Justin Jones is “rock and roll….No Auto-Tune, no gimmicks—just a songwriter with a guitar and a crack band,” says The Vinyl District’s Jennifer Carney. With a musical career that spans more than a decade, Virginia native Justin Jones is taking his soul-stirring brand of rock and roll on the road for his I Can Feel It Tour 2013 of the U.S. We took the time to ask Justin about his music, his fans and his songwriting techniques among other things. Here’s what Justin had to say!
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you?
“I can’t say we’ve had any ‘strange’ things occur that I recall. Sometimes people want me to talk to their parents on the phone, or tell someone I love them. It’s always a little weird when people bake for you. There’s a moment when you wonder if you’re about to be poisoned. For the most part our fans seem pretty normal. There’s always the drunk guy that wants to take us out to his favorite bar, haha. For everyone at the show it’s always a party, but for us it’s work and we have to do it every night. We can’t keep up with the party demands. I had a guy in Jackson, MS once try to take me into the ghetto. We stopped at a Quickie-Mart and he tried to pick up a hooker. There were all these hard-looking dudes outside, and I just got out of the car and said ‘I don’t know this guy AT ALL!’. That was weird.”
What is the funniest moment you have had as an artist/band so far?
“At FloydFest last year we pulled this woman in a bikini on stage and this guy in daisy-dukes with a mesh shirt and a sailor’s hat. They danced their asses off and at one point I looked back and the girl was doing pushups while the guy was riding her like a bull at a rodeo. That was weird, and funny, and amazing all at once.”
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
“Not really. We pretty much just watch the other bands, have a drink or two, and get up there.”
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
How do you connect with a crowd?
“I just try to open up as much as possible. Just perform as honestly as I can. If the audience is connecting, it just makes it that much easier for me to connect. At the end of it, on a good night, I feel like I’ve told my story and it’s become their story.”
What is the best way to write music?
“There is no ‘best’ way. However it comes out. The main thing is to listen to your brain, and write down or record every idea. I have what I would call audio-fantasies. Sometimes I can replicate them but it never is exact. It’s not like the fantasies are even recognizable musical instruments. It’s so grand and epic in my head, then I have to learn it on the guitar. It doesn’t always translate, haha. They won’t all be good songs, but I have to get it all out.”