JONO is an instrumental post rock solo project where music meets visuals through nature. Each song is written to have a theme based on a specific place or landscape in nature that is then brought to life through music videos. Today, we’re exclusively premiering some behind the scenes details from the video.
About behind the scene photos & filming process (from JONO):
Each location was carefully chosen and they all had their own little adventures getting to them.These adventures were full of lifelong memories that were both challenging and exhilarating. Luck wasn’t always on our side though with cars breaking down, extensive hikes, inconvenient weather, long drives, getting lost, all nighters, etc. Some locations required some extensive hiking while caring our equipment and instruments along the way. Hiking down to Toketee Falls in Oregon was a particularly difficult hiking trip as there was a vertical drop off with a rope that had to be used to get to the bottom of the waterfall. Cautiously, we proceeded anyway while tying our equipment to the rope and easing it down from the top of the drop off to the bottom.
Climbing back up was even more difficult because it was completely dark and some of us were wet/cold from swimming in the waterfall to get the needed shots. Flashlights and screenshots of maps became our best friends much like an Indiana Jones movie. That definitely doesn’t mean that there weren’t moments were luck was on our side. Just being able to play guitar in the redwoods in California, on cliff sides and under waterfalls in Oregon, and under the night sky in Washington was unforgettable. Our day in Vancouver was particularly special. The stereotype of Canadians being so kind was very true on our trip to Capliano Suspension Bridge. We had the help from the park staff to let us shoot after hours and help us around the park once everyone was gone and out of our shots.
It felt like we had a private tour of the park and was too good to be true. Later that night when shooting in Bellingham, Washington, we discovered that there were bioluminescent fish in the bay next to us. We celebrated a successful shoot day swimming with bioluminescent fish under the stars.
I was lucky to have a team that was more ambitious and caring than I was. Brian Hartley, Dario Garcia, Sammy Bulka, and Elijah Stavely went through so much for this project I am so lucky to have had such incredible talent/friends on that trip. That also includes Dawson Jordan and Stephen Caserta who worked on the editing of this video. It was truly the best roadtrip adventure that allowed me to play my guitar in some of the coolest places in the world.
You just released a music video for your track "North", which features stunning scenery across the Pacific Northwest, and comes as a call to action for protecting the environment. Did you write the music with this in mind?
I actually did write the song knowing that the story of the music video was going to be about Pacific Northwest preservation. I didn’t come up with the idea to give all proceeds to conservation until after the everything was written. It really gave purpose to this project knowing that I was able to give back.
How did you select locations for filming?
It started with a location that was a waterfall in Oregon that my friend recommended to me. It was too beautiful to even look real and I knew that I had to find more locations that lived up to this wow factor across the Pacific Northwest. I did research on travel blogs across social media, the internet, and even dove into Google Maps to see what these places really looked like in person. Because these locations were all so far away, scouting them wasn’t really an option so extensive research on each location and how to hike up to it had to be crystal clear.
Much of your work centers around nature. Do you consciously choose to focus on this? Do you think your topics will change over time?
Currently, all my work is based on nature. I usually make moodboards for every song I write because I usually associate sounds and tones with colors/places. So since I am inspired by places in nature in songwriting, I want to continue with this inspiration until I am influenced by something different.
What artists/bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Rush is always a lifetime influence for me. Their discography is so massive and covers so many different styles that it’s easy for me to get influenced by different songs of theirs from different decades. I would say that I also really enjoy bands/artists like Plini, Tides of Man, Joe Satriani, Khruangbin, The 1975, Turnover, Kacey Musgraves, Maggie Rogers, Tame Impala and many more of all genres.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start playing music?
I would say that Joe Satriani is a big artist that pushed me to be a live artist focused on lead guitar. He had been pushing the limits of guitar playing and songwriting for decades and it inspired me to start joining bands and showing off on stage as much as I could. Tides of Man, however, is the band that showed me I could be a solo instrumental artist in this day and age. They write instrumental music that is so emotional and digestible that it really made me think “I think I can really do what those guys are doing. I just need to write instrumental music that is honest to who I am.”
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Any award I’ve received for my music videos has absolutely been a highlight. That kind of recognition really makes this all worth it at the end and it’s humbling to see your music video on the big screen. I’m definitely looking forward to any future screening I may be a part of.
What's next for JONO?
I am taking the next JONO adventure even more north up to Iceland. I have a song written that has an 80s feel to it and I want to explore more how I can make keys more of a crucial element to a JONO song. I also want to visit landscapes that are so vast and desolate that they feel out of this world. It’ll be the most ambitious thing I attempt but playing my guitar on a glacier just sounds like too much fun!