Europe two summers ago, that was insane.

DR: What’s a Standard Reign Sup show crowd like?

JP: Tough question.  I guess pretty much just regular kids who are into heavy riffs or something.  It used to be more hardcore kids who were trying to get down with the “next big thing” but once they realized it wasn’t us, those kids try to pretend they don’t know us anymore.

DR: Are many or any of you Edge men?

JP: Klint and Mikey are, and I’m not even sure about Mikey at this point.  We all were at some point or another, but just don’t feel passionate about it anymore and kind of don’t really care.

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DR: What’s the full Reign Sup library now? How much stuff do you have out?

JP: I’ll probably miss something but here goes:  Demo, which got released on Rock Vegas Records as a 7” called “Fuck the Weak”, “Defiant” 12” single on Dead by 23 Records, “American Violence” demo, “American Violence” EP on Malfunction Records, “Testing the Limits of Infinite” on Deathwish, Inc, cover of “Too Deep Until Now” on a Chain of Strength tribute comp, “Sky Burial” EP on Mediaskare. We are/were writing another LP, but I think we’re going to shelve it for time being, and come back to it when we are ready to dedicate more of ourselves to it.

DR: You’re into Traveling, right?

Where are some of your personal favorite places and Experiences?

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JP: I love the West Coast of the US, LA, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle are some of my favorite cities, and I think I’ll live out there eventually.  Hawaii is awesome, and I’m planning on going there again with my wife this year to do some surfing and snorkeling, as well as eating ignorant amounts of seafood.  Love Montreal, Quebec, and Toronoto, always fun traveling there.  Really enjoy Japan, Tokyo Tower and seeing Mt Fuji were unbelievable experiences, and really every city there is cool.  I love London, always a great day of buying bullshit and eating junk food whenever we are there.  Definitely can never get enough of the Scandinavian countries.  I had a great time in Copenhagen last time we were there, and I think Stockholm is one of the greatest cities in the world.  Probably my favorite city recently was Zurich, I loved swimming in that river so much.  I also have some family and business in the Philippines so I’m there often, and we always do cool stuff.  I think next time, I’ll travel to Bohol and go swimming with whale sharks, which is probably the coolest thing ever.

DR: You’re also heavily tattooed- who do you Regularly get tattooed by and who do you want to have work done by?

JP: I have work by BJ Betts, Norm, Mike Schweigert, Zeke Owen, Kevin Leblanc, Steve Tiberi, Josh Hoffman, Eli Quinters, Joey Knuckles, and probably a few others.  I’m running out of space, so all I have left to do is finish my leg which Kevin Leblanc is doing, and probably have my buddy Damien Rodriguez fill in this unfinished Hanya tattoo I have.

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DR: what do you and the other guys do for work outside the band?

JP: I have a lot going on, I do personal training and strength and conditioning work with athletes, but my real passion is social enterprise and I started a nonprofit called Lift-Up, Inc that organizes exercise competitions for homeless outreach.  I’ll be studying for a master’s at the University of Pennsylvania as well.  Mikey works for Ibanez as a guitar god.  Klint is one of the most gifted and passionate high school teachers to ever walk this earth, and he’s doing graduate research at University of Pennsylvania, I think with robots or some crazy shit.  Randall works in a restaurant, and is a barista at one of the best coffee places in the US, Elixr in Philadelphia.

DR: Any big Tour plans for 2014?

JP: None.  We will play Southeast Beast in Jacksonville, FL and the New England Metal and Hardcore Fest, and then we are taking some time off.  I REALLY want to go to Europe, so maybe next year.

DR: Thanks for your time Jay anything you wanna add?

JP: Not at this time, but I encourage all of you to check out my website, becomeimmortal.net, and check out my nonprofit, weliftup.org, although the site is still being built.  Thanks!

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