Just before they take to the stage for the final UK date of their European Tour, I spoke to Canadian folk band Jon and Roy about their latest record The Road Ahead Is Golden, life on the road and new music coming out of Canada.
Hi Jon and Roy (and Lou). First off, can you tell us what are the main differences between your audiences in Canada, mainland Europe and UK?
We love playing in new places and seeing how people react. Mainland Europe tends to be a singing crowd and we get more dancing in the U.K./ North America. We get people of all ages from the 50th wedding anniversary celebrated at our show in Hamburg to the dancing 2-year-olds in the beach in the Netherlands.
Are you going to anywhere on this tour that you’ve never been before?
We are very excited for our first trip to Hungary playing Sziget Festival and Budapest!
Your latest album is called The Road Ahead Is Golden. Who is the most optimistic in the band?
Our drummer Roy is always keeping us laughing on the road. Also our European tour manager JP brings the love wherever we are.
What is the new record about? Is it concept-driven or more of a collection of songs?
More of a collection of songs that fit together for an album.
What food do you miss the most from back home when you’re on tour?
Home cooked meals are rare on the road. We miss cooking up our own feasts.
You’ve just come from Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall. How was it? Did you get to see any other acts performing there?
Your latest single is called ‘Runner’. Do any of you like running and if so what music do you listen to whilst you run?
Jon likes to listen to Fela Kuti while running, Roy likes more electronic beats like LCD Soundsystem and Lou listens to audiobooks while running. We all try to stay active on the road but can be tough.
What is the strangest thing that you’ve ever had to do for a music video?
For a video a long time ago we had to pretend to be playing the song but twice as fast. Felt weird but looked cool when slowed down. For the runner video we had to stand still while playing on the back of a moving truck and try not fall off.
Who are your favourite bands in Canada that might not be known in the UK?
Where do you hope your music will take you in the next 5 years?
We just want to keep traveling and spreading our music to new people. Hoping to get to Italy, South Africa and Brazil in the next couple of years!
Finally, if you wanted to show somebody your music but could only play them one song, which one would it be and why?
‘The Road Ahead Is Golden’ is one of our favorites to play right now and it showcases our style well. We’ve incorporated some trombone into it when we play live too.
You can find out more about Jon and Roy on http://jonandroy.ca/
Find out more about the music scene in Canada with my interview with Madison Violet