Jono McCleery, On What Stuck

Jono McCleery

 I wouldn’t change anything, if there’s anything I think I can do better I’ll make sure it happens on the next album.

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Tomorrow

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Tomorrow, at the same time

The same feeling will arise

And you will know by then to go

Down the straight and narrow

So move onto your painted place

And forget about which way you face

There is no rain coming over

Your silhouette imprinted on mine

Binds us wholly and keeps us trying

I never doubt this I never fear

The road you take will lead you here

So while you wait for the sun to rise again

Think of us dancing in the rain

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- Jono McCleery

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[wpcol_2third_end id="" class="" style=""] - Jono McCleery is very good company but not such an eager interviewee, which I discovered a few months ago upon hitting the record button. It caused me to reflect on the whole notion of the interview - here I have a heartfelt piece of work from an artist, produced in exactly the manner they choose to express themselves, and yet here I am asking for a little bit more, just to satisfy my curiosity. Whilst I'm not about to stop speaking to those artists who find that process enjoyable (or perhaps even just acceptable), I might try to let the Jono's communicate in their own personal, exceptionally gifted ways in future. The interview is printed below for posterity, but I suggest you buy Jono's eloquent and beautiful album 'There Is' to find out more. - AI

- We had a lot of instruments about the house when I grew up, and I always messed around on everything but I was never really pushed into music. It was only when I got to the age of 17 that I started to teach myself how to play guitar so I could facilitate singing. - When I was a kid I was really in to drawing, I was obsessed with it, I thought that was what I was going to do for the rest of my life, and then when I was a teenager I got obsessed with basketball and thought that was what I was going to do… I tended to get obsessed with things and really immerse myself in to one thing, and finally getting in to music is the thing that's stuck with me. - When I was at school, everyone was listening to dance music. I didn't have much inspiration around me, as far as my friends were concerned but because what I was exposed to at home was so far away from it, it almost made it more precious - lots of soul and jazz like Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Billie Holiday and Bill Evans. And I was happy to be alone in enjoying these types of music. - When I was about 18 I got my first gig and had my first residency at a pub in Surbiton called "The Brave New World". That went on for maybe a year, and that was when it started to become more of a job for me. I was playing weekly, learning and writing as many songs as I could so I could fill up the night. I would cover Nick Drake songs, I remember covering Radiohead - anything that I could get my guitar playing around at the time. - My deal with Ninja Tune came about through touring with Fink. He recommended me to them, and then they heard a remix by Fybe. as soon as they heard it they asked if I would come and join them and collaborate with Fybe on an album. This has been our first professional release together, and it's taken us just under two years to make the album. - It started off with just me recording on my four track, emailing the recordings to Fybe, he'd produce them we'd send them onto my string arranger Matt Kelly to work with, then we'd work on top of that, and eventually get my live band involved, so the project really expanded as time went on and became more and more ambitious and textured. - It has been a long process, emailing each other and working on it in our own separate ways, but we've all had a big creative input in to it individually, without restricting each other, which I think has made the project much more collaborative and experimental. I feel really happy with the album. There's songs and there's moments I feel we could do better if we were given a second chance but essentially I'm very happy with the intention of it. I wouldn't change anything, if there's anything I think I can do better I'll make sure it happens on the next album. - I don't have a specific goal career-wise, my main priority is to allow myself the freedom to express my creativity, and to keep evolving as an artist, whether I'm doing that in the context of writing songs for other people, or whether I'm doing it within my own albums, it doesn't matter to me. I'd like to give a chance to any opportunity or direction that comes as long as I feel it will allow me to do this. -

Purchase: Jono McCleery "There Is" [iTunes Link]

Connect: @JonoMcCleery | jonomccleery.com - Photography for PMOI by @FloraDeborah | floradeborah.com

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