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Splice + Jon Langston

Splice Magazine recently had the good fortune to spend a few good minutes chatting with emerging country megastar Jon Langston.  Jon had just kicked off his winter tour with a raucous sold-out show at the Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown, Ohio – check it out here! Let’s see what Jon had to say…

Splice: “So Jon, your path to success in country music has been a bit unusual, to say the least. Can you tell us a bit about your journey, so far?”

Jon:

“Oh yeah. I was born in Georgia and had a pretty normal childhood. I listened to all kinds of music growing up, and pretty much loved it all. When I got to be a teenager, I started playing guitar. And then in 8th grade, I had a band with some of my buddies. The band was strictly something I did for fun. I sure didn’t have plans of pursuing a career in music at the time.”

Splice: “Word has it that one of your bandmates from back then has also gone on to enjoy success in the music business.”

Jon:

“That’s right. My friend Josh Manuel is an amazing drummer. He plays with the band Issues right now. But Josh had a huge role in helping me to get started in the business. He co-produced my first two EP’s back in 2013, so I’m really grateful for that.”

Splice: “So if music wasn’t in your plans during high school, what was?”

Jon:

“Oh man, I was all about football. It consumed me.”

Splice: “And you had some success, too?”

Jon:

“Yeah I did. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship to play at (Division 1) Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina.  I loved football, but injuries got the better of me. During my junior year I had suffered recurring concussions, and after serious talks with my coaches, doctors and family I decided it would be best for me to hang up the pads. Man, that was tough!”

Splice: “How did you end up arriving at the decision to try and make a mark in country music?”

Jon:

“After the injuries, I really didn’t know what I was going to do. One night I attended an Eric Church concert in Charlotte. That’s when I decided to pick up my guitar again and re-learn how to play it. But I also started to write songs now. I’d record them, and then post then on YouTube. And people started to find them and like them, and things kinda took off from there.”

Splice: “So what was your very first song?”

Jon:

Forever Girl.”

Splice: “Really? From the numbers I’ve seen on your YouTube channel, that’s arguably your most popular dong so far…”

Jon:

“Yeah. Even in our live shows it’s the song that gets people up and going the most.”

Splice: “So you left college a little early and made your way to Nashville?”

Jon:

“I did. I was a little worried at first that my mom wouldn’t forgive me for that, but since then she’s been ok with my decision.”

Splice: “You’ve had some success on the tour circuit, as well.  Tell us about that.”

Jon:

“Our fans are really loyal and they come out and support us wherever we go. We mostly tour in the Southeast, but have played out west in San Diego and Washington State.  We’re looking forward to doing even more appearances nationally as we move ahead.”

Splice: “So tell us about your sold-out show at the historic Georgia Theater in Athens. How did that make you feel?”

Jon:

“Man, it was amazing! I saw Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert and Corey Smith perform there. And that was so cool. But to be on that stage in front of a sold out crowd of 1200 people was like nothing else. It was a great experience I’ll never forget.”

Splice: “Let’s talk a bit about your music. Right Girl/Wrong Time Left me thinking that this song was personal for you. Was it?”

Jon:

“Oh yeah. You know, sometimes that happens. You get together with someone and it’s amazing, then life manages to get in the way. She was on one path and I was on another, and we ended up living two states apart. And once that happened, it’s really hard to keep things going the way they were. We both had to do what we had to do…”

Splice: “Your new song Prob’ly At A Bar was recently released. What’s the story behind that song?”

Jon:

Prob’ly At A Bar is kind of a follow up to Right Girl/Wrong Time. It’s about what happens after everything falls apart. The lyric goes ‘I’m prob’ly at a bar, drinkin’ ‘bout you, drownin’ this heart like I’ve got nothin’ left to lose. I could be anywhere under the sun, over the moon, but chances are I’m prob’ly at a bar.’ It can be tough tough. And it can take some time to really get over things.”

Splice: “When you write a song, what comes first, the words or the music?”

Jon:

“That really varies with the song, and it can go either way. But for me, I’d say that 75% of the time the words or story comes first, and 25% of the time the melody does. It just depends…”

Splice: “So what’s next for Jon Langston?”

Jon:

“We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing for a while. Writing, recording and touring will be priorities for 2018.  You’ve got to do the work, you know. But we’re definitely hoping for good things.”

Splice: “One final question – since you’ve been in Nashville, have you had the chance to play Tootsies Orchid Lounge?”

Jon:

“No, not yet. But that would be a cool place to play. I just might have to make that a bucket list item.”

It was our pleasure to chat with Jon Langston today. Learn more about him here:

Jon Langston:
     

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