Jono

JoNo is a “well-hidden secret” from Sweden who took us by storm here on Grande Rock with their new album “Silence”. This band has a bright future ahead of them and with this album they’ll surely make an opening to a bigger audience. We contacted the guys of the band and they were all kind enough to answer our questions in their own “personal & funny” way too. Read on and have fun.
Jono band pic

Hi guys… congrats on your new magnificent album, “Silence”. We’ve named it the Best Album of July 2015 on Grande Rock!
 
JoNo: Thank You so much. It’s big, and nice, words!
 
 
Do tell us …which are the differences between “Requiem” and “Silence”?
 
Stefan: I think our style is more developed, more profiled now. This album was for the most parts already done before we entered the studio, arrangement-wise, which really makes it feel more organic. We just wanted it to feel like we are playing together and therefore we actually did just that. In conclusion – I feel this album is a definite step further.
 
 
In which part had you been working these two years since the release of “Requiem”?
 
Nicka: We have been playing a lot of gigs, also including the songs we then recorded for “Silence”. We are constantly rehearsing, working on trying to get our music out to new audiences. It’s a never ending job, isn’t it?!
 
 
Which are those new elements that you introduce with your new album?
 
Stefan: The new elements is more of an old element thing – like nice Hammond organs and such. And more catchy up-tempo songs.
 
 
What does the album title “Silence” declare?
 
Johan Carlgren: So, we wanted a title contrasting the bombastic and warlike cover. I honestly think it means different things to all of us, but we didn’t take naming the album lightly. After long debates and individual pondering we all agreed on “Silence”. To me it represents that split second of focus before committing to the energy and noise that is music.
 
 
How is the cover artwork related with the album title?
 
Johan Carlgren: Our music is high in contrast, the triumphant and pitiful often go hand in hand. It’s the opposites and ambiguous feelings competing that make it sound... “Jono”. For the album cover we went for kind of a grandiose look and decided to give the album a contrasting title. It’s unusual, but we actually decided on the cover first and named the album later.
 
 
I’d like you to comment on each track…
 
Nicka: This is hard. I guess we all feel a bot different of any songs, out of our own personal feelings. But, here we go. I’ll give it a try.
 
“Man of Misery”: A quite heavy tune, still with some light and catchy elements. Guitar driven.
 
“Wasting Time”: This song has turned out to be a lot of people’s favorite. It’s an energetic, dynamic song.
 
“Can We Make It”: One of my personal favorites. It kind of “opens up” after the second chorus. Lots of air, still tight and biting…
 
“Turn Around”: A very dynamic song. Starts as a “rock ballad”, ends in a loud…
 
“Your Bread”: Fast, with a obvious touch of the 70s rock. Powerful.
 
“In My Life”: Maybe the odd track on the album.
 
“Clear”: A typical “Jono song”, meaning that it really doesn’t sound as anything else to me. Some progressive touch, with an odd meter part, a lots of dynamics. Soft ending. Great live tune.
 
“The One to Blame”: Fast and happy. Sing-a-long-friendly, with some fun arrangement details.
 
“Opus”: 7 minutes of Jono. Soft, at first, then roaring. Building up to quite an inferno. Bombastic and melodic.
 
“Josefina”: Johan Norrby’s comforting song to his daughter. Very emotional.
 
 
The production is clear and full. The song arrangements are also wonderful. Stefan recorded & mixed the album. Are you satisfied by the final result sound-wise?
 
Johan Norrby: Very satisfied! It’s collaboration within Jono that just works. We are all aiming for the same goal.
 
Stefan: I’m actually very satisfied, I came very close to what I was aiming for – a bit of a retro sound but with a modern touch. There are always things you think about afterwards that you would have wanted to do differently, but with this album I can only think of like 4-5 small small things, so that’s a good sign.
 
 
You decided to release the album independently. Why’s that? Did you want to have the control of the whole thing or you do not believe that music labels nowadays can offer that much to a band like the old days?
 
Nicka: It’s simple. We didn’t have any deal with any label, so we decided to work hard and do it ourselves. In some ways it’s probably good too – because no one could actually tell us how we should do. It’s making us free, but of course we can’t continue doing big productions like this without (economic) help.
 
 
Which are those things that inspire you to write music and lyrics in general?
 
