The NAMM Show 2018 Interviews: Jacob Bunton of Myja
Jacob Bunton is certainly the musician about town when it comes to both his many musical projects and appearances to discover new equipment at The NAMM Show every year. Among Bunton’s many endeavors is an entity called Myja, a two-piece Americana rock duo also featuring Michael Marquart of A Bad Think – who recently issued a Self-Titled debut via Windmark Recordings.
Highwire Daze Online caught up with Jacob at this year’s edition of The NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center to find out more about about the very recent Myja unveiling, plus news on his other bands Lynam, Adler, Neon Coven, guitars of choice, and a whole lot more! Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Myja.
My name is Jacob Bunton and I play guitar and keyboards and sing – and a little bit of everything in a two piece band called Myja. And I’m also in Lynam and also Adler with Steven Adler.
How did you wind up in Myja? It’s a little bit different from your other projects.
It’s really interesting. Me and Michael (Marquart)– the other guy – met through a mutual friend and we really hit it off. We had a lot of the same interests in music and approaches to the way that we like to record – organically, and playing as a band – and the same thing as songwriting. We had a lot of similarities in how we like to write songs. So we got together and started writing – and one thing led to another. We decided we had to record it and do a project. We don’t play live – we’ve never played live – we don’t even have a band together. It was just a studio project that was a lot of fun.
Since we are at NAMM, we are going to talk instruments. What are your weapons of choice and why?
So for guitars, I play Charvelle – in live situations and studio situations – I’ve always loved Charvelles. I use the SoCals – that’s the closest to a Stratocaster. They’re a Hot Rodded Strat and they sound amazing! For acoustic guitars – we happen to be down here where all the acoustic guitars are on “E”. I use a company called Bourgeois – it’s a guy named Dana Bourgeois, who in my opinion, builds the best acoustic guitars on the planet. The great thing about NAMM is you’re constantly discovering new makers and instruments you didn’t even know existed. I saw somebody yesterday who was playing his IPhone with a stick hooked up to it – and it actually sounded pretty amazing – so you just never know.
What do you find in Myja that you do not find in your many other projects?
Each person that you collaborate with, you get a completely different vibe – a completely different sound. It’s not rocket science – its still rock and roll. It’s more Americana classic type rock and roll. To me, our record sounds like a mixture of Jack White, Neil Young – and even the band America because it’s got all those big harmonies. Each person you collaborate with, you come up with something completely different. And with Myja, its Michael – that’s what’s different than the other projects. And when we got together, it was really cool the things that we started creating.
Would you like to see Myja perform live one day?
We’re both so incredibly busy doing things. Michael’s main project is A Bad Think and my main project is as a songwriter and I’m constantly in the studio with pop artists. If the timing worked out, then yeah, it would be fun. But if it doesn’t, I still think we would do another record or keep writing songs – it’s a lot of fun.
What’s currently going on with Lynam?
We played three shows last month over New Years – we played in Florida. With Lynam, we’ve been together since we were kids. We’re all three best friends – we’re brothers – we’ll never break up – we’ll always be together. We still talk on the phone every day. It’s just one of those things – scheduling is always – just life takes turns and you kind of go with it. We don’t live in the same towns anymore. We play less and less than we used to, but we always have fun doing it. And we’ve even talked about doing another EP. Our last record that we ever did was called Thank You Good Night – and when we announced that, a lot of people thought we were breaking up. We never said we were breaking up – we just went to EP’s. Just because of the way people consume music – it seems like people don’t have the attention span to listen to full records anymore. We did a full record with Myja, but it was something completely different. We kind of just did it for us to have fun. It’s more of a record for us, and if people dig it, great! We had a lot of fun doing it.
And what is going on with Adler?
We’re all still close. Steven hasn’t played in a while. We did that Ultimate Jam Night a while back where we did some songs. But there’s no plan to go on tour or anything like that. It’s another one of those things where you’ve got people who love each other very much – we’re all great friends – but we’re all doing other projects right now.
And what’s going on with Neon Cover?
I love doing the Neon Coven stuff. The funny thing about Neon Coven – if you hear the band that’s in the background now – the bluegrass band that is playing onstage. Anthony, my partner who is in Neon Coven – that’s his brother on stage right now playing guitar in the bluegrass band. And I think Anthony is right out there watching his brother. So we (Neon Coven) did our EP and we did the Depeche Mode cover Never Let Me Down Again. And we’re going to do some more stuff this year as well.
Has Depeche Mode heard or commented on your cover?
I don’t know. I would love to hear their thoughts on it if they did hear it.
What is it you’d like a listener to remember when hearing the music of Myja for the first time?
Hopefully to be able to hum the songs. Just remember the songs and remember the melodies,
When you listen back to those early Lynam songs, what do you think of them now?
It’s weird, because on some of them, I listen to and I cringe – “Ah, what were we thinking?” But we still play a lot of those songs because people seem to like them. I think that goes for anybody. It seems like a lot of people I know who listen to their earlier work – some of it is cringe worthy – but some of it is really cool – we’ve lucked onto some cool things.
And what’s up next for you?
Next is more of the same. More writing and more recording. Probably do a Lynam EP this year and definitely do more Neon Coven stuff.
Myja should play acoustic. Just an idea…
I know, that would be awesome! Those songs fit that…
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – NAMM Photo by Jack Lue)