Artist Profile: Jonas Bonnetta (Evening Hymn) Part 2

OK! Part 2 of my interview with Jonas Bonnetta front man of Evening Hymn. Just in time for tonights Friends in Bellwoods CD release show at Lee's Palace!! If you missed part one, you can read it at this link here.

Nature seem to be a big theme in your music, from what I've heard in Tumultuous Sea, and Dead Deer... what draws you to that imagery?

I Grew up in the country, I spent my entire life in the woods basically. Grew up on 50 acres with a pond and 2 creeks... a huge field, tons of forest. My father was a huge outdoors man, a hunter and a fisher. He was your typical Ontario, non-suburban, rural father. He took my brothers and my sister... we always spent time in the woods, summers at the cottage. I've grown up being really attached to all of that. In my late teens I spent a lot of time camping, that's what I did. Just getting away, not that I was ever in the city, but getting away from... something. I don't know what. I still have that huge attachment. I spend more time here now, and it makes me appreciate it more. I love Toronto, I love people, but I'll end up in the country eventually. I wrote this record over the last two years, I never pay much attention to the themes, they just manifest at the end. It ends up being really close to my first record, I was being interviewed for it, and the guy said: There's so much water on this record! I never even thought about it, until he said it. The album cover had sail boats on it, there's like all these songs that had references to the sea, rivers and water on it. I didn't see it... but I grew up on a pond, spent time on the lake. With this record, there is so much wood references! There's a song called Ceder, all these different references. I guess that's where my heads at. I run a saw mill. I don't know if it's subconsciously pining (no pun intended), pining for the woods.

It's kinda neat to look back on stuff you recorded and see it with a different eye, and see where you were as a person.

That's the funny thing about this record, some of these songs are pretty old, maybe 2 or 3 years old. They've changed a bit, but they still speak to me. Some of the songs that are like 3 years old, I was typing the lyrics out for the liner notes, and I thought, wow, these lyrics are still so true. They're still me questioning where I am at in my life. They're broad as far as songs go, they're more about my ideals.

I guess that's what people are really drawn to, songs that will speak to them, and still tell a story about the song writer

Yeah, you can read into them, on this record for sure. I've had some big things happen in my life and a lot of people listen and say "Oh, I can't believe you wrote a song about that", and I say "no, I wrote that song 3 years ago!" there are songs that are about some pretty obvious what they're about, but there are songs that were written 3 years ago that I wrote metaphorically, and written in a broad sense. It's interesting to see how people... people see things in different songs, and it's interesting to hear about it with my songs. It's a beautiful thing.

It really is. I was talking to Taylor (Timber Timbre) the other day and I asked him how he met you, and he couldn't really remember... maybe you could shed some light on that

We met... I'd been a fan of his stuff on Myspace, and coincidentally he'd be a fan of my stuff on Myspace. I was playing a show in Orno, and there was a guy there, this guy Brad, who was doing really cool house shows, recording them and stuff. I was playing a show on a Friday night, and they were going to come out... with Taylor, but they ended up playing a show in Peterborough. So I suggested we do a show together. I played a show in Oshawa, and he showed up. Cause he was from that area. I saw this cool looking guy walk in with his partner and his dog.

Ha, he brought Timber to the show?

Yeah! and I was like, who is this guy? He came up and said he was Taylor from Timber Timbre. We chatted after the show, and set up a show. We played a show in Peterborough, and hit it off. I think we were both in the same point in our careers, he'd recorded a few records, Ceder Shakes, which is one of my favorite albums. I'd just put out a record. And we decided to tour together. He hadn't toured, and I hadn't toured. so we booked an East Coast tour. We got in the car and hit the road. Both of us had never done anything like that. So we got to share that. I think it was about an hour into the drive, we didn't really know each other that well, and were like... so what do your parents do? Where did you grow up? Our lives are really similar, our background, what we want to do with our music. We had all these similarities. Were very similar dudes in a lot of ways, very different in other ways. Since then he's been one of my best friends.

So you're going to do a tour starting when?

I'm doing a bunch of the Friends in Bellwoods shows. I'm doing the Toronto one and then Guelph and Waterloo. I have another show in Oshawa, and then October, the US. When my record comes out I'll tour. I just quit my job on Wed, so hopefully I do OK.

I'm sure you will. Your album is being released by Out of This Sparks, how'd you hook up with them?

I've known Stu who runs the label for a really long time. I'm good friends with the D'Urbervilles, and the Forest City Lovers. When Taylor put his record out it was a good chance to talk to him about it. He spoke really highly of the label. Then Stu approached me, asked who was putting my record out. I had intentions to send it around, but Stu was really interested in putting it out, and I'd heard good things about how the label was ran. It was really relaxed yet professional. It just kinda made sense to have a friend put it out. I have full control over my Career. I can tour when I want to tour, the album artwork is all my choice. I still feel like I'm in an independent. Yet I have someone behind me. I'm really excited about the label. I'm really exited about the projects they have coming up. The Friends in Bellwoods album is out, and it's a wonderful thing to support. I'm really proud of that. When I sat down with Stu, that night I got a text from Kyle and Tim from the D'Urbervilles saying "Welcome to the Family. Lets start an exclaim hockey team!" And now with the whole Arts and Crafts thing, they have distribution through them, and I guess my album is kind of the Guinea pig to see how our relationships work. I'm excited to do that too, hopefully that'll be a good working relationship.

That's great to find yourself in that spot, pretty exciting. Well keep me updated on the new album

Yeah, it should be mastered in a month. I'm excited. I'm more excited than anyone to just have it done. People ask me how it sounds, and I just can't tell them. I've heard each song a hundred times. It's fully in James hands now. You can go crazy being meticulous with it. Now i"m on my own with album art. Asking my girlfriend, "This font, should it be 16? 18? No 16" The next day I'm like "No, it should be 15!"

No comments: