New Music Monday: Jon Chacon

Podcast by Alec Fischer, Video by Ian Schrank

As a sophomore in high school, Jon Chacon nervously performed Pink Floyd’s classic song “Wish You Were Here,” in front of his classmates. It was his first time playing the guitar and singing in front of his peers, and while it was a bit nerve-wracking, Chacon admits that he was hooked on performing music.

“It was so much fun, and from there, I kind of got addicted,” said Chacon.  

But he was interested in music long before that Pink Floyd cover. At the young age of six, Chacon felt an incredible passion for music. It was at this age that Elvis Presley first caught his ear, and since then, he has acquired more musical idols and gone further to incorporate these artists into his unique style of music.  

Chacon was born in Utah, before moving to Michigan and later deciding on Marquette for college. The senior in the College of Communication has been in several different bands, or more accurately, one or two bands with several different names. 

“We went through a plethora of names. None of them were good enough,” Chacon said.  

Photo courtesy of Jon Chacon

He currently records music under his own name as a solo artist, but he still occasionally works in groups.   

Chacon started writing his own music “within a year of starting playing guitar,” he said, “I just wanted to be like the Beatles.”  

The songwriting process consisted of getting home from high school, running upstairs to his bathroom, and sitting there until dinner was ready just playing the guitar and writing songs.  

“None of them had names, it’s still the same thing as I do now,” Chacon added.  

Besides the Beatles and Elvis, Chacon has given credit to several others for influencing his taste in music.  

Chacon says he listens to a lot of Jimi Hendrix, which eventually prompted him to ask “Who does Hendrix listen to?” As an answer to that question, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and other classic blues musicians found their way into Chacon’s listening library.  

“I would like to think I sound like them. I think everybody that I really like, I’ve tried to write songs that sound like them. I don’t know if they sounded like that, but they were inspired by that kind of stuff.”  

As far as actual recording, Chacon has toyed around with a few different methods and devices.  

“About two years ago, I got really into Mac DeMarco and I was like ‘okay what’s this guy doing that sounds so cool,'” Chacon said.  

This prompted him to look into what type of recording equipment DeMarco uses to get such a unique, lo-fi sound. The secret seemed to be a TASCAM 4-track cassette recorder, an item that is out of price range for most typical college-student budgets. Chacon saved up, however, and eventually purchased a similar recorder, only to be let down.  

“Of course, it didn’t work very well, so eventually, I sold that and bought a newer one,” Chacon said.  

Computers make for far more practical recording these days, so Chacon eventually bought into that, and now has a full setup with which he is comfortable.  

Chacon recorded a four-song EP, which showed him how much work goes into a recording. He was struck by how much effort it took to record just four songs, but this gave Chacon a better idea of how to move forward.  

“After I did that, I set my sights on learning how to record, so that’s kind of where I’m at now,” Chacon said.  

Chacon continues to write and record music, but is currently working on an internship at a recording studio in the Third Ward. He gets a lot of tips and learns by watching his colleagues at the studio.  

“I could see myself doing that. I just want to stay in that world. I like it,” said Chacon.  

Chacon’s music is on iTunes as well as Spotify, and his latest work can be found on SoundCloud.