By Dany Sloan
Dany: Your new album comes off as a mishmash of different sounds and ideas. How did the album come together and what influenced you to make the album sound the way it does?
Jonathan: The album is a collection of songs written over approximately four years.
All the songs were written in drastically different points in my life, so I view it as a mix tape of different snapshots of mental state and naivete. Ultimately, I just wanted to make something nice.
Dany: Are you nervous being on a major label during a time when the big labels are losing ground?
Jonathan: I didnt really sign to a major. 3E is the label I signed to, who they get to distribute it is their business. It's pretty much three dudes who run it, and they are all homies. Ultimately, if it isn't your time, it isn't your time, you know?
Dany: What was it like touring with Johnny Marr?
Jonathan: It was one of the richest experiences in my life. He's the most down-to-earth guy and was incredibly kind to me. He was kind enough to take us out for his entire tour around the world. He let us sleep on his bus cause we had no cash & shit. I had never seen Europe before. There I was, in Holland somewhere, on his bus at like 4 in the morning trading mp3s and Smiths' stories with Johnny Marr! His crew would bust out drinks and play GTA. Whenever my gear would break, he'd let me use his shit -- it was a boy's dream.
Dany: How did you go about assembling the current incarnation of the band?
Jonathan: Just mutual friends really. Tony DeMatteo and I have been playing since forever. I met him when i would play open mics and shows at the Troubadour, opening up for whoever was rolling through town that night. Brian, our drummer and my roommate, was in a band with Tony when they were in high school. Cam and I went to Berklee in Boston together and used to go to shows and hang. We have a lot of fun and I really enjoy their company.
Dany: You seem to be big on constantly reinventing your songs. Why is that and what do you think it adds to the overall make up of the band?
Jonathan: Hopefully, when one writes a song, it's strong enough to be able to be dressed up anyway and still come across, and all great songs have that. Not that I'm saying I've done it yet, but if you're going to shoot for a goal, why not aim higher than high? Plus playing a song like "Beautiful Day" in a bossa nova every once in a awhile gets me off. I guess the final answer is because it's fun.
Dany: How was it working with Tony Berg?
Jonathan: I learned a lot from the guy. Musically, the guy's an encyclopedia. I really admire that, so I try and learn as much as can from him, and as long as he's willing to share his experiences, I'm going to listen. That and we can really have at it -- argue and fuck with each other and then be cool three minutes later. That's rare for me. Him and his family were and are very kind to me.
Audio: "Oh My"