a new email-interview

Here's an audience photo courtesy of Alexa from Sand Creek, WI, taken last week.

Also, one of my loyal blog-readers Bridget conducted an email-interview with me recently for a freelance writing assignment. Below is the text of the interview, touching on some of my musical influences, etc. Thanks to all you aspiring photographers and writers helping to keep the hype machine rolling along!


Jonathan Rundman is a Minnesota-based independent musician. He's been playing music since the early 1990s. He plays guitar, harmonica, piano, and a variety of other instruments. He tours around the country playing for both secular and religious groups. I recently had the opportunity to interview him.

Did you always want to be a musician?

Yes, I think it really hit me in elementary school when I first heard "Jack & Diane" by John Mellencamp. It sounded like something I could do, and that I'd like to do.

What musicians are your major influences?

My two favorite and most influential bands put out rootsy-rock albums in the late '80s: The Rainmakers and The Silos. I'm also influenced by '60s bands like Simon & Garfunkel and The Rolling Stones, '70s bands like Kansas and Styx, '80s bands like The Eurythmics and The Cars, and '90s bands like Aimee Mann and Jason Falkner.

You play a lot of different instruments. Have you taken lessons on how to play these instruments or did you end up teaching yourself?

I took piano lessons for many years as a kid, and played trombone in the school band. Everything else I taught myself.

Your music has been described as folk-punk, Lutheran-Americana, and musical power pop. Would you say that any of these describe your sound or would you define it differently?

The best terms that the music/radio business or rock journalists would understand are Americana and power pop. But those words don't mean much to the general population, so I usually tell regular people that I play folk-rock, or I tell them that I sound like Neil Young or Tom Petty.

You perform for many religious groups, but at times you also perform for secular groups. Which groups are your favorite?

I always swing between the two camps, and I love them both. If I only played for one of those crowds, I'd really miss the other.

You write your own songs and most of the songs you perform in concert are your own. Which of your songs is your favorite? Which of your songs is your favorite to perform?

Of my own songs, I always love to perform "Narthex," "747s," "Every Town's the Same," and "Librarian." For listening, I enjoy some of the weirder tunes on the Sound Theology album, like "Failing Rockstar Attempt," "The Loneliness of Happiness," and "A Little More Than Me."

Which song that that you haven't written is your favorite to perform in concert?

In the past few years I've been frequently doing a cover of "I Shook His Hand" by Peter Case, one of my all-time favorite singer/songwriters. I also love to play "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones and "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox.

You're both a stay-at-home dad and an independent performing artist. There must be many challenges doing both of these things. If you don't mind me asking, what are they?

Parenting challenge: Not having the privacy and blocks of time necessary to write and record new songs. Musician challenge: Figuring out how much effort and time to spend keeping myself plugged-in and active in the "legitimate" indie-rock scene...I don't want to just coast along as a "church musician."

You currently have four CDs of yours available for purchase. Is that correct?

Yes, I bring four CDs on tour with me to sell at concerts. I have a few remaining copies of some other albums of mine that folks can order online, if they want to explore the more obscure corners of my discography.

Are you planning on releasing anything new soon?

Maybe in 2008. I'm trying to decide between putting out a new CD the old fashioned way, or else making a bunch of songs available for free download and inviting people to make me a donation via Paypal for the songs. The massive changes in the way music is purchased will determine what my next album looks like.

Lastly, where can readers find out more about Jonathan Rundman?

For general info on my music career, visit www.jonathanrundman.com, and for gory details about my personal life and other things, read my blog at jonathanrundman.blogspot.com


Lisa Herlocker said…
funny that you mention Simon & Garfunkel as influences. I was listening to an old Paul Simon box set of some of his earliest stuff a while back while on a long car drive. A song I wasn't familiar with started up and for a minute I thought the CD had switched and it was you singing! It happened a second time on the long journey too!

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