Jon Cohen Ex
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Jon Cohen Ex

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE | AFTRA

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Pop Alternative




"PASSION PILGRIM The Jon Cohen Experimental"

The Jon Cohen Experimental
Since its release earlier this year, Jon Cohen Experimental's new EP Passion Pilgrim has deservedly been attracting attention. As a guitarist, Cohen has played with The Dears, Social Register, JF Robitaille, and more. As a singer/songwriter, he creates ethereal pop that has elicited comparisons to Owen Pallett and Rich Aucoin. It is worth noting that, in true one-man band fashion, he came up with all the sounds on the EP. His acclaimed 2010 sophomore record Behold featured a full band and such name guests as Angela Desveaux , Evan Cranley (Stars), Liam O’Neil (Stills) Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone), and Murray Lightburn (The Dears).

He'll take Pilgrim on the road in the months ahead, including an April 29th gig at the Lawnya Vawyna Music Fest in St. Johns and a May CMW show in Toronto. Cohen has previously toured in both Europe and the U.S.

Kerry Doole - New Canadian Music

"Passion Pilgrim 2015 Canadian Charts"

9 results (0.56 seconds)
Search Results
: CHUO 89.1 MHz - Ottawa ON : Top 30 : Feb 17, 2015 ...
Feb 17, 2015 - Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. 10, --, Erik Hove Chamber Ensemble CanCon, Saturated Colour, Self-Released ...
: CFBU 103.7 MHz - St. Catharines ON : Top 30 : Mar 17 ...
Mar 17, 2015 - Humans - Noontide Jon Cohen Expiremental - Passion Pilgrim ttwwrrss ... Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week.
: CHUO 89.1 MHz - Ottawa ON : Top 30 : May 12, 2015 ...
May 12, 2015 - ... Jon Cohen Expiremental CanCon Band Website, Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. 15, 8, Kappa Chow CanCon ...
You visited this page on 02/06/15.
: CHUO 89.1 MHz - Ottawa ON : Top 30 : Mar 31, 2015 ...
Mar 31, 2015 - Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. 13, 14, Kappa Chow CanCon, Collected Output, Self-Released, Chart ...
: CKUT 90.3 MHz - Montreal QC : Top 30 : Mar 17, 2015 ...
Mar 17, 2015 - Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. 16, 11, Purity Ring CanCon Band Website · Band Twitter · Another Eternity, Last ...
: CFBU 103.7 MHz - St. Catharines ON : Top 30 : Mar 24 ...
Mar 24, 2015 - Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. 21, 3, John Jacob Magistery CanCon, Narcissism Unto Loneliness EP, Self- ...
: CKLU 96.7 MHz - Sudbury ON : Top 30 : Feb 10, 2015 ...
Feb 10, 2015 - Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. 25, 28, Old and Weird CanCon, What I Saw, Self-Released, Chart Appearances ...
: CJSW 90.9 MHz - Calgary AB : Top 30 : Mar 10, 2015 ...
Mar 10, 2015 - 22, --, Jon Cohen Expiremental CanCon Band Website, Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. 23, --, Del Bel CanCon ...
: CJLY 93.5 MHz - Nelson BC : Top 30 : Mar 31, 2015 ...
Mar 31, 2015 - Passion Pilgrim, Self-Released, Chart Appearances this week. re = re-entry to chart CanCon = Candian Content Chart Appearances this week ... - Earshot!

"SÉLECTION MAXIS, EP’S, 45 TOURS… Mai 2015 - Passion Pilgrim Review"

« Passion pilgrim »
Jon Cohen, le créateur du Festival montréalais de Musique Solitaire, a profité de sa dernière tournée pour enregistrer, en un jour, un nouvel EP en cinq actes. Jouant lui-même et superposant jusqu’à 18 instruments en même temps, il réussit pourtant l’exploit de livrer une musique directe et dansante, menée par le beat, parfois hypnotique mais toujours catchy.
Julien Deverre - Longueur D'ondes

"Jon Cohen Releases Passion Pilgrim"

* Mile Ex vintage shop Ex-Voto opening party * Art & Entrepreneurship talk at Fresh Paint Gallery's Off the Record * The Sommets du cinéma d’animation festival begins * Jon Cohen Experimental launches the Passion Pilgrim EP * Life After Death From Above 1979 documentary screens at the Phi Centre * Afterparty at Luwan with Après Ski, Prison Garde and super secret special guest DJs >> Click to read more...
- See more at: - #CULTMTL

"Kingston Music Review- passion Pilgrim:"

The song starts off with a funky beat with the song “In Order To Survive”, if they were looking for a sound that relates to the eighties then they definitely found it. The soft and higher pitched vocals actually work with the deeper beat of the song. The bass beat is the drive of the song but doesn’t stay as a steady flow throughout the song as it’s broken up just a bit a couple of times in the song. The synth addition to the song gives “In Order To Survive” a different feel and sound, and more of a new age/space sound. I could see this song having a bit of commercial success as well due to the beat and softer synth sound.

