Jonah Knight performs songs about ghosts, monsters, super heroes and steampunk with a roots folk style. In the past few years he has found a niche at SciFi conventions throughout the mid-Atlantic region due to his five supernatural and science fiction leaning albums, his unique finger-picking style, and his live performances. He had written songs for authors, tribute albums, and webcomics. His most recent album, a collection of creepy Christmas songs, was funded 214% on kickstarter.com and was released in the 2012 Holiday season. I first met Jonah Knight through our comedy rockstar, Mikey Mason. When Jonah heard about our Geek Gala, he donated copies of his cd Another Creepy Christmas to the cause. And when I asked if I could interview him for our Music Mondays series, he was glad to help there too.
- How would you want someone to describe your music to others?
Well, I call it Paranormal Modern Folk. Acoustic songs about ghosts, monsters, superheroes and steampunk. But if you were going to describe it to a friend, the conversation could go like this:
You: Hey, you know how you hate the radio because all the songs are about stupid stuff.
You: Well, this guys writes songs about Lovecraft and clones and pirates. And they’re catchy.
- Dude – you were once a rapper! Why would you want to abandon the genre like that? Did Vanilla Ice scare you off?
In the late ’80’s, in middle school, rap became the first music that I discovered on my own. Before it was all bitches and ho’s the songs were about fun, community, and verbal skill. You were good if you were a fast thinker and had a deep lexicon. The first band I was in back in high school was a horrible suburban rap group. I haven’t pretended to be a rapper in decades but I think that my style of vocal delivery still shows signs of that early influence.
- What projects are you working on now?
The Pros and Cons Podcast is ongoing. Mikey Mason and I talk about geek music and convention culture.
Well, I have secretly been writing some prose. My first published short story, The Arkham Book, is coming out in an upcoming anthology from Dark Quest Books and I am finishing up my first good novel (we all have bad, secret novels). I’ think of the genre as Sword & Steam: A Steampunk story written as a Sword & Sorcery adventure.
As far as music goes, I have the next four albums mapped out, mostly written, and untitled.
1) The South Dakota album. A stripped down collection of songs about when I lived in South Dakota. Not geeky or creepy. I’ve had a lot of these songs hanging around for some time and I now need to get them out of my system.
2) Holiday EP. When I was recording Another Creepy Christmas I ended up with a couple songs that weren’t quite ready to put on. This will probably be six odd holiday/winter songs that I’ll have out by the fall.
3) Derivative Work (I have a title for this one). Over the last few years I’ve written some songs based on other people’s books, web comics and films. They never felt at home on my previous albums but all together they seem to fit.
4) Age Of Steam pt 2. I initially thought of my Age of Steam: Strange Machines album as the first in a trilogy. I have the songs together for the follow up but that project will be much more involved in regards to instruments and guest musicians so I want to make sure I’m ready for it before getting started with the recording.
- Where can we see you perform next?
I’m actually playing at a couple weddings and house concerts this year. Folks that I’ve met at conventions don’t want to do The Chicken Dance, they want to add in a touch of geek to their weddings or host a concert for their friends. I love doing those sorts of shows and I’m always open for those sorts of bookings.
Aside from weddings and private gigs, in the next two months I’ll be at Balticon and the Nerdapalooza Art Show
- This year’s theme is Alien Invasion – do you have any advice on what to do when you meet an Alien?
I think you should play it by ear. I think the best case scenario is that a bunch of other people who aren’t douches hang out with it first for a couple weeks and then, if the humans don’t die or get sick, if they ask you to come over and say Hi, you should just play it cool. That would be my preference.
To learn more about Jonah Knight, please visit his website at jonahofthesea.com.