Even on the most basic level, listening to Jonas Sees in Color, a band of six musicians from North Carolina, brings to mind great alternative bands from the nineties while introducing a fresh palette of sound that blends a splatter of punk with a subtle pop vibe. And, once you listen to the lyrics, it’s obvious this band isn’t just about making superficial music.
Even the poetic name of the band suggests a depth missing from the average pop-rock band. Inspired from the novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, the band’s name is more than a tongue-twister. According to their website, “The name is a metaphor because one of the most important goals of our music is to create a connection with the listener by accurately connecting the stories and ideas contained in our music in a way that allows the listener to take and interpret the songs as their own.”
The band’s eagerness to connect with their audience harkens back to their small town beginnings. “I’m from a small town in North Carolina called Saxapahaw,” said vocalist Ryan Downing in an email. “We didn’t even have a stoplight there when I was growing up, so it was a very quiet country town. It was so quiet that we decided to make some noise…so we started a band.”
Since then they’ve released a self-titled album and played on a U.S. tour. Before they perform, keyboardist Meagan Beth Plumber, shared this tidbit: “We just hang out together and listen to some good music…like Kings of Leon, The Black Crowes, or Otis Redding. And we beat each other up. Probably too much.”
For more of Jonas Sees in Color, a band who loves to rock out and chill out with each other, check out the tracks below.
“For the Fences”
“I Own These Streets”
“Water On the Rise”
“Luck and Love”
“Outside These Walls”
When did you first know that you wanted to be a musician and how did you get started?
JOHN (drums): "I don't think I even had a choice about becoming a drummer...I've been banging on stuff for as long as I can remember, so it was the perfect instrument for me. High school marching band was really important to me; that's when I really started taking it seriously. We all love making music and I can't imagine any of us doing anything else."
If you could tour with any two musicians or bands in the world, which ones would you choose?
OWENS (guitar/vocals): "Definitely Chris Thile and Nickel Creek. Chris Thile is also in Nickel Creek, but he's just that good. Or the Beatles...maybe we could do that on 'Rock Band'."
What's your favorite candy?
RYAN (vocals): "Sour Patch Kiiiiiiids! We could live off those things!"
What do you do for fun?
MIKEY (bass): "We're pretty active people; we like running, biking, camping, and all kinds of other crazy stuff. Like rocking out. That's my favorite hobby."