The next song “Rhapsody In Pink” follows along the same guidelines in terms of a deeper beat with the bass line in the song. The vocals in the song have more of a stepped pattern to them and they also have the softer sounding finish to each lyric line as well.

The dirty sounding riff and beat that plays out in “Weakness” makes the song my favourite pick off of the album for the first half of the song anyways. The lyrics are also quite easy to follow along to as well. For a first single I would probably go with this one. The song does go in a different direction about halfway through as they really layer on the synth and having the drum beat kick it up as well, but the main beat still stays for the most part intact. Just after the three minute the song changes completely. If I had a say I would have cut the song into two different tracks at this moment and made the album into six songs.

Now for a bit of a distortion of a track Passion Pilgrim threw “Blood On The Microphone” into the mix. The song has a bit of a Beastie Boys quality to it, but ever so slightly. - Kingston Music Review

"Review of Behold on Exclaim"

The Jon Cohen Experimental Behold

By Daniel Sylvester
Jonathan Cohen has spent the greater part of the last decade kicking around in Montreal bands such as the Social Register, JF Robitaille and the Dears. Behold, the second independently released LP form Cohen's three-piece, deftly shows off his tenure without coming off too referential. On songs like the excellently un-executed "Hold the Fire" and the '70s AM gold of "Don't Be the Cloud," Cohen sounds restrained, comfortable and most importantly, like no one else in the Canadian music scene at the moment. Although Cohen has called in a decade's worth of favours to make this album, including production from the criminally underrated Dave Draves, along with guest appearances by Angela Desveaux, Murray Lightburn (the Dears) and members of Stars and the Stills, he utilizes their contributions the same way he approaches every song on this album: with restraint, much deliberation and even more innovation.
- Exclaim!


Interview: Jon Cohen

Words Hugh Langley

“I’ve got this new obsession with Glen Gould.” Jon Cohen is on the other end of the phone, and in a bizarre twist to our conversation has started waxing lyrical about the celebrated 20th Century Canadian pianist. “He had some crazy notions of what music should sound like — one of the only artists who experimented with tape splicing. I dig that.” He pauses to sip what we can only assume is coffee, given it’s currently 7am in Cohen’s hometown of Montreal, Canada. “Odd guy, though. The kind who lived alone and washed his hands eighty times a day.”

It’s an interesting digression. Jon, on the other hand, couldn’t be further from this Howard Hughes-type image; Chilled and laid-back in tone, he exudes the same restrained, understated vibe that infests his music.

For many this side of the pond, Jon Cohen, the brains behind the aptly-titled music vehicle The Jon Cohen Experimental will be an unfamiliar name; others will know him best as the ex-guitarist of The Dears, a duty he performed for three years before leaving to pursue his solo career in 2002. “In a way I understand why people are interested in that, because the band’s so well known and it was a big page in my life,” he says. “But I don’t think it defines me in any way.”

He’s right not to think so. Behold, the second album from The Jon Cohen Experimental, launched in Canada in late 2010 to general acclaim. It’s also a response to more than a decade of Jon’s service to the Montreal music scene, for which he called in a few favours from his past. “Liam O’Neill from The Stills is on there doing some amazing saxophone,” Jon says. “Plus Evan Cranley from The Stars, he’s got a guest spot on the trombone. He does a lot of work with Broken Social Scene. “

And let’s not forget Murray Lightburn, lead singer of The Dears (and often referred to as ‘the black Morrissey’ due to the vocal similarities he shares with The Smiths’ frontman) who lends his guitar work to the mix.

