Jonny Herman


Hiya Jonny thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

Thank you very much for the invite!

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

At risk of repeating a cliché, but I think I have always known? When I was a toddler, I used to turn my toy boxes upside down and bash on them like a drum kit. I also made my first band (the Jazz Rock Dingos) with a friend when I was around 5/6. It must be hardwired in or something!

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

My name is Jonny Herman (AKA ocelot of lounge) and I am an independent artist and producer from Norfolk (UK). I have been writing and playing music for the best part of 14 years, having been a drummer and song-writer in several indie/alternate bands over the 2010s. I have been focusing more on my solo stuff for the past 5/6 years or so though. 

Whats the live music scene like in (Norwich) right now? Anyone we should be looking out for (Bar you of course)

There is such a vibrant music scene in Norwich right now. Several exciting bands seem to be starting to get more notoriety (such as Bag of Cans and Sleemo), while there are loads of great underground acts that should be more well known (such as Muntjax and Barish). Norwich has an open mic scene unlike any that I know elsewhere in the country too, at one point there seemed to be one for every night of the week, all attracting top quality acts. I love it.

Ive seen a lot of people struggling for support recently online. Whats your view on the industry?

I get that. The music industry feels more competitive and swamped than it’s ever been before. Home recording technology has massively improved the accessibility of making professional sounding music, but this makes the market all the more saturated at the same time. A bit of a double-edged sword. The industry is quite nepotistic too, which doesn’t necessarily translate the accessibility of making great music into making a career out of music, if that makes sense?

On the positive side though, I feel that there is a growing movement and desire in fans to support artists further, by donating to projects, buying albums, and by going to live shows. Word of mouth still seems to be a great way to get music out there, and to meet new people.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

Still flying the independent flag, making music for the absolute love of it. 

Tell us two truths and a lie about you.

I am a qualified teacher.

I’ve written a satirical musical that may or may not ever see the light of day.

I have played football on the pitch at Carrow Road, home of Norwich City FC.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Not so much now, I tend to welcome different interpretations of my stuff, and am not afraid of a little introspection. 

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

Generally speaking, no. Although, content algorithms which seem to be defining culture on social media are perhaps too powerful a tool, not only directing users to content based off of quite personal information, but also encouraging users to then act without challenging information sources. 

What was your best experience on stage?

Potentially the first gig where I performed my tunes with backing tracks at the now since closed venue The Birdcage, Norwich, back in 2019. Performing a few months ago with another project I am in, called the Bovril Boys, was great fun too. 

What was your worst experience on stage?

Playing an unrehearsed and unsound-checked gig at a high school battle of the bands, when I was in my teenage band Sancho Blanco.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I’m a big fan of ancient Greek music, and spend my free time researching it.

What are the next steps you plan to take to reach the next level?

Work on releasing an album, potentially within the next year or so. I am currently planning a mini tour of the UK as well.

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

I’ve just released a new single call ‘Old Romantics’! It’s part of an EP of the same name, which will be released later this year. I am particularly happy with this one, as it’s the best my tunes have ever sounded, and is lyrically one that has managed to get down quite a few sentiments that have been in my mind for a while. 

What was the recording process like?

Quite a long process, which started off with the producer Bob Cooper way back in 2021. I recorded a lot of the core instruments during our sessions at the Chairworks studio, but then spent the next couple of years tweaking and recording parts at home in between working. It’s helped me figure out the sound I want to go for a little better though. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Learning how to play the instruments and the parts that feature on them. I tend to write and play the majority of what you can hear. 

Would you change anything now its finished?

You can always tweak stuff, but ultimately no, I’m pretty happy with the whole vibe of the single/EP.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Go stream the single, and watch the video when it comes out on the 7th June, it’s a special one! The Bovril Boys’ song for the Euros 2024 comes out the same day too, so check them both out!