Yes, yes, Seattle is on the tip of everyone’s tongue this week because of the overwhelming ass kicking their champs laid down on Peyton “Embarrassing Is Insulting” Manning and his lackeys. And while I’m all about it, do you know why Seattle is rolling off my tongue this week?
The release of Jon Yoon‘s EP Purple Roses, Coffee Beans, and All Things In Between is edging ever and ever closer. The songs are done. The artwork is done. As someone who has been around this block, I know it takes a lot more than that to have an album come out, but fans and peers are in the home stretch now. Wait, what? Yeah, football is over. Spring training is upon us. Keep up.
The first time I heard Jon sing was in the dark recesses of a bar with a karaoke night. It was the first night of my only trip to the Sullen City and by the time the night was over, there was raucous comedy, a Ben Affleck lookalike, clever covers and my being shoved head first into a cab back to the W. I try to keep it classy. Sometimes. And their ‘Bliss’ products are to die for. I digress.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jon for damn near a decade (where does the time go?) but he’ll be the first to tell you that our friendship in no way biases my opinion about his work (or really anything else for that matter). Brutal. Honesty. All The Time. We share the kind of honesty that often requires eating crow and sending gift certificates to make up for it all.
Despite how long I’ve known him, there always seems to be new things to unearth. With his new EP being released soon, I thought this was a great chance to carve out some time to chat about his music and his inspiration.
What got you interested in music? Have you taken any classes?
I became interested in the typical Korean/Asian way: My mother made me take piano lessons. It started as a love/hate thing, being ten years old and having to learn to play piano, but when I started taking music classes in high school, I started to better understand the theory behind it.
Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
I don’t have one specific favorite artist. There are so many fantastic people out there making awesome stuff! My music palette is so diverse due to my music geek mentality and being involved in the Seattle music scene working with the Seattle Living Room Shows
I think the thing that draws me to any artist is the personal connection they try to make within their sound. You can tell when someone is singing from deep within themselves and they’re telling you a personal story versus something that was produced with a lot of fluff for mass audience appeal…although some fluff is just fun to listen to and bounce around.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
At the moment, my inspiration is from various events in my life. My current EP’s specific inspiration comes from some of the relationships I’ve had. When I went to make this EP, I wanted to have songs that were deeply personal and allowed me to share a piece of myself.
Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of music? How did it turn out?
I don’t think I have ever stayed in any musical comfort zone. I like listening to a lot of different genres. Folk, Rock, Country, Pop, EDM, Easy Listening, Classical, and a whole bunch in between. Being a music geek at heart, there’s usually something that I’m taking away from the sound.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your music?
Back in the day, I used to do ultra marathons and powerlifting. No really! I’ve stepped away from that, but I’m looking to get back into that again. People usually say that they want to complete a marathon to cross off their bucket list. I personally want to cross off doing a 100 mile run. [For the record, I knew Jon when he was training for such things and I can tell you, from an outsider’s perspective it’s both intimidating and frightening as hell].
In my spare time, I also volunteer for the local charity the Melodic Caring Project
where we stream live music concerts to kids and teens who are in the hospital. I’m a big believer in music therapy and it’s positive influence in helping the body, mind, and spirit to get well.