Much like its stable of featured talent, Behold is a cornucopia of psychedelic, dance-infused pop, stacking symbiotic layers of drums, guitar, bass and casio keys. Its deliriously Pink Floyd-esque number ‘Brain Pollution’ is a perfect amalgamation of these elements, with Cohen’s vocals cleaving almost disturbingly close to David Gilmour’s. Elsewhere, one of the album’s highlights, ‘Hold The Fire’, may be well be his homage to early Eno, with its sizzling guitar grooves and beat-and-bass-heavy rhythms.

In the studio the Jon Cohen Experience also consists of band members Ken Martin and Sebastian Gabway, but on tour they remain — due to ‘logistical contraints’ — a one-man-show. Last year, Cohen took to the road alone, spanning over 50 cities and opening for such as the Dropkick Murphys. His 2012 European tour, which kicks off this month, will see Cohen make his way from Dublin to Finland, a journey Cohen describes as a “pilgrimage”.

Though it’s tempting to ask about Jon’s musical inspirations, it’s here that we risk entering ‘Glen Gould’ territory again. Surprisingly, the Montreal man is galvanised by more humble acts: “I’ve been inspired by Andrew Bird a lot lately, because he’s doing a lot of what I’m doing. Dirty Beaches, too — he’s doing some amazing things.” He goes off on one about Gould again.

“The unifying factor with all these people is that they’re so free to let anything happen on stage,” explains Cohen. “Dirty Beaches isn’t doing that much up there, most of it’s pre-recorded and canned. But man, that energy is like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

Even without his bandmates, Cohen chooses to remain an entirely organic live act, building his one-man orchestra from the ground up. “My first approach was to take these recordings from the album and try to reproduce them exactly for the audience, but it just wasn’t working. The music was saying ‘reinvent me, stretch me and shape me’ and as soon as I did that, the whole thing transformed,” explains Cohen.

“It soon became obvious which songs were the stronger ones because they were malleable and easily translatable to a one-man show. Disseminating music was more personal than anything I’d done before,” he says, before laughing. “And I had no band to hide behind.” Though he’d never admit it, on stage Cohen evokes the image of the crazed scientist, conducting his one-man show like a chemistry experiment, fusing layers of simmering synths over bubbling beats.

It’s having this total control that gives Cohen his drive. “The bottom of the music industry has fallen out,” he says. “All of a sudden the artist is given all the tools to do what the labels were doing, to find unique ways of promoting themselves.” Curious, I ask if he has any tricks of his own. “I see bands out there selling their own beer,” he laughs. “But for me right now it’s about just doing the legwork. You can’t sit aro - The Stool Pigeon (UK)

"A New Kind of Troubadour: Jon Cohen’s Lonesome Road"

A New Kind of Troubadour: Jon Cohen’s Lonesome Road

Jon Cohen

A different kind of street art
The sweeping sounds of summer
FILM REVIEWS: John Carter and Friends with Kids
Rifflandia: Snowblink and The White Buffalo
Weekly Arts Listings - March 10-16
By Nick Lyons - Monday Magazine
Published: September 19, 2012 2:00 PM
Updated: September 19, 2012 2:45 PM
Many images are bound to arise when one drops the phrase, ‘one man band’. For me, it is a rather carnivalesque caricature of a beleaguered gentleman in a pork pie hat struggling to balance his focus between the kick-drum at his feet, the harmonica on his lip, the guitar on his waist and the Wurlitzer churning monkey at his side. But this vision, while amusing, also proves to be quite outdated. The past few years have seen the rise of artists such as Owen Pallett and Andrew Bird who have consistently dazzled listeners with the depth of their respective solitary sounds — and they’ve even managed to do it without a monkey.
Jon Cohen, who is set to stop in Victoria this week, is a penultimate example of this new-wave of solo performers. Those who were fortunate enough to catch Cohen last time he came through town will surely attest that Cohen’s live show is a sight and a sound to behold. Cohen pushes the limits of what a one-man band can do. As he jumps from instrument to instrument, looping rich textures and sonic layers into his densely woven songs, one cannot help but marvel at his ability to make multi-tasking look so effortless.
“I believe that the one-man band is the ultimate test of a person’s ingenuity and a triumph of musical ability,” Cohen says. “It challenges the notion that you need five or six people to make great music and gives one the freedom to make something completely new every night.”
Cohen’s passion for one-person performance has obviously energized him. After an extensive tour in Europe, in which he played 12 countries in two and a half months, he decided to organize Montreal’s first One Man Band Festival (Festival de Musique Solitaire) this summer. Featuring 23 artists in five venues, the festival was a massive success and promises to be even bigger next year. But Cohen couldn’t wait another year to check out other solo artists while honing his own sound. He was so excited by the spirit of the festival that he decided to take it on the road, playing a series of dates across Canada with the help of similar one-person outfits.
Victorians will have two chances to see Cohen this week as he will be playing The Fort Café on Thurs., Sept. 20 with local luminary Dylan Stone supporting, and Solstice on Fri., Sept. 21 with Vancouver treasure David Parsons starting things off. One would be remiss to miss this one-man extraordinaire at the height of his powers. M
- Monday Magazine (Victoria BC)

