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Local Artist Spotlight: Kill Tactik


Words by Amiyah Golden

Rock music and culture hold such a special place in my heart. 

It’s one that can’t be explained unless you immerse yourself in the genre and the scene, and the best adjective I can give you is liberation. 


With a rich history of origin, wide influence and creative practitioners, rock and roll continues to tear down ceilings and make its presence known with the birth of a plethora of subgenres such as alternative rock, metal, deathcore, emo, shoegaze, psychedelic rock. The bounds for what lives under the house of rock and roll continue to expand as artists continue to experiment with their own sounds, making room for a new generation of musicians who wish to add variety and their own flair to the genre. 


Jacksonville rock and metal band Kill Tactik is a paradigm of such, as they stamp themselves on the local music scene with a sound that’s exploratory but very well rooted in the genre. Made up of four witty individuals: Harold Herrera on the bass, Quez Robinson on the drums, Brandin James on lead vocals and drums, and John Krawl on guitar and vocals, they have come together to create music that stirs from the desire to see people revel in headbanging and thrill. 


The conception of Kill Tactik as a collective is fairly recent, as the band gets ready to celebrate a year together. With Brandin and John originally existing as a duo for a decade (and Quez and Harold the same), a band listing posted on Craig’s list ended the unbeknownst partition and the two duos combined forces to become what we know today as Kill Tactik. With all the individuals in the band not being limited to their roles as listed above, but all having numerous abilities when it comes to creating music, merging was seamless and favorable for all. 


As the band began to emerge from the Jacksonville music scene, the support grew and never wavered thanks, in part, to their early supporters, significant figures in the live music scene like the owners of Shantytown Pub and Justice Pub. They also gave a shout out to the creator of the Jacksonville Bridge shows, which hold a special place for alternative musicians in the punk scene to shine. Numerous other mentions were on their mind when we sat down to chat — significant others and fans. A strong sense of community has definitely been felt by the band. 


Getting to sit down with the members further showed me why they have a strong base behind them — just four humble guys who genuinely love creating music with each other. Mutual respect among the quad allows for the freedom of experimental creation. Suggestions of the incorporation of trap beats and deathcore were met with encouragement by fellow members, showcasing the trust they have in each other. Hopefully, it’s a mash-up we can look for with their next project.


“Nothing’s for sure. We’re rock, but due to the vibe, it depends,” Brandin chimed in. “Expect nothing but expect everything.” 


With each member having their own individual influences (John: Wes Borland, Brandon: hip-hop and death metal, Quez: Judas Priest and Harold: Beyond Creation), the band’s sound morphs itself into an identity created off the sheer purity of the love for music. This is evident in their self-titled album, “Kill Tactik,” composed of seven songs that respectively highlight each member’s talents. 


Their current sound can be collectively described as explosive — with the ability to go from performing a chill set one moment to the crowd straight moshing during another, their variety and volatility allow fans to idle in anticipation of what’s next. 


Revival is in store for the band, as they plan to contribute to the rebirth of the rock community in Jacksonville. 


With strides being made in the right direction, the alternative rock music scene in the city comes with a new pair of eyes; with more diversity, new sounds, and listeners, it’s well on its way to becoming bigger than “the fall.” 


Kill Tactik will be taking a minor hiatus to work on some new material, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still open to playing shows. Follow them on Instagram @killtactikmusic to keep up with their performances and new music.