We had a few brief moments to speak with Jonathan Bannon Maher, a singer-songwriter about his latest single, The Fallout of Love.
How did you begin to perform? What artists and styles most influence your overall sound?
When I was around thirteen, I had dinner with Blink 182 at Taco Bell, shortly before they played at a nearby roller skating rink in northern California to a crowd of a maybe fifty. I was amazed at how good they were live, that there was almost no one there, and that they played the show like it was a sellout arena — of course they went on to sell out arenas, so seeing that transition for people I had that early experience with was notably inspiring and influential. When I transitioned from piano to guitar in the 9th grade, I began writing song lyrics, having already had experience writing poetry, and even a children’s book. I progressed to regularly performing, with very successful outcomes, at battle of the bands shows in high school, and open mic nights in college. Additional significant and persistent influences include Bush, Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse, and U2.
How can interested readers find out more about yourself and your music?
Through my books and music, available at my website for free, and which can be found by doing a search for my name. My last book was part auto-biographical, covering my life span through age 29, and part ideas, since implemented by world leaders, and endorsed by Kings as well as a Prime Minister who wrote this it is “A pointing of horizons and goals to which we must be aware. The quest for harmony and a blend of attitudes that could reach the heights of the global and total dignity of human beings.” To listen to additional music, I have some YouTube videos available. The Fallout of Love, and both of my books, are also available through all major digital retailers.
How did The Fallout of Love move from initial thought to finished effort? What was the recording process for the single like?
In composing this song I blended personal experience, fiction, storytelling and market research. I read through the lyrics of the top several hundred best selling songs of all time, and found romance and pain were the most common themes, and shaped my lyrics accordingly. I also found a 4/4 time signature, at a fixed range of beats per minute, were most common among top selling songs, and that served as a framework my guitar and percussion accompaniment. I exhaustively searched the Internet and found the best producer I could in the United States, who would work with someone who wasn’t signed to a major label, and spent two or three sessions with him recording, editing, and mastering.
What significance does the song possess?
It was intended to have the significance people believe it has. I’ve found many of my favorite compositions make indefinite references that allow people to project their own feelings and experiences on to what was written. I think back to my literature and poetry classes when I was in high school and college, and remember classmates debating the meaning of passages, what the author or character was thinking, feeling, and finding interesting the range of potentially valid interpretations. Such fluidity in perceptions seemed a recurring component of temporally durable writing.
What other sorts of pursuits/passions do you pursue on a daily basis?
Activities change throughout the year as I spend colder seasons in the south and summers at my family’s lake house outside of New York City, though in descending order of daily regularity: writing software, books, and music; movies; theme parks; museums; zoos.
What has provided more of your fans – iTunes/Rhapsody, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or traditional word of mouth?
I’m not sure I have enough fans to characterize their source in a way that would benefit others. I have over ten-thousand Facebook fans, which was principally a result of that being the first platform I found to be viable for promotion, though there are many others now. It’s difficult for anyone to gain unpaid organic traction to build a fan base, unless you’re that rare YouTube sensation like Justin Bieber, because as revenues decline for traditional top tier media, they’re less likely to invest in a story, and new media platforms have become crowded and structured for monetization rather than virality. I’ve had offers to place stories in top tier media outlets and secure spots on top talk shows, though I’ve yet to prioritize the deployment of resources in that pursuit, and in the end, someone can’t be your fan without first being aware you exist.
We are still pretty early in 2015. What goals do you have for the year?
“Ask not…” I’ve learned to only talk openly about what I’ve done rather than where I’m going, for the reason that notable goals can attract as many detractors as supporters.
Thank you so much for your time. Do you have any final thoughts for us at NeuFutur?
Thanks for taking the time to interview me James.