You began writing music at the age of nine. How did you get involved with the arts at such a young age? Did you already know it was something you wanted to pursue?
“Well, the fact that I was so young when I started writing songs makes me believe that it was never something that I consciously wanted to do. Instead, it was something that came very easily and naturally to me. I just started doing it, without thinking really. Over the course of my life I’ve realized it’s something that I love doing. Writing is a great way to get strong emotions off my chest. Writing was just something that’s always been in me.”
What was the first song you learned how to play on the guitar?
“That’s a good question [laughs]. It was actually “Friend of the Devil” by Grateful Dead.”
You were just in the UK and covered MJ’s “Human Nature” (vote for Jon in our “Human Nature” Cover Wars “here.). What is your favorite song to cover?
“Ooh. What is my favorite song to cover? Recently, I’ve covered a lot of Michael Jackson songs. My band and I covered “Earth Song” which was pretty fun. “Human Nature” is a great song to cover too. But, in all the years of covering songs, “Somebody to Love” by Queen has got to be my favorite.”
What was your favorite thing to see/do while in the UK?
“Definitely singing “Somebody to Love” outside of Freddie Mercury’s house! That was a very spiritual moment for me. I also loved playing all the shows. I loved getting to meet people in London who actually knew my songs. Just being in the UK was very special to me. I really liked getting to know the culture.”
Speaking of your original songs, your “Take My Time” Music Video was recently released. You filmed in the desert for a part of it. What was that experience like?
“That was awesome! It was a concept that was developed by Brad DeCecco whose a great photographer. We spent two weeks filming it. We started off in Salt Lake City, Utah, and traveled with an awesome crew and actress (Brooke Kelly who played my love interest) all the way to Reno, Nevada. We shot in 10 of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever seen. It was very cool experience.”
Do you have a favorite scene from the music video?
“I really like the scene where I’m sitting with Brooke in the hotel, and we keep changing our positions on the bed. I think the camera trick made it look really cool. That’s my favorite scene from the video, but my favorite scene to shoot was the one where I was walking in the “desert”. That place was actually a sand dune called Sand Mountain in Nevada. It’s this huge mountain that’s dried up now, but it’s not actually a desert. It’s just a huge mountain of sand, but when you’re in it, it’s so large, you actually feel like you’re in a desert.”
Was it extremely hot to film on location at Sand Mountain?
“Super hot! We filmed in the summer, so it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit when we filmed. I wore the same outfit in every scene. That flanel shirt and jeans, so it was definitely very hot. Now that I mention it, I guess my favorite scene to film was the scene where I walk into the water. That felt really good [laughs].”
Little Daylight just remixed “Take My Time”. What can you tell us about the remix?
“Little Daylight is a new band who got discovered because they did an amazing remix for Passion Pit and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They asked me if they could remix “Take My Time”, and I was super honored. Little Daylight are actually touring right now, and playing their own material. I’m a huge fan of theirs! I think they’re a band we’re all going to be hearing a ton of stuff from in the near future. I’m really excited about the remix they did. I think it sounds awesome! Can’t wait to share it!”
What’s your favorite song off of Late Night Champ?
“I really like “Save, Apologize, Go”. It’s musically more of a dynamic song. It always sticks out to me when I occasionally listen to the record. But, one of the more meaningful songs to me is “Take My Time”. That song expresses the way I’ve been feeling for a lot of years. I’m still looking for the right home and partner. “Take My Time” means a lot to me!”
We saw on Twitter that you’re actually writing new music today! What are you currently working on?
“[Laughs]. That’s great that you saw that picture! I’ve been writing songs all day. I’m working on four-five new songs at once. Every day my ADD comes out, so I jump from one song to the next. Today, I’m really inspired by something I’m writing. I think the song will have an electronic flare to it!”
Can you tell us about your upcoming tour with James McCartney?
“Yeah! I’m playing four shows with James in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. I’m super excited! I’m a huge Beatles fan, so that connection is very cool for me. James is an amazing musician! I’m really looking forward to getting to know him, and his music!”
Favorite Beatle? “Oh no that’s hard, because I love Paul McCartney and John Lennon so much! If it’s a lightning round, I gotta go with Paul!”
Favorite tennis player? “Andre Agassi.”
Favorite city to play in? “New York City.”
Favorite restaurant? “Oh man! Hmm…that’s also so hard! I have so many favorite places to eat! I’m going to go with a place I call Fancy Deli, which is really a place called 5th Avenue Market. It’s a bodega, and they have the most amazing sandwiches. I probably go there four-five times a week.”
Favorite animal? “Cat.”
Favorite TV show? “The Sopranos!”