5 QUESTIONS WITH GINA KATON AND MARC JORDAN OF
GINA & THE EASTERN BLOCK
By: Brent X Mendoza
All month long dance rock project de jour Gina & The Eastern Block have been “bringing the party” to The Roxy’s exclusive VIP lounge On The Rox. The band, featuring producer/drummer Marc Jordan, seasoned dancer and vocalist Gina Katon, and former Glassjaw guitarist Todd Weinstock, have combined their veteran talents to form one superstar juggernaut set to take the music world by storm.
With only three performances left this month at On The Rox, get to know these music industry principals who are well on their way to becoming household names.
To start, want to give us a little 411 on your musical backgrounds?
Jordan: I’ve been working behind the board for over ten years now, and been fortunate enough to work with some really great bands like Rock Kills Kid, The Cult, Velvet Revolver, and many others.
Around 1997, I got a call from Daniel Lanois (three time Grammy Award winning producer) for a session gig with Milla Jovovich and Seal. It was those seven days with Daniel that sealed the deal for me, and made it obvious that I needed to be on the other side of the kit and be producing records.
Katon: Growing up with the “Boogieman from Hell” as my dad pretty much sealed music in my bones. With the music studio next to my room in the basement, I had many sleepless nights of blues and hard rock haunting my dreams.
Much later down the road, I joined the Darling Stilettos, a dancing rock n roll girl group formed by Matt Sorum (GnR, Velvet Revolver) and his girl Ace. We basically started on The Sunset Strip performing to die hard rocker locals and Matt Sorum fans; later finding a name for ourselves, we scored some slots opening for Camp Freddy playing shows around the U.S. After two long years of singing covers, I decided it was time to be my own artist. It was time to take off my motorcycle vest and stiletto boots, and move on to be me.
Does a working/romantic relationship lead to love “on the rox?”
Jordan: I don’t recommend producing your significant other. But in this case, Gina usually brings in well thought out ideas to the studio so it makes my job much easier. However there have been some rough moments: like the time I asked her to channel Celine Dion and she promptly told me to, “fuck off” and brought some Biggie to the song instead. But Biggie is definitely a way better vibe for her than Celine. So that ended up going well.
Katon: Not really. Music and our art is such a huge part of our lives anyway, that work is our life. Often we are on the same page and have the same goals. It’s easy, whatever happens, happens; we just go with it, and try not to over think it. It’s organic and raw; and in the rare case of any disagreements… I always win the battle of course.
Should producers produce themselves? What are the pros and cons of being your own “creative director?”
Jordan: That’s a tough one. Each situation’s different I suppose. The first song that I “produced” was a cover of “Day Tripper” by The Beatles when I was seven years old. I played the practice drum pad and my older brother played the guitar. We recorded it onto a cassette player and then I made us re-record it, and re-record it, and re-record it until we had the right take. So things haven’t really changed much since then!
But sometimes the right take is full of some imperfections. When you produce yourself, it’s hard to accept any imperfections and see them as positives. Kinda like when you see yourself in a picture and hate the way you look and make the person re-take it until you think you look like a pimp. Usually the first one was the best, and the one that you think makes you look like a pimp looks like dog shit.
Gina Gershon vs Gina Katon. Besides your name and musical backgrounds, what else might you have in common?
Katon: She’s one bad ass bitch. I would love to say we have that in common. We are both tough, edgy, risk takers, and maybe a little rebellious at times; powerful, confident, not afraid to be sexy or express our sexuality. I also heard she’s a dancer. So there ya go!
You both are neighborhood locals. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on The Sunset Strip?
Jordan: I saw a hipster at The Rainbow last week. I told him that Silver Lake would not approve of his behavior. And then I realized that I was talking to Todd from our band… he’s a total hipster!
Katon: One Friday night Scott Koenig (artist manager) was not at the Rainbow. That was strange..?