Canadian Music Week brought out the best in the Canadian Music Industry, with live performances happening at every live venue at night and informative conferences through the day! Underground Garage housed Montreal rockers Jonas & The Massive Attraction last week here in Toronto where they showcased some brand new tracks that will appear on their new album coming in April 2013, LIVE OUT LOUD. The band will be taking the music on the road next month starting in their hometown. We had a chance to ask Juno-nominated singer and songwriter Jonas about his transition as solo artist to a member of a strong membered band, his climb to a full on musical career and the bands partnership with Diesel!
Jonas, you have accomplished great things as a solo recording artist, but now you are working with your band members. What is it about working within a band bring versus working as a solo artist?
The band dynamic has always been a really important part of this project. Even when
we were just using my name, Jonas, we still functioned like a band on and off stage.
Corey (guitarist/co-writer) has been with me for 17 years, since we were puppies,
and JS ( bassist/co-writer) just had his 6th anniversary with the project. We’ve been
through a lot and traveled the world together a few times over. There’s definitely a
sense of brotherhood on the road.
You have a lot coming up for 2013, including a new album, Canada Music Week, working with Diesel…How do you keep the focus on creating good music with everything else going on?
I think when you take on something like co-operating your own label and running
a production company while being a touring artist you go in knowing that you have
to multi-task and juggle business decisions while maintaining a sense of artistic
direction and always making sure that the priority is putting on the best damn show
that you can at the end of the day.
Tell us how this album will differ from your previous release Big Slice?
The most important thing I want to feel during the writing and recording process is
a sense of evolution in our sounds and in our songs. I never want to make the same
album twice and most certainly don’t want to write about the same subject matter
over and over again. With the help of Mark Holman and Marti Fredriksen on the production front I think we really succeeded in taking huge steps forward with the sound of this album and the quality of the songs. I couldn’t be more proud of the end result.
Sometimes, it seems like consumers don’t listen to a “body” of work anymore, only
wanting the quick singles. What albums did or do influence you and why?
The Doors Live In Concert and Led Zepplin II are the first albums that come to mind when I think of back to back listens. I know those albums only as one piece of music and could even tell you where one songs ends and the other starts!
We’re really excited about how the Live Out Loud album is going to evolve on stage. We’ve just started rehearsing the new tunes and putting them into a set so we know about as much as you how it’s going to go down! …Isn’t that exciting? I love it. Hearing new songs evolve from the stage is definitely one of the coolest parts of what we do.
We can’t deny our love for Fashion, so tell us a bit about your association with Diesel.
Diesel and I have been working together for a few solid years now. I’m a HUGE fan.
Joey, Christina and Sonia from the Montreal office have been super supportive of the
band and make always sure that we’re decked in the newest gear. The girls have got
it down at that office, I tell you. Sometimes I call them the morning of a big shoot and they have a rack of the newest line sent over before I even get on set. They are a class act.
How important is it to have supportive friends and family when you’re a musician? We heard about your Mom faking your ID so you could go to shows with your Dad in Montreal?
Ha. Ya. Mom’s gonna get herself cuffed up one day if that story keeps going around. I
didn’t know how to use an iron and Mom helped me laminate some cards…I needed
them to play and trust me, I didn’t go un-chaperoned! My parents have been massive
supporters of my choices and have been in the crowd and waving the flag for years.
I’m very lucky in that sense. Family is everything to me.
How does it feel being recognized by your peers by performing over Canadian Music Week?
CMW has been one of the most influential conferences in my career. I’ve been
participating since I was a 17 year old kid singing for Rubberman. I’ve always been
amazed at how well it’s run and how they can manage to have so many different acts
and events going on at the same time without it turning into complete shit-show. As
a musician it’s an amazing place to be this time of year! Hats off to them and mad
respect for giving Canadian talent a place to flourish.
Watch out for Jonas & The Massive Attraction as they take Live Out Loud on tour in Montreal and overseas! Visit jonasandthemassiveattraction.com for tour dates.