Jona Weinhofen. Professional Musician and Animal Rights Activist.
"There is something magical about knowing that an idea which stems from an experience or small piece of inspiration, can become a song which people can really identify with."
Just like most other people in music, Jona
got into music at a young age, joining his first band while he was in High School. "Once I finished school I was more interested in music than ever before, started my first real band at 17 while I was at college studying music industry and audio engineering. The band was I Killed The Prom Queen
and began to gain a lot of popularity and momentum in the budding Australian heavy music scene and we began to tour interstate and in just 3 years, internationally. In 2007 I joined California band Bleeding Through
gaining some more recognition and in 2009, joined UK’s Bring Me The Horizon
which again helped me ascend in my career."
For him, the creative freedom that comes with making music is the best part of the job. "I am not only confined to being a musician but also a manager, artist, merchandise designer and more. There is something magical about knowing that an idea which stems from an experience or small piece of inspiration, can become a song which people can really identify with. A song that can help guide people through a difficult time in their life, or accompany some of the amazing times they may share."
When it comes to inspiration, Jona usually finds it when listening to other music, even moreso music outside of the genre he plays. "I may hear a classical piece, or acoustic piece and think, you know what, something like this would sound really cool if it were played on a heavy distorted guitar with a lot of melody and some synth and strings behind it."
Splitting his time between California and Melbourne, Jona has had the chance to satisfy his wanderlust thanks to years of touring. "There is something special about the friendships I have built [in Orange County] and the connection I have with the ocean ever since I was a child. I found myself back here in 2014 for love when I met my wife. The rest of the band members are based in Melbourne, Australia and it is one of my favorite cities in the world. Such an inspiring place of art and music, and the culture and lifestyle there is incredible. I could see myself relocating there at some time in the future. Oh, and the vegan food is flawless and abundant too!"
Having spent time in Australia, Jona has been able to spot a few differences (and similarities) between there and the USA: "LA is a very fast paced place, it is fantastic from a career perspective.[...] Orange County has a more similar vibe to Australia, one that I’m a lot more used to. Australia in general is a laid back place with mellow culture and attitude. Its all about taking it easy and not having any worries." And when it comes to picking a favorite city, the choice is an easy one for the talented musician and fitness lover: Adelaide is my home where I was born and spent my teenage years. It will always hold a place in my heart and a welcome home sign along with my family there. Although I have lived in LA, Sheffield, Oslo and Melbourne, I always find myself returning to Adelaide, at least twice a year."
Jona is a strong advocate for living an animal cruelty free lifestyle.You can periodically find him sharing his vegan cooking skills with friends and family: " My vegan lifestyle is hugely important to me and I think one of the best ways to showcase the benefits of the lifestyle is through the amazing food and good times we share. Many people think vegan food is very bland and boring, mainly consisting of salad, but through my Instagram and cooking for my friends I show them that I can literally make any dish vegan. I can make everything from a cheeseburger, to a pizza, to a cake or donut. Obviously these aren’t the healthiest examples, however it shows that you can make anything vegan, and the vegan alternative is always healthier."
Simple days are the best days for Jona, as he describes his perfect day rocking his favorite pair of Maians: "The morning would be spent with a yoga class taught by my wonderful wife Michelle in Tustin, CA, followed by a home made tofu scramble breakfast and a lavender almond milk latte. Next I would get the business portion of the day out of the way, answering emails and working on tour logistics. Later I will enter my home studio to record some musical ideas for I Killed The Prom Queen and other personal projects. I may take a break to go to Laguna beach and spend some time by the ocean, or hike the top of the world trails. If the weather is especially nice I will ride my Harley Davidson motorcycle along the Ortega Highway through the canyons into the sunset. Dinner takes place at my favorite restaurant Veggie Grill in Irvine, and I usually wind up the day by watching a couple of my favorite TV shows such as Game Of Thrones or New Girl with my wife."
" [...] a LifeWalker would be somebody who makes the most of every moment we are blessed with. Follow your passion, travel, create art, connect with mother nature, find love and share kindness. Seize the day."
Photo Credit: Ian Maddox