Jon and Roy
Unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere you have most likely already swayed to the rhythmic groove of a Jon and Roy tune. Hailing from Victoria, Canada the popularity of these talented performers has been steadily rising in the world of action sports. Recently featured in the award winning surf film The Drifter featuring Rob Machado, American surfers especially have begun to take notice. The delightful blend of Folk, Reggae,and Hip Hop combined with hypnotic "Old African" flavor provides their listening audience with a number of must adds to any Ipod or MP3 play list.
Our own Dave Schauber caught up with guitar player and vocalist Jon Middleton to get the low down on how things are currently going.
DS: I first heard your music at a friends home in Tofino Canada back in 2005 when he introduced me to your 1st release " Sittin Back". I was stoked on yourself and partner Roy Vizer as a Duo even then and wore that disc out pretty quick. I went back again in 08 for another visit to BC only to discover your next CD " Another Noon " which featured new Bassist Ryan Tonelli. It became an instant favorite and I couldn't wait for what was next and " Homes " lived up to my expectations and then some.
I guess my first question would be how do you guys make getting better look so easy when a lot of bands struggle to find that natural progression?
Ha ha! well, thanks for the compliment.....I guess it comes down a lot to the fact that we are just four guys making music and thats all its ever been about, we enjoy writing and performing. I think too we have very little pressure on us so it has been very natural for us to make the music we do. Coming from a relaxed locale like Vancouver Island doesn't hurt either.
DS: Where there any local bands in BC when you were younger that influenced your direction towards making music as a career.
Nothing really besides some smaller groups from the Island. The groups that influenced me at a younger age were mostly American groups, Nirvana, Sublime, etc, etc....Later I got more into reggae and hip-hop and african styles.
DS: What's it been like going from playing local pubs to playing bigger venues and getting more serious about where you guys are going musically. Have you been able to keep that fun "jamming out" mentality or is there any added pressures.
It depends on the gig. Lately we've been playing the best shows we've ever played, and we've been playing larger venues. But as I said, sometimes we'll play a theater setting and thats more chill, and then other times its a venue where you want people to groove and so you amp things up more. We've been working more and more on our ability to improvise though and liven things up. In all, I think the pressure is actually lessening, if anything.
DS:I know a few people here in Cali that would be stoked to watch you guys play live some time, are you touring at all in the US to promote the new album?
That is the goal and it has been a big goal of ours for a while. For some reason Canada and the US have an odd thing going with letting bands cross their borders, its expensive and difficult.
We have just got on with a new agent though and that should open some opportunities to come down south. We're also releasing our newest release in the US this fall, so hopefully that will coincide with a tour soon after. We would most definitely rather be heading south in the winter than across Canada. The US west coast has some of my favorite places, especially on the Oregon and Cali coasts.
DS: When most people think of Canada, surfing is not the first thing that generally comes to mind. But I can vouch for the fact that there are great waves there and quite a few surfers I know from Tofino listen to your music as well, do any members of the band surf?
Not particularly, although most of us have had a small stint of it at one time or another. Many of our friends do surf a lot, at Sombrio and Jordan River near Victoria and Tofino on the West Coast of the Island. Its a real visible part of our community, thanks in part to our partners at Sitka Surf in Vic.
DS: Jon and Roy music was recently featured in The Drifter starring legendary surfing icon Rob Machado. Has this opened any doors for the band and are you guys excited that a mainstream youth culture is catching on to the amazing music you are creating as artists?
We were very stoked when we heard our music was going to be in the Drifter. Its a wicked soundtrack! It seems to have opened some doors for sure, and we have always been fans of the surf culture so we are always happy if someone chooses to use our music in a surf film.
DS: Is there anywhere in particular that people can go to find out more about Jon and Roy music and where to purchase your albums?
Yeah for sure, you can either visit our website @ www.jonandroy.ca or buy our music off of itunes, although our newest release, Homes, can only be purchased from our website at this point. Also, we have the other social media sites rolling: twitter, facebook, etc...
DS: Well Jon thanks so much for your time and for the songs. As a film maker I am really looking forward to collaborating on a project in the near future.
Thank you! And we look forward to working with you as well. Peace