Meet The Judges: DJ Jimbo Rocko

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be introducing the judges of the 2014 Battle of the Bands. First off, we'll start with our friend, DJ Jimbo Rocko.
May 9, 2014

Born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, DJ Jimbo Rocko is a producer and entertainer who has been influenced by many genres of music, all his life. When he's not busy traveling, recording or performing, Rocko is spending time with his lovely daughter, Tessa, who joined us for this interview. Between pretending to eat a plastic, fried egg sandwich and blowing the candles out on a miniature birthday cake, Rocko gave us insight on his musical background and what he's looking forward to in this year's Battle of the Bands:

Funcoast: How did you get your start in the local music scene?
Jimbo Rocko: Four years ago, I had the opportunity to work with Bryan Thom, a local DJ. He helped me get paying gigs to DJ events at local clubs. I took that momentum, kept working hard and it just hasn't stopped.

Funcoast: What are some of your biggest accomplishments in your career?
Jimbo Rocko: In the beginning of 2013, I was invited to record at Ocean Way Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee with the band that I DJ for, L.E.D. Ocean Way is a studio where big names in music have recorded, like Bob Seger, Carrie Underwood, 3 Doors Down and Michael Jackson. It was an experience that will be tough to top, but not to long ago, I was hired to perform at the Alive Festival in Mineral City, Ohio on June 19. In more of the pop music scene, I've also worked on remixes of songs with artists including Linkin Park, Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City, just to name a few.

Funcoast: When judging the Battle of the Bands, what will you personally be looking at from each of the finalists?
Jimbo Rocko: I will be looking at the band as a whole. Talent is important, but when the top five are announced, I want to look at the whole package. What does their website look like? How are they promoting themselves online? What kind of shows are you doing? What makes you stand out from the rest? I will consider all of these assets and on the day of the battle, I will combine their performance with their interactions with the crowd. I want to be able to see how the bands feel they stand out from the rest.

Funcoast: On a personal level, what was your first concert you went to and what has been your favorite concert to attend?
Jimbo Rocko: Oh wow! There have been so many shows. I'd have to say my most favorite show, to date, would be the 20/20 Experience show in Cleveland with Justin Timberlake. My first show that I bought tickets for was the solo tour for DC Talk in 2001.

As we finished our coffees and got all of Tessa's toys picked up, Rocko wanted to send a little message to all the bands involved. "If you don't make it to the top five or win the battle, don't take it personal. Take that negative and spin it into a positive. Keep working hard and don't stop trying. Haters are motivators, take that emotion and use it as fuel to come back with a vengeance next year."


Raoul Duke

Jimbo seems cool, but if you don't let DJ's INTO the competition, why do you have one judging it? (Just your standard obnoxious Sandusky Register reader comment...)

Jon Limber


I appreciate your comment and personally, I knew this would come up. Jimbo's (really, what else would we call him?) talents expand past his skills as a DJ. He plays music and more importantly, he works with bands, helps promote them and has his finger on the pulse of the local music scene.

As a part of the prize package, the record contract from Radio Gunner Entertainment is looking for bands and artists who perform original music to continue to grow their variety of artists. As an organization, we've spoken with Jimbo Rocko and other DJs / entertainers about potentially doing events focused around that style of entertainment, but no decisions or plans have been reached at this point.

Simply put, Jimbo Rocko supports the local music community and the message that we're trying to send with this event. He wanted to participate in any way, shape and form to help out and he was okay with the stipulation we had put in place.

Raoul Duke

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

From the Grave

ARe bikers going to dig the rap bands?

Jon Limber

From the Grave,

The bands that are on the ballot are not automatically playing in the Battle on Friday, May 30. Now, if a different genre of music makes it into the top 5 or even wins the entire Battle, then good for them. That means they had the support of their fans and impressed the judges. The Battle is intended for bands and artists alike to showcase their talents in front of a group of people. Last year we had the Car2n Hooligans, a rap group from Sandusky, OH, perform at the Battle and impress a lot of people (including the judges).

With that said, if there are other bands you wish to make the top 5 for the Battle, you do have the opportunity to vote to get the music you like in the Battle and potentially win the grand prize. Click here to visit the ballot and vote for your favorites to play at the Battle. Voting ends Friday, May 23.

Raoul Duke

Oh, okay.