The Bones of J.R. Jones Interview
Lest hier das exklusive Interview von The Bones of J.R. Jones beim Soundkartell.
Am Abend vor dem Gig in der Astra Stube in Hamburg hatte Jonathon Linaberry in Belrin im Michelberger Hotel aufgespielt. Zwei Wochen war er jetzt alleine in Deutschland unterwegs und da sitzt er nun in der Astra Stube neben mir, einen heißen Ingwer-Tee in der Hand und gar nicht so, als sei er in irgendeiner Weise aufgeregt. Im Gegenteil. Er fühlt sich wohl, nimmt es hin, dass mitten in der Location eine Standheizung steht. Fühlt sich irgendwie sowieso an wie in Brooklyn.
With your latest album “Spirit’s Furnace” you stay true to your dusky anti-folk/blues roots. How difficult is it to conserve this style by all over the fancy new influences?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Oh, it’s not that too difficult. Because I don’t know how to play that kind of music. Being by myself, keeping it simple in terms of my instruments. Sorts of acoustic guitars, harmonica, Banjo. I just simplify things, you know.
But did you never felt change in that things?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: I mean, maybe in the last couple of year I would say it’s been moving that way just for a quite while, absolutely. But yes there is definitely more electronic in the music the last couple of years.
Some medias wrote about you that you are not going commercial with your new album. But isn’t that a bit of conflicting, because you are selling a product and this is a commercial thing, don’t you think?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Yeah! I’d be happy going commercial if it pay the bills I guess. But yes I’m definitely making it a product but for me it’s still more like an art. It’s both and if the people are buying my record and will enjoy my music this is even better.
So do you have a personal definition of Americana folklore?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Oh not really. I think everyone especially the people in the States they have a different root to how they get to Folk music and stuff like that. So I felt into blues music many many years ago. But it wasn’t just the blues. It was the anti folk like the Neutral Milk Hotel that came out in the mid nighties. And that definitely changed my course in terms of music taste. But if I was to talk about the road how I got to here, you know there is a guy called Alan Lomax who did a lot of field recordings in the South in the twenties and thirties. And now his recordings a are harder songs and chain gang songs and this is definitely the way of which I wanna go.
You are raised in New York. Where outside of the Astra Stube, when you are standing under the bridge? Sarah told me that this feels like standing in Brooklyn under a bridge.
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Yeah definitely! It reminds me of a part of Brooklyn actually.
How important is it for you to absorb the mood of the venue and being The Bones Of J.R. Jones on stage?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Yes I absorb that. But you know it’s different every night. This venue is great and it’s definitely my style. It’s dirty, it’s small.
“American Roots Music” was a collection of albums which your father gifted to you and from that moment on you were infected by the classical folk music. Before that happened to you you’ve listened to Punk and Hardcore music. Seems that you are still a very open minded person?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Definitely! I try to be as much as possible. I definitely still get stuck in my personal style of music taste. But when I’m listening to new stuff and whatever which genre it is.
The Americana and Folk music is a sort of music that always will transport a special feeling and spirit like being very close to the nature, the feeling of be free and so on. How difficult is it for you that this spirit will keep obtained?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: I would say that I’m in the opposite direction. Folk music for me it’s not always being close to the nature. For me it’s about getting people stripping down music to it’s most basic roots. Whever it be classic Folk, Americana or Blues. It’s all about emotions, it’s about being in the moment, it’s about being raw.
Your three best moments you kept in your mind on tour through Germany.
The Bones of J.R. Jones: I had a wonderful time at the Michelberger Hotel last night in Berlin. It was a very special space and it was amazing. So that for itself was a very special night. When I was driving from Rosenheim up to Berlin the first time, Bavaria was beautiful. It was gorgeous! I stopped and took pictures of the mountains. That was really cool and I really enjoyed that. And I would honeslty say that the third moment was as I flew into Frankfurt and being here by myself for the first time. But I would say my experiences with Germany and all the Germans has been so warm. So the minute I really had to talk to somebody and the experienced warmth I got the first night it changed my perspective!
So you want to come back?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Yeah absolutely!
So with the band or alone again?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: Oh it depends if I can afford a band. But if not will just me unfortunately.
So the last couple of months a lot of bad things happened. Donald Trump was elected as the new president, Brexit last year, so how difficult is it for you to not let all the happenings too close to you and making music?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: It touches it! It touches the music I make for sure. I‘ m working on a new album right now and last year was a bad year. It was a very tough year for the people escpecially in America. And at least the people will share my believe I’d say. So yes it forms the music greatly and as I’m writing on the new album just right now and it’s definitely reflecting all the things that happened in the United States in the last couple of months.
But how do you keep the positive moments?
The Bones of J.R. Jones: I don’t know! You keep it positive when I write songs about the things I love well it’s my wife, you see that for me is the important thing and that the positivity in life!