Jona Ready To Really Wail
By Matt Reekie
Jona Weinhofen has revealed to BLUNT his reasons for leaving Orange County’s Bleeding Through and joining the UK’s Bring Me The Horizon.
In the latest edition of BLUNT – issue #82 on sale in Australia and New Zealand until August 11, 2009 – Weinhofen claims the decision to quit Bleeding Through was a tough one that only came about after some intense self-appraisal.
In the exclusive interview, Weinhofen also reveals how he came to being offered a trial to become the permanent guitarist for Bring Me The Horizon, and discusses his future plans for I Killed The Prom Queen.
The following transcript is but merely a taste…
Did you quit Bleeding Through because of personal issues?
No, none of it was personal at all. I still love all the guys and girl. It was more a personal thing for me in that I’d done my time in the band. I just started re-evaluating my life and my situation. I’d done two years and I wasn’t quite sure it was going somewhere I was comfortable spending the next few years dedicating my time to.
Did Bleeding Through never feel like a proper home?
It’s funny because Orange County for me now does feel like home. The actual place felt like home and I made some good friends over there. As far as the band went, even though I’d written some stuff and done the record with them and everything, the way the band was run was not what I was used to. I felt less involved obviously than I had been in my previous bands, and after two years it still never felt like my thing. Prom Queen was a band that I started from the ground up, and I felt like I needed something like that again. I know that sounds hypocritical now that I’ve gone and done the exact same thing and joined Bring Me The Horizon, but this just came up out of nowhere and it was an opportunity I didn’t want to let pass without giving it a crack.
How did you get approached about the Bring Me The Horizon gig?
I’ve been mates with the guys for a few years, we’ve toured together with Prom Queen, I talk to Oli [Sykes] online every now and then when we’re both online at the same time and it just came up in conversation. I told him I was leaving Bleeding Through, then a few days later I spoke to him again and he told me Bring Me The Horizon were gonna kick Curtis [Ward] out, or that there was a mutual split going on there, but even after that conversation nothing came about. Then a few days later we were talking again and I said, ‘Hey, if you are stuck for anyone to play for you just give me a shout because in a month I’m not going to be doing anything,” and then from there it developed into, “Why don’t you come and fill in for a few months?” “Why not come and fill-in and try-out to be in the band?” At the time it was agreed that I would fill-in for the band I was told they didn’t have any other contenders for a replacement, they had no one in mind and the option they had for an immediate fill-in was their guitar tech and he’s got his own job to do. He ended up saving them at the end of the US tour after Curtis left but he was trying to play and be the guitar tech at the same time, which wasn’t working. So since no one else was in the running for it and I’d known the band for a few years, I guess I seemed like a pretty good candidate. They already knew me personally, they’d already seen me play a bunch, so it wasn’t like I had to go through some sort of strict audition process. And the same for me, I quit Bleeding Through for all these reasons like wanting to go home and wanting to take some time off and wanting to do my own thing and so now I need the opportunity to give this a go and see if it’s the right thing for me. So this trial period is really on both sides. There are so many things to consider.
Whatever happens with BMTH, is I Killed Prom Queen something you’d like to revive again?
I don’t want to confirm anything because everything is subject-to-change and everyone has their own things going on. JJ [Peters] has got Deez Nuts and now he’s got a new hip-hop group, Grips & Tonic, which are both booming. Kevin [Cameron]’s got In Trenches, which is taking off. I don’t know what Sean [Kennedy]’s doing. He was in Deez Nuts for a bit but now I think he’s decided to stop touring. [Michael] Crafter’s got god knows what going on. He runs failedbigbrotherstar.com or something? And now that I’ve got this Bring Me The Horizon thing, everyone schedules are pretty full-on. So we’d like to do continue to do stuff. At the time the band split we were in dire circumstances and it felt like something we needed to do to kick ourselves up the arse and give ourselves a reality check. Now that it’s been so long and we’ve done that last tour and the DVD and everything like that, we’re a bit wiser and we’ve got it in perspective. We know what we would want to achieve out of the band, rather than blow every cent we make in Australia trying to make it big all over the world, it just seems like something we could do as a part-time thing and just put or records and tour Australia every now and then and have fun with it, rather than take it so serious.
It’s pretty common for musicians to have other musical outlets these days.
It maybe seemed like more of a strange idea a few years ago but nowadays lots of people have other bands, like Corey from Slipknot with Stone Sour and all that. It’s difficult when you get stuck in the same genre, sometimes you want to branch out and try new things. That’s what it seems like we’ve done with all going off and doing different things; especially JJ. Prom Queen were essentially a metal band or a metalcore band and now he’s in a hip-hop influenced hardcore band and an actual hip-hop group. So we’ve done different things and now maybe we can go back to Prom Queen with a fresher outlook on the whole thing.
For the full story, pick up a copy of BLUNT Magazine #82, onsale in all good newsagents throughout Australia and New Zealand until August 11, 2009.
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