To Whom It May
December 18th, 2018
There's a great new progressive metal band on the scene called To Whom It May. The Galveston, Texas-based trio released their first full-length album, The Great Filter, this past summer.
The outfit recently finished up a tour with Drowning Pool and is currently on tour with 10 Years and they will be making a stop at Scully’s Music Diner on December 27th.
We had the chance to chat with lead singer/guitarist Jonathan Jourdan to discuss their album and upcoming appearance in Columbus.
Greg Drugan: Hey Jonathan, how was the tour with Drowning Pool?
Jonathan Jourdan: Oh man, those guys were great. It was a fun run, it’s good to get out around Texas. You can get out and drive for fifteen hours and still be in Texas! It’s like going on a cross-country tour but never leaving the state.
GD: Ohio is a decently sized state, but nothing like Texas I’m sure.
JJ: It’s awesome up there too; we love Ohio and can’t wait to get back! But Texas is a thing of its own for sure.
GD: You're going to be playing in Columbus with 10 Years at the end of the month. So you’ve played in Ohio before?
JJ: Yeah, it’s been a few years since we’ve been in the Ohio area. I think we were out on a run with our friends in Nothing More. We’ve been on the road with 10 Years before and it’s always a good time. We’re excited to get back to Ohio!
GD: We’re happy to have you back! You guys released your debut album The Great Filter this past summer. How would you describe your music?
JJ: We’re all fans of many different styles, but one thing we all really love is progressive music and songs that groove. But some of the best songs are just an acoustic guitar and a singer. We wanted to blend all of those ideas and bring shades of progressive music to many people that aren’t into progressive music. It all changes from song to song but I would say "progressive/alternative" would be a good way to describe it.
GD: That’s great. I really love the album, you’ve got some really rockin’ tunes and then you have some progressive stuff on there as well. Many people have said that rock is dead but I think you and your band are proving that wrong. Where do you think rock music has gone?
JJ: I think things change. Years ago, everybody wanted to be in a rock band, but now people aren’t into unless they really love it. I feel that we don’t have a thousand rock bands coming out of our hometown, but the ones that are coming out are really passionate and really care about it. I don’t think rock will ever die. That’s just a silly concept for me. People are just trying to control the market with their phrases and buzzwords. Rock's not dead! The most amazing music has been coming out recently in the last fifteen years. I think we are at a strong point as far as the rock industry goes.
GD: Like I said, I really enjoyed the entire album, particularly “Descend” and “Calculate.” What’s your favorite track on the album?
JJ: Those two really stand out. “Calculate” is our current single. That one really struck a chord with us. “Bypass” and “Ghost,” those songs are really special to me. Really, the whole album is real special. I know that’s cliche but our goal was to be different and not to regurgitate the same idea.
GD: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
JJ: Everything from when I was a young kid like Metallica, Sepultura, David Bowie and Pink Floyd to Bootsy Collins. Anything that had passion behind it. Anything that we could get our hands on, we would love to take it in and absorb it like a sponge.
GD: Who was the first band you saw in concert and how did that affect you?
JJ: I honestly really don’t know! I’ve been to so many concerts but the one that really stands out was Summer Sanitarium when I was a kid. It was Metallica, Linkin Park, Mudvayne, Limp Bizkit and The Deftones. It was such a stacked bill and all of these bands were in the limelight at the time. It was just a powerful movement.
Back when we were kids, we would go to OzzFest or Warped Tour and you would go to see one band, but then you would stumble on another band that maybe you never heard of. It was such a cool experience to just kinda fall into a new band.
GD: At what age did you start playing the guitar?
JJ: I think I was about eight years old. I fiddled around with it and then started taking it serious about three years after that. I started playing live, actually with our drummer Dexas. Our first show was when I was eleven and he was nine years old. So we’ve been playing together for a long time.
GD: So you were friends with Dexas growing up, where did you meet up with Robb to form the band?
JJ: We had a previous band called Mellow Vine that we were in for about nine years. Towards the end of that, we were looking for another bass player and Robb was in another project. We really loved his performance and stage presence and we told him that we were looking for a bass player. When that band came to the end of its cycle, he jumped on board. Then we said that we needed a singer, and we started to lay the groundwork for To Whom It May and I became the singer out of necessity, basically. It’s really been a learning experience for all of us. It’s the first time we’ve been a in a three-piece, it’s the first time I’ve been a singer.
GD: When did you figure out you had a voice? I would have never thought that this was your first time signing because you have a great voice.
JJ: I appreciate that man! It really came out of necessity. Being in this band, I just figured I’d take a stab at it and it’s been a learning experience for sure. I’m still trying to find my voice. We knew we wanted to write an album that we really believed in. I just started writing more and more lyrics and more and more melodies. Instead of trying to tell someone to sing it like this, I felt like maybe I should try and sing it.
GD: You also have a pretty unique band logo, who designed it?
JJ: I designed that. The goal of the logo was we wanted something to represent the band, but not spell out the band name. I hate wearing merchandise that makes me feel like a billboard. I don’t want to feel that I’m advertising for someone. I wanted to make it a more personal relationship to whoever is wearing the merchandise or sporting the logo. If you know who the band is, you know what the logo is. If not, you assume it’s just a design.
GD: I think it’s pretty cool. What are your plans for 2019, more touring or new music?
JJ: All of the above! We're starting the year by wrapping that tour up with 10 Years. Then we'll go out to California for NAMM. Then in February, we will be going out on the road with our friends in Candlebox. Then we will be writing new music and getting into the studio and working on new stuff!
GD: So being with Candlebox, are you headed up to Cleveland or are you going to be in Ohio?
JJ: We are going to be in Ohio with Candlebox. We haven’t announced any dates yet, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to be in Columbus.
GD: That's great! What can fans expect from you show?
JJ: We try to leave it all on the stage. We try to go back to the place where we recorded the songs. We’re all about honesty and honesty through music. We can’t help but get into it on stage. It’s a very transparent thing for us. We have a good time and we try to replicate our album as best we can.
GD: Are you guys playing seven or eight songs from the new album?
JJ: We are playing the whole album, or as much as we can as time allows. If we have a 30-minute set we play seven or eight songs. If we have a longer set, we play until they turn the power off!
GD: Jonathan, I wish you guys success on this tour and I hope you guys make it up to the Cleveland/Akron area sometime.
JJ: Thank you for having me.
Be sure to check out To Whom It May when they open up for 10 Years on December 27th at Scully’s Diner in Columbus. They are sure to put on a great show!