14 March 2017 (released)
14 March 2017
Jon & Roy have come a very long way in the decade (and a bit) since they formed at university. No longer a duo, but a trio which also features a man called Louis, the band have managed to consistently deliver folk pop that has echoes of Donovan Frankenreiter and Jack Johnson, without feeling incidental like the aforementioned. Their latest album, The Road Ahead Is Golden, is a deliciously up-tempo slice of insightful storytelling folk, which will have you hooked with a swaying motion from the moment you press play. With their tour hitting the UK this week, we caught up with Jon to find out more.
Hi Jon and Roy, are you excited to come play the UK?
We are indeed. This will be our third time over and we always enjoy ourselves here.
For UK readers who may not be aware of your back story, can you quickly fill us in...
We are from Canada, based out of a town called Victoria on Vancouver Island. It's a beautiful spot and it's where we all met and started the band.
Your latest album is called The Road Ahead Is Golden, tell us about it?
The album was recorded in a small studio on a farm in the countryside nearby Victoria. We only decided to record the album at all about a month before we stepped into the studio, so it was a pretty spontaneous affair. But it all came together smoothly and we're happy with how it turned out.
The album is fairly optimistic in tone. Can you talk a bit about what inspired some of your songs on the album?
The songs are inspired from the usual mix of things: relationships, life, introspection, etc. As for the optimisim, in general we tend to put out an optimistic tone in our music since we are optimistic people, usually. The message of the album title is definitely one of optimism.
What do you hope to achieve with the release?
We hope that we can reach new fans, that our present fans enjoy it and that it continues to propel our music and us into the world as much as possible.
It is actually your 7 album in 12 years, what did you learn from the first 6?
Well, you tend to learn something with every completed album and those lessons shift and change with each release. I would say the biggest thing we have learned through the creation of all of our albums is to be true to what we want musically.
Looking back, is there a release you are most proud of?
I'm proud of every one in different ways. To be honest, it’s hard to separate them as the artist playing them. We love them all in different ways, just for what they are!
How have your ambitions changed since the outset of your career?
When we first started out we just were happy to be playing music and getting a bit of money and free beer. I mean, when you are young, who could ask for more? As we have gone on, we have realized that some people enjoy our music and so it has allowed us to continue pursuing what we love doing. And that makes us more ambitious in that we realize we are not just reaching the ears of a few hundred people at the local pub. Our ambition to make music for music's sake has never changed though.
If you had to pick one song from your entire back catalogue to introduce your sound to a new listener, which would it be?
It's tough, because we do work with a variety of styles in our music. If I had to pick one, I would pick 'Boon Elm' off our album, Homes.
You are playing a few UK shows shortly - what do you have planned?
To play as best we can! And to enjoy ourselves while we are here.
Lastly, what one thing attracts you most to the UK?
Well, my whole family is English, so that attracts me personally the most. There is a sense of familiarity in England. That and David Attenborough...
Jon & Roy play the following UK dates...
March 16th – Upstairs at The Garage- London
March 17th- Brunswick Pub – Brighton
March 19th – The Watering Hole - Cornwall