HOME TOWN: Sacramento, CA
Jonah Matranga (all instruments)
Jonah Matranga's Onelinedrawing has a lot to live up to. After releasing last year's achingly honest Visitor (Jade Tree) Matranga spent a full year on the road, touring non-stop with the likes of Emo heart throbs Thursday, youth crew prog-rockers Coheed and Camberia, and an ever-wistful Dashboard Confessional. Every night was an honest, off the cuff battle for sincerity and while the kids came out for the rock they were instead met by a very earnest Jonah, alone with his electric guitar, a drum machine and a barrage of heated between song banter. Jonah continues, "For me it's still very much so about songs. If a pop song can be really transcendent then banter can also be really transformative, as much as any art could be. If you let out your idea it might help someone let do the same, it's the very nature of communication." As it turns out Onelinedrawing is hardly about being conventional by any means - begun as an outlet for Jonah's more silent, heartfelt moments as he fronted the Sacramento based proto-rock band Far in the late nineties. The project developed a massive internet based following and early solo shows would be stuffed to the gills with fans eager to meet and more importantly share in the ultra-democratic discourse Matranga not only encourages, but also seemingly can not escape. "The history of Onelinedrawing is best told through message board form that's how I booked tours, got feedback, made fans, and of course made friends." In keeping with his uber-personal, rock you door to door mentality, Jonah consistently put his money where his mouth is. Selling over 300,00 copies of his four self-released EP's to fans through his site and at shows. When Far split shortly after inking a deal with Sony Record, Jonah went on to form New End Original who promptly signed to Jade Tree. As New End Original's success grew, as did the interest in Onelinedrawing and before long Jonah found himself releasing his first solo full length to a much broader fan base than before. "You know doing Onelinedrawing for me was the furthest, most fundamentally DIY stuff I could do - making records in bedrooms, in lvingrooms and selling them on the road. Jade Tree was the most obvious extension of that ideology" Countless high profile tours followed and Onelinedrawing wound up on a platform much bigger than had initially been intended for his home-studio confessionals. All that being said leaves Onelinedrawing's newest Jade Tree full length, The Volunteers, a long and sorted legacy to live up to. Lucky for him and his fans the end result of this eleven song is the most realized, produced, and pointed record of Jonah's career. Continuing his pretense free policy of an open ended contribution Jonah posted downloadable MP3's on his site, "Ian Love from Rival Schools downloaded demos and made guitar/bass flourishes as he saw fit and would then send ideas back to me. I was interested in having people engage with the process - I had people at shows in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York City sing the chorus to "Over It" with me and double that with audio I had of my family singing on the west coast". The end result is both gorgeously simple and gloriously awkward; some songs float by breathy and silent while others provide the pure pop hooks Jonah has been come to be known for. Without a doubt The Volunteers is the pinnacle of Jonah's career, a completion of the promise he has made to wear his heart on his sleeve, for better and for worse this is Onelinedrawing's most honest testament, "This record best openly sums up all I love about music, and is easily the most cohesive record I've ever made and the most diverse. It's equally quiet and loud, silly and serious - after all with these different paths and band names; music really is, in the end, just ideas."