Where PJ Feels At Home: An Interview With PJ Bond Part 2
On January 2nd, 2011 I posted the first part of my interview with PJ Bond. If you missed it here is the link in which you can read it.
This evening I am posting the second part which goes more into detail about how PJ feels touring as a solo artist.
Did you grow up in New Brunswick?
No, I went to college in New Brunswick and on my breaks I went home. Once I moved out of the dorms and moved into houses I would stay there all Summer. That’s where I found a couple of guys and started a band called Out Smarting Simon. We then started to tour and occasionally I would stay at my parent’s house and then moved back to New Brunswick. Once Out Smarting Simon stopped touring I started to live in New Brunswick permanently. It wasn’t until 2008-2009 that I actually moved out of New Brunswick. I was pretty much there for about ten years on and off. That to me is why I call it home. My hometown is the most important things that matter to me. I kind of hold an attachment to that place really.
Now what I want to go back and talk about is the bands you were previously in including Out Smarting Simon and The Color Fred. As far as playing in those bands what would you say some of the challenges are playing as a solo artist then when you are playing in a group live with four or five different members? Do you ever miss being apart of those groups when you’re playing live as a solo artist?
I think the hardest part is probably the touring aspect. When you tour with friends or people you don’t know very well, you know I’ve played as a hired musician the first tour I did with one of the one of these bands I had only rehearsed with some members of the bands I think twice for about two to three hours each time and most of the time we spent playing music, so I really got in a van with a bunch of people that I didn’t really know. But eventually we became really great friends.
If you have a long drive and are telling stories together there is something really magical and beautiful about that.
I am actually staying with an old friend of mine right now who played in Out Smarting Simon with me and we went out last night and we brought up a lot of things we loved about touring together. You know when you have the great late night conversations where you get down and deep about things you really care about? Being with three people is a memory I’ll never forget.
Thankfully being alone and touring, as a solo artist has given me the time and opportunity to hop on tours last minute and filling in on tours. When I was in Europe I had six days off and I filled five of them in. I hopped in a van with one of the bands and one of the guys in the band I know was a promoter and would say to the promoters of the clubs “hey, I know this really cool dude…. can he play for ten minutes while were setting up?” Almost with out fail they would say yes. And I would get to play a full set. My set is really easy. I just pretty much get up there and play. So being able to that is really positive and I have had a lot of opportunities to do that.
I think its cool when someone lets me stay at his or her house and would let me stay for three days. You sometimes also don’t get to connect with people when there are four or five other people. There are definitely ups and downs so one of things that work really well for me is I can be stubborn and thick headed about things. Not that I like being that way but I also don’t like the feeling of having to get into fights with my friends about certain things. Example if I am writing a song I don’t have to go to anyone and change anything that I don’t want to. On the contrary I don’t really have anyone there to give me suggestions on ways to make things better.
I found out about almost everything that makes being a solo musician really beautiful so it also has a flip side to it.
Now when you first started playing solo did you ever get nervous about what people would think since you were so used to being in Out Smarting Simon? And that they might be a little bit more harsh with you if they go see you live. Did you have any fears about that?
I guess you could say I wasn’t really worried about that so much. Within that framework you didn’t see me worried but I did however have some self-doubt at times. My first solo show that I remember playing that I guess I would consider solo in this respect I played a few of my actual songs and it turned into an actual PJ Bond set. I was really nervous about that. I ended up playing for a few of my friends in a basement and I had water on one side and whiskey on the other and basically grew into the set. I always like to bring that up to the points of progress and thinking that its now so different from that show. It is definitely a reflection for me.
I really don’t think I get nervous about what other people think. It’s about what my brothers and friends think and how they feel. As far as audience numbers go I am really lucky that I have a lot of really supportive and honest friends.
PJ Bond will be playing at Curmudgeon Records at 31 West Main Street in Somerville, NJ 08876 on Saturday January 8th,2011 with The Waltz (featuring Brian the singer/guitarist of PENFOLD), Michael James, Mike San Giovanni and Brian Bond. Show starts at 7pm and ends at 10pm