Siôn Russell Jones’ latest single So Long carries joyful harmonies, uplifting lyrics, and highlights the excellent qualities Siôn holds as a songwriter. After falling in love with his own music, we were thrilled to also discover Siôn’s recent, lovely covers. We had a lot to ask him, and Siôn Russell Jones very graciously answered some questions for us as we spoke about the So Long EP, being clumsy, and obsessions!
AMBY: Hi Siôn, how are you doing?
Siôn Russell Jones: I’m doing good thanks. Lots of exciting things happening at the moment and I’m preparing for a weekend of fun gigs!
AMBY: How would you describe your sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Siôn Russell Jones: My songs usually blend pop hooks and structures with more traditional Americana stylistic formulas. My influences are a lot more alternative than people might think and I’ve always been an admirer of catchy tunes so my music is an amalgamation of all the things I like that move me and hopefully they move other people too.
AMBY: Which songs are the quintessential Siôn Russell Jones?
Siôn Russell Jones: I guess the song that summarize what I do best is usually the latest song that I’ve written. My newest tunes are always my favourite to play but for me – my quintessential track would have to be ‘Way Back When’ from my debut album, ‘And Suddenly…’ I used a descriptive narrative for the verses which describes an evening on a street I used to live on. Its the first time I ever tried a concept like that for a song and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
AMBY: Does hailing from Cardiff, Wales have an influence on your music?
Siôn Russell Jones: I think being from Wales in general gives any musician a head start. From as early as I can remember I’ve had encouragement from School and especially my home life to be as creative as I can be. Being from a Welsh speaking background I was exposed to a lot of traditional Welsh Folk music. This combined with an appreciation of alternative rock that I developed into my teens and especially the singer-song-writers of the 70s that I was introduced to by my parents definitely had a profound effect. Hailing from the Cardiff scene has definitely encouraged a level of friendly competition and admiration that’s inspired me to write the best songs I can.
AMBY: What’s the story behind So Long? It’s such a lovely song!
Siôn Russell Jones: Thank you! It’s the result of a collaboration with producer Gordon Mills Jr and Song writer Lillian Todd-Jones. The three of us wrote the song together early on a Friday afternoon and everything seemed to fall into place really quickly. I ended up releasing the demo version of the song that I recorded on the day it was written because I loved the vibe of the track. Sometimes re-recording something for the sake of it can change the dimension of the song so I decided not to tamper with something I already loved. It’s a positive and uplifting song about re-discovery and it materialized after a long period of writing more traditional ‘Singer Song’writer’ style tracks. It’s marked a shift in my song writing that I’m aiming to develop so watch this space!!
AMBY: And on the topic of So Long, which song off your So Long EP is your favourite, and why?
Siôn Russell Jones: I’m really proud of the EP and pleased with the way every track turned out but if I had to pick a favourite I’d go with ‘One Last Dance’. It’s a song I wrote after a pretty horrendous break up which is a pretty generic theme for a song but I think I captured a level of honesty that anyone can understand. I always skip the track if its on in my car or at a friends house just because familiarity breads contempt and I don’t want to get too used to it. It’s the kind of song that needs to feel fresh to be performed properly so I try and listen to it as little as possible!
AMBY: You recently covered Kodaline’s All I Want. Which other artists can we expect to see covers of?
Siôn Russell Jones: I’m a huge Ray Charles fan so I may throw a cheeky track into the mix! Generally anything that I fall in love with. Ideally I’d like to showcase a wide spectrum of stuff that’s had an effect on me and diversity is always the best way!
AMBY: Who have you been listening to lately?
Siôn Russell Jones: I often go through phases of becoming fixated on an album I’ve newly discovered but recently I’ve revisited Nick Drake’s ‘Bryter Layter’. Every song on the album is so cleverly put together and the attention to lyrical detail is really inspiring. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Keaton Henson. His material is tragic and bleak but its also really compelling and the emotional impact is hypnotic. My material is usually a lot more up-beat but I definitely draw influence from these guys.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?,
Siôn Russell Jones: I’m quite clumsy, especially if I loose myself in a song, the spacial awareness flies out the window! I fell over a drum kit once but I did receive a standing ovation. I bizarrely won the audience over nicely and it turned out to be a lovely gig! Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself!
AMBY: What’s the best song of 2013, so far?
Siôn Russell Jones: I really liked Dizzee Rascals latest track ‘Bassline Junkie’. I thought it was really infectious and a lot of fun but I haven’t heard something that’s done anything for me emotionally so far. I’ve been hearing Passenger’s ‘Let Her Go’, which was released last year, on the radio a lot recently and I was blown away by the song as soon as I heard it but as far as this year, I’m still waiting for the stand-out song.,
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about you that nobody knows yet?
Siôn Russell Jones: I have an unhealthy obsession with horror films and hot food. Preferably simultaneously..
Thank you Siôn, for giving us your answers!