Victoria (Canada) October 2013, a bunch of young friends start to build a sound by experimenting with their own recording techniques and manipulating their instruments, suddenly that monster came alive, they began with their first release: Com Shred I, a collection of songs from before the band’s formation. The band began experimenting with more improvisation through their recording techniques and their proper debut Serfs of Today was finally released in June 2014, coinciding with their first touring efforts.
Soon after they released a two single cassette, Short Swim/Long Interior, on Craft Singles. Around this time the band began working in earnest on recording new material for the follow up to Serfs.
Titled At Work On Several Things, the record was completed in spring 2016, just before Jons left on their first major tour across Canada.
At Work On Several Things is the second proper album from Jons, a follow up to 2014’s Serfs of Today.
Recorded over the span of two years in the homes of the band, the album finds Jons better capturing their live energy and sound while branching out stylistically, exploring the realms of psych and pop and delving into new rhythmic and melodic territories.
The challenge was to find a balance between the home-recording setting and the dynamics of a live band. At Work On Several Things also showcases an upgrade in both equipment and recording techniques, which helped the band move forward from the somewhat insular Serfs of Today.
Keenan Mittag-Degala at the drums, Logan Holmes Bass
and Patrick Rendel at David Parry at the Vocals and Guitar, with their incredible and kaleidoscopic brand new album At Work On Several Things are here to speak about this new sonic experience, we are very happy and glad to introduce you with Jons.
Bizzarre: What are you talking about right now?
Patrick: We’re talking about ourselves .
David: bizzarre mag.
B: When was the last time you were amazed by something, and what was it?
Patrick: last night when I listened to J Dilla’s Vol.2 Vintage for the first time.
David: The difference new skins made on Keenan’s grocery bag sounding drums.
B: If you have the chance to travel trough time but with no chance to come back, where you will go?
David: Brazil late 1950’s.
Patrick: I would probably go to the 80s because there was so much amazing music going on, and then I could still come back to this time period but I would be a little bit older and possibly have more money.
B: A day without Music is...
Patrick: kinda dull, I try to listen to lots of music.
B: How did you start making music?
Patrick: We’ve only been making music together for a couple of years but I think we all started making music at a young age, and each in our own way. Doing music lessons growing up was very important it armed me with techniques and skills that help experimentation come more easily.
B: You love to experiment with sound and recording techniques, do you consider that nowadays Music Industry needs more quality than quantity?
David: I wish music nowadays had a few more errors in it - a reduction in quality / less polished.
Patrick: In the age of the internet quality is certainly important because of the sheer amount of noise but that shouldn’t deter people from making as much music as possible.
B: Com Shred I, your first album ever and recorded before the band’s formation, When did you decide to give the big step forward and make this happen?
David: Patrick and logan just had some songs on their comps that were really blowing my mind and I just wanted to participate. We also would play these songs in Pat's tiny room with all of us (before we knew Keenan) switching around guitar, bass and drums every song.
Patrick: Yeah when we were recording the songs for Com Shred I we were just doing trying things out on our own and sometimes showing each other what we had worked on. A lot of the material from those days was never released and is still on a laptop somewhere. We met Keenan and tried playing all together and it worked really well right off the bat, so that’s the point when it turned into an actual band.
B: About your new album "At Work On Several Things" a complete melodic trip through different layers of sounds, it's amazing, where did you take the inspiration for this kaleidoscopic collection od songs?
Patrick: We recorded the album over a long period of time, and the time we took meant there was a good deal of tinkering and re-recording. The songs also came together over a long period of time - some were written before we had even begun recording and some were started when we were getting close to finishing. These factors, and all the different music we were listening to over those two years, led to lots of different sounds and ideas taking shape over the course of the record.
David: It felt pretty eclectic when recording these songs but I have a real affinity for ‘psychedelic' sounding everything. There were a few instances where patrick or I would know what one instrument should be doing or how it should sound but the most part it was just what came into existence when the tape machine was running. This didn’t always work though - there was an alternate version of equestrian form with different instrumentation. Also title track was rerecorded because we thought the demo recording I had was a little too lo-fi but after rerecording, the new one didn’t sound as special, so we went with the original.
B: The art of the album is one of the best we've seen lately, stunning 50's-60's pop art, where the idea came from?
Keenan: The cover art was inspired by an old postcard I found at a flea market in Vancouver. It had this theme of industry and transit that instantly made me think of the album title we had been throwing around. So I scanned it and started collaging over it with other old postcards until we all felt it looked more or less complete. Conceptually the cover is meant to symbolize the busyness in everyone's lives and the absurd connections that link us all together.
B: What would you like to give to Victoria Canada back musically?
Patrick: Hopefully another album soon, if all goes to plan.
B: Describe "At Work On Several Things" with 3 places that remind you the most the process of the album.
Patrick: The main place is the studio that was in David’s basement. We spent so much time down there. And there’s this community path that connected my house from David’s. I have a very vivid memory of walking back home at 6am after David and I finished the record. Another place would have to be the kitchen table upstairs where we’d take breaks to play Settlers of Catan
Jons - Gutter Master