During the last two months, Jon Wilson has worn out a cushion on his couch.
Between working from home writing software for physical therapists, creating new music and honing his mixing and mastering skills, he’s been planted on it whenever he’s not out rollerblading or visiting his family.
“It’s funny because I have a three-person couch, and I just sit in the middle of it,” he said. “It’s like the two side cushions are not even worn.”
Wilson, the lead singer of garage-rock band Jonfin, has been putting all his skills to good use on an EP for his new solo project Save the Rhinos.
The four-song “PM Radio” release captures the essence of what makes Jonfin so fun to listen to — bouncy guitarwork, spirited melodies and Wilson’s relatable lyrics all wrapped up in a grunged out, lo-fi sound — but it also gives him a chance to deviate and experiment a little bit.
“If there was no quarantine, I don’t think there would be Save the Rhinos,” he said.
According to Wilson, Jonfin was getting ready to finish up some new music this spring. In addition, right before lockdown he had started working on a song-a-day program, forcing himself to find fresh creativity on the regular. Once the stay-at-home orders were announced, he found himself with a load of potential songs and no band to play them.
“The project came about from really just sitting on the couch with my laptop, my guitar pedals under the table, my amp like five feet in front of me and the bass amp right next to it,” he said.
Wilson said he had been picking the brains of the engineers who worked on the last Jonfin release; using that knowledge, he took some time to refine his skills on the recording end of the process. Since he was still writing, performing and recording tracks, only without his Jonfin bandmates, he decided to keep things separate. Save the Rhinos was born.
On top of the new musical project, while many of us were learning how to bake bread for the first time, Wilson was tackling another creative project: starting a candlemaking business.
“About a year and a half ago, I wanted to try making candles at home, just as a hobby. Melting wax, putting in a fragrance oil and then pouring candles,” he said. “So I put a decent investment into getting supplies, getting all the jars and the wax for it and stuff like that. And then I just kind of didn’t have time for it, and I put it all to the side. … But now being home so much, I kind of picked up that hobby again. I’m making candles I can actually sell through an online storefront. So that’s been kind of fun.”
Wllson’s new Save the Rhinos EP is available streaming on all major platforms. You can find his Vandal Candles for sale at vandalcandleco.com.