Famous Firsts: IKTPQ's Jona Weinhofen on learning to crowdsurf and loving rave
The musical firsts of Jona Weinhofen from I Killed The Prom Queen
If you’re wondering where the next I Killed The Prom Queen album is, you’re not alone, so when we caught up with Jona Weinhofen in London, we asked where the bloody hell it was. “If I’m being completely honest, there should have been another album by now,” Jona tells us. “But in the last 12 months there’s been a lot of marriage in our world. I guess we’re at an age now where personal life and family life is becoming as important as the band.”
That doesn’t mean there won’t be a follow-up to 2014’s Beloved, though. “We did writing sessions about a year ago before Warped Tour, and they went pretty well,” says Jona. "We work better when we set the time apart and just immerse ourselves in it so I think that’s probably what we’ll end up doing.” So, watch this space. In the meantime, here are Jona's famous firsts...
What was the first single you ever bought?
“I think it was Purple Rain, which just shows how old I am. The first album I ever bought was Boyz II Men as well. I do remember getting an Alice Cooper cassette tape – the one that had School’s Out on it – and that was my first kind of heavy record. I wanted to be a dancer, I loved Michael Jackson, Bad was my favourite song and video when I was really small. From there I got into straight-up rave music, and from that I found The Prodigy which brought me back to dancing and performing. Then I started discovering bands like Korn and Slipknot and nu metal, and that’s where I started to find my love of heavy music. It’s funny we’re seeing so much more electronic music incorporated into heavy music these days.”
What was the first gig you ever went to?
“The Prodigy. That was at the Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide, South Australia, with support from an Aussie band called Regurgitator who were pretty big at the time. And I just remember having my mind blown, I didn’t have any concept of what a show was before that. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Do you wanna crowd surf?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know what that is!’ And they showed me how to crowd surf, and I came out sweaty and buzzing and my mum picked me up and I was buzzing for days.”
What was the first gig you ever played?
“My first real show with a real band was in high school, it was the first hardcore band I was in. We were called Another’s Life. We were very bad, but somehow through some buddies in the local Adelaide scene we got onto some local hardcore shows. The first show we ever played was with other local bands at a place called the Adelaide Community Centre. That’s where every hardcore show was when I was young, and it was the place to aspire to. Looking back, it was a crappy little community hall that holds a hundred people! It was the biggest deal to us at the time.”
What was the first I Killed The Prom Queen tour like?
“Our first real tour in 2002 was still one of the most fun and memorable experiences I can imagine. It was called the War On The Floor tour, and it was put together by Graham at Resist Records which was our label at the time, and is Parkway Drive’s label now. It was us and another Adelaide band called Shot Point Blank who were great friends of ours. We went to Graham and said, ‘Hey, we want to play all the cities instead of just Adelaide and Melbourne’, so we played Sydney, Canberra, Byron Bay, all the big cities. We travelled around the country together playing for next to no money and next to no people, but we were having a ball because we were finally on tour.”