by Jodi Jolt
From the first note here I want to tell you that I have been an avid reader and fan of Transformation for as long as I can remember! Last week I received a request for our updated press kit (thank you shout out to my tekkies here) and figured it would make a great feature in your trans-fabulous magazine! Needless to say the band and I agreed to go for it and a few minutes ago I updated all the info on the band.
During the Fall of 2010, I was in New Haven, CT at a club called York St and was contemplating getting a transgender rock band together. I had rocked for years in boy mode so why not rock in girl mode now? As karma would have it, I struck up a conversation with Mischa Mist, a transgender sister who mentioned she played some harmonica, guitar, and keyboards. It took me months to convince her to jam, but when we did…it was magic! I’m a dyed in the wool rocker whilst Mischa is deeply into the blues, and very good at it! It was a fun musical match and we began an amazing journey of friendship, music, and yes…romance. I decided I didn’t care about getting a band together as long as Mischa was in my life. Mischa didn’t even want to be in a band, she just wanted to see the smile on my face when we played together. But we had so much fun playing live that eventually Jodi Jolt and The Volt evolved!
In the spring of 2011, karma worked its magic a second time. I went to The Dark Lady in Providence, RI to dance my tail off. I can dance for hours; it keeps me in aerobic shape so that I can rock for hours! I noticed a transgender sister I had never met before, Christina Jay, dancing by herself at the edge of the dance floor. I went over to introduce myself and to my surprise discovered Christina was a guitarist! She had seen our post on Craigslist for transgender musicians months earlier and had almost contacted us. Plus, she and Mischa were already friends on Fetlife.com! What a small world… Next thing you know, Christina was on board, rocking steady on rhythm guitar and her personality meshed nicely with Mischa and I.
Over the following months we added a few more sisters with mixed results. Some were drama queens, some could not really play very well, and others could hardly ever make practice or gigs. They didn’t last. Also, finding a dedicated drummer was just not happening. We decided to get a drum machine and operate the drum tracks with foot pedals. It worked beautifully! After a few gigs, a sound man assured us we didn’t need a drummer, so we rocked with the drum tracks just fine.
A band is like a family; like it or not, you are stuck with each other for long periods of time so chemistry is extremely important, and we clicked as friends as well as band mates. We rocked a variety of clubs in Connecticut and Rhode Island and noticed we were one of the few bands around where every member was transgender. And since we prefer to play fun, high energy dance music, originals and classics, everyone liked joining us in a having a good time. People with all types of backgrounds and orientations mentioned they were pleasantly surprised to find we were such good rockers; we were not just all hype and mini-skirts.
They say things come in threes and in the fall of 2012, karma hit a triple. Mischa and I went out dancing at a block party at Mirabar in Providence, RI. We struck up a conversation with a transgender sister, Amanda Wayne Roberts, who just so happened to be a bassist. Amanda admitted she was rusty, but since nobody was in a hurry, we didn’t care. And again, the chemistry was there. Amanda got along beautifully with Mischa, Christina and I, like trans-birds of a feather.
Over the next few months, Amanda and I jammed away on bass and guitar respectively as she learned our set list. We were delighted to find out that Amanda was also a tekkie extreme, who came up with the idea of doing live webcasts! The Volt began webcasting our rehearsals and gigs live at http://www.ustream.tv/user/jjatv. We continue to do these as the tekkies work at improving the webcast quality.
At this point in time we finally have a very fluid and cohesive band. Jodi the rocker is a Libra. Amanda the jazz gal is an Aquarius. Christina the punkster is a Pisces and Mischa the blues gal is a Cancer. Two air signs with two water signs equal in sum fluid hurricane potential with lightning. Put the four together and you have Jodi Jolt and The Volt. And yes, Mischa and I are still an item! Hey a romantic ending…what could be better?
Rock on, sisters!
Contact The Volt: firstname.lastname@example.org