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Robert Jon & The Wreck

By: Lori Smerilson Carson

Southern California has once again spawned another amazing rock band. Since 2011, Robert Jon & The Wreck have been making their mark in the music industry and drawing in fans worldwide. On June 28th they will be releasing their latest album Red Moon Rising on Joe Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records. Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Robert Jon Burrison, Lead Guitarist Henry James, Bassist Warren Murrel, Drummer Andrew Espantman and Keyboardist Jake Abernathie will be taking these new, catchy rock songs on tour, and Florida fans can experience this extraordinarily talented band on March 22nd at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, March 23rd at Heidi’s Jazz Club in Cocoa Beach, April 6th at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach and on April 13th at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival 2024 in St. Petersburg. They will also be cruising on keeping the Blues alive at sea IX on March 18th-22nd.

Catching up with Robert Jon the day before their tour, he revealed some details about the show, their new music, and what fans can look forward to.

SFL Music: You’re going to be in South Florida (at The Funky Biscuit), Cocoa Beach, Jacksonville and St. Petersburg. What can fans look forward to with the show?

Robert Jon: To have a good time! We hope our music translates into having everyone in that room and enjoying the time together. Kind of forgetting about what’s going on outside.

SFL Music: You have the new album Red Moon Rising due for release June 28th of this year on Joe Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records. What can fans look forward to with the new album? Was there a theme?

Jon: It was a really busy year for us, so we did a lot of writing from the road, and I feel like that made It for just a really different, fun record. We have a lot of co-writes on there with friends because when you’re on the road, there’s not a ton of time, so the inspiration for a song is like at a sound check or you know, in the middle of the day. It’s a little different than just at home, writing in our normal way. So, we’re just excited to get out this group of songs that I guess, kind of encapsulated the year.

SFL Music: I did hear the title track “Red Moon Rising” with the drum intro and that rock, kind of a funky sound. I really liked it! I thought the lyrics were very meaningful as well. You described it as “about beliefs, myths, and traditions surrounding a red moon, symbolizing rebirth and change which perfectly encapsulates the spirit of our new album.”  Can you please elaborate on that?

Jon: Yeah, it’s a growing year for us. We’re working with Journeyman Records and hitting the ground running with them, so it’s time to kind of rethink about how we’re doing things and moving forward together.  We’re really looking forward to this next year. It just kind of happened naturally and symbolically with the kind of song that is. “Red Moon Rising”, there’s a lot of different traditions and belief’s out there for different ages of mankind. They all kind of have similar beliefs and the reason for it, and what’s to come afterward.

SFL Music: What would you say you’re getting the most out of working with the company Journeyman?

Jon: It’s really like a team. A team of a group of people all kind of working for the same goals, you know, the same reasons, and having enough hands-on deck if you will, to get the jobs done that a lot of people don’t see or don’t choose to. The planning and logistics and everything like that. So, it’s just nice to have a team surrounding us.

SFL Music: From your perspective, what would you recommend to an artist about working with the Journeyman company?

Jon: Just keep doing what you’re doing. I mean, everyone’s moving in the same direction, so there shouldn’t be too much stuff that doesn’t make sense. It’s just all going together. Be together, be a family, work together and everything will always turn out better that way.

SFL Music: That’s great advice. Your last album was Ride into the Light. What would you say may be the difference between that album and the new one Red Moon Rising? Is it like you said, being on the road, or what would you say?

Jon: Ride into the Light, we recorded with a bunch of different producers and a bunch of different studios throughout that year to put that together. This one, we were in the studio for ten days with the same producer Kevin Shirley, kind of all getting it done together at the same time. So definitely, it’s a more cohesive piece of work, put together in a room and deciding on things for the whole record as a whole, and looking at it like that, as opposed to little pieces at a time which I think will translate once people listen to the full record together.

SFL Music: Did you feel that was more beneficial?

Jon: Beneficial for us, but not in a way that we wouldn’t do it the other way again. Every time we do something different, we always find different things that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. So, they’re always great.

SFL Music: So, it’s kind of a learning experience or growing, right?

Jon: Yeah, learning, growing, finding out more about yourself (he laughed).

SFL Music: You also did a live album in Brussels, LIVE AT THE ANCIENNE BELGIQUE. How did this come about, and will there be another live album out this year?

Jon: Well, it came about because we’ve done some extensive touring in Europe and we figured Brussels, being the center of Europe, kind of being the right place to do it. So, all the stars kind of aligned for that one, and we made it work. It was actually supposed to be recorded a year before that, but because of the state the world was in, we had to keep pushing it which was only a great thing because we got to hone in on a lot more songs and figure out what we actually wanted to do, opposed to doing it randomly. We don’t have any rough plans of another live one this year yet, but things can change very quickly.

SFL Music: What influenced you to become a musician?

Jon: I think my dad was a huge part of it. He was always singing, and playing the piano and playing guitar. Not as a professional, just as a dad that does that. So, he was always singing and playing, so I think it was just inevitable for me to pick it up eventually. Started playing drums and piano and everything. There was always something music related in my life. Maybe it wasn’t the biggest priority, but then as I grew up, it just seemed that music kept taking over everything else (he laughed) and I wasn’t upset at it.

SFL Music: You knew that this was what you wanted to do?

Jon: Yeah.

SFL Music: I saw the video for “Red Moon Rising”. Are there going to be any more videos coming out for fans to look forward to?

Jon: Yeah. There’ll be plenty more coming out. Everyone just be prepared.

SFL Music: You all are going on the cruise keeping the Blues alive at sea IX. What are you looking forward to with that?

Jon: Yeah, we’re actually dong two. One’s next week. We play Tallahassee on Tuesday, and then we’re down in Miami to get on the boat on Thursday. It’s called Rock Legends and we haven’t been on it, but we’re really excited to meet some new people and have a good time. Then in March, we’ll be back on Blues alive at sea boat and it’s just a great time.  We get to hang out with people who love music and not even just the fans, but the other artists on the boat. The incredibly talented people they put on there that we get to watch every night, and hang out with and learn from. It’s just incredible. So, we love ‘em.

SFL Music: Was there anything else you want fans to know?

Jon: We just hope to see everybody at a show when we’re passing through your city. That’s what makes us happy, so we hope people come out.

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