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."