Vail Daily Music: Rocking redemption reggae
VAIL, Colorado -Listening to Bob Marley on a cold North Dakota night changed Jonathan Weight’s life. “It was new to me and I immediately felt more of a connection to it than any style I had previously heard,” he said.Eventually Weight, aka Jon Wayne, formed his own band, Jon Wayne & The Pain. The group’s fans coined the term “redemption reggae” to describe their lyrics and sound, which Weight calls a mix of reggae, ska, blues and improvisational jams. “We’re trying to promote the positive and move past the thing that have been holding us down and keeping us from who we were meant to be,” Weight said. Jon Wayne & The Pain performed at the Sandbar in West Vail in April when they opened for The Melodians. They’re returning to the Sandbar for a free show Thursday night. Vail Daily: You opened for The Melodians at the Sandbar recently. Tell me about that show.Jon Weight: It was amazing to play with those guys. They actually watched our set and gave us some big love on our sounds. I told them that our style of reggae would have never existed if they hadn’t paved the way back in the 1960s first.VD: How did growing up in North Dakota’s cold climes influence the music you make?JW: Coming from North Dakota and having mainly top 40 radio crap to listen to I wanted to separate myself from what the locals would have called “good music.” The Ironic thing is that now the people I thought were fools for listening to the radio now frequent our shows and are some of our most diehard fans. VD: What inspires your lyrics?JW: My lyrics are inspired from good and bad times I’ve had in my life. Some of the songs are affirmations of the great things I’ve seen in humanity and how spirituality has improved my life. Some of the songs are about my personal struggle with addiction, and the triumph over it. As long as I keep my lyrics focused on the postitive and conscious, I believe I’m on the right track.VD: You’ve performed with members of Sublime and Slightly Stoopid on occasion. How did that come about?JW: I feel blessed to have played with members of two of our favorite bands, Sublime and Slightly Stoopid. We did a tour last summer through the midwest and Colorado with Stone Wing, whose drummer is Eric Wilson from the band Sublime. Two shows into the tour our bassist Chuckie Torgerson hurt his wrist and wasn’t able to play. Eric stepped in and played the remainder of our shows with us until Chuck’s wrist healed. We also had a chance to play with OG, C Money, and Dela from the band Slightly Stoopid. They also played horns and percussion on our new album we just released this spring. VD: Tell me about that album, “Follow Through,” and how it’s been received so far.JW: It has already created new opportunities for us. As I said earlier, it features some Slightly Stoopid members, and it also has a track with Yoni, who was featured on the 2005 Matisyahu release “Live At Stubbs.” We put a great amount of time, money and love into this album and I think it really shows when you hear it. We’ve had great reviews of it so far and one of the songs will be featured in Relix Magazine’s July Sampler CD.VD: I like your band name. How did you come up with it?JW: The name Jon Wayne & The Pain was named at our first show back in 2005. It originally didn’t have much meaning other than that it rhymed. But after some of my personal struggles with addiction, it ended up having much more of a deeper meaning.VD: Why should people come to your show at the Sandbar on Thursday? JW: You should come to our show at the Sandbar if you like to dance. We will be playing some rocksteady, roots, reggae/rock and some improvised jams as well. High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.