Jayden J Hammer is the guitarist in the American hard rock band, Zippermouth. In addition to releasing a few singles with her band, she also has grown a following of over 550K fans on TikTok. Jayden releases covers and behind the scenes footage on their Youtube channel – @jaydenhammer. We hope you enjoy this interview!
Hello Jayden! How are you today?
Hey! I’m doing well, how are you?
I’m doing good – thanks. When did you initially get into rock/metal music and what made you want to play guitar?
I mean I’ve always leaned towards rock music. When I was a little kid, my grandma was really into Led Zeppelin and she always played that for me. One of the first songs I remember loving was ‘Seven Nation Army’. I don’t know what exactly made me want to play guitar specifically, but for my 10th birthday I just wanted a guitar. I can’t pinpoint an exact moment that made me want to play but I just knew I had to.
Awesome. You are the guitarist in your band – Zippermouth. How did you form that band?
Jack, the lead singer, and I were in a band in high school when we were like 15. She was the bass player and I was the lead guitarist and then later I was the drummer, as well. The only people in that band who didn’t go away to college were me and Jack. I always knew I wanted to work with ehr because I’ve always felt that we play well together and we have a really strong musical connection. Our friend Tyler is a drummer and he was in one of our friend’s bands in high school. After a while of doing nothing with our old bands, we decided to do something new. Tyler is like my best friend and we both have really similar music taste so it’s a great match!
Zippermouth released their single ‘Cycles’ on July 24th. What has been your favorite reaction you’ve gotten from someone after hearing that song?
Well for ‘Cycles’ I don’t really have one even though I know people were really excited about it. I feel like people were more excited for ‘Holy Water’ which was our first single that was released. We got a message from some guy saying he was riding his motorcycle and got a speeding ticket while he was listening to that song. It was amazing, I’ve always wanted to hear something like that. We haven’t been able to play anything live since releasing music. We’ve played shows before but now whenever live shows come back, people will actually know the songs so I feel like it’ll be different and I’m looking forward to that.
I think we’re all looking forward to shows again. You also have a Youtube channel where you post a variety of content from vlogs to guitar covers. How important has it been for you to express yourself in so many different outlets and platforms during the chaos that has been 2020?
That’s the only thing that keeps me sane. I’ve really been focusing on growing my TikTok and my Youtube – recently it’s been mostly my TikTok. I feel like it’s really necessary to advance someone’s music career in modern day. It’s just not like it used to be where you put up a flyer and go see a band. Part of it for me is a business thing, even though I do enjoy it, but it’s also the only place I can perform right now. I feel like it’s been really helpful to watch back what I’m doing and it will help when I actually do get back onstage.”
Did you have any goals when initially starting your TikTok? Have you accomplished those?
Well I did not join TikTok with the intention of blowing up on there. Once I realized I could I definitely started focusing on it. One of my good friends was TikTok famous so she wanted me to make one. Then one day I posted a video of me playing Lil Peep and it did well. Then after that I posted ‘Scotty Doesn’t Know’ and that gained a lot of traction, as well. At that point I felt like I might actually be able to do it. Then I just went from there and I never expected to get 500K. I was looking back and it’s been almost exactly a year since I hit 10K. When I hit 10K I thought that was crazy but now I’m at half a million people – it’s crazy.”
Now that you’ve grown a large following on TikTok, what are your plans moving forward?
I want to grow it as much as possible but I don’t want to stay as a TikTok guitar player. I’m scared of being limited by it but I feel like it’s opened a lot of doors. A lot of artists have reached out to me asking to work with them. I don’t know, there’s no telling. Whenever I think I’m doing badly, something good always happens eventually. I want to be the best I can be and I want to inspire people.
Have you ever been treated in a sexist manner? What advice would you give to someone facing sexism?
Totally, all the time. The only negative comments I get are always from dudes who are saying I’m not really playing or I’m not that good. We’ve all had the experience of being in Guitar Center of having an employee come over and tell me I should be doing this or that. I’m like ‘I’ve been playing half my life, I know what I’m talking about’. But advice wise, you can’t let it get to you. I ultimately use it as fuel to get better because I’m a very emotional person. I’ll see those comments and I’ll want to respond so badly but at the end of the day, you’re the one who’s getting the attention. I really look up to people like Hayley Williams and Maria Brink because they face that all the time. No one takes you seriously as a girl. TikTok being a part of it doesn’t help. You can’t let it destroy you.”
Thank you so much for doing this interview Jayden! Is there anything else you’d like to include?
All my social media is @jaydenjhammer. That’s my real name. To any girls out there – you can do it!
Shannon Wilk is a Connecticut-based music industry creative; bassist and photographer. She has brought her bass guitar skills to stages all over the country in various bands, most recently The Heartless and Alice Loves Alien. Dubbed the “female Rudy Sarzo”, Shannon has a unique and captivating stage presence in addition to her distinctive playing style. Since beginning her professional career in 2019, she has made waves in both the live music scene and the digital world, playing legendary stages such as the Whisky A Go-Go and the Monsters of Rock Cruise, as well as accumulating nearly 1 million views across online platforms.At 17 years old, Shannon Wilk has become a force to be reckoned with in the rock n’ roll scene. In addition to her blossoming music career, she has continued to showcase her passion for live music through concert photography. From KISS to Foo Fighters to Evanescence to Yungblud and more, Shannon has captured rock royalty through her lens. In 2018, she launched her own publication, Rockin’ Interviews, where she has connected with beloved ‘80s heavy metal artists through her independently produced podcast.