Johan Norrby: Everyday life, what happens around me, how it effects me or how it affects others. But also my emotional development, my view off the world and the meaning of it all.
 
 
Queen is without any doubt your biggest influence but can you also name other bands/artists which have influenced you so as to achieve the specific sound that you have today?
 
Nicka: Well… if you ask the five of us you will get five completely different answers. We all listen to and enjoy so much music, that it would be unfair just to name a few. And, important: We’re not making music to sound like someone else.
 
Johan Norrby: Since I’m writing the songs… My first big influence was Sparks. But I’ve listened a lot to Kansas, E.L.O, Supertramp, Saga, and Styx as well.
 
 
How would you describe your band’s music to someone that hasn’t heard of you before?
 
Jono: It’s not that easy. But… It’s melody driven rock, with symphonic and bombastic elements, some progressive elements too.
 
 
Are you planning to release a lyric or a concept video anytime soon?
 
Nicka: Yeah, as soon as we get the time and money. Seriously: of course it’s important to have videos, supporting the album. We’re working on it.
 
Jono band pic
 
What are your touring plans?
 
Nicka: At the moment some gigs/shows are booked, but we are still working on getting a tour together. We are trying to find a good management, helping us out with this very important job!
 
 
What do you wish to achieve with Jono in the next years?
 
Jono: To be able to play larger venues, making some tours, record another album. Building our audience. Just being able to do what we love to do.
 
 
Time for our “weird questions”!!! Are there any funny incidents from the recording days that you’d like to share with us?
 
Jono: Too many. It’s always something that happens, when it’s not supposed to. But nothing too serious. We survived the sessions.
 
 
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
 
Johan N: It’s a hard one! It changes from day to day. Today I would say: “Crime of the Century” by Supertramp…
 
 
If you were obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
 
Johan C: Haha, I’d give them “Rain Dogs” by Tom Waits. If they don’t freak out after hearing that, they’re all right in my book.
 
Stefan: LP or CD? I would make an MP3 disc and put a lot of stuff on there: Dio – “Holy Diver”, AC/DC – “Back in Black”, Pantera – “A Vulgar Display of Power”, Tom Waits – “Swordfishtrombones”, some Sabbath, Queen, Beatles, ABBA. Maybe something more modern as well like Katy Perry, Pink, Muse etc. so they wouldn’t be confused when they came back. And if I could only give them one cd it would have to be JoNo – “Silence”…
 
 
Top 3 Horror movies of all time?
 
Stefan: Oh that is difficult. My answer would probably be completely different if you asked me again tomorrow. Here goes – 1. Nightmare on Elmstreet 2. Evil Dead 3. The Shining.
 
 
Beloved TV series that you watch this season?
 
Johan C: I watched all seasons of Breaking Bad, House of Cards and The Americans – all great series! Plus the new season of GoT of course.
 
Nicka: I’m not a TV guy, I prefer being out in the wild. But I recently enjoyed Sons Of Anarchy, and… Homeland.
 
 
Steel Panther say “Eatin’ ain’t cheatin’” – what do you think of it?
 
Stefan: Haha, well I only have one thing to say- if Steel Panther says so it must be true. (i.n.: Hehehe… you’ve got a point here dude!)
 
 
Which character from the “Game of Thrones” would you be if you lived in the Seven Kingdoms?
 
Nicka: Ooops! I don’t watch GoT. I watch very few series/TV shows.
 
Johan C: My wife thinks I would be Tyrion... I don’t think that’s a compliment. If I got to choose, I’d like to be Drogon!
 
 
Which of the Seven Deadly Sins do you reckon is the one, that’s more likely to send you straight to Hell, in the afterlife?
 
Johan N: I’m not sure I believe in Hell as a place you would end up in if you’re not good. But I’m sure there can be Hell on Earth sometimes. I just don’t think you should hurt anyone, so: thou shall not kill.
 
Nicka: I’m pretty sure that life ends when it’s finished. You’re alive or you’re dead. No Hell or Heaven.
 
 
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
 
Nicka: Oh. A woman like that would never be my wife in the first place…
 
 
We’re done guys! Thank you very much for talking to Grande Rock. Wish you the best for the future to come. Take care!
 
JoNo: Thank You, Thanos. Be safe and keep up the good work with Grande Rock. The best from Sweden...

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