Jano Band broke up and reunited in one month.
It’s complicated. The band we knew was a 10-member ensemble (one short of a football/soccer team) and the band has re-surfaced–at least judging from the album cover–as a five member team. It is not clear if the rest have been benched or–this would be fun–if they formed a Jano Band 2.
First with the intros:
On vocals, Dibekulu Tafesse,
On vocals (again) Haleluya Tekletsadik,
On vocals (again?) Hewan Gebrewold,
On vocals (fine!) Hailu Amerga,
On keyboards, Kirubel Tesfaye,
On keyboards (again) Edward Gazeri
On lead guitar, Michael Hailu
On rhythm guitar, Gemechu Mezgebu,
On base guitar, Gudeta Bezabih,
On drums, Yohannes Mekonnen
That’s the original band, in black and white photo with the power poses. They are so electrifying that, live, even those of us who didn’t see them perform, can believe Addis Standard’s claim that the rockers put on an act “like no other.” They burst into the scene with “Ayraq“, which was both a visual (directed by a lady with a flair for photography) and an auditory feast. Oh, as an aside: they are the only real rockers that the entire horn of africa has produced so far. Rock n Roll as in emphasis on guitar, a 4/4 meter drum beat which cannot be replicated by foot tapping or swaying but jumping up and down, which Jano members do a lot of:
After ayrak came a series of hits including marye, yinegal, darigne, some of which were remakes of classics (which is to say, they improved the scratchy originals.)
Of course, when you have four vocalists, and three of them are NOT willing to be back-up singers, you have built-in tension in a band (ask The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Beatles, The Who….) So, there was always some inevitability to the rumors of impending breakup.
They did, in November. And now there is an announcement that they have a new album (new management) with streamlined members.
Some advice, ላራሳቹ ነው, to maintain continuity and edginess:
1. Maximum of two vocalists: have as many back-up singers as you need but only two lead singers.
2. More guitar solos: you are a rock band. Keep the keboardists and synthesizers low key (no offense): there are exactly 7,000 Ethiopian bands with screeching keyboards.
3. More drum solo
4. More synchronized jumping up and down
5. Don’t go all Teddy Afro on us and add an “h” and a “y” to your name: we are all pretending your name has nothing to do with Janhoy.