Jonas Martin set to release new album, The Color Scheme
The tough part about Jonas Martin is that because his music is so uniquely different from anything else out there, it's hard to describe him to someone who hasn’t heard him before. You find yourself having to use at least a couple different artists or genres to do his sound justice...and Jonas wouldn’t have it any other way. His sophomore album, The Color Scheme, is a soulful genre-blending collection of songs that get better with every listen. We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the album before it comes out on August 26th and can’t wait for everyone else to hear it. In anticipation of his new album release, we met up with Jonas to talk about The Color Scheme, his creative music videos, and of course his vinyl collection.
Let's talk about The Color Scheme. What is the meaning behind the name of the album and what were some of your main influences while writing this album?
There are a lot of meanings behind it, obviously it's a double entendre. I dedicated it to my father who passed away a couple years ago. I equated it to this whole metaphor of returning to being happy. In the simplest terms, you could say The Color Scheme was this whole metaphor of the happiness/color being taken away from me and trying to figure out what I needed to do to put it back in my life, and be able to live the way I want to live. All of the songs on the album were written since my Dad died. I think the album reflects what I went through and how I came to terms with the way I need to be living.
Any lessons learned between your first album and the new one?
For sure. When I recorded my first record I was playing in the band, Goodnight Ned. I was still in the band when I released that album, and the thing about that band was that we had three songwriters, so I was writing a lot more songs than I was able to get into the band’s circulation. So at some point I thought, you know I'd be fine if I just went ahead and put together an album on my own to see what happens and what I can do— it will be a fun experiment. Because I was in a band, I wrote in a way that relied on other people to help me fill in the blanks, and with this new album I wrote with much more intent. I am also more seasoned studio-wise and have a second chance at being the leader, instead of just a part of the leadership in a band. My producer, Jason Burt, left his indelible mark on this album and he’s gotten better just as I have. We’ve both grown in the studio working together.
You seem to blend a lot of different genres and sounds together to really create a unique album, who are some influences for this album?
So the huge influences when it came to the production were Beck and The Gorillaz, but I really wanted to go for a modern indie rock sound. I didn't want to fit into the Dallas mold—I don't want to talk shit about anybody's style in Dallas—but a lot of people are doing the throwback stuff. I'm trying to stay away from too specific of a mold. I like to blend genres if I can. One of my biggest influences are The Beatles—they loved to try and do their own version of what they liked and mix it all together. I’m not trying to say I'm the most unique songwriter. I just don't want to go into the studio saying, “I want this to sound exactly like this album that came out forty years ago”.
You recently got married, has that been an influence at all for you on this album?
I haven’t written a song since I got married, but there are two songs that I wrote for my wife before we got married. One of them is “Wannabe,” which ended up being a single I specifically wrote for her. But, I realized halfway through writing it that it had these creepy sexual connotations in it. I was genuinely trying to write this song where I was saying to her, “I always wanna be there for you, I'm your best friend, and you can always come to me,” but as the lyrics started coming out I realized I could turn it into this creepy narrative about a guy who is really trying to get into somebody’s pants and is lying his ass off. So I kind of went that direction with it, so it's not really about her. But, the one that really is about her is called “Dumbstruck AF”...as fuck (laughter). And that is literally about the day I met her and our first date.
One of the things that I think makes you stand out the most is your super creative and hilarious music videos, where do you get inspiration for those?
I'm a very collaborative person, I can never really take credit for anything I've done. I’m very selective about the people I choose to be involved, and for music videos, that's the director. I've received the most attention from this last video, “Let Them Drown”. I worked with Jon Collins who has worked with a lot of Dallas people. The thing I liked about Jon is that he had his own ideas and didn't always agree with me.
I put a lot into the videos too. I had a couple choices on how I could get my music out there. The classic strategy is to tour cities over and over again, which is an expensive thing to do when you are completely independent. So I thought, this day and age people go viral on the internet. It seems like a good tool to use to expand my fan base across the country with the hope that someone is going to see me, want to invest in me, and send me on a tour.
We always have to ask since our name is Crate Diggers...Do you collect vinyl, and if so what is your collection like?
I was raised on albums. My dad showed me Dark Side of The Moon as a kid and I was like...who would listen to only one song on this album, you have to listen from start to finish...and I love that. An album to me is like going to an art gallery show. You aren’t just seeing this one painting, you’re seeing a collection of what this artist has done in a specific span of time. I’ve become way into vinyl in the past couple years— I never really grew up with it so I didn't know much about it. I didn't really have any vinyl before my Dad passed away, but the last time I saw my Dad, we were sitting out in his garage and I was going through his vinyls asking to keep some of them—he passed away two days later and I inherited his whole collection.