Every once in a while you come across a band that makes you wish you’d heard of them sooner. Well, Seattle’s got a hidden gem called J Minus and if you appreciate smooth harmonies combined with progressive rhythms, well crafted songs and catchy riffs, then you’ll love what band members Dylan Fant, Trevor Wheetman, Chris Mongillo and Myer Harrell have put together. We interviewed Dylan Fant of J Minus where he discussed the band’s formation, latest album and potential tour plans.
1. How’d you decide on the band’s name?
The name J minus actually comes from an inside joke, like most of our crap….haha….back in 02, Trevor (lead singer) and I were in another band together and he was singing something that went way out of key….so naturally, I made fun of him and started singing something WAY off just to mock him. Then, he came back at me with, “Whatever dude, it wasn’t that bad…I wasn’t singing in the key of J minus or whatever you were just doing.”
It was just something stupid that popped into his head and it stuck with me. In the beginning, I couldn’t sing very well when I was showing him my ideas, and it always seemed to end up in that key….so that’s where I got the name from.
2. How did you all meet and how did you develop your sound?
We met under different circumstances. I met Trevor (the main lead vocal) through a close friend at a party. I had just left my band as a drummer and he was looking for someone. I met Chris (other vocal/guitar) at a gas station through a mutual friend. We met Myer (bass) through Craigslist.
I’ve been working on the sound since I started it back in ’02. It’s just a natural progression really. I just write songs for my own personal enjoyment and expression. Same with the other guys I would guess. Everyone is in charge of their own songs and the way they sound. I write the majority of the material though.
3. Are you guys working on any projects at the moment?
Trevor is currently working on his own solo album. I jump back and fourth between J Minus and a project I started called “Trading Voices”, which is a lot like J Minus only with female lead vocals.
4. Where can fans catch you guys live? Any tours/shows coming up?
We don’t play out live very often actually. We’ll be doing a short tour through Wa/Mt/Id/Or in August.
5. Are there any bands you admire and wish to work with?
Not really haha…that’s just speaking for myself though. I’m sure Trevor would love to work with some of his favorites ie James Taylor, Paul Simon, Van Morrison.
6. What inspires your sound and can you tell us about “Devil Music”?
My sound is inspired by just sitting around in a recording studio playing with different instruments and ideas. I’m also inspired by people I meet and experiences in my life…that’s what I write about mostly.
“Devil Music” is just a funny title to me…like what they used to say about rock and roll back in the day. There are definitely some interesting songs on this album, I like to believe that there are a couple that have a completely original sound to them, and remain in the pop realm….which is not an easy task these days.
7. What are your musical goals and what lessons have you learned so far?
I just want to make a decent living from it. I would be happy to see everyone in the band be able to quit their jobs and live off of music. We don’t need wealth…just a living.
I’ve learned so many things, but the most important is “figure out what makes you happy and try to do it as much as possible while you can”
8. What’s the best piece of advice someone ever told you?
Trevor – “Have a good time, all the time” -Spinal Tap and “Careful that thing’s loaded.”
Myer – “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re not.” – from fortune cookie.
9. What do you guys do when you’re not making music?
Personally, I’m always doing music for the most part. I have a recording studio, so I record and produce other bands for a living. I’m taking a short break to try and animate part of a music video…but that still has something to do with music I guess. Two of the guys work….I’m not really sure what Trevor does haha
10. We’re asking every band we talk to: What’s your favorite restaurant?
We like small burger stands. Anything with the name “Freeze” attached to it….ie Dairy Freeze, Fanci Freeze. They’ve always got awesome burgers and some sort of shake/cone deal.
Check out J-minus’ music and let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
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