K7 IS : Jon McMillion
Interview by Panagioti Venetsano
Exclusive Interview with Jon McMillion
"I just do what I feel. I’m not so concerned with charts or trends, never really have been.There are too many “tracks” out there that sound the same. I don’t want to contribute there."
Seattle based world class musician Jon Mcmillion needs no introduction, but to get the "heat wave of sounds" he has prepared for us, here is a brief description. Wig Water Magic (retired), Vision works II, or else known as Mike ready 2013 has released music on top class record labels. His latest and first full length album, self titled Jon Mcmillion LP on NuEarth Kitchen released via Kompakt, was rated 8 out of 10 on a lengthy print from Pitchfork! Last month, he debuted live at Berlin’s prestige Berghain/Panorama. What he has prepared for us could not have been any more exclusive. Seriously! Crafted and designed for Kyoob, the mix is an hour long raw session titled "Sinking ships". It is an esoteric journey to hypothermia with haunted and blurred out visions- deep and personal.
Jon Mcmillion! No MC spilling lyrics, just a million feelings?
No MC'ing here. But yes, a million feelings for sure.People still ask me if it's my real name. The answer is Yes.
Your father had a major influence on your musical upbringing; both as a Jazz musician and guitarist. What are his thoughts on you going on to producing electronic alienated master pieces?
Well if my Father were still alive, I’m confident he’d be happy with what I’m doing. I know for sure he would have wanted to work on a tune or two together.
Seattle is on the other side of the European electronic music scope and yet your sound has reached a magnificent altitude. How difficult is it to get your message out in your local community?
Great question. After returning back to Seattle from Berlin, I realized that the crowds and the attitude towards music are very different in Berlin. I think that a lot of the German clubs are far more open minded than here. In Seattle there's a lot of Dj's and "Producers" that love the peak time sound and play the most trendiest stuff around. Hey thats cool. But that's not what I'm about and I think people here know that. At the same time I enjoy the luxury of being able to play out anytime I want here. Even though it's not often anymore. People in Seattle are definitely aware of my musical message. But it's for everybody not just Seattle. And of course there are a lot of great musicians here that I really like. A buddy of mine named "Crown Hill Repeater" is making some really cool and inspiring music.
Booked last month at the prestige Panorama Bar has hit a milestone in your heart. Describe your best moment of that night.
That was a magical night, Berghain/Panorama Bar is truly an amazing place. The crowd was fantastic, open minded and full of enthusiasm.There were so many special moments during that long night. However one aspect I’ve been reflecting on was just the amazing vibe of the place, and the professionalism of the staff. Also I had no idea there were so many people out there who knew about my music, and liked it. It was crazy. Huge eye opener.
Daily activity you despise the most?
Hmm, Perhaps it’s the moment when I get off work and I’m too tired to work on music.
As a programmer of various hardware and software, which is the tool you value the most and can't live without?
To be honest tools are tools. I value my imagination, and ingenuity the most.
You have a very special exclusive release ep mix set for Kyoob.tv. What is it all about?
An exploration of song, narrative, and emotion in the form of a Jam session. It's raw. Hopefully folks will find it interesting.
Images transcend into your tracks as a Marion Bauer sonata. Ruthless and raw.Experience is a level also gained by recognition or a talent overshadowed by persistence to succeed in a field crowded by familiar sounds?
I just do what I feel. I’m not so concerned with charts or trends, never really have been. I think producers that are comfortable with being themselves in their productions stand out. There are too many “tracks” out there that sound the same. I don’t want to contribute there.
You lived in Japan. The people in Tokyo love and breathe electronic music.The demographics show a promising working environment. What made you leave?
My time in Japan was brief. I had better income opportunities stateside. But I would love to go there again. That country is very dear to my heart.
How much of an edge did NuEarth Kitchen gain with your presence?
We clearly helped each other. But to be honest Jeremy Grant did all the hard work in getting the label up and going and then all the promotional work. That initial release helped my career and it put NEK on the map. We are family. With NEK I have complete musical freedom. It also helps if the owner of the label is great friend. The whole thing was conceived in my studio one night after a few drinks. We share a common vision for what we think dance music can be.
A man part of different bands - take apart selected aspects of each band and describe in a few words the characteristics of the way each one performs.
Interesting question. The bands I played in were all quite similar. Most of the material was Post-Punk, with some Jazz elements.It's funny you asked this question because recently I got in touch with an old friend that I used to play with and he has some old recordings of us jamming and he's going to get some of them to me. I'm excited and afraid to hear.
Do love relationships annihilates creativity?
Maybe for some. In my experience I've found that the feelings generated from the ups and downs of a relationship can be channeled and used in my creative process.
Osaka Style Ton-Katsu Ramen
An insight to your next EP. With what elements are you playing now?
You can expect something that's honest, different and perhaps a little strange.
Growing up in Seattle Washington, were your teenage years affected by the grunge scene, and what moments do you carry with you until now?
During my teenage years I wasn't so much into the grunge scene. During that period of my life I grew up 3.5 hours east of Seattle in a city called Pasco. I had a close group of friends who were all music lovers. We were much more interested with groups like The Fall, Swell Maps, and east coast Hip Hop. The grunge craze did sweep through our town, but there was much more of a Hardcore punk thing going on there. But speaking on grunge, I'll say that I was a fan of Mudhoney. They introduced me to Electro Harmonix. The moments I carry with my now are that those guys are all still good friends. We keep in touch quite often. They know who they are.
Who do you admire the most?
In a musical sense I really admire Haruomi Hosono. Uwe Schmidt is also a massive inspiration for me. Old Cosmic Disco records are a huge source of inspiration and idea's for me as well.However on a personal level I admire my mother the most
An artist you would love to collaborate with.
Hmm, never really thought about it much. Right now I'm involved in a project with Konstantin Gabbro. He was the co-founder of Orac Records. Great friend, and an amazing producer. The fruits of our labor should be out to market sometime early next year. As for a dream collab I'd have to say working with Hosono would be at the top of my list.
What is the next big thing in your eyes?
I've got a crazy e.p. called "Free Love" coming out on NEK in a month or so by a new alias of mine called "Vision Works II". Next I've got work to resume with my collab with Konstantin, and beyond that a few shows, and completion of the next JM LP.