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INTERVIEW: Jollymon

Can you talk to us more about your song “Tsunami”?

**Yes, Tsunami is a strong representation of Jollymon. Our album, Void Walker has what some may consider more “commercial” songs, but we felt we wanted to be transparent and represent right out of the gate that this is Jollymon!

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

**I wouldn’t say a particular event, but more of my upbringing and my current world view.  The internet exposing us to the rest of the world and opening our eyes to how much we still don’t know. This song was inspired by religion. The religions that seem to have an answer for all things good and bad. Their version of the apocalypse or the end of the world… Tsunami is our take on that.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

**We have a promo video for Tsunami, I’m leery to call it official but its 5 different cameras at one show, so it’s us live, nothing fancy or scripted out.

The single comes off your new album Void Walker – why taking so long on releasing this material?

**You mean why 18 years long? Jollymon stopped playing around 2002 due to a shift in priorities and a desire to leave things on a high note. Jollymon was done. In early spring 2016, I was contacted by John Colgate to see if he wanted to reform the band. Sparing you the details of why and why not, I was convinced and reached out to other past members to see what would happen, the end result is Mark, John and Carey…power trio!

How did time serve on your advantage?

**14 years is a long time. Social media and the internet has changed so much. When we decided to walk away, it was just barely gaining traction. I mean it was going but not the social medias that are so streamlined and connected today. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter didn’t exist. There are so many tools for artists these days to get their art in front of a captive audience that is actually looking for you. Aside from that, our playing has improved a lot. The biggest worry with a reboot like this is usually vocals. Surprisingly, that too has improved. We feel very fortunate there.

What’s the story behind the title?

**We’ve been tossing that name around for a while. If Jollymon could have a different name, that would be it –Void Walker. It would best describe our sound. The void is just space, heavy, light and nothing. We explore that with our sound…..#takesabonghit

How was the recording and writing process?

**The writing process took about 2 years, we had some songs we’d been working on over the years while away from Jolly, and then just perfecting them and weeding out the bad to get to this point. The recording process was awesome and very efficient…This was the fastest we have ever recorded an album. We were prepared. This time we were able to let the producer take over and mix it. We’ve always been heavily involved with that process in the past. Stephan Hawkes (Interlace Audio) understood our sound and nailed it. It sounds like us. No extra fluff and tricks. We’re very proud of this record.

What made you want to embrace your inner metal roots this time around?

**It just happened. Again, this is a collection of songs that were mostly written before we reformed so I guess it’s less of a decision to “let’s go more metal” and more of “here’s what we got, its metal”. I will say that the album as a whole is not entirely metal. The solos go there but some of the frameworks are sludgy space rock, and one song, Slice of Life is just straight up groovy space.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

**This is tough and simple…the answer is everything, life, living. Our lyrics are usually simple and repeated. We paint a mental image and it’s up to the listener to envision what it means. Simple narration to a mental soundtrack.

Any plans to hit the road?

**Yes, regionally for now, we’ll just keep pounding the north-west circuit and branch out where it makes sense. We’re just getting started again and its already going fast. We will see what tomorrow brings.

What else is happening next in Jollymon’s world?

**After our release, we’ll be pushing Void Walker hard to the rest of the world. We are already working on material for the next album, so that will be awesome because it’s all written now in real time. It will undoubtedly be heavier, faster, slower and spacy-er!!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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