"Jon Cohen Experimental Performing Brain Pollution Live"

Jon Cohen Experimental - Brain Pollution video Jon Cohen Experimental Performing Brain Pollution Live @ the Duncan Garage Showroom
- NME (UK)

"One-(Wo)Man-Band Festival takes the spotlight this weekend in London"

One-(Wo)Man-Band Festival takes the spotlight this weekend in London
By Amanda Grant
Metro London
Share this Article
Metro/Handout Jon Cohen Experimental performs Thursday night at APK Live as part of the One-(Wo)Man-Band Festival Tour.
When I heard about Montreal’s One-(Wo)Man-Band festival, scenes from Mary Poppins came to mind: Dick Van Dyke marching down a main street with a kick drum on his back and cymbals on his knees.

But in reality, many musicians touring today could be considered a one-man show. From DJs to singer songwriters, more artists are relying on themselves to create performances on par with four-piece bands.

“With a single person on stage, there is an element of vulnerability,” said Jon Cohen, founder of the one-(wo)man-band festival. “If you’re in a band you can hide behind other musicians, but alone all eyes are on you. It is incredible the output only one person can make.”

For Cohen, solo performers become one-man-bands when they approach music in a unique way. Whether incorporating technology such as loop stations and drum machines into a set or using traditional techniques like foot percussion, the one-man-band brings creativity and personality to the stage.

“When I started the festival I asked myself: How am I going to differentiate between a singer-songwriter and a one-man band?” Cohen said.

“It comes down to the quality of the music and quality of the artist. For example, Michael Blind is just a guy with a guitar, but the beauty of him is he can make his guitar sound like three instruments.”

Thursday night Cohen brings his own approach to solo performance to APK Live as Jon Cohen Experimental.

No stranger to live performance, Cohen was a member of The Dears.

“I played as a band for many years, releasing records and touring across the country,” Cohen said. “But it’s very difficult logistically and money-wise to tour.”

“So I reinvented my sound and was thrust into this world of touring. I was able to tour across North America, Europe, and Scandinavia because I was more independent.”

Cohen will be joined by fellow one-man-bands on Thursday: Jean-Paul De Roover, of Thunder Bay and London’s Farmer’s Market, a project by Woody Allen’s bassist Michael Middleton.

“You’re going to be completely surprised by the quality of the music,” said Cohen. “Expect to be very engaged.”

This show is part of APK Live’s Craft Thursday series. The concert is pay what you can, doors open at 7 p.m. for music trivia on the patio. First 20 to arrive to receive a Jon Cohen Experimental album.

Around town

• Polaris Prize short-lister and Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon plays the Out Back Shack Friday at Fanshawe College. Joined by Grand Analog, tickets are $7 at the door, music starts at 9:30 p.m.

• If you’re on Western’s campus between classes, stop by the McIntosh Gallery to see Liza Eurich’s exhibition, The Work of It. The show is a mix of sculpture and drawings by Eurich, a Master of Fine Art student at the university. The gallery is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

News Worth Sharing: - Metro (London Ontario)

"Show Review Jon Cohen @ The Wheatsheaf"

see page 29 of pdf - Nightshift Magazine (Oxford UK)

"Show Review: The Jon Cohen Experimental"

“It was rubbish, but I enjoyed it”, as one punter was heard saying to another of one of the bands on tonight’s bill. Richard Catherall, the face of Gappy Tooth Industries for nearly ten years now, would be tickled by this as he confirmed on stage at the end of the night that this sparsely attended gig, dividing opinions left and right, was exactly the kind of show Gappy Tooth exists to promote. Each of the three bands were definitely rubbish in their own way, and each of them was most certainly enjoyable. Indeed, things got more rubbish and more enjoyable as the night ran on, suggesting a link between the two – and if you can believe there is one, Gappy Tooth will welcome you with widely open arms.

