Interview: Jon H. Genier of Twenty2 Talks About Their New Album 'Dismissed' and More | Hype | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Interview: Jon H. Genier of Twenty2 Talks About Their New Album ‘Dismissed’ and More

Interviewed by:
Dario Hunt
Interview date:
July 2022

How did you get started in music?

I was introduced to music by my uncle when I was 4 or 5 years old. He would play Iron Maiden songs on guitar & I would “sing” over them. I’ve been fairly obsessed with music ever since.

Which artists were a major influence on you?

ALL/Descendents will always be my biggest influence. Other than that my first punk loves were (& still are): Black Flag, Bl’ast!, Circle Jerks, SNFU, Dag Nasty, Adolescents, Big Drill Car, Trigger Happy, Gorilla Biscuits, Bad Brains, The Dwarves… But also – & I don’t mind saying: White Lion is my favorite glam rock band… Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ratt… Jane’s Addiction, Snapcase… & then more current-ish stuff: Good Riddance, Strung Out, Only Crime, CIV, The Story So Far, Turnstile, A Vulture Wake, Kvelertak, New Found Glory (some great albums, some not so great, I know)… It all influences me I’m sure.

How has your environment influenced your sound?

Well, in my house, my parents were big music fans & had great taste, so I grew up listening to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Neil Young… I don’t know how much that’s influenced our sound, but it definitely made me appreciate music at a very young age.

What’s your process when it comes to crafting music? Has it changed over the years?

It definitely changed a lot over the years. A giant difference for me is Garage Band, it makes the writing process a thousand times more efficient. It’s like having a tiny home studio for dummies, like me. Back in the day, we would come up with guitar riffs, showed them to the rest of the band at the practice place & start from there. Nowadays, I pick up the guitar, stroke around, find a riff I like, record it super quick either on my phone or in Garage Band. Usually & ideally, I just forget about it & come back to it weeks or months later & then that sometimes sparks inspiration. From there I start building in Garage Band & eventually have a blueprint for a song to show others.

Punk in general has been experiencing a mainstream resurgence, what do you think of the current state of the punk scene? How have things changed since you first started out?

Huge difference. Back in the day bands like us could play small clubs & get a good size crowd fairly easy. Nowadays it’s all festivals, otherwise you’re basically playing in front of almost no one. I’m personally not a fan of festivals at all, whether it’s going to them to see bands or playing them. So, we usually play small shows!

How have things changed this second go around for the band? Any major lessons learned or takeaways?

The big one for me was working with Luke on this. I suspected bands I really liked, like Good Riddance, have a certain work ethic towards writing songs & I wanted to find out how they go about it & see if I could hang. For the most part, I had blueprints for songs like I mentioned earlier, & we spent roughly 6 months working on them to make them good (hopefully!). Some songs have up to 150 different versions & they barely differ from one another, because we paid attention to every little detail including tempos, pick slides, feedbacks, energy, word pronunciations, etc etc etc. It all matters. Whereas before, it was kind of like “yeah, that’s good enough”. So, I hope that shows in the final recording. I think it does.

What’s the message behind your latest single, “Before You Save Us”?

Basically: I’m sick of people preaching to others about all their virtues when I know they don’t do what they preach themselves. Preacher types have always annoyed me, whatever the subject – even if I agree. Live & let live.

What can listeners expect from your upcoming album Dismissed?

Fast, aggressive, melodic punk rock bordering on hardcore. What Twenty2 always should have been.

Interview: Jon H. Genier of Twenty2 Talks About Their New Album 'Dismissed' and More | Hype | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

A lot of the album was crafted remotely. How was that process? Did it affect things in anyway?

I think in the end, it’s probably a good thing. In my experience, you can only be in a practice space so long writing songs before you start getting on each other’s nerves. So doing it remote, we never got sick of each other, & we never got sick of the process. Luke & I would usually start when he got home around 6PM PST (9PM for me) & work on the songs for 3-4 hours pretty much every night of the week. & then we would do full weekends as well. We went back & forth on ideas & things to try out like that for months & months.

What do you want listeners to takeaway from the new album?

The big one for me is the divisiveness the Western world is going through right now. Much of this album is about getting out of that (“Conditioned”, “Fuck Your Rules”, “Before You Save Us”, etc.). Maybe we could stop being so preachy. Maybe we could stop thinking we’re always right & we always know what’s best for everyone. Maybe we could get along no matter our political side. Less hateful more grateful.

What can people expect from you guys in the future?

We start playing shows in August through the rest of the year in support of the album. Hopefully that goes well & we can keep things going for a while!

Damaged City Festival 2019 | Photos | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.

Damaged City Festival 2019 | Photos | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

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