Day 177 - Jonny (1st person I approached)
June 26, 2014 - Jonny set me a challenge. I saw him grab a newspaper out of one of those boxes that sit at the street corner. He then casually walked over and leaned against a wall and started to read it. I approached him and told him what I was doing and asked him if he’d chat. I said it might only take five minutes, and then before I was able to add 'it may take 40,' Jonny said
“Sure I’ll talk with you, I’m just hanging out killing time. I have four minutes before I have an appointment a block away from here.” Go!
Jonny was born and raised in Lacombe, Alberta.
“I have one older brother. We get along, yeah. But we’re very different. He lives in Calgary and I’m here in Vancouver now,” said Jonny. For as long as he can remember, from a very young age, Jonny has been singing.
“At school I used to get my friends to sit in the bleachers and I’d stand in the front and sing for everyone while we waited for our Phys Ed class,” he said.
“I was the weird guy in school who was always singing. I stood out enough that I knew I wanted to get out of there whenever I could.”
As soon as he could after finishing school, Jonny moved to Vancouver.
“There are courses available to learn to be a musician. I’m interested in the creation process. I’m more of a doer, I like to just get into it and play. There are people who are very skilled with the technical aspects of making music,” he said. Jonny taught himself to play piano and guitar, and
“can fake my way through a bit of drum playing.” He fronts a band called “Art of Dying” that he started with a friend. (*Fact Check - see links below.)
“We have spent most of the last few years touring. Vancouver is my base, but we’ve never performed here,” says Jonny. The band performed at Rocklahoma, a rock festival in Pryor, Oklahoma. Jonny had a chance to have some “one on one time” with Nikki Sixx, of Mötley Crüe, the band who were headlining the festival.
“He connected us with someone he knows who owns a record label. We ended up signing with them. We just spent two months in the US recording a new album, which comes out soon,” he said. They have toured extensively throughout the United States, and were invited to perform in England. (The ‘Art of Dying’ have almost 350 thousand fans online. They performed earlier this year as part of the line-up for ‘ShipRocked,’ an annual hard rock and heavy metal music festival at sea. Departing from the Port of Miami there are onboard performances while cruising. The cruise ship also stopped at a private island in the Bahamas where the bands performed.)
Our four minutes were coming to an end. I walked a short distance with Jonny to where he needed to be for his appointment. Jonny returned his paper to the newspaper box. We talked about the songs he writes.
“I’m fascinated with insects and lately, I seem to be using them in my songs. While we were just in the studio recording, the producer was giving me a hard time about a song that references ants. The thing is, everyone knows what an ant is, it’s an easy concept for people to understand,” he said. After walking one block, we arrived at his destination. Jonny invited me in, so I could see where he was going. It was a skincare spa.
“She’s the only one I trust. She’s my anything-and-everything-to-do-with-my-skin lady.” #notastranger