Once a member of The Dears and The Social Register, Montreal native Jon Cohen is now stepping out on his own. Having recently released his debut album Behold, featuring guest spots from the likes of Murray Lightburn (The Dears) and Evan Cranley (Stars, Broken Social Scene), The Jon Cohen Experimental plays The Grand Social this Friday 20th.
Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Jon Cohen of The Jon Cohen Experimental, right now a one man orchestra, Im a preacher a teacher a dancer a chance taker, a dice roller ahoy roller, Im here to shed a little bit of my experience with the fine folks of Dublin.
Who are your favorite artists from your hometown?
These days I would go with groups like Plants and Animals, JF Robitaille, Elephant Stone.
What’s it really like touring?
It what you make of it, if you focus on trying to recreate the home environment, the sedentary environment and obviously fall short, you will be disappointed. I love it personally, it allows me to travel, but for some artists, it totally destroys them, it’s what separates the boys from the men, the boys 2 men!
What’s your favorite city/town/venue to play?
Dublin? Just kidding although it’s my first time around in Ireland as the JCEX I’m looking forward to Dublin a lot, love the people there! I’d say from my last tour, my favorite place was a small town in British Columbia called “Golden” a ski town. I had a few days off there and went snow boarding too, met some great people, sold out night, had a great time there, there’s a real energy there, must be the mammoth mountains.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
Flaming Lips, Andrew bird, Ween, Calexico, Coco Rosie, Tune Yards, Joni Mitchell, Antonio Carlos Jobim (if he were still alive) Alan Parsons, Brendan Benson.
Tell us a tour story…
Once I was going to Nashville to play a show and stay with a friend there in his basement, but I missed my bus and didn’t come in from Chicago until a day later. When I arrived I saw that he had a huge gaping hole in his wall. In the middle of the night before, a drunk driver had driven his car through my friend’s home right through the basement where I would have been sleeping had I come a day earlier.
What has been your biggest achievement of the last year?
The Mega three month Pilgrim tour, a solo one man band tour 50 cities in Canada and the United states, coast to coast, all on a greyhound bus, and I blogged about it, every day!
What do you do to relax?
I stay home, play with my cat and listen to Eckhart Tolle.
What are you reading?
These days nothing, unfortunately, bunt my last mind blowing book was Wouldn’t It Be Nice, the autobiography of Brian Wilson.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
I don’t do TV, sorry.
What’s the last thing you bought online?
A Theremin, a little black box with an antennae that creates a wave of sound which I can control with the electro-magnetic field around my hand. Ill be “arguing with it” onstage in Dublin!
Who would you most like to collaborate with if you got the chance?
I would like to collaborate with the guys from Boards of Canada; I love their sound and want to achieve something similar in the future.
Have you ever trashed your equipment? When and why?
I still do, almost every night! I treat my bass very poorly sometimes; I can’t believe she’s still with me.
What website do you visit most?
I have to say Facebook, sorry for the lack of originality but its got it all, human drama in its zenith wrapped into one fine html page.
What is your favorite?
…album of the last year?
David Parsons’ Time and Travel. He’s from Vancouver, one of my favorite Canadian songwriters these days.
‘Lord Knows Best’
…. Lost classic song?
‘Mammagamma’ by Alan Parsons Project.
… Record label?
Pipe and Hat
A new artist that you are most excited about?
The Jon Cohen Experimental (shameless!)
Last great gig you went to?
Battles at The National in Montreal.
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
Love, dance and enlightenment!