Q&A Scene: Jon S Williams of City of Cool


Who is in your band?
City of Cool is Jon S Williams: Vocals/Guitar and David Craven: Drums

Tell us about your new album?

In March 2008, whilst living in Barcelona, Jon saw NYC Hardcore band ‘Girls Against Boys’ in a small club. The idea for City of Cool was born. When Jon returned to Melbourne he called David and City of Cool began September 2008. Delays were experienced while David lived in London 2011/12 and Auckland 2014. This debut album is a result of all the writing and playing that went on in these years. A particularly coherent and focused body of work has resulted.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
City of Cool is a home cooked meal or a slow cooked meal at a local restaurant where City of Cool walked or rode a bike. All ingredients are sourced from local markets and/or grown in the backyard garden. “The globalisation of agricultural systems over recent decades is likely to have been one of the most important causes of overall increases in greenhouse gas emissions” (Steven Shrybman) City of Cool inherently rejects the dominant paradigm of globalised mass consumerism and fast food.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?
All songs on this debut album relate to one another, that is why it is an album. However, the lead track ‘CCTV’ is 20 seconds long and resulted from a rehearsal jam just after David returned from London, so that song has a particular resonance.

Any on the road anecdotes?
[pullquote]When Jon and David were walking to the studio from the train station they thought their world had come to an end when a plane flew overhead so low you could read the writing on its underbelly.[/pullquote]Jon joined David twice in Auckland in 2014. One solid weekend spent in pre-production/rehearsal and then another weekend spent rehearsing/recording/mixing. However, during 2014 another evening was spent in Sydney rehearsing @ Zen studios. Anyone who has been there will know it is right next to the airport. City of Cool did not know that. When Jon and David were walking to the studio from the train station they thought their world had come to an end when a plane flew overhead so low you could read the writing on its underbelly. A massive and sonic earthquake rehearsal resulted.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Currently on the City of Cool turntable are the following albums: Shellac (Dude Incredible), Bob Mould (Beauty and Ruin), Swans (To be kind), Fugazi (Repeater), OFF! (Wasted Years), Girls Against Boys (You can’t fight what you can’t see), The Dacios (Monkey’s Blood), Thurston Moore (The Best Day). Recent gigs attended: Jon – Golden Plains, The Meanies @ Northcote Social Club, Midnight Woolf @ Bar Open, Riff Fist @ Brunswick Hotel. David: 10 local punk bands @ Whammy Bar (Auckland). Recent movies watched: Whiplash, The Big Lebowski, Inherent Vice, Eraserhead, Only lovers left alive. Books read: Jon and David – How Music Works by David Byrne.

What’s next for you?
Tuesday 2 June: Interview with Ken Eavel (Go for Broke) on 3PBS 106.7fm
Saturday 27 June: Live-to-air performance with Mike Smith (Let your freak flag fly) on 3CR 855AM
Saturday 11 July: Album launch @ The Tote (Plastic Knife #14 Zine launch) with The Church of Hysteria and The Girl Fridas

What’s your scene?
Local bands at sticky carpet venues. Vinyl. Social networking. Keeping healthy in order to play full throttle live sets. Loud rehearsals. Good people with creative ideas. PRIMITIVE ROCK.

About City of Cool

What’s My Scene caught up with Jon S Williams of City of Cool, an internationally unknown primitive rock band based in Melbourne.

City of Cool is:

  • D.I. Y.
  • Original songs.
  • Fiercely independent.
  • In the moment at the moment that the moment is.
  • Full throttle.
  • Sticky Carpet.
  • Electric energy through the ear socket into the brain.

About Mary Boukouvalas 1612 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.