You voted Robert Jon and the Wreck as your BeatCrave Fav for the month of September! Southern California native Robert Jon found a passion for music through the piano when he was six years old, and learned guitar and drums soon after. Eager to share his music with others, he played in several bands and began writing songs before finding four other guys with a similar vision. Their latest album, Fire Started, is a blues-heavy full-length album with a soft country feel and edgy classic-rock nuance. Fresh off their first national tour, Los Angeles natives Robert Jon and the Wreck have brought a hard blues rock sound reminiscent of some of the classic rock greats. The group formed in February 2011. The combined result was a harder, more rockin’ sound with the same great singer/songwriter influences on the previous Robert Jon Band albums. They are currently planning their next national tour and playing in the Southern California area. Their latest album Fire Started was released on September 2nd, 2011. Check out our exclusive interview with Robert Jon, who talked to us about Fire Started, touring, and classic rock below…
BeatCrave: I love your genre-bending sound: you have all the great elements of classic-rock, blues, even some country. Is this the mixture of music you generally listen to? Did you grow up listening to these genres of music?
Robert Jon: I’d say pretty close, I listen to a bit of everything but I guess, a mixture of those three genres is what I’m usually listening to. (I’m currently listening to Irish Folk songs, so you never know) I grew up listening to Country and gospel quartets thanks to my dad but, when I figured out how to listen to music myself, I got really into classic rock and from then it spread.
BC: You got together with Andrew, Kyle, Derrick, and Steve back in February—how did you all meet? Were you all looking for others with a similar vision?
RJ: I started off playing as a solo artist, and Andrew, Derrick, & Steve were apart of that project, We started working on music together, and we wanted to make it more of a band then just a solo project, so we went with Robert Jon & the Wreck, and right when we added the name Kyle, kinda just fell into our lap. We all found each other at the right time, and we all work great together.
BC: What is your songwriting process? Do you write lyrics the same way you write the instrumental portion?
RJ: everyone’s songwriting process is different, I think that every songwriter approaches it in different ways, and whatever goes on in someone’s head is only for them to know. As for myself, I think the the music and melody kinda come together all at once, then I go back to the lyric’s and define them. So the music of the song, comes first for me then the lyrics.
BC: What’s a story behind Fire Started? I mean, what inspired you to write this album?
RJ: Fire Started is a mix of songs that we had all been playing for years, and songs that we wrote the night before we started recording the album. My inspiration comes from a multitude of things, from family, to friend struggles, to personal struggles, to relationships, to the need to write, cause that’s what I know best. Fire Started is what we want people to listen to when they Ask , “what do Robert Jon and the Wreck sound like?”
BC: You’re a Los Angeles native. What do you miss most when you’re touring?
RJ: I miss the weather, We went all over the country this summer, and the weather in Southern California, is the best by far, Seattle is a close second, but sometimes its nice the see the sun. Although, some things in LA I didn’t miss at all: the amount of people that are always around, traffic, and the assholes.
BC: What is your favorite part of touring?
RJ: Our favorite part of touring is meeting new amazing people everywhere we go. Not only that but seeing the look in a persons face when we are playing 3000 miles away from home and seeing a connection with that person, through our music. It’s a great feeling.
BC: What’s your dream venue to play at?
RJ: I think, it would be awesome to play at Red Rocks in Colorado. haha I e-mailed them on our last tour, they never responded. but honestly, my dream venue could be anywhere that people are there to listen to music, I’d rather play at a small, with 50 people who care about music then a huge venue with 1000 some odd people that couldn’t give a shit. don’t get be wrong, I still want to play red rocks.
BC: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
RJ: Play music for yourself. not for anyone else. once you lose the passion for your own music, you lose the music.
BC: And lastly, working on anything new? (Albums, videos, et cetera)
RJ: We are trying to figure out how to get a decent music video to together, we are gonna push this album for awhile until we come out with another.