Every month we will be focussing on particular music groups or events in the area and finding out more about our local musicians. In this issue we are going to focus This month we are going to focus on Jonny Spruce, a fantastic local guitarist, singer and sound technician.
Q: How did your interest in music start?
A: I started playing classical guitar in primary school, but always found it difficult to motivate myself to practice between lessons. That changed however when I got to secondary school and formed a ‘metal’ band with a group of mates – we all loved getting together and making a lot of noise, regardless of how good we were! I’ve been in bands and playing music ever since.
Q: Who influenced you musically?
A: As stereotypical as it sounds, I’m a big big fan of Ed Sheeran. He writes his lyrics in such a beautiful, poetic way, and his guitar playing isn’t half bad either. Apart from that I love anything from classics such as Oasis to artists in the charts today such as Calvin Harris and Sia.
Q: How did you get involved with the First Thursday Music Club?
A: I first got involved with the FTMC three or four years ago, as a kind of ‘work experience’ so that I could help out and learn how to be a sound technician. Years later and I’m still there doing the sound and even playing occasionally! I think it’s one of the best Open Mic Nights in the country thanks to the passion of all those involved, and the community around it, and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
Q:What are you involved in locally?
A: At the FTMC we have just launched a new event called the Songwriter Showcase, which is a really great chance to really listen to a local artist perform the songs they have written. They talk through the meaning and inspiration of each song and it’s a really great event to be involved with. I also help run the Three Horseshoes Open Mic Night in Towersey on the last Thursday of each month, which is always a really nice relaxed environment for beginners to play at. I have also helped run the Crash (acoustic) stage at Music in the Park, a charity event in Thame, each year, and it’s always a great day out.
Q: What are the most memorable performances in your musical career so far?
A: Two performances have always stuck with me – when I was 16 my band at the time was booked to play at New Year’s Eve party. It was the most crazy, fun experience I think I’ve ever had in a band. Everyone was drunk and dancing and singing along at the top of their voices, and it made all of the hard work up to that point worth it. The flipside of that however was a small local gig we played in the middle of winter the next year. It was so cold I couldn’t even feel my guitar strings and I remember wondering how we were ever going to make it through the gig! We managed somehow but I’ve sworn never to play in sub-zero temperatures again! (Sorry Alaska)
Q: How did you get involved with Tay O’lay?
A: John Reid-Hansen, the leader of Tay O’lay, was my guitar teacher for a number of years, and he really helped me to get to the standard I am at today. He was always pushing me to try new things, so when Tay O’lay had a gig coming up and the bass player couldn’t make it, I was drafted in to help. I guess I did a good enough job because I’m still playing with them years later!
Brought to you by – Thame Music Academy
Tel: 07743 032292
Web page: www.thamemusicacademy.com