Interview With Jonathan Chandler + Debut Solo Album “Jonathan Chandler & The Bandwagoneers”
Jonathan Chandler has just released his debut solo album Jonathan Chandler & The Bandwagoneers and we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the new seven song release. When it comes to talking Jonathan Chandler is a man of few words, but as you’ll see when you take a listen, when it comes to songwriting his vocabulary is endless.
Although this is his first solo record, there’s a fair chance you’ve heard Chandler’s music before. The Ottawa area musician is known for his work in the award winning rock band Amos The Transparent, the acclaimed folk duo Silent Winters and the quirky The Andy Kaufmans. If you’re into indie folk rock, this record is certainly one you’ll want to add to your playlist. Click below to listen to the album, and keep scrolling for our interview with Jonathan Chandler, where we talk about the album, songwriting, inspirations & more!
Interview with Jonathan Chandler & The Bandwagoneers
You’ve recently released your first solo record, how does it feel to have it out in the world?
It feels nice to have it out. When I starting tinkering with these songs at first, I imagined they would end up as demos for another project or something but the more time I spent at home, the more I ended up tinkering. It’s the first time I’ve ever released anything under my own name so it’s a strange feeling to be out in the open without a moniker to hide behind.
What is one of your favourite memories from creating this record?
Probably having my daughter clap along on “The Masquerade”. We had fun doing it and she seemed so proud to have been on one of “dads songs”. She hears me making all this noise all the time, it was fun to have her join in.
Who are The Bandwagoneers?
The majority of the record was based on old poems and song ideas from 20 years ago that I found in a box while cleaning out our storage room. One of the pages had “Here come the Bandwagoneers” scribbled on it. I have no idea the context of which I wrote that years ago but it sounded neat for the records title.
You’ve released music with award winning rock band Amos The Transparent, the acclaimed folk duo Silent Winters and the quirky The Andy Kaufmans. What inspired a solo album and how was the experience different in creating a solo record as opposed to as part of these projects?
Quarantine. If we weren’t all stuck at home for the last year I have no doubt that these ideas would have found their way into other projects. I had helped my pal Peter von Althean tweak his home recording setup and he needed something to play along to and practice so I sent him “When You’re Right, You’re Right” to tinker with as I had be demo’ing it. When he sent me back the drum track I just had to use it. That was the added spark that made this project get off the ground.
I did enjoy the, what seemed to have been, constant new arrangement ideas. Having played most of the arrangements myself it was easy to try a new idea which would totally flip the arrangement on its head over Peter’s tracks. Being it only myself and my own ideas I was deleting, or muting, I never really had to have felt bad about it.
When you write a song, do you know right off the bat which musical project it’s going to be used for?
Often I’m in a mindset of which project I’m writing for. I think that all these songs could easily have become Amos or SW songs (this lot wasn’t carefree or fun enough for the Andy’s) but all my musical partners seemed to have been just doing their own thing at the time I felt inspired so I just went with it.
Asides for music, what else in life inspires your songwriting?
Life. I’ve always tried to imagine scenarios from others perspectives and write that way. One of the things I cherish most is the number of people who have stopped me or written to tell me that a song or a record got them through something or made them feel like they weren’t alone. That’s the best feeling and kind of justifies the efforts
You’ve toured with acts like Tokyo Police Club, Mother Mother and Sloan, so I’m sure you’ve got some incredible stories. What is one of your favourite tour memories?
All great people and bands for sure, so many great times were had. I still think the week a few of us spent with Patrick Watson is a highlight for me. We played these beautiful venues packed full of people who actually wanted to listen and having been able to see Patrick Watson and his band every night was a treat in itself.
Which Canadian artists have you listened to the most so far in 2021?
Ken Yates. I could listen to Ken’s song every day for a year and every day notice some brilliant lyrical turn.
As someone who’s written a plethora of beautiful songs for multiple projects, do you have any advice for up and coming songwriters?
It comes and goes. Don’t be upset with yourself if you sit down to write and nothing comes of it but every time you sit down you get a little bit better.
The future is hard to predict right now, but what do you have planned for the rest of your 2021?
Get a vaccine, keep my hands clean and try to understand the methods of elementary school math in 2021.
Do you have any last words for our readers during these crazy times?
Be nice to each other.