Published Jan 01, 2006In a quiet park near a dirty rock'n'roll venue, half an hour after the headlining band has wrapped up its set, Jonah Matranga is still playing his heart out for a small group of kids. The brain trust behind Onelinedrawing, a one-man experiment in intimate and excruciatingly honest music-making, has made these after-show performances a small tradition while on the road.
"Sometimes I just feel like playing more. The set's over, and I don't want to be rude to the other bands, but I feel like singing more," he says. The whole concept came to fruition years ago while Jonah was fronting his previous band, Far. "We were playing a club, and it turned out that it wasn't all ages, and we thought it was. Some kids couldn't get in, and so I just played a few songs for them before we went and played. It was just a spur of the moment thing. It's sort of like a door opened."
For Jonah, fan involvement is a key component of Onelinedrawing's existence. On the band's new record, The Volunteers, fan participation is taken to a whole new level "Over It," one of many songs on the album to experiment with slightly more aggressive sonic textures, features a unique final chorus. "It's [taken from] a Connecticut show, a New Jersey show, and a New York show that were all part of the same little tour. I was able to put a thousand background singers on one song," explains Jonah of the song's gargantuan finale.
From his active involvement in the band's message board, to PWYC merch, to a planned bootleg trading series, a democratic relationship with fans seems to be paramount to the whole concept of Onelinedrawing. "It's hard to imagine having done it any other way. I've just always loved bands that seem to have the trust of the people who listen to them."