Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Jon and Roy

Jon and Roy
Photo by Erica Chan

Jon and Roy, a powerfully talented Victoria, BC trio, have a lovely Island sound that is somewhere between folk and roots.  Having recently released their fifth album “By My Side”, they just completed their tour with the Legendary Buck 65. We got a chance to find out the inspiration behind their latest album, how the Island has played a role in their sound, hilarious moments on tour, and figure out how 21 Jump Street fits in to the big picture. Have a read to get the scoop!

AMBY: Hey Jon and Roy, thanks for speaking with us! Where does our interview find you today?

Jon and Roy: This interview finds me in Ottawa at the moment, in the plane about to fly back to Victoria.

AMBY: Did growing up in Victoria, BC influenced your music? If so, how?

Jon and Roy: Victoria, or more the island really, has influenced our sound in some ways for sure.  I think the amount of time we spend in nature helps mellow us out a bit, and this is reflected in a lot of our music.   A healthy portion of my lyrics contain references to the natural world, the ocean especially.

AMBY: If you had to pick one track that you were most proud of, what would it be?

Jon and Roy: Hmm, one song would be our tune ‘Boon Elm’ from our album ‘Homes.’  I like the way it all came together for the recording.

AMBY: Your newest album “By My Side” is the fifth in an impressive lineup.  If you could say anything about this album, what would it be?

Jon and Roy: I would say it’s the most consistently folky of our records, having the most traditional song structures of any of our other releases.

AMBY: When it comes to the title, why did you decide to call the record “By My Side”?

Jon and Roy: We called the album ‘By My Side’ because their was a lot of lyrical content relating to loving relationships, the notions of having a long term relationship, having children, etc..   We are all in our early 30’s,  slowly maturing.

AMBY: You’re currently touring with the Legendary Buck 65!  How have you found the experience so far?

Jon and Roy: Ya we just finished, in fact, but it was great, he’s such a fantastic performer.   Definitely an inspiration.

AMBY: While touring, what has been one of the most memorable moments experienced as a band?

Jon and Roy: Probably the most memorable moment touring was going to New York City and randomly seeing Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock perform surprise sets in a small comedy club, The Comedy Cellar.  Our faces were shocked and sore from laughing so much.  We have our bass player Lou to thank for that one.

AMBY: When you’re not writing or recording, what do you enjoy doing on your downtime?

Jon and Roy: All of us enjoy being active and the island has an endless amount of wicked places to do so.  Lots of hiking and camping…Lou also surfs.

AMBY: Tell AMBY something you’ve never told anyone before.

Jon and Roy: Our album title ‘Homes’ actually came from an episode of 21 Jump Street.  In the episode this guy is trying to teach Johnny Depp how to speak in Chicano lingo, so he can go undercover.  He reiterates that he’s got to learn to say ‘Homes’ just right.  We were also listening to a lot of Cypress Hill in Spanish during this era.


Thank you Jon and Roy, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Nadia Kaakati | @NadiaKaakati

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