Interviews

Jon Worthy & the Bends Talk New Music and How Touring Has Changed Their Lives

Recently we got the chance to sit down with Jon Worthy of Jon Worthy & the Bends, and talked working with Cage the Elephant’s Lincoln Parish, the band’s creative process, their latest record and more! Check it out below!

How has the release of Only A Dream changed the day-to-day schedule for the band?

We’ve really ramped up our touring schedule! We’re on the road every single week and will be through October. Getting to work with Lincoln Parish of Cage the Elephant on Only A Dream was an amazing experience, and I feel like people really dig what we did with Lincoln. There’s definitely some name recognition that comes with working with someone like Lincoln, and we’re proud that the music speaks for itself.

Do you have a favorite song off of the upcoming album?

If I had to pick I would say “This Ain’t the Way.” I love sad songs, and it’s the saddest song on the album. The inspiration for the song came about in a really interesting way, too. The song was written about one person but inspired after an interaction with a different person. The song pretty much sums up one of the most important relationships of my life so far and how it’s really difficult to shake losing such a pivotal person from your life.

And the instrumentation we used with Slice playing the accordion and xylophone and Mike with the laid back groovy drum beat is intriguing. The song was originally just going to be me and an acoustic guitar, but after jamming on it as a band, we decided to make it a full band song, and I couldn’t be happier about that decision!

How has the creative process changed from your first, to now, third, full-length album?

Overall, the songwriting process for me has remained the same as far as sitting on my bed with an acoustic guitar and writing songs. However, the more we play together, the more we jam songs out at rehearsals and on the road. Some of my favorite songs come about as we’re just jamming at rehearsal and we start playing a simple riff or chord progression. And when I do bring a completed song to rehearsal, the process of forming it as a band has become more collaborative. We almost always change the structure of the song or switch up how I originally wrote the song.

What stop are you most excited to visit on tour this summer?

That’s a tough one! There are so many shows we’re excited about. On June 29, we’re playing our album release show in Pittsburgh, which is where I grew up, so getting to play the new album in front of family and friends will be amazing. We’re also super excited about Musikfest 2019. Getting to play on a festival stage and be on a lineup with Incubus, Train, Steve Miller, and Weezer will be such an honor, and we get to play outside, which is always a blast.

What is the inspiration behind the title of the new album, Somethings Gotta Give?

The title has two meanings. The first meaning comes from years of relentlessly grinding within the music industry and giving it everything we have. We feel like we’re getting better at writing, performing, booking, social media, and just hope that with the combination of hard work and execution, maybe we’ll get a break and can actually make this thing our full-time living.

The other meaning has to do with what’s now a finished relationship. For the last year and a half, I was trying to win back a very special lady from long distance, and it just didn’t work out. So from that standpoint, something did give, just not the way I wanted it to.

If there was one band or artist that you could open up for who would it be?

This answer would change for each person in the band, but for me, it would be Pearl Jam. I’ve seen them live six times now, and each time is a different unique experience. The aura when they play live is indescribable, and to be able to share the stage with them would be an amazing experience. Hopefully, we get to jam “Rockin in the Free World” with them at some point.

How has being based in Nashville affected the band’s sound?

I think you can certainly hear the Nashville sound on our newest album with the violin and more acoustic instrumentation. I think the biggest effect Nashville has had on us is the competitive nature of Nashville. Every local show you go to here, you see an amazing unknown artist, and it inspires you to get better and write more and more. The people I’ve been fortunate to work with have also helped make my songwriting more concise and cut out the unnecessary parts of a song that I used to implement into my songs.

What’s a top goal for the band to achieve in 2020?

As of now, the plan is to quit our jobs and hit the road full time. So, hopefully, we can be self-sustaining even if that means eating only peanut butter sandwiches and sleeping in the van. We want to play close to 200 shows, play more festivals and hopefully start working on our fourth album.

We love meeting people on the road and seeing new places, so getting to see more of the country and meet people from all over is also something we’re very excited about.

How have the first two singles, “Chasing Dreams” and “Takin My Time,” laid the foundation for the rest of the album?

I think those two songs are a good barometer for the rest of the album. They both have a violin in them, which is a big part of the album. “Chasing Dreams” is about our musical journey thus far and how tough it’s been, while “Takin’ My Time” is about finding your way after a relationship ends and how that’s affected me. Those are the two main themes on the album. I think people will be pleasantly surprised by the change in sound from our prior music and there are songs on here that everyone can relate to.

What song off the new album are you most excited to perform live?

There are two! “Turn My World Around” has such a different feel from verse to chorus. The rhythm change into the chorus is really fun and a good time to sing. “One More Day” also has a nice contrast from verse to chorus and has an easy sing-along chorus that I think people will enjoy!

Check out Jon Worthy & the Bends music below!

Featured Image: Instagram (@jonworthymusic)

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