Jonfulton Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Jonfulton lyrics)
He's cool, calm, and collective - a lanky laid back guy who speaks with casual swagger and whimsical charm. Joining the new regime of notable singer/songwriters like Pete Yorn, John Mayer, Five For Fighting, and Bob Schneider is Jonfulton, a Seattle native that combines edgy rock beats across a tapestry of intelligent observations and lighthearted reflections.
For Jonfulton (yes, that's his actual first name) it's not so much about the cookie cutter cliches but building off them with catchy chorus lines and meaty grooves to match. "It's about being real with the everyday stuff we all go through while going deeper than just the surface of those issues," explains Jonfulton. "There's a bit of how we tend to deal with those situations, how we resolve that kind of stuff, and some sarcasm sprinkled in for fun."
Playing music has always been fun for this up and coming star, starting with his stint in the local band Solar at the tail end of the grunge movement in Seattle. Jonfulton earned regional acclaim through that act, including appearances at such notable clubs as The Rock Candy, where bands like Nirvana and Alice and Chains got their start. Having spent time in that scene, followed by his departure, Jonfulton developed a greater appreciation for all genres of music.
"I learned that there was more than just heavy, grungy rock, and that other styles of music were just as valid," he recalls. "I never really wanted to open myself up to stuff like country music and R&B, but as I've opened my mind, I found myself drawing from all different areas for influence."
Indeed Jonfulton's preferences have expanded over the years, as has his musical platform since moving to Miami, where he's since honed his vocal chops in a local choir. Little did he know that belting out a medley of spiritually tinged U2 songs during one performance would attract the attention of label executive from the Warner distributed Crowne Music Group. In fact, that record company representative was so impressed with Jonfulton's talents that within weeks they flew him to Nashville to work on demos at The Sound Kitchen with ex-Kansas front man John Elefante.
Jonfulton was signed to the label shortly thereafter, and soon the cards fell into place for his explosive self-titled debut. With the record deal came the interest of the Grammy-winning producer Michael Omartian (whose credits include Rod Stewart, Peter Cetera, and Christopher Cross), along with award-winning songwriter Rick Elias, Kevan Cyka (a former collaborator with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor), and the multi-talented Tony Palacios. All backed Jonfulton on numerous co-writes and production duties, while the final project got the mastering stamp of approval by Richard Dodd (Greenday, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow).
Recorded at The Sound Kitchen, along with Omartian's Sound House and Elias' Wreck Room, the self-titled project draws upon the brilliance of the veteran collaborators, along with Jonfulton's genre bouncing capabilities. The result is a 10-song, acoustic and electric tapestry of straight out rock and roll, alternative stylings, and soothing, coffeehouse flavored jams.
Weather it be the infectious thump of "Shook Up My World," the funky samples found within "Take a Ride" or the relaxed demeanor of "Heavens to Betsy," Jonfulton strives for constant variety and emotional peaks. "The Gallery" has a radio friendly quality to it, while the message is a general overview of what Jonfulton hopes to avoid while climbing the ladder to success. "A lot of people sell out for fame and riches, but [they shouldn't] worry about that so much," he says. "The song is sort of a humorous look at what people do to gain notoriety while it affirms why that's not the path to take."
Even more eventful is "Plain Jane," which is destined to be an anthem for all of those who feel boring and average as a result of their mundane lifestyle. The song talks about making the best out of every situation that comes to spice up the daily grind. "The message is really cool and the sound has a real dirty Tom Petty vibe," notes Jonfulton.
Jonfulton has already generated a hearty buzz thanks to his first round of touring with Australian rockers The Planet Shakers. Plans for the road will continue into the summer and fall, after which the self-titled project will hit stores. Best Buy will be amongst the several retail outlets featuring the disc on their end caps.
Despite the attention, Jonfulton's keeping his feet on the ground and making sure his head doesn't swell. For him, it's more about relating to listeners and winning them over one at a time instead of striving for the temporary satisfaction of a smash single that could eventually be swept under the rug which covers up countless one hit wonders. "I just want to be real with people and for them to connect with what I'm saying," he firmly states. "To me, that's the best thing to be known for as an artist."