by Daryle Dickens
If you look hard enough and keep your eyes open there are great things to be discovered on the internet. Jonny Wrightís CD Sounds of Influence is one of those discoveries I made one morning. After hearing a few songs and reading that it was a CD put together in a home studio I got in touch with Jonny to hear more about Sounds of Influence.
ZAF: So how did you make this CD?
JW: Its really a mix of live instruments and electronica. And that is one of the things I have found a lot of freedom with in my home studio. Ive taken advantage of technology. But I also really prefer the live music at the end of the day. So the CD is basically a few guitars and basses and hand drums, vocals and things like that. And then electronic drums or sequenced drums are also added. I also have this fancy drum machine called a Handsonic that is really fun to play. I use it, or my computer for the majority of the beats. So its an acoustic electronica kind of thing.
ZAF: What kind of computer do you use?
JW: I have a PC in my music studio that is like 4 or 5 years old. My brother helped me kinda customize it to just run music software.
ZAF: What did you listen to growing up?
JW: Some of the big influences when I was a teenager was like Janeís Addiction and the Chili Peppers.And since I was a bass player I was into Primus. Lately there is this really cool band called Red Snapper out of Britain. I donít think theyíre around anymore. And Iíve heard some folks say my stuff sounds like Love and Rockets and they were a big influence too. And my older brothers were always listening to Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin. So there is the big guitar and drum thing deep inside me that wants to come out every now and then. As well as the newer style of funky electric stuff.
ZAF: How much time do you think you invested in this CD?
JW: Overall it took me like a year and half to two years from start to finish. Some months would go by and Iíd get a few songs done and other months would go by and I would not really have much time to work on it. But I guess mentally it was always going on in my mind.
ZAF: Do you have aspirations with this CD?
JW: I havenít done as much as I would have liked to. Part of it is that I have not been playing out. My wife has been representing me as far as my artwork and getting me shows. And she is going to start helping the music too, but its just hard since I have not been playing out. So Iíve been using word of mouth through friends and the internet and what not. Just trying to get it out there and send out as many copies as I can. I havenít done as much as I shouldíve but it is hard with a full time job.
ZAF: How did you learn to play the music on the CD?
JW: I took music lessons when I was a kid in school. I started playing saxophone when I was 12 or 13. A couple years after that I started playing bass guitar. So I learned how to read music and all that. And soon after bass I started fiddling with the guitar and then drums. So I just kind of dabbled around with different instruments.
ZAF: So do you get a lot of support from your friends and family in this?
JW: Yeah my family and friends are very supportive. When I was playing out they were coming to see me. My wife is incredibly supportive. And my parents have always been supportive. I remember as a teenage we moved into a new house and my mom put in a special door so we could have friends over and practice.
ZAF622: Do you ever play live?
Jonny Wright: I used to but once I started working at New Belgium, the schedule of that and also intentionally focusing on some other things I havent for a while. However, I will be playing out again in the very near future.
ZAF: You do visual art as well. If you had to choose would you do visual art or music?
JW: If I had to choose Iíd go with music. Thatís a tough question. But Iíd choose music.
Jonnyís music can be sampled here. The Sounds of Influence CD can be bought here.