Jon Stancer is a singer-songwriter and musician. His songs comprise and embrace a variety of popular stylings.
Jon’s new single, ‘Can’t Get It By You’ – about ‘indulgence and deception, gratitude and love’ – and accompanying video are now out and we got a chance to sit down and hear what he had to say about inspiration and his process. Check it out below!
Can you talk to us about the inspiration for your latest single ‘Can’t Get It By You’?
It arose from a fleeting, yet vivid moment. I opt not to divulge what happened exactly as it’s personal, but it led me to do some self-assessment, which was needed at the time, as well as recognize the importance of having people close to you who know you and will call you on your shit and occasionally save you from yourself, even as you’re trying to duck them.
How has your community contributed to your success?
Success? I don’t know. There are definitely people out there who have been very supportive, but I can’t really gauge their impact. So much of it is social media and admittedly, I’m not on there all that much. I haven’t invested in it the way a lot of people do. I do get the importance of it and I’ll use it to promote something or I’ll tweet something that I think is interesting or significant, but I don’t really want to live by ‘likes’ and I don’t want to inform my choices – or my fragile psyche – based on any of that. Success to me, is the ability to do what you love in some capacity, and the people in my life seem to look favourably upon what I’m doing. So at the very least, they’ve contributed by not unfriending me or telling me that I suck.
What advice would you give other musicians?
Hang in there.
Describe to our audience your music-making process.
I write as I record, record as I write. I’ll find a chord progression that I like on a guitar or piano and put it down to a drum loop and try to detect if there may be a song that can potentially evolve from that. I’ll add some parts – try to find a chorus, the verse, map out a structure, etc. – and I may move some parts around; extend, shorten or possibly eliminate some bits and then try to piece it all together in a way that makes sense to me. I’ll then layer some other instruments on to bring out a mood and create a basic arrangement. There may be a working title or lyric that I’ve been humming along to it, which may or may not stick, but it helps me to find the melody. Then, I’ll start trying out lyrical ideas and singing to the tracks…
How did it feel when you released your debut single?
Like when a child leaves home – a little bit nervous, but mostly pleased and relieved.
If you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?
I don’t know who I might get on or work well with. There are many who I respect and admire and whose music I love, and at least a few of those would very likely intimidate me… Elliott Smith would would have been one (he was pure beauty). Jon Brion would be another (a genius). Feist (she’s sublime). And Ween (for obvious reasons)….
My mother’s passion for music seeped out and into me at a young age. She and my older sister played the piano and there were a lot of records around. The radio was on a lot too. My mother has diverse taste. She would listen to classical music and she also liked a lot of the 70s, popsinger-songwriters, as well as Sinatra and Cleo Laine. When John Lennon was killed – that fully opened my eyes and ears. That’s when I really started to become immersed… Reading, listening, studying, playing, practicing, writing, recording, repeat…
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