The Untitled Interview #20: Starring Justin Jones

I remember it oh so well. One day in April, a couple of years ago, I was talking with my friend Joel (an excellent photographer with rather good taste in music), and he said to me "come see Justin Jones play tonight". He didn't tell me much more than that, but I trusted him not to steer me wrong, and so out I went. And my darlings, needless to say, I've been a fan of Mr. Jones ever since.

Justin Jones, whether onstage with the Driving Rain or strumming away solo on his guitar, has something special. His voice is pure and clear, the type of voice many a singer-songwriter would kill for. His songs are absolutely lacking in pretense, instead carrying a torch for honesty and emotion. It's no mystery about his influences, and he certainly does people like Townes Van Zandt and the Band proud.

For those of us in the DC metro and greater Richmond area, Justin will be performing nearby this weekend. Catch him Saturday 2/21 at Iota, and Sunday 2/22 at the Cary St. Cafe here in Richmond. But first, read below to see what makes Mr. Jones tick (he and I even have a favorite album in common, shouldn't be too hard to figure out which one).

Les Enfants Terribles: How the hell are you?
Justin Jones: I'm good.

LET: What was the last song you listened to?
JJ: "Hey Here's Franklin", some childrens show theme on Noggin tv my girl likes.

LET: Playing music is
JJ: healing, magical, painful, annoying, my life.

LET: What album most made you realize that you wanted to make music?
JJ: CCR Greatest Hits.

LET: Beatles or Stones?
JJ: Stones.

LET: What're your top 5 albums (of ever, of this week, of this minute)?
JJ: Paul Simon - Graceland, Fleet Foxes, Blind Melon, RS - Exile on Main St, The Essential George Jones.

LET: Favorite music-related movie?
JJ: "American Pop", if you havent seen it, you need to. Amazing. It's a cartoon.

LET: What city or venue would you most like to play?
JJ: Not sure on this, maybe MSG?

LET: Half-full or half-empty?
JJ: What day is it?

LET: What's the best and worst thing about being a musician?
JJ: Best is it's the most fun job I know of, worst is it pays shit.

LET: Apart from you and your band, which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?
JJ: Delta Spirit, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, War On Drugs, Revival, John Bustine, Pawnshop goes on and on, there are many I admire.

LET: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
JJ: Coffee.

LET: The greatest record store in the world is:
JJ: was....Town and Campus, Harrisonburg, VA. RIP.

LET: How old were you when you wrote your first song? And what is your favorite of the songs you've written?
JJ: 14, it was called Lucy about my dog, it was sorta sad. I usually prefer my newest song.

LET: If, in about fifteen years, Stella came to you and said she wanted to be in a band, would you encourage her?
JJ: If she has talent, yes. I want her to pursue any dream she wants.

LET: What's your take on the DC music scene these days? Good, bad, or indifferent?
JJ: Pretty cool.

LET: What's the longest flight you've ever been on, and where were you going?
JJ: 9 hours I guess, I dont remember, I got very drunk. London.

LET: Shaken or stirred?
JJ: Neat.

LET: Best song ever written?
JJ: "Amazing Grace".

[Photo by Joel Didriksen]


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