Today we're spending Seven Questions In Heaven with Penicillin Baby's frontman/guitarist Jon Conant!
Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
We're just gonna dive right in with the questions that no artist ever wants to answer huh? I kid. I'm not gonna describe it using catchy industry buzz terms or run-on phrases but I will say that if our music was a house it would next door to The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Ride and Tom Verlaine is our mailman.
Who are your musical influences and idols?
My musical influences and idols tend to shift depending on what mood I'm in or what I'm currently working on. I like a wide range of stuff from power pop, psychedelic, punk, glam, grunge, just depends on what I'm feeling that day. I would say its all mostly guitar-based though. As far as idols, well I've got quite a few. Jonathan Richman is up there. Not the frilly Jonathan Richman that left the original Modern Lovers, the young JR. The one that wrote aggressive songs about the city he loves and being heart broken. Roky Erickson is another one. He was a fucking renaissance man and didn't quit until his brain betrayed him. Then he got better and still hasnt quit. Also those four dudes from Liverpool.
What was the first album, cassette, or CD you bought with your own money?
I grew up in a pretty religious household so my parents weren't too fond of me choosing my own music. But I was smart enough to download stuff via Napster and Kazaa, so basically my first records were pirated. Sorry music industry! But when I was learning guitar, my dad got me some Zeppelin and Beatles CDs so I'd actually get interested in learning to play. I'd say it worked. When I started collecting vinyl a few years later, the first record I bought was The Zombies' Greatest Hits. Still spin that one a lot.
What's the first thing you look for when you hit a new town?
1) Coffee, because being in a van is surprisingly exhausting. 2) Record stores, because you find great stuff when you go to random record stores and I have an extensive cassette collection that I must grow, 3) Pool tables, because sometimes we have time to kill and just wanna hang and get competitive with each other.
What is your current favorite guilty pleasure?
I've been listening to a ton of Big Star and Chris Bell recently. Not sure how guilty I feel about that, but damn those dudes have some songs.
If they named an ice cream flavor after you, what would be the name and why?
Not so sure what it would be called, but I am sure that it wouldn't be ice cream. It would be a milk shake for sure. Because a milk shake is ice cream, but mobile. And it would definitely have espresso and liquor in it.
Final question: You're the opening act of a music festival. You can get any five artists, living or dead, to perform on the bill with you. Which five do you choose and what song do you all perform as the final jam?
Television, 13th Floor Elevators, Big Star, Modern Lovers, The Stone Roses. We jam on an extended version of "Marquee Moon" by Television that morphs into "You're Gonna Miss Me" by The 13th Floor Elevators.
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