Jonathon Fraser, also known as Northbound, is evolving the DIY thing he does to the next level with the release of Soul Kiss on Smart Punk Records. Northbound have now become a full band, and working with other musicians gives Fraser the flexibly to be the primary songwriter while building a bigger sound with a band.
“The songwriting has not really changed,” Fraser says. “At its core, I suppose, every song starts me in my room with an acoustic guitar, and then I’ll typically demo it out. I have, like, a little studio set up at my house, and I’ll demo it out. I’ll send it to Andy who’s playing guitar for us, and he’s been with me for a few years now.
“I’ll get his input, his vibe, and we will talk about it or whatever, you know what I mean? And then when it comes time to go to the actual studio, it’s kind of like, we have the bones of the song, and then we start assembling the rest of it collaboratively.”
Northbound made Soul Kiss with producer Sam Guaiana (Silverstein, Like Pacific). For Fraser, it was the biggest production of his musical career.
“I think we were in the studio for like four or five weeks total,” he says. “So, certainly the most amount of time I’ve ever put into any single project. We were up in Toronto, Canada for like over a month tracking, and we did a lot of pre-production before we even went. I think we did one or two days of pre-production, and then we just started working on the album right away once we were up there.”
“I think it’s like the easiest time I’ve ever had making a record while also being my favorite record that I’ve ever done,” Fraser continues. “I don’t want to say my favorite studio experience because every, every experience is so different based on the producer you’re working with. It was just a really enjoyable studio experience, and we just got along.”
Here’s what you can expect from Northbound now that the record is out.
“We’re playing ‘Cool;’ we do ‘Bad Blood.’ We do ‘Hurt Today,’” Fraser explains. “So, we do the two singles that we put out so far. I think that’s all we play [live] from Soul Kiss, but we don’t have that much time in general. So, out of our five or six songs set, three of them are on Soul Kiss.”
Touring with Simple Plan and State Champs last fall was an experience for the band. Touring has its ups and downs. They had gear stolen in Texas. While traveling home from the West Coast with We The Kings, they had bad weather hit in Utah and had to miss a date in Colorado.
“I just think right now, we’re in a place where we’re understanding of the fact that it’s important to play the best show we can, no matter what the circumstances,” Fraser says. “Whether it’s someone’s living room, or it’s a theater with Simple Plan, or in London with State Champs.”
In conclusion, Northbound the band and Northbound the man, Jonathon Fraser, make music to touch people.
“I just want to connect with people through it, whether it makes them happy, whether it makes them feel less alone, whether it’s just something that they just put on in the background,” Fraser says. “I don’t really care how they take it, you know what I mean? Once I put the record out, it’s not really mine anymore. You know, I just want people to like it in whatever way that they view it.”
Soul Kiss by Northbound is out now, buy it here.