Milwaukee's hot sauce! Jonathan Burks will be sure to wake you up your senses! I was able to talk to Jonathan about completing a question and answer session for The Examiner. He graciously accepted. I think you'll enjoy his answers... If you like what you hear, shoot him an email and request that he tour in your town!
What are your first memories of being inspired by music?
The video for 'Welcome to the Jungle' was pretty much amazing. I'm embarrassed about almost all of my middle-school tape collection (Nelson, Winger, tons of Poison, Whitesnake, White Lion, Warrant, Ugly Kid Joe, Slaughter, Skid Row... and ever so painfully on and so on) but Appetite For Destruction was and still is a great album. I played that tape over and over on my blessed and beastly 4-battery Sony Walkman. 'Appetite', and for some reason, David Lee Roth's 'Eat 'em and Smile', I could not get enough of. The video for 'Yankee Rose' was great. It had that weird and sleazy skit in the beginning. Super odd and fun. And then the music kicks in and Dave is doing karate-style kicks off of huge amplifier stacks in ass-less spandex. Awesome.
When did you start writing or composing or playing an instrument? Or both?
I got a guitar for my birthday when I was 15 and started taking lessons. The first half of the half-hour would be music theory stuff; scales and chords and such - the second half I got to learn whatever song I brought in. I paid more attention to the 2nd half. There was a lot of hair-metal/cock-rock going on in the 2nd half. See Answer to Question 1.
Tell me about your first band.
The band's name was "Sphere's of Influence." I've said way too much already.
What is your songwriting process like? When do you write best? Where do you write best?
It's like vomiting rainbows. In the morning. In the study.
Where do you enjoy performing the most?
Corner bars. May they forever roam in 6 and 12-packs through this lush and fertile land.
Who do you collaborate musically with?
Patient and generous people with good taste.
Tell me about touring. Are there particular cities or venues you enjoyed performing at? Which cities or venues were particularly welcoming?
The Green Frog Cafe in Bellingham, WA was awesome. I've never been out east. I lost a guitar and/or got rolled in Phoenix (alcohol). I performed to an audience of 2 bums in Minneapolis and 2 completely druuuuuunk dudes in Seattle. I've never played down south but I would like to.
Give us a memorable story of being on the road.
One time... I almost got laid.
Where do you see yourself musically in 5 years?
-At the Broadway premiere of my science-fiction hip-hopera, 'Alien Luv 3: Curse of the Space Jerks.'
Which venues would you like to perform at (where you haven't performed already?)
Coming soon to a basement/bar/parking lot/living room/loft/campground/back-alley near you!
What is one of your favorite lyrics from your songs and why?
"I keep on writing ramblin' songs but I aint goin' no place" because - well, self-effacing humor is one of my strong points.
Where does music fit in your life? Is it a hobby? Is it an escape? Is it your life's purpose?
It's an expensive hobby, a cheap escape, and a lively purpose.
Who is your ideal audience?