Mustard And The Monocle are the least obviously rubbish act on tonight, and also the least enjoyable. They’re young and very talented musicians, with the drummer in particular showing an ease and skill that eludes many touring bands, but they seem to be saving their energy for nights with bigger turnouts. Their set of whimsical country-folk indie reminds us of locals like The Yarns and The Epstein and does show a lot of promise, but their performance lacks spark, and with a couple of exceptions the songwriting is unremarkable. Their inter-song banter betrays a lethargic disappointment that they aren’t playing to a fuller house, which is always a turn-off for those who have come to watch; much as the most expensive boutiques stay in business by treating every customer as if they were a millionaire, these guys would do well to treat every audience like potential converts, no matter how small their numbers.

Umair Chaudhry is one of our scene’s most interesting and prolific musicians, whose Blindsight Records label has released many projects in the ambient/metal spectrum and whose latest release is represented tonight by the doomy goth-electronic duo Abandon. As with Umair’s Fault Finders project there is a lot of promising stuff here that’s let down by what seems to be either laziness or restlessness; the production and presentation seem unfinished and the slow, atmospheric, 80s goth sound is let down by underwhelming drum programming and Umair’s voice, which does hit the notes but only on its rather meandering way somewhere else. It’s hard to engage with what we assume to be the desolation of the human condition when watching a lonely-looking laptop in front of two men who look like they’ve wandered upstairs from the pub, and while we’d be loathe to suggest that presentation should trump integrity we do suspect that this would have been absolutely spellbinding with the addition of a live drummer, two more guitarists and a smoke machine the size of Didcot power station. By the time all that is assembled, though, it seems likely Umair will be off on his next project – doubtless also at the dark end of the
musical spectrum, also flawed and also interesting.

Topping tonight’s pyramid of rubbish we have The Jon Cohen Experimental: a Montreal-based solo performer, formerly of The Dears and The Social Register but now touring on his own, and it’s not hard to see why. The set begins with Cohen, tall, bald and dressed in red trousers, red shirt and red tie, looking like The Addams’ Family’s Lurch on Valentine’s Day, standing in front of two microphones and an assembly of dismembered electronic drum kit, persuading the Wheatsheaf into silence so he can begin the show with a couple of bangs on his electronic gong. This, to be charitable, is unconventional behaviour, and he’s started as he means to go on: we have backing tracks from a laptop over which awkward jiggling beats are looped from the electronic drums, bizarre howling mantras are bawled into the two mics and an assortment of harmonicas, pennywhistles and oddball dancing accompany the occasional burst of bass guitar. It should be awful – and it is, of course – but the jittery trance-like performance belies an unexpectedly controlled set, and the improvised mayhem is never discernably out of Cohen’s control. Loop pedals have been done to death on stage but this is honestly the most original and effective use of them we’ve seen since Duotone’s delicately layered folktronica. The stage setup and mad professor schtick suggests a Buddhist Thomas Truax, but he has the outsider sincerity and total commitment – and genuine insanity – of Twizz Twangle as well, with the is-it-supposed-to-be-this-funny humour of Animal Collective’s set to a nearly-empty Wheatsheaf in 2003. It’s as odd a brand of repetitive, whimsical, earnest semi-improvised lunacy as we’ve seen on stage, and half the venue is entranced. The other half, it has to be noted, are less than impressed, with one friend commenting that having seen “some god-awful, wrist-slittingly bad gigs in [their] time… this one is by far taking the biscuit”. It’s also been astutely observed that if he was fifteen years younger and had an artful fringe, the ultra-fashionable Blessing Force collective would be all over him. - Music In Oxford (Oxford UK)

"Des Mots avec The Jon Cohen Experimental"

Interview - The Jon Cohen Experimental

Vieux de la vieille de la scène indie pop montréalaise, Jon Cohen a entre autres participé à l’émergence de groupes comme The Dears ou The Social Register. Il était temps pour lui d’émerger en solo (en live) comme en trio (sur disques) et d’exprimer pleinement tout ce qu’il a à dire (et il en a). Son dernier album, Behold, est en ce sens un petit chef d’œuvre de pop orchestrée et bricolée, un véritable travail d’orfèvre aux arrangements sans fin. Jon est de passage en France, et jouera notamment à deux reprises cette semaine à Bordeaux, une fois à El Chicho mercredi, et jeudi pour un concert secret en appartement. Rencontre.

