Thursday, May 30 2024

Today, we’re exploring the musical world of Jon of the Shred and his latest album, ‘Out of Runway.’ Hailing from Worcester, United States, Jon is known for his eclectic blend of genres that effortlessly fuse nostalgia with innovation. Notably, his music has made waves beyond the music scene and earned placements in popular video games, such as ‘Happy’s Humble Burger Barn.’ ‘Out of Runway’ marks the third album in Jon’s trilogy, following ‘Landing Gear’ and ‘Departing Flight.’ Let’s find out more as Jon provides fascinating insights into his creative process, influences, and the emotional journey behind the release.

Hey Jon of the Shred – Thanks for joining us and congratulations on the new album! 

How do you feel ‘Out of Runway’ compares to your previous releases in terms of musical evolution and experimentation?

Thanks, Matt! ‘Out of Runway’ is definitely an evolution of the Lo-Fi aesthetic I started pursuing with ‘Landing Gear’ and replicated with ‘Departing Flight.’ I’d say it’s probably the darkest of the three releases – there’s a lot of chord progressions I specifically designed to sound as tragic as I could. Then around the halfway point of the album, each song starts with one of these tragic progressions, but shifts into darker, ambient territory that sounds like the primordial struggle of survival after being shipwrecked or lost at sea.

The album includes a wide range of genres and influences, from prog rock to lo-fi hip-hop. How did you approach mixing these different styles together?

I’ve always blended different genres together, so it wasn’t anything radically different for me. If you go back over 10 years to my debut album, ‘Apocalyptic Dawn,’ and listen to the very first song, ‘….And So It Begins,’ I think it hits symphonic metal, dubstep / brostep, trance, classical, synthwave… just a blend of styles, right on the opening track of the debut album. Please forgive the mix if you do listen, though, I was just learning!

With ‘Out of Runway’ being released on the 4-year anniversary of ‘Landing Gear’ and ‘Happy’s Humble Burger Barn,’ do you see this album as a continuation of a larger musical project, or does it stand on its own?

It’s absolutely a part of the ‘Landing Gear’ canon, stylistically and thematically. It’ll get featured in future Scythe Dev Team games, for sure.

Jon of the Shred

‘Out of Runway’ has been described as “groovy and depressing yet hopeful.” Can you tell us about any of the themes or emotions you wanted to convey through the album?

I actually composed the album shortly after a pretty grueling cross-country move I had come to regret by that point, so a lot of that depression and hopefulness was a sincere reflection on the situation I had found myself in. I didn’t have that in mind when writing, my focus was on continuing the general theme of the albums.

‘Landing Gear’ was actually never about airplanes, but about the ways people relax after a concert, music festival, or rave. Sometimes, they’ll take ‘Landing Gear’ in the form of substances to help them reach baseline again, but it could be as simple as completing the commute home and “landing” back in your driveway. ‘Departing Flight,’ as the sequel, was about the feeling during the party – it has a more energetic vibe as an album, overall. And ‘Out of Runway’ is about self-reflection after the party has been over for a while, after the silent normalcy has returned and your brain is adjusting. So that was the melancholy I was trying to capture, the nostalgia for memories that will eventually fade, of a time that is forever past.

Your music has been featured in various sports events, TV shows, and even wrestling. Why do you think your sound resonates with such diverse audiences?

Well all of those were placements I received through a Music Licensing library. I’ve always composed music that was a bit bombastic, a bit cinematic, usually it’s pretty intense yet there’s almost always an undercurrent of hope and triumph despite the music often sounding a bit sad or dark. I suppose that is why I found myself composing so many soundtracks to video games.

Looking ahead, what directions or projects do you see yourself exploring next?

I’ll probably do more albums in the Lo-Fi ‘Landing Gear’ canon. There’s a lot of ground to explore there, and I did like how this 3rd album, ‘Out of Runway,’ went into sort of tribalistic sounds in the back half of the album. I could do a whole album about being shipwrecked, a Lord of the Flies type narrative.

I’m currently working on soundtracks for the next Scythe Dev Team / Scythe Studios game releases, so I have plenty of music yet to be released. I also want to make more traditional, heavy metal albums. 

And, finally a question for fun… If you could have one of your tracks from ‘Out of Runway’ featured as the main theme for a movie or video game, which track would it be, and what kind of movie or game would you see it being used for?

Well, having composed scores for so many video games now… I think I’m at 12? 13? 14? I think I’d prefer getting more placements in films or TV. I think a lot of the songs on ‘Out of Runway’ would fit really well in a hypothetical Season 4 of ‘DAVE,’ the Lil Dicky FXX show. There were lots of sad moments throughout that series that hit in such a way that pretty much any song from ‘Out of Runway’ would fit well with them. 

The title track is actually going to be in the next Scythe Dev Team game, which I’m not sure I’m allowed to announce yet, so there ya go!

And that wraps up our exploration of Jon of the Shred’s musical universe and his latest album, ‘Out of Runway’ – thanks Jon for taking the time to chat with us and we wish you continued success. From learning about his eclectic blend of genres to discovering the significance of ‘Out of Runway’ as the third installment in the trilogy, Jon has provided a deeper understanding his musical journey and where things may be going next. As we bid Jon au revoir, we look forward to following his future endeavours. Keep up with Jon of the Shred via his socials below. Until next time…

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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