Saskatoon’s own Von Jumbo returns to the scene with new music after taking a break to pursue personal projects. On March 16, the band will mark their return with a headlining show at Amigos Cantina, with openers like the Buzzardline and Kory Istace.
Von Jumbo is a four-piece rock band that combines a number of sounds and genres to form a hard-hitting and unique rock sound. Holden Blue, lead guitarist for Von Jumbo, describes how the band was started.
“Me and my buddy Dylan Cooper just started playing about five years ago. We decided to just start jamming, playing open mics and stuff like that,” Holden said. “We kind of had an idea to just do a two-piece blues-rock band, and it turned into something a little bit heavier.”
In addition to Holden, Von Jumbo is made up of Cooper on drums and vocals, Mike Roy on bass and Erinn Blue on keys.
Though the band draws obvious influences from Deep Purple and Clutch, Holden explains that their songs show inspiration from a number of musical backgrounds.
“Every member of the band brings something into it. Anything from Neil Young to the stoner-rock band Sleep, and then everything in the middle,” Holden said. “There’s some punk influences, some ’70s rock — there’s some stoner rock. There’s a little bit of everything.”
Holden is excited about being able to play some new material at their upcoming show at Amigos.
“We have taken a bit of a break, so it will be a fresh set with some new tunes and a few surprises, so it will be good,” Holden said. “Amigos is always an awesome venue. I love playing there, so it will be great.”
For fans who have been anticipating the follow-up to Von Jumbo’s 2015 EP, Love Boat, Holden brings the good news that the band is planning to record a second album over the summer.
“In the summer, we’ll be working on some recording. We haven’t released new material since 2015, so we still have a backlog of songs that we want to record. I think that’s probably the plan for the summer, and then, [we’ll] release hopefully in early fall,” Holden said.
Holden just recently completed an undergraduate degree in regional and urban planning, and he states that the band offered him a nice balance to the stress of university.
“[The band] was a good outlet — like it was good to take a break. If we were having a stressful week, or whatever, we would always jam at least once a week, and it was a good outlet for that,” Holden said. “School always did take precedent, but we did still manage to jam quite a bit. It was a good healthy balance, I think.”
For university students who play instruments and who may want to start a band of their own, Holden gives his own advice — just start the band.
“Just do it, really. It started as just a fun thing — we weren’t the best,” Holden said. “We weren’t really writing good stuff, but we got out, and we just started playing open mics and stuff like that.
“You start making connections, and Saskatoon’s music scene is pretty small, so as soon as you start playing, you get to meet a lot of people, and you start to get shows and stuff like that. I know it’s easier said than done, but I would say, just do it.”
Von Jumbo plays Amigos Cantina on March 16. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. Check out their music and keep up to date with the band on Bandcamp.
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer
Photo: Curtis Matwishyn Photography / Supplied