By Christopher Snyder
John Morgan Kimock has been around the jamband scene since an early age. There is even a video floating around of him playing drums as a toddler with his Dad (Steve Kimock). John has always been into branching out his musical talents with artists such as Mike Gordon (Phish) and KIMOCK. His latest project, JMMY, has him working with guitarist,Justin Mazer of American Babies and Leroy Justice. On Friday evening they will be at one of the best bars to see live music in Bethlehem, PA, The Funhouse. The renowned drummer is excited to bring JMMY + DJ Discreet to the residents of The Lehigh Valley town.
You have close ties with The Lehigh Valley. On October 7th you will be performing your third show with DJ Discreet at The Funhouse in Bethlehem, PA. Your group JMMY has a rotating cast and for The Funhouse show, and guitarist Justin Mazer will be joining you the entire tour. How did you and these first connect with each other?
John Kimock: I grew up in the Lehigh Valley. Started playing with some great bands in town like The Octave Below, Post Junction. We had great little hangs at the Funhouse and Wildflower Cafe. After awhile I started heading north up to Wilkesbarre and eventually met Justin. He is a great guitar player and one of my closest musical friends. I don’t have many my age.
Do you feel these shows have special meaning to you? (Coming back to your stomping grounds and seeing friends from years ago…)
John Kimock: These shows mean so much to me. I have never fully really put my own music out there. I didn’t understand until recently how vulnerable that could be…when you are obviously in charge of making things that you are playing for your friends and family where you grew up. After leaving the valley last year they have been a really great way for me to see everybody I live again in one place + rock the f out. Everyone has rallied around the last couple times JMMY and DJ Discreet have done this. It’s becoming a thing.
Are there any musicians who you haven’t had the chance to share the stage with, that you would like to?
John Kimock: I would like to share the stage mostly with my best friends or situations that I don’t know anyone at all. The last 5 years it’s kinda been non-stop playing with some folks that I have looked up to for a long time. The reality of that situation from the perspective of a younger musician like myself is hard to get a grip on sometimes cause you already have an idea of how you think they might be.
Sometimes when it’s all Lop-sided towards improvisation that can get tiring for me and playing the same thing over and over again can really get old. I try to mix the two and most of the people I work with give me a lot of freedom to express myself. Is that an answer!? I rambled off I think.
Here’s a list of my favorite LV folks to work with that I miss a lot.
William H Travis
What are your top 5 all-time albums that should be in any avid music lovers collection?
Lymbyc Systym – Love Your Abuser
The Band – Music From Big Pink
Andy Shauf – The Party
The Books – Music For French Elevator
The Bad Plus – Suspicious Activity?
You just released a promo video for The Mike Gordon Fall Tour 2016 (with some sweet outfits). You have played with a number of well-known musicians throughout the years. How did it feel to get the nod from Cactus?
John Kimock: Yes! Mike has opened my eyes I guess you could say to a new way of approaching music that I would not have known otherwise. Phish and what he contributes to that is very much a language that I knew very little about coming in. That was intimidating (to be honest). I wasn’t sure how I would fit into that…but I did and I am and it certainly feels good. I hope to be working with him for a long time.
Do you have any advice for drummers just starting out?
John Kimock: Have as much fun as possible. It’s music after all and it should be a healing experience whether you are a player or a listener.
October 5 – Bishops Lounge Northampton MA w. Beau Sasser
October 6 – Burlington VT – TBA
October 7 – The Funhouse Bethlehem PA w. DJ Discreet
Mike Gordon Dates
11/18 – Delmar Hall, St. Louis, MO
11/19 – Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI
11/20 – Park West, Chicago, IL
11/22 – Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
11/23 – Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY
11/25 – Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
11/26 – The Egg, Albany, NY
11/28 – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
11/29 – Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC
12/01 – Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
12/02 – Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN
12/03 – Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
12/09 – The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
12/10 – The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
12/11 – The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
October 26 – The HopMonk Sebastopol CA
October27 – Arcata Theatre Arcata CA
October 28 – Rogue Theatre Grants Pass OR
October 29 – Aladdin Theatre Portland OR
Jan 12 – Club Quattro – Osaka JP
Jan 14 – Unit Tokyo JP
Jan 15 – Yokohama Bay Hall Yokohama JP