The Body Rampant first caught our attention on Twitter. Jon, the mastermind behind the music, regularly posts updates sharing his thoughts and he’s not afraid to voice his opinion especially when it’s concerning music. What sparked our interest in particular was his views on band image and why he feels songwriting is more important, we have to agree. The music of The Body Rampant is impressive and intelligent, the songs are well crafted and varied, what’s not to like? Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby caught up with Jon via e mail…
Cat On The Wall: How did The Body Rampant come about? Is there a story behind the name?
Jon Mathew Lopez: The Body Rampant originally formed out of the ashes of our previous band Every Bridge Burned.
A few of us left to write more abstract rock music, but I ended up taking on the biggest role and stuck with it.
However Beast was put together by me and several good friends. ‘Static Hands’ and ‘Empty Season’ were composed when we were in high school and was written by one of my best friends Cory Barrows on piano. Basically, this project is highly experimental was will continue to shift gears musically through the years. We got our name out of a Jim Morrison poetry book, I’ve always loved his lyrics and way about things, and how he doesn’t give a fuck about anything.
COTW: You mention playing all the instruments on ‘Framework’. Do you find there are any differences working alone in comparison to working with other musicians? Do you prefer one over the other? Do you have a favourite instrument, if so what is it?
JML: I started playing guitar when I was 9 years old. It got me into songwriting and shaped my style as an artist.
I just started playing drums for real last month and it’s by far my favourite instrument, highly because you can sit there and beat the living shit out of it all day. Framework was a unique experience because it was written and recorded very fast. Written in less than two weeks and recorded in three days, we just wanted a really stripped down feel. I loved putting together all the pieces myself without the distraction of other people dragging me down. However, jamming with my friends is the funniest thing ever so there will always be the guys behind me doing work!
COTW: Who or what inspires you when composing music? What is your creative process?
JML: Usually I just pick up whatever instrument and start jamming. I hit record on my little hand held recorder, and just jam.
I try to let all my inhibitions go. Just play. Then later on if I’m lucky I’ll have some ideas tracked down. After about a week I have a ton of riffs and ideas and I compose them together. I then hum melodies and random lyrics over the music until I love what I hear and have a full page of poetry written down.
COTW: You said on Twitter about how certain bands focus on image over songwriting. The Body Rampant has a very artistic image particularly with regard to the official website and the artwork for your releases. What did you mean when you said bands focus more on image?
JML: I think bands these days need to worry less about their cookie cutter played out image and work more on their music and transitions.
COTW: Will you be touring soon? Do you enjoy the live experience? What is your live setup?
JML: I will be doing brief west coast tours while I write and record my debut full length album.
My current gear setup includes:
Fender Big Apple Stratocaster
Mesa Boogie Vintage Triple Rectifier
Orange 4×12 (black)
Ludwig 1972 drum set. 24 inch kick drum.
Seluda Cymbals, George L’s cables, Line 6/Boss pedals.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
JML: I plan to release 4 full length albums this year! Very busy!!!
Interview by Jo Whitby