Interview With 'Jonn Walker'
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, I'm Jonn Walker and I'm a musician from Shropshire. I've been writing music for the past 18 years, but it's only been the past six months that I've been able to tour full time. When I'm not touring I enjoy spending time with my family and travelling.
What were you all up to prior to making music, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations? Since leaving school, I've had many jobs. Factories, offices, shops and my most recent job was working in a school. I worked there for seven years and I taught a little bit of music and covered for absent teachers. It was hard work and very stressful, but it paid the bills. During my last year of high school, I discovered my love of performing music in a live setting, and I've always held the belief that one day I would be a full time musician. Through college, I would make promises to my friends about the things I hoped to achieve. I worked hard and made things happen. So now I've achieved a lot of the things I set out to do when I was younger, my dreams just get bigger. I've never wanted to do anything other than play and write music.
My parents didn't share my hopes and dreams. They still don't. As a kid, I was never allowed to join sports teams and as I grew up there were a lot of arguments. Nothing was ever good enough and all my decisions were wrong. You could say that's been the driving force behind my desire to be successful.
Tell us about your upcoming album and why our readers should check it out.
'Partisan Palace' is a five-track EP of original country and western music. The songs have a vibrant mix of purity and anger. The opening track, "To The Ground" is so sincere, but then you have "A Crying Shame" that tells the story of love lost and those deep feelings of hurt one suffers. "To The Ground" has already received a lot of praise and will become very popular. Get the record before it becomes a classic.
Where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes I draw inspiration from a real-life event, other times a story unfolds in my mind.
As an artist what do you believe is your greatest achievement to date and why?
My greatest achievement to date came last weekend actually. While I was playing my first acoustic show in two years, I received an email from the BBC saying that my first single, "To The Ground" had been played on BBC Radio Shropshire Introducing. I was so stoked. They sent me a link to re-listen to the show. Since then I've just been telling everyone about it and I took my family out to lunch to celebrate.
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
I once met Lars Frederiksen from Rancid. That was pretty cool. He was a nice guy. Other than that, I've spoken to one or two members from Jimmy Eat World (my all time favourite band) over Twitter a few times and I even got a 'congrats' tweet from Mark Hoppus of Blink-182.
What do you enjoy most about touring? I love that it allows me to travel and see places I probably wouldn't get to see if it weren't for touring. Meeting people from different places is awesome. You get to hear their dialect, their humour, and see their way of life. I also love that each show is different. I can't stand things being the same all the time. If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect? Songs about alcohol, love and guns, while fans, both new and old, sing along in a merry fashion whilst clapping and stomping their feet. Some of the songs are anthemic, while others are more laid back, so be prepared to go on a bit of a roller coaster as you make your way through a whiskey or two.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why? Jimmy Eat World, without a doubt. Their music is so honest and emotional and they have inspired me since 2001. They seem like genuinely nice guys too. You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
I'd have to go for Johnny Cash. He had a crazy life and he wasn't afraid to stand up for what he thought was right. I've read a lot about him, so it's hard to know what I'd say. I'd probably just end up asking him really mundane questions, but as long as it was over a whiskey then I don't think I'd mind what we spoke about.
What is next for yourself?
I think for the time being, I will continue to arrange shows to promote 'Partisan Palace' and keep on writing songs, so that perhaps later next year I can record a full length album. I'll try and get to as many towns and cities over the next few months as possible and meet some more cool people and maybe play a festival or two in the summer. If I get time, I may make a music video for one of the songs from the EP.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
I've only seen it once, but I'm going to go with yes.
Website - www.jonnwalker.co.uk
Facebook - www.facebook.com/JonnWalkerofficial
Soundcloud - www.soundcloud.com/jonnwalker
Twitter - http://twitter.com/JonnWalker