By Marley

Jonathan Peyper is no stranger to Small Town Music Blog. Jonathan, who will be performing at the upcoming Woodcrock 13.1 event at the end of August at Blue Moon, is certainly a blues-rock man you can’t miss.

I had a quick interview with Jonathan as he prepares for Woodcrock, works on his teaching skills (and is damn good at it) and settling back into small town life here in “The Spruit”.

STM: In short, who is Jonathan Peyper and where are you from?

JP: I am a blues-rock artist and guitar teacher. I am from Mbombela (Nelspruit) where I grew up since 1997.

STM: Your second studio album was produced by Dan Patlansky, how was it working with him on such an intimate level musically?

JP: It was a great and encouraging experience working with Dan. I learnt so much from the man with regards to my approach to the blues genre and what I could do different/ better. It was somewhat scary as well when it came down to playing the guitar parts in the studio as Dan is one of my guitar heroes and all eyes were on me!

Jonathan Pyper - photo by Small Town Music Blog
Jonathan Pyper
(Photo by Small Town Music Blog)

STM: What can we expect from your second album?

JP: It’s quite an explosive and deep journey I went on when writing this album. It is a very colourful album musically because it is filled with life lessons, stories and everyday trials that everyone goes through in life. There is somewhat encouraging songs as well that will help you start off your day on a good “note”.

STM: Did you and Dan collab on any songs guitar-wise or songwriting wise on this upcoming album?

JP: Dan was mainly involved in the producing, arranging and tone-setting of the songs and had very little to do with the writing part. All songs were written by me but with Dan’s experience and ideas over them, I couldn’t imagine having a better coach/ producer. 

STM: You recently relocated back home to Nelsparta, has anything changed for you? Is it good to be back?

JP: It’s really good to be back home! I have gotten rid of the “rush” that Pretoria offers that used drain me a lot! I don’t do small towns but life is more relaxed here and I like the balance because Nelspruit is a small city and everything is so close to one another. 

STM: What is your favourite part of your home town?

JP: The peace it offers and the nature. No more cold concrete buildings everywhere and no more traffic!

STM: What do you think of a full weekend event like Woodcrock? 

JP: It’s a very cool event with a decent line-up, very much like a mini STRAB.

Jonathan Peyper - Photo credit Small Town Music Blog
Jonathan Peyper
(photo by Small Town Music Blog)

STM: You are an old Nelspartan and have played at Blue Moon many times over the years (for different artists and solo), what is your fondest memory of Blue Moon?

JP: I had a few good moments at Blue Moon but my absolute best was when I was 17 and played with Dan for the first time in 2007, which is where my love for the blues-rock was born. 

STM: You have one golden circle ticket to see any band/artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

JP: I would love to see a Joe Bonamassa concert one day I hope to have a jam with the man!

STM: Lastly, what can people expect from Jonathan Peyper on stage at Woodcrock in August?

JP: We will definitely be performing tracks off the new album and be doing a few blues shuffle tunes that people love dancing to. But a powerful three-piece band is the absolute recipe for the night.

Jonathan Peyper will be performing at Woodcrock 13.1 from 30 – 31 August 2019 at Blue Moon alongside bands like Crimson House, Cutting Jade, Jack Hammer Band, Southern Gypsey Queen, Voodoo Kudu, Soul Taxi, Solid Ground and many more. Tickets are now available via Quicket at R200 (including camping) or R250 at the gate.

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Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.