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10 Quick Ones with JONO – December 2017

According to a recent press release: “JONO’s music is hard to pinpoint. Maybe it’s best described as melodic rock with symphonic and progressive elements, always based on strong melodies with bombastic arrangements. Dynamics and a contemporary, fat sound are important ingredients in the JONO musical recipe. Their music has been said to show the influence of great artists like Queen, Supertramp, Kansas, Journey and Sparks, but above all the band has received a lot of credit and praise because of their unique sound.”  We get the band to collectively answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, their influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Some may say that this album – Life – is a bit heavier than Requiem and Silence (our two previous albums), but as a whole it’s very much Jono – bombastic and melodic. We hope that the listeners really dig into the soundscape, enjoying the small, but important stuff going on here and there. 😉 There’s a lot of small details here and there, and it might not be the most easily accessible album so we’d say that 30 % of the small stuff will go unnoticed for the first time listener. One guitar part in the second verse of the song “On The Other Side” is referred to as the Drunken Finn- a character that can be heard on other albums as well, for example: the Drunken Finn plays a solo on the first Jono album – back then even less sober. 😉

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Probably this goes for everyone in the band: Music has been a part of our lives since childhood. It’s just something you love to do, feel urged to do. Then of course, there’s always a record, a band or a moment which, when looking back, feels like the turning point. But probably the journey starts earlier, without you knowing it. You just want to play your instrument, and all of a sudden you realize that you probably are a musician. It just sort of happens.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Oh, that’s a very tricky one. We all got a lot of different influences and favourites. Johan Norrby, (lead singer and songwriter) have always loved Queen, Sparks, and Kansas, just to name a few. If you would ask everyone in the band to name some of their influences you would probably also see names like (no particular order): Peter Gabriel, Megadeth, Free, Iron Maiden, Tom Waits, Saga, E.L.O., Van Halen, Randy Newman, The (Dixie) Dregs, Pantera, Dio, Steely Dan …Too much to mention, actually.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

We have discussed that a couple of times. If we’d go for a singer… since Freddie Mercury and Ronnie James Dio unfortunately both are gone, we’re thinking of a singer with somewhat the same kind of approach of singing as Johan’s. Some of the great singers out there are Steve Perry, Steve Walsh, and Michael Sadler (of Saga). Some of the guys would prefer that we might go for something completely different. Why not P!nk? Or Beth Hart? The world is full of fantastic artists. Stefan just suggested Michele Canova! We might want to co-operate with a great string quartet. Or a full orchestra. Actually we have been working together with a concert band/brass orchestra a few times.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Symphonic, hard rock with seventies Queen-ish vibes, a little Dio, a little Supertramp pop, but with a somewhat modern sound – without sounding sterile. On top of that a slightly insane singer with an incredible voice. We always use dynamics as an important part of the music as well.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Carrying instruments before and after a show, also rehearsing. Or it might be… the creative part – to be able to create something that actually reaches out to people. The joy of making sounds into something bigger.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Nicka (drummer) loves to cook. Stefan (guitar) and Johan Carlgren (keys) would probably run to the bar as if their lives depended on it, while Johan Norrby (singer) would grab the guitar start singing some Nick Lowe songs, or some Queen songs, or some new Jono song. Leo (guitar) would get another guitar and Janne (bass) would shake his head in disbelief. Whoever tries to start a singalong will be overrun by Norrby’s voice.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

As it is right now most of us are not making a living on music alone, but most of it is somehow connected to music and/or creativity. Gardeners or mad scientists also came on our minds. Yeah, that would be the perfect jobs.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

No use looking back too much. But of course we wish that we would have been on our way years ago. But in a sense everything happens for a reason or at a time where it is supposed to happen. Right now we really hope we will move on a bit faster.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Wow. There are so many.

Stefan: Metallica’s black album – just to see how much time they put on getting it to where it got. Or the first Black Sabbath album – because it was so different from anything else at the time.

Johan N: Sparks – Indiscreet, Queen – Sheer Heart Attack.

Nicka: Any Steely Dan or Zappa Album, Peter Gabriel – So. Van Halen – 1st album.

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10 Quick Ones with JONO - December 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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