Posted on May 17th. 2017
Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Jason: Hello Jonathan and welcome to Metal To Infinity. Now you’re the new Bass Player in Vanlade but before we get into that could you share with us where you’re originally from and what was the music scene like there when you were growing up?
Jonathan: I grew up in an Army family but I currently live in Lansing, Kansas.
Jason: As I mentioned Jonathan I know you’re the new Bass Player in Vanlade and again before we get into that I’d like to ask you if you could share with us some of the bands you previously played with prior to joining Vanlade?
Jonathan: I play in two other groups with our drummer Nolan. The first one is Garoted, a death metal band, and I am a live member of an affiliated black metal project called Verrater. I also play in an Alt Rock band called E100 based in Lawrence. I’ve played in other groups growing up as well.
Jason: Jonathan, I’d love to ask you how old were you when you first started playing the Bass Guitar? Would you consider yourself to be a self taught player or did you take lessons?
Jonathan: I started playing at age 12 and am mostly self taught. I learned some jazz theory in college and took upright bass lessons for a while.
Jason: Do you remember why you chose the Bass Guitar as your instrument of choice?
Jonathan: Not really, I had played guitar for a bit and wanted a bass to fool around on. After I got one and started playing a lot, it just felt natural to me and I kept playing it. I don’t even own a guitar anymore, haha.
Jason: Do you remember what was the first song you learned to play on the Bass Guitar?
Jonathan: No idea, but it was probably something embarrassing.
Jason: Who were the Bass Players who influenced you to do what you’re doing today?
Jonathan: Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Alex Webster, John Myung, Steve DiGiorgio, just to name a few.
Jason: Like I mentioned at the top the interview Jonathan you’re the new Bass Player in Vanlade. How does it feel to be the new guy in the band? Could you tell us the story of how you came to join Vanlade?
Jonathan: It was a really natural fit from the get go. We had all met and partied together plenty of times over the years , so I didn’t feel “new” in the sense that I needed to learn a bunch of new personalities. Nolan and I had worked together as a rhythm section for a while, so when the position opened I got the call and started learning the songs right away.
Jason: Now Jonathan, I read somewhere that you had known some of the guys in Vanlade prior to you joining the band so I have to ask you… did you get the job on the spot or did you have to actually go down and audition for the band?
Jonathan: I was the first guy they called. The knew I was interested in playing that type of music and my background playing with Nolan helped a lot.
Jason: Could you please share with us the story of how you first learned that you had landed the Vanlade gig and what was that moment like for you?
Jonathan: I was working and got a call from Zach. He told me about Nick leaving and asked me if I was interested in joining as a fill in for the upcoming tour. We had a few meet ups to talk, and after a couple of jam sessions, the chemistry was right so they offered me the spot as a full member. It was a natural fit so I felt really comfortable. I had some nerves going in because of the short time we had to prepare for tour but after our first gig together I’m pumped to tear it up with the guys this May.
Jason: Would you consider yourself to be a Vanlade fan prior to joining the band or would you say you’ve become more of a fan of the band’s music since you joined?
Jonathan: I have been a Vanlade fan for a while, but working with Vanlade has made me appreciate more classic Heavy Metal and Thrash. Checking out some of the influences that make that band what it is has turned me on to more old school bands, as well as bands that are playing now that take that sound and push it to a new level.
Jason: After you learned you had landed the Vanlade gig how long did it take you how to play the music in the Vanlade catalog?
Jonathan: It’s always a work in progress.
Jason: I understand that you have yet to play your very first show with Vanlade? How much are you looking forward to playing your very, first show with the band?
Jonathan: I’m a little nervous, especially when it comes to the wardrobe! Gotta look sharp for your first day on the job, right?
Jason: In preparation for your debut performance with the band have you guys been rehearsing much for that first show?
Jonathan: We put in quite a bit of guitar only practices, and I did a lot of at home work on the new songs. We only practiced as a full band twice before the gig though.
Jason: Do you have any concerns at all how the loyal Vanlade fans will accept you as a member of the band being that you’re the “New Guy” in the band?
Jonathan: Not really. I think they will see that I add something to the band rather than just trying to fill Nick’s shoes.
Jason: When you perform with Vanlade I was curious if you’ll play the Vanlade material note for note the way Nick played them or will you try to put a bit of your influence into the songs?
Jonathan: I aim to play the old songs note for note, which is no easy task thanks to Nick’s insane bass chops! I add a little of my own style when it comes to some of the solo parts but I aim to keep it as true to form as I can.
Jason: Are there any plans for Vanlade to record a new CD anytime in the near future or at this point are you guys just concentrating on touring right now?
Jonathan: A new album is in the future for sure, but for now the main focus is the upcoming tour with Seax, Avalon Steel, and Knightmare this May.