Editor’s Note: Videographer. Photographer. Acoustic Singer/Songwriter. Metalcore. These are just a few of the hats that Wisconsin native Jonny Servais wears in his day-to-day life. Awhile back, he opened up for Brianna Musco and Nate & The Abuse at a show at The Wheel in South Beloit, Illinois and the room loved his set. There was something simplistic yet complex about his music. If you were at the show and listened really closely, you could gather the subtle parts in his arrangements on the acoustic guitar along with his voice. It is the tried and true method if the music is honest and organic, people are going to pay attention. We were lucky enough to sit down with Jonny Servais for Madness To Creation after his set at The Wheel to discuss his music and mental health awareness. Fans can find Jonny Servais at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: You brought up homeless people and wanting to help them before this interview, so I thought it would be an interesting segue to my first question, do have advocacy issues brought up in your music?
Jonny: In my solo project, “Jonny Servais”, I mainly just love heartbreak and I have fun, but I actually had a project called Fighting Nightmares that I did a lot of that in, the project name kind of speaks for itself, but it’s about having nightmares because of depression, suicide, stuff like that, that’s actually transferred over to Jonny Servais, so there’s those elements like that, but overall, just try to keep a positive message of staying happy and staying positive.
Madness To Creation: What is something that you do to stay happy and to be positive?
Jonny: My mantra is to stay busy and to stay happy and be productive even for the littlest thing, I do a lot of music, I also do photography, I’m always creating something, even if it’s something stupid and I end up hating it, I’d rather create something and slowly fall in love with it than think back on my life and think that I just watched Netflix for all those years. Nothing against that, but I definitely watch plenty of Netflix myself, I just try my best to always be creating something, some type of art in some way, so that’s something that helps me to stay positive and stay on my toes.
Madness To Creation: Want to plug your photography?
Jonny: Sure why not! It’s Servais Media, it’s what I go through, it’s my own business, it’s videography and photography, I’m actually a videographer, dance videos, special effects stuff, stuff like that. I’m currently planning a short film, we’re trying to find as many special effects as we can to throw into it. Without giving too much away, it’ll have portals and wizard fighting, and stuff like that, just trying to play around with special effects more or less.
Fans can check out Servais Media at www.facebook.com/ServaisMedia
Madness To Creation: When you perform at a gig, what is your favorite moment that you have ever had on stage?
Jonny: Definitely just little moments of seeing people that have never heard you before just looking up and having the thought to pay attention to you, the people who are there with their friends that don’t know any of the artists, they’ll look up and actually start listening to your music, they’ve never heard you before, but they actually start to get into you. I feel like it’s different when you’re bigger, because when you’re bigger, people purposely go to your show, and when you’re bigger, that friend came to that show and pretend to love it anyway, so when you’re smaller and some random person that you’ve never met before looks up and starts listening to your music and they are genuinely enjoying it, that’s what I love.
Madness To Creation: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Jonny: Five years from now, I see myself leaning towards more the video aspect of life, I definitely want to get into filming videos, I want to do that full time and I want to just keep creating, but I want to be more on an entire level than I am now.
Madness To Creation: What do you want your legacy be when you decide to retire?
Jonny: First of all, I’ll be impressed that I’ll be retired in 35 years, I definitely want to be remembered for my positive attitude and my ability to keep thriving and my ambition, that’s something that I put a lot of pride in my ability of no matter what I go through, the harder it pushes me down, the more that I want to push forward.
Madness To Creation: What advice do you have for those that might be struggling?
Jonny: I would definitely say that I know a lot of people say “stay positive and keep your head up”, I know it’s easier said than done sometimes and what got me creating and what got me making music was when it felt like rock bottom. I felt like I lost everyone, I was starting to get pretty suicidal myself, I just wasn’t in an okay time, but instead of letting me get that down, and even if everyone hated it, I just wanted my guitar and just to get it off my chest, that’s what got me playing a lot more music, I wouldn’t have picked up that guitar years ago, but I genuinely believe that music kept me alive for those few years. Just find something that you can vent through healthily, whether that be poetry, music, some type of art, people vent out in a lot of different ways, everyone’s different, as long as you have that one way, that’s what helped me the most.
Madness To Creation: You have an EP out, tell us your favorite song and I’m going to give you the floor.
Jonny: My EP is called “Sleep Tight”. It’s been out for a couple of years now, but I’m currently working on a new one, but for “Sleep Tight”, it’s a five-track EP, it has a rock song on it, it has a chill song on it, just trying to get a taste of it. When I recorded it, there’s a couple of parts that I personally feel were rushed, but I did have to rush it, I was working a full-time job and my only time to record it was after work, and someone messaged me and said it sounded like I was whispering in one part and that was because I was recording it at like 3 o’clock in the morning in an apartment building, so it’s just kind of a fun joke at this point. My favorite song on the EP for me is “Stay Safe For Me”, my girlfriend at the time, she went to London for school, it was awesome but I wanted to tell her that I loved her and support her in everything that she’s doing but I wish you would get the hell back already, it’s kind of what the song is about, so “Stay Safe For Me”, I actually put out a video and put all the different lyrics in it, I put a lot behind that song. Some songs I’m just like, “go for it” and I write it down and hope to remember it later, but “Stay Safe For Me” is a song where I really gave it a lot of thought, one of my favorite lines in there is, “It comforts me that we see the moon”, it’s about when I was younger, my dad moved to Mexico for a little bit, and one of the things that he used to always say was “we’re still seeing the same moon”, so kind of the transition to the long distance relationship was that it comforts me that we can see the moon.
Madness To Creation: Where can people find you?
Jonny: You can find me on Spotify, I-Tunes, whatever is on your phone, I’m just about everywhere. I’ve had problems finding myself on Pandora but I know I’m on there somewhere, but my go-to is normally Spotify
And there you have it! Stay in close contact with Jonny Servais’s social media pages above for the latest news and happenings.