Jon’s Music Journey (Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals)
I always felt a deep connection with music. In Primary School, I loved hearing my best friend Peter bring his guitar into school and play for the class and always wanted to learn The guitar. It wasn’t until some ten years later at 16 I saved money from a Sat job to buy my first Bass, a precision copy. After a year or so I had bought a six-string electric and set up a band, Vengeance, with three friends. We couldn’t really play but had good fun. I’d listened to sixties music, Beatles, Bowie, Sabbath, Deep purple, Tull etc. then glam rock, Slade, the sweet, T-rex, Suzie Quatro. Then the punk era took a hold and music and me came of age, I couldn’t get enough; The Stranglers, Sex Pistols, The Damned, X-Ray specs, Ruts, …this was paralleled by a love of Dub (and Reggae) born out of frequent visits to the West Indian Club in Southampton and local Shebeen. I’d also got very into Leonard Cohen.
By this time I was out every weekend seeing local and touring bands, College would have a great line from The Fall to the Smiths. Joy Division by this time had become a highlight. Simple Minds, the Psychedelic furs, Bauhaus, Theatre of Hate, young Marble Giants, The AuPairs, Spizz Energy, Japan all led the way into The 80’s with The The being a stand out along with The Durutti Column, Cocteau Twins… Loads of great Music..
Meanwhile I’d been making my own music but never recorded anything more complex than with a two track or occasionally a four track. Was mainly playing solo or with one or two friends. My interest in electronic Engineering and subsequent career led me to a technical interest in music also. I’d make guitar effects, Amps, speakers and whatever I could afford.
More great music since; The Auteurs, Radiohead, Interpol, Elbow, The Doves, Arcade Fire, Beirut, Clan of Xymox, Dead Can Dance, Mew, Pixies, The Mars Volta, Public Service Broadcasting…
I went to work at the Institute of Sound and Vibration at the University of Southampton as an Electronic Engineer designing and supporting various research projects there and the Audiology and Coclear Implant Clinics. Loads of interesting acoustics and music projects followed which was fascinating.
I’d been in a few bands also: Force 7 which was a group of work colleagues, I wanted to get some live experience but had no real input in the music, we took paid gigs in pubs and clubs in the area, a great experience. Alongside this I developed an interest in Gypsy Jazz music playing lead, which was a massive challenge for me as I’m totally self-taught and not that technically proficient a player or good but persevered and played a few places around Southampton area and a festival in Salisbury with a Double Bass player and Rhythm Guitarist. I’d also played as a Duo playing bass and did various pub gigs.
In 2009 I founded SoCo Music Project as a Charitable Company delivering mainly music workshops for disadvantaged Groups in the Hampshire area. We won a lottery grant and built a Music Studio in a deprived area of Southampton as a resource for the Community. I had designed it and build it with the help of some volunteers from the Wheatsheaf Trust. More recently, with SoCo I produced a 12” LP of local bands and artist. The track list was a competition decided by members of Band of Skulls, Rob da Bank, Stephany Newenhouse and Dan Mar-Molinero with 113 local bands and artist entering.
We developed into a larger company and ran a number of local festivals and events along with numerous other projects too numerous to mention.
I’d built a studio in my garage in the early Noughties producing lots of artist and bands but whilst at SoCo this somehow went by the wayside and I didn’t do much producing.
However, I recently left SoCo to pursue other interests. Getting up to speed with music software and a renewed Passion to play more Music resulting in me Joining Shooting the Breeze. It’s the best band and I’m loving being in it, can’t wait to see how it develops and where it will lead. The band play and write all original material, the songs are catchy with great hooks, upbeat and fun with a great bunch of Bandmates, Mark, Dan and Rob x.
Shooting the breeze