ďMusically confident and emotionally vulnerable. His lyrics are
refreshing and pleasantly unusual.Ē
ďExploring charged-up power pop, alternative country, classical
and sacred music structures, new wave, and other experimental instrumentation
within an acoustic rock framework, Rundman has garnered much acclaim, and for
SILICON VALLEY METRO
ďDo we really need another singer/songwriter who rambles on
about life, love, politics, and the pursuit of happiness? When he is as
melodically crafty and lyrically sharp as Jonathan Rundman, the answer is an
Youth Encounter alum Jonathan Rundman has just released a new
CD, Public Library. Jonathan kindly took some time recently to answer a few
questions about his latest release, his artistic style and life as a new Dad.
Read the full interview here (and donít forget to check out his website, www.jonathanrundman.com
on the new CD! What were the most fun and challenging aspects about making this
The most fun thing about making the new album Public
was working with my producer Walter Salas-Humara and his band
The Silos. Walter is one of my musical heroes, and Iíve been a fan of The Silos
since I was in high school. In fact, when I was touring with Youth Encounter on
the North Central Captive Free team back in 1989-90, The Silos released their
major-label debut album on RCA, and I remember buying that album (on cassette!)
at a record store called Ernie Novemberís in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I
listened to The Silos throughout that year, so to make an album with them was a
total thrill. Theyíre fantastic instrumentalists, and they brought a lot of
energy and dazzling musicianship to my songs.
There were some challenging aspects to the recording, but most of that was
handled by my engineer John Simshauser, who is also a Youth Encounter alum.
John toured on the East Coast team when I was on the North Central team 14
years ago (we were both right out of high school), and we have been friends and
musical collaborators ever since. So Johnís job was to do all the technical and
computer dirty work so I could concentrate on the songs. Heís a genius, and
heís certainly responsible for how well the album turned out.
This is your seventh solo album
(including a recording with artist Beki Hemingway and your live album). How has
your style evolved since your first recording, ď28 Days in the Yellow RoomĒ?
Most of the evolution has taken place because of technology. When I recorded my
first album back in 1992 I recorded it alone with a cassette 4-track recorder,
one microphone, a bass, a guitar, and a drum machine that I bought from Youth
Encounter...it was the drum machine that my first team used to perform with
during concerts! The early recordings were very lo-fi and home-made. This
latest album was recorded digitally with fancy computers and really good
microphones, and mixed in New York City by an engineer who works on huge
major-label releases. So thatís the big difference.
As far as my style of music, I donít think thatís
changed too much. Iíve always written fairly simple rock & roll songs based
around acoustic guitar and harmonica, because thatís how I usually perform when
Iím touring solo. My lyrics are pretty much the same, too...observational
comments about romance, geography, travel, and everyday minutia, laced with
Lutheran cultural references.
Congratulations also on becoming a new
Dad! In what ways has fatherhood changed your perspective as an artist?
My son Paavo was born back in January, right as my new album was being mixed,
so the songs on Public Library
are sort of my last musical
statements before Fatherhood. I havenít written many new songs since his birth,
so Iím not sure how my creative output will be affected by being a Dad.
However, since Paavoís arrival Iíve been aware that Iím no longer at the bottom
of the generational ladder (with parents and grandparents above me). Now Iím a
parent, in the middle of the ladder, with Paavoís generation below me, and that
has made me more interested in documenting and preserving a family heritage and
history for Paavoís generation. Iím trying to do that musically as well, so
thatís why the album is called Public Library
and archiving my experiences as a young adult so that the next generation can
have a record (a historical record AND a musical record!) that they can access
in the future.
Where can we catch you live again in the
Iíll be playing shows with my trio at rock clubs around the Midwest this Fall.
Iím also looking forward to performing at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network
Extravaganza in Anaheim, CA in February of 2005. I also have some Lutheran
College and Synod gatherings to play at in this coming school year.
For information about
other recordings, live performances, how to book Jonathan, and more go to www.jonathanrundman.com