AMAB: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PLAYING SHOWS AGAIN AFTER A LONG BREAK? THAT COVID REALLY SCREWED THINGS UP! J.B: Definitely in 2020 covid shut us and everyone else down. In June of 2021 we started back up strong and we’re out there pretty steady. It was wonderful to be back on stage with my brothers.
AMAB: DURING THAT TIME WHAT WERE YOU DOING? DO YOU HAVE ANY OPINIONS ON THE SUBJECT? IT PUT CLUBS AND VENUES OUT OF BUSINESS. J.B: Covid truly took its toll on the world. Business owners all over lost everything. It’s was devastating for all of us. During that time I just concentrated on my practicing and wrote many songs as well.
AMAB: JIMI ANY SHOWS THAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES THAT YOU'VE PLAYED AND WHAT BANDS WERE FUN TO PERFORM WITH? WHAT OTHER GROUPS WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH? J.B: I’ve had too many to list but one of my most memorable ones was Tokyo, Japan with House of Lords and of course my very first show with Autograph in VA. That night was magical.
AMAB: DURING YOUR TIME IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS, WHICH CDS OR SONGS ARE YOUR FAVORITE AND FOR WHAT REASON? J.B: Too many to list but I will just say I’m a huge AC/DC fan. I could listen to that band all day and never grow tired of them.
AMAB: WHAT COMPANIES DO YOU USE FOR YOUR GUITARS, AMPS, CABINETS, DISTORTION PEDALS? DO YOU HAVE ANY ENDORSEMENT DEALS? WHAT WOULD BE YOU IDEAL SET UP? J.B: I’m very old school when it comes to my gear. As far as amps go I still love Marshall.I use JCM 2000 DSL 100 heads. But there are others that I’ve used on tour that are quite good as well. Pedals are Boss and my custom compact board is by a new company called Dulcetone. As a lefty, Guitars have always been a nightmare for me. Fortunately I have an incredible company called PVX Guitars out of NC making special Guitars for me. I also have an amazing collection of Roberts Guitars out of Jacksonville, FL and Viper Guitars from CA.
ÀMAB: WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER DOING A SOLO CD AND WHAT MUSICIANS WOULD YOU WANT ON IT? J.B: Not really. I prefer being a part of a band situation. I’m not a fan of instrumental songs so even if I did do a solo album it would still be songs with vocals and short guitar solos.
ÀMAB: OUTSIDE OF THE HARD ROCK GENRE, WHAT OTHER MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? WHAT DO
YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT HARD ROCK SCENE? J.B: I’m a country music fan as well but to be honest I don’t listen to a lot of music that’s out there. As far as the Rock scene goes, things have improved a lot thank God.
ÀMAB: JIMI WHEN OZZY WAS LOOKING FOR A NEW GUITARIST YOU WERE IN THE TOP 2. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A WILD EXPERIENCE!! HOW DID YOU GET THE CHANCE FOR THE AUDITION? THAT'S AMAZING YOU GOT THAT OPPORTUNITY!!
WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE? J.B: I was with the biggest Guitar company in the world at that time called Kramer Guitars. They had Eddie Van Halen as their main endorser which put them over the top. The president of the company saw me play and offered me a full endorsement. When they got word of Jake leaving Ozzy , they set my video out to Sharon and I was instantly flown to CA. Probably one of the greatest experiences of my life. I did great at the audition. When I was done performing with Ozzy on stage at the rehearsal room they sat down with me and said it was between me and Zakk. Going out to dinner with Ozzy afterwards was quite the experience as well.
ÀMAB: WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER? J.B: There are so many but I guess having the amazing opportunity to have played on so many records and to have toured all over the world. I’ve meet so many wonderful fans and friends along the way . I’m truly blessed.
AMAB: JIMI YOU ALSO RELEASED A CD WITH YOUR OTHER BAND HOUSE OF LORDS CALLED "SAINTS & SINNERS. WHO ARE THE OTHER GUYS IN THE GROUP? WHAT ARE THE PLANS PROMOTION. J.B: This album was put together with other musicians that I wasn’t familiar with. James had started working with these guys then contacted me about writing more tracks for the album. The Keyboardist Mark Mangold is amazing. Very talented musician and writer. It’s an honor to work with him. We’ll see what the plans are as far as touring. I’d love to tour with HOL this coming year as well as Autograph.
AMAB: ANOTHER PROJECT YOU'RE INVOLVED WITH IS MAXX EXPLOSION? WOULD YOU PLEASE GIVE SOME INFORMATION ABOUT IT, SUCH AS WHO'S IN THE BAND, AND WHAT STYLE OF MUSIC IS IT?
J.B: Unfortunately at the moment Maxx is on the back burner but you never know. I know we’re getting together to play a couple songs at my 65th birthday show AMAB: WHAT DO YOU DO DURING YOUR DOWN TIME FROM THE MUSIC SCENE? J.B: I love spending time with my beautiful wife Mandy and of course with my daughter Angela and granddaughter Abby. When I’m not writing or recording, I do a lot of walking. Usually about 12 to 14 miles everyday.
AMAB: DO YOU HAVE ANY LAST THINGS YOU WANT TO MENTION THAT WASN'T COVERED OR FOR THE FANS? J.B: I just want to thank all of my friends and fans all over the world for the many years of love and support you have shown me. It truly means so much to me personally. Love you all.
AMAB: JIMI WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO KEEP UPDATED WITH YOU, AUTOGRAPH AND HOUSE OF LORDS? J.B: As far as Autograph goes, definitely visit the website or my personal FB page and website. Autographband.net and jimibell.com