Jon Lockett interview re Headless Deathwish/Aqaba Gulf

Jon is a veteran Christian Metal songwriter, guitarist and bassist who has been writing original albums for over 20 years. Here he describes his work of musical and lyrical compositions.

Jon is looking to collaborate with other metal musicians and is willing to travel the planet to realise his dream of bringing biblical message-filled power metal and in a separate project, death/unblack metal music to listeners of these genres of music. Most ideal for him at present would be to set up base somewhere in mainland Europe. Jon presently resides in Coalville, England.

MATT AYLETT: What prompted you to write all this material?

JON LOCKETT: I had been into metal since 16, and when I was 23 the LORD ministered to me through Christian bands in various metal genres to the point that I fully committed to Christ in January of 1994. I was further motivated to take up bass around this time and within a year was composing my first album effort, Forces in Conflict. By the end of 1996 there were 2 more original albums under my belt. In the autumn of 1997 I took up six string electric guitar, and by 2003 the twelfth album was there. These were all generally heavy metal and speed metal focussing on melodies with a certain Middle Eastern influence throughout many of the songs.

This would be the first era of writing for the project which much later in 2009 would be named Aqaba Gulf. In the autumn of 2003 up in the Swiss Alps I was thinking about a more extreme version of the project, again with no definite name right then, but several possibilities, to try my hand at Death Metal. Two lines kept coming to me up there in the scenic beauty of mountains and lakes.

“Be bold, be obedient, be blessed, Spew the putrid flesh!”

So it was January of 2004, exactly 10 years since my conversion that I embarked on an album composition under that title. By the spring I was also creating another death metal effort, Necropurged to Perfection, and by 2016 the number had risen to nine extreme titled but melodic death metal albums. By now I was pretty sure that Headless Deathwish was going to be the name for the potential band. Aqaba Gulf was long established by now on and Google as the name for the power speed metal project and the website for it had been created in 2009/10.

But really the Headless Deathwish project was to be aimed at fans of EXTREME and often satanic bands, and so incorporates many fairly shocking and bizarre titles covering a vast and sometimes disturbing array of subject matter that’s factual. But always from the biblical and Godly perspective, and indeed even written with a certain sense of humour in the plays on words etc. At times, kind of a little in the vein of early Carcass. But representing the Faith and serving the Lord with promoting the Gospel message is always the utmost importance to me, in both Aqaba Gulf and Headless Deathwish.

In addition to the already mentioned, many more Aqaba Gulfs have been written, to date 19 for this and 9 for Headless Deathwish.

MATT AYLETT: That’s a lot of material! Many professional bands have not achieved this amount of material!

JON LOCKETT: It’s God’s achievement totally, and also He’s given me the vision, faith and staying power, the determination to stick with it when years, indeed 2 decades went by without any serious committed folks to work alongside. But He’s kept me at it all for a Divine purpose I’m sure. I’m not professional, and the music is nearly all rhythm not lead guitar, yet the Lord has used me this wonderful way so far.

MATT AYLETT: What are your plans and hopes for the future?

JON LOCKETT: The immediate concern and hope is to meet a guy in Switzerland who’s shown interest in doing vocals, and another in Italy who’s offering drum work. I need to meet, chat, befriend them. The Swiss one is part of the Metalchurch which I began to attend last year, a ministry which I fully recommend to any listeners of Hard Music. Even if you don’t speak German, as I don’t, there are always people there to talk to you in English.

I hope and pray that as soon as possible the door will open for me to go live in perhaps one of these countries. Switzerland is a country I know even better than my own UK. I really sense that the music dream ministry will never happen for me in the UK, whether Aqaba Gulf or Headless Deathwish.

Also there are plans to write 4 more albums, 1 for Aqaba Gulf to add up to 20, and 3 for Headless Deathwish to make it 12. I already pretty much have the titles, some ideas of subject matter, and am daily reading the Bible collecting ideas and info for next year’s album Anybody Dead With Bread (That’s for Deathwish) It will have 16 songs, as does the album I’ve just written this year in the first 4 months. Another point of interest is that in the last 6 years or so the initial version of artwork has been created for 23 Gulf products, including all 20 albums, 2 compilations and the 4 track demo. But I need professional help from a graphic designer or someone to improve its general appearance and cosmetics. Plus of course to assist with my burgeoning ideas for the art images of Headless Deathwish in the future.

MATT AYLETT: One last thing before we wrap up the interview, you’ve been talking much about Headless Deathwish and Aqaba Gulf, but what inspired you to come up with these names in the first place?

JON LOCKETT: Again, all Biblical-inspired. Headless Deathwish was created I guess by 2 key scriptures. Revelation 20;4 about Christian martyrs and having the guts to die for one’s faith. It goes “and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus etc.” They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Then the Deathwish came from Philippians 1;21 to 24. “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I am torn between the two; I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

As regards Aqaba Gulf, a documentary investigated and revealed that the Exodus Red Sea crossing took place at the Gulf of Aqaba. The Search for the True Mount Sinai. This was backed up by the Surprising Discoveries one also. The main scripture I chose was Micah 7;19, “You will have compassion on us, you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

This is a parallel to our born again lives, the drowning so to speak of bondage to sin. Moving on to a Promised Land which for the Christian believer is of course Heaven. As Paul tells in Philippians 3;13 and 14, “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”

Indeed there’s even one scripture which kind of sums up all these for both project titles, just before the examples of martyrs. Hebrews 11;15 and 16 “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one.”

Interview concluded on Sat 21st May 2016