Thursday, December 3, 2015

Make way squares! Jon and The Vons are here!

Photo by Antoine Sartoretti
Former Rip-Offs and  Mr. T Experience guitarist Jon Von now lives in Paris France and has recruited a ferocious foursome to help him spread his brand of rock 'n roll to a whole other continent.  Jon and The Vons play a loud, fun 1960's influenced brand of garage rock n roll.  Their music is rowdy and rollicking and it's going to make you get up on your feet and strut, spin, shimmy and shake your day away!     

Interview by J Jordan Castro

Let’s start out with introductions!  Who is in Jon and The Vons and what does everyone do in the band?
I'm Jon, vocals and rhythm guitar.
Fred, lead guitar
Julian, bass
Sally, organ
Max, drums

LIVE PHOTO : please credit Antoine Sartoretti
POSED PHOTO : please credit Yann Schmitt

How did you all meet and decide to play music together? 
JON: After an AA meeting.

Who would you say has been the biggest influence on your musical career?  Can you tell me about the first time you heard this band or musician and how it changed you from that moment on?
JON: First gig of the Lyres in Boston, January 1979. I realized that LSD was not incompatible with good music.

We're Pretty Quick 7" released November 8th 2015

You describe your band as “60’s Garage Rock” on your Bandcamp page.  What qualities do you feel rock n roll music from that era has that is so endearing to so many to this day?  Do you feel any contemporary rock music will still be revered 50 years from now?
JON: 1. Cause it ROCKS !!! And ROLLS !!!

2. Ahahah that's a good question. I went to the iTunes "100 best sellers" and I know the NAMES of 2 artists and I know NONE of the music. So I'm assuming it's crap. I like the picture of Selena Gomez naked, though.

Jon and The Vons have a couple of EP’s coming out very soon.  Can you tell me a bit about them?  These will mark the band’s first two physical releases correct?
JON: Yup, our first two records!
1. On Hillsdale Records (California), we did a garage 60s cover of “Don't You Want My Lovin'”, a 1963 girl-group song by the Orlons, and “I'm Trying”, an acid trip by the Abstract Sound from 1967.

2. On Soundflat Records (Germany), we did our take on the Chob's “We're Pretty Quick”, pure 1966 garage punk, and “Flash & Crash”, a great northwest track from Rocky and the Riddlers from 1965.

So Jon, like so many others I have been a fan of your other bands when you were living here in the states.  After The Rip Offs broke up next thing I heard you were in France.  What led you to the decision to move and start playing in bands out there? 
JON: I had a midlife crisis and imagined that the grass was greener in France. Finally it is just different grass. Playing in bands was kind of automatic, it's one of my best habits.

When you play shows in France, have you observed any notable differences in the crowds there as opposed to audiences back in the Bay Area? 
JON: People are better dressed in France, but they are much harder to get dancing.

Don't You Want My Lovin' 7" released November 8th 2015

We’ve come to the portion of the interview called “four questions I blatantly stole from other interviewers”.  You can elaborate on them as much or as little as you wish:

  1. What was the first concert you attended without your parents?
JON: George Thorogood and the Destroyers, 1976. Wore a huge overcoat with a big collar that I thought would make me look older, since you had to be 18 to get in and I was 16.

  1. What was the first band T-Shirt you owned?
JON: Good question, the oldest one in my drawer is Mission of Burma.

  1. What was the first record you remember picking out and buying yourself?
JON: Hair by the Cowsills. I was 8 years old. My earliest memory is hearing the Supremes on a car radio, 1965.

  1. What was the first band poster to go up on your childhood bedroom wall?
JON: Sorry, don't remember!

Photo by Yann Schmitt

Where are the best places for people to go or log on to hear Jon and The Vons?
JON: Our Facebook or Bandcamp pages. The 2 45s are on Bandcamp.

What does the future hold for the band?  Do you ever think about possible touring the U.S. ever?

JON: We hope to do an album including some original songs in 2016. Can't wait to hit the USA and tour!!!