By Alexis Rufener
The Turbo Lovers, a band from Youngstown, is set to release their album titled “Over the Hump” this summer.
The album will feature B.J. Lisko on guitar and vocals, Christian DeSantis on the drums and Keith Colclough strumming the bass.
Lisko said he has had a vision for the music he wanted to make since he turned 16. He would go on to play with a number of bands, but something still didn’t fit. He wanted to make music his way.
Eventually, he started up The Turbo Lovers as a side project to record some of his own music.
“[The] Turbo Lovers came from a side project out of Hellvis. It started as a joke, it was just like I’m going to go record stuff that sounds like ‘80s rock,” Lisko said.
From there, he created a disk that caught the eye of the record company Cracked Piston Recordings in Pittsburgh. They released the album and soon after, the band received a positive review in Classic Rock Magazine, a popular music magazine out of Europe.
DeSantis said being in the magazine has been a boost for the band internationally.
“They dug us — they dug our music,” DeSantis said.
Turbo Lovers have had their albums reviewed five times in the magazine.
“More people know us outside of town than here because of that,” Lisko said.
As lineups changed over the years, Lisko still hoped he would find two players who shared his same vision of rock ‘n’ roll. Soon enough, he did.
In 2011, DeSantis and Colclough left their band Manifold Stud. Lisko called DeSantis, who had performed with him in the past, asking if he wanted to stop by his house and play and record songs just for fun.
Out of this impromptu jam session, Lisko found his new drummer. Colclough became part of the band shortly after.
“We immediately hit it off, it was like a perfect fit. What B.J. was looking for in Turbo Lovers and what I was able to offer him with the songs, it was a natural fit with us three, and we’ve been rolling ever since,” DeSantis said.
Inspiration for the band has included the likes of AC/DC, Kiss and Danko Jones. The band wanted to bring this variety of rock to Youngstown.
“At a young age, I fell in love with music, I was first influenced when I was a child, listening to bands like Kiss and AC/DC, had a fascination and love for the drums along with a dream to play in a band,” DeSantis said.
The lineup has not changed since 2011, with DeSantis, Lisko and Colclough. Disagreements happen during recording, bands break up, but DeSantis said they all fit so well together they avoid this strife.
“It’s been a godsend to be honest. All of our heads are in the same spot, all our ideas, everything that I envisioned personally. We fit so well together — B.J. fits that mold perfectly with us,” DeSantis said. “We’re just trying to ride this wave as long as we can.”
Fans can see them right here in Youngstown and in Cleveland. They recently opened for Tantric at the Harley-Davison BikeTown in Austintown.
The Turbo Lovers always are willing to open for performers who are touring through the area, but have yet to tour because of job commitments and limited finances.
All three have found it hard balancing both their full-time jobs and recording music.
“It’s hard to find time, especially with the jobs that the three of us have. Everybody’s really busy, working at least 50 to 60 hours a week,” Lisko said. “It gets hard to schedule and squeeze stuff in, but we sort of manage it OK.”
Lisko said there are no plans to turn The Turbo Lovers into their full career currently.
“There would have to be a big break for us to quit our day jobs and to devote all of our time to Turbo Lovers, something big would have to happen,” he said.
Regardless, Lisko plans to continue making music whether it’s by himself, with another band or The Turbo Lovers.
“We like to do it — we like to play rock ‘n’ roll. … This band really solidified at about 2011 with the guys that I have now and will probably be the last lineup this band ever has,” Lisko said. “I’m sure in 10 years, when I’m 43 years old, I’ll still be doing this band or something similar to it, if it’s not this one.”
DeSantis said their new album, “Over The Hump,” is a true collaboration of the band — each member being heavily involved in its production and recording.
“‘Over The Hump’ is more of a band perspective, more us three more involved. We Hope to release it sometime this spring,” Desantis said.
The band hopes to bring straightforward, in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll that gets to the point without dragging on.
“Nowadays, to do music, you have to do it because you want to,” Colclough said.
You can find more information about The Turbo Lovers on their Facebook page or search their music on Amazon and iTunes.