The jam band scene is another realm of the music industry. Fans become fanatic and even a small following can yield great results. When a band can combine that with the best of multiple genres they can build something truly great. Our recent find The John Spignesi Band seems to be on this path.
We had the chance to interview John and get behind the scenes of his growth and look towards the future.
With all the wild names, especially in the Jam band scene, what made you decide to stick with The John Spignesi Band?
So originally, JSB was my side group. I had been in another band for five years and wanted to do a solo project for when my main band took time off in the winter. Fast forward to October 2017 and my main group disbanded, leaving me with JSB. I had thought about changing it, but even the members told me to stick with it. So here we are.
I always enjoy when people ask me the name of my group. I always make sure to preface with the fact that I am not that pretentious!
How would you describe the music you make?
I have always thought of myself as a songwriter who picks and chooses from all genres. I never really saw the point in sticking to one genre. It limits the creativity and activity in the process if you feel that you have to “play a certain way.” I think we dabble in a bit of everything: Folk, Rock, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, etc. I guess you will just have to come and hear it for yourself!
Which bands have had the biggest influence on you?
We are fortunate enough to live in a great state with so much great music. I think some of our biggest influences probably are bands like Little Feat, Max Creek, The Grateful Dead, etc. But that’s just in the genre that we play. If you’re talking general influences then the list goes on and on.
With a wide age range between band members, how does it all work together?
When I first recruited all of these guys, I didn’t think about the age range. It didn’t matter to me, and honestly, it still doesn’t. If anything, it gives us an advantage. The band amounts to over 100 years of playing in a live setting. The live setting being so varied depending on who you talk to. Some of us have lots of theory in our playing; some have absolutely none which makes for a great live experience.
I love playing with these guys. I feel like I learn something new every time.
What is your songwriting process to create unique 10-minute jams?
Jamming for us has always been a very natural thing. Nobody has ever “told” someone what to play. We may have ideas, but everyone has their own ability to pick and choose what works for each song.
Regarding the originals, there is always been a structure to the song, but the vehicle in which the jam exists is very free form. Sometimes we will find our way back; sometimes the song will transition and grind down to just space and ambience.
We have a lot of originals that we cycle through. Songs will move in and out of the rotation, depending on how we feel. We never roll with a set list, either.
What advice do you have for other artists creating truly unique music?
I think playing with honesty is the most important. Original music is still very much alive, and if you believe in what you are playing and singing, others will too.
What is coming up for The John Spignesi Band?
We’re in the midst of a great summer run at the moment! Lots of festivals and great shows are happening around these parts. We’re looking at hitting the studio this fall for our second album, so keep on the lookout for that!
Find more from the group:
Instagram: @ JohnSpignesiBand