Pop punks Welcome to Jomestown have got a new single "Lazy" and an EP "Go Punk Yourself!" coming this spring. The band took sometime to discuss the single and EP release only with us!
1. How did this trio of you come together to form Welcome to Jonestown?
One day Burnard was over for some grilling and started strumming out an Alkaline Trio tune that I recognized. Upon discovering we’re both fans he suggested we have a jam session in which we play some trio songs for fun. After a few months of doing that, Burt suggested we try writing some songs, so I took a stab at it.
Matt was my roommate at the time, and when I told him I was going over to Burt’s to play some songs we were messing with, he gently reminded me that he played the bass, and coincidentally that was what the trio was missing.
Eventually we wrote more and more songs, and phased out the covers and became the pop-punk trio we are today.
2. Welcome to Jonestown is the name you went with for this band. How did the name come about exactly? Were there any other possible band names that were front runners but got canned?
After we’d been playing for a while, it was clear we needed a name. I was at home one day watching a documentary called "Witness to Jonestown" which I thought was awesome, so we went with that. One day a buddy was over and said, "so, your name’s ‘Welcome to Jonestown?" To which I replied, "it is now!"
Mostly I didn’t want the name to be directly after a movie. Ironically, production is now winding up for a movie called “Welcome to Jonestown” (totally unfair, we called dibs!).
I also liked, "Thief in a Pawnshop" and "Reasons Unknown" but I think I was the only one.
3. What was your experience like writing and recording for this second EP "Go Punk Yourself"?
The experience this time was incredible. We has already been playing the songs for a few months, so it was mostly a matter of picking ones we thought were awesome, potentially quick to record, and cohesive together.
Nick Nativo from The Nook Recording Studio, who produced the EP, is one of the big reasons it sounds as good a it does. You could tell he was into the project with the way he gave direction and advice that made us feel like he was invested in the outcome. We didn’t get that feeling with our first EP, and the difference couldn’t be more obvious.
I think we all really poured ourselves into just these few songs and we’re super proud of what we accomplished.
4. Why go with a title like "Go Punk Yourself" for this EP?
So, our first EP I came up with the title 'Shut The Punk Up!", then we all mutually agreed that, not only are pun titles about as punk as it gets, replacing the word "F**k" with "Punk" opens us up to a world of phrases. We decided to keep doing it until we get tired of it, so "Go Punk Yourself!" it is!
5. Can you describe the artwork behind the EP and how it relates to the music off it?
We’ve actually used the artwork before. We had a friend design it for us for a poster for one of our early shows, and we really thought it was a shame to let such a kickass image sit around unappreciated.
6. Why go with a track like "Lazy” to be made into a single?
In the case of "Lazy", we felt it was our strongest, most accessible song on the EP. We like them all, but since "Lazy" was already the band favorite, we thought it would be the best song to start off with.
7. How would you define the term lazy?
Within the context of the song, this form of laziness stems from that feeling of dread one experiences at the idea of having to start relationships over from the beginning, and how truly exhausting it can be.
8. Where do you draw inspiration and influence from?
I draw influence and inspiration from my personal experiences and the joys that define me. For instance, we have a song called Femme Fatale, which drew inspiration from my love of film noir and detective novels. Sometimes I draw inspiration from a word or phrase I think might be clever. For instance, with "Lazy", the whole song started with the phrase, "and every song is about you now".
9. What are your songs and lyrics about, what sort of theme or topic do they cover?
Various topics.We have songs about heartache, serial killers, film noir, and being dead, so I would say the theme is "dark".
10. How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it?
I would say, "if you’ve ever listened to a pop-punk band and thought, "this is pretty good", then it’s a really good bet you’ll think the same thing when you hear one of our songs."
11. As you grow as a band, where do you want to go? Essentially, what are your goals?
Ultimately, I think we would all love to quit our jobs and do nothing but rock out all the time. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep playing shows and recording when we can, and see where it all takes us.
12. Where can our readers find your music?