Quels souvenirs gardes-tu de la période The Dears ?

J’ai joué avec le groupe de 1999 à 2003 : ce fut une période très intéressante, une très belle expérience au cours de laquelle j’ai beaucoup appris. Ces 4 années m’ont fait gagner de la confiance en moi, j’ai appris à croire en mes capacités à composer et à être mon propre artiste. Je me souviens d’une grande tournée, avec beaucoup de villes sur notre route, et surtout des fortes amitiés nées de ces moments.

Qu’est-ce qui t’as poussé à passer de guitariste à chanteur ?

Ce fut une progression naturelle : j’écrivais énormément de chansons pour la guitare, les mots venaient de plus en plus facilement. J’ai un jour décidé d’enregistrer mon premier album. C’est à la fois un mauvais sort qui fait que je dois tout gérer moi-même et une bénédiction pour moi, parce que je peux dire que je produis quelque chose qui vient vraiment de moi.

Qu’aurais-tu fais si tu n’avais pas été musicien ?

Peut-être comptable. Je suis une personne très organisée. Je casse le stéréotype des musiciens. Plus sérieusement, j’adore voyager, j’aurais peut-être accompli quelque chose dans ce domaine.

Pour toi le psychédélisme c’est quoi ?

C’est la recherche de quelque chose d’inconnu, c’est le premier pas dans le noir. C’est une vraie aventure spirituelle : avec la musique, il est facile de franchir cette porte, c’est un medium complètement flexible et organique. Parfois je me considère comme le Capitaine Kirk qui fonce dans l’inconnu. Le psychédélisme, pour moi, c’est le nouveau.

Que cherches-tu dans la musique ?

Je me cherche moi-même. Je cherche mon identité, ce qui me rend unique. Chacun est unique, a quelque chose d’unique en soi que personne n’a. C’est ce que je veux trouver, et partager.

Comment décrirais-tu la scène montréalaise d’aujourd’hui ?

Elle ne se résume pas à Céline Dion. C’est une scène vivante, excitante, je suis heureux de faire partie de cette scène qui donne de la valeur à tout ce qui est nouveau.

Ta musique a un côté très aérien. Es-tu plus à l’aise à la nature ou en ville ?

Je vis dans un vaisseau spatial. Je suis un astronaute avec une vue sur tout mais avec aucun contact réel avec le monde. En vrai, comme tous les urbains, je suis collé à la ville, accroché à elle. J’ai besoin de son énergie, j’ai besoin de culture comme nourriture créative, de l’espace urbain pour me motiver. L’érotisme de l’esprit et non du corps : c’est ce qui m’inspire et qui apporte de la légèreté, un côté spirituel et aérien à ma musique.

Comment as-tu vécu l’explosion de la relation internet/musique ?

Je suis le produit de cette explosion : Internet est mon amplificateur, c’est un outil indispensable pour moi. Je ne cherche pas à vendre ma musique, mais à vendre mon message.

Quelle est ton ambition aujourd’hui ?

Mon ambition, c’est d’accomplir les 3 buts que je me suis donnés pour cette tournée : devenir totalement à l’aise avec ma voix et mon spectacle pour établir un vrai contact émotionnel avec le public, apporter un message positif qui peut-être aidera quelqu’un, et enfin voir le plus d’Europe possible et d’y rencontrer beaucoup de monde.

Quelque chose à dire en particulier ?

J’espère rencontrer le plus de monde possible lors de mes concerts à Bordeaux : je vous promets une expérience incomparable.

Le site officiel

Publié par Ju

Catégories : Interviews

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"Review: The Jon Cohen Experimental – Behold"

Review: The Jon Cohen Experimental – BeholdREVIEWS | ALAN MURPHY | FEBRUARY 6, 2012 5:06 PM
The Jon Cohen Experimental are back with the difficult second album. Well I say difficult but it sounds more like Jon & Co. knocked this LP out over a long weekend with a smile on their face. It sounds very natural, which is exactly what we’ve gotten used to from the Canadian band.

Behold is the name of the 11 track record, and if you liked the first album you’ll love this one too. It’s much the same easy listening rock with just a pinch of abnormality. The record has been out for a few weeks now and it’s been getting nothing but good press. And the good news is it’s about to get more!

Easy listening rock music isn’t very hard to do. Millions of bands have been down that road and some have done well for themselves. But not all make it, and that’s because they don’t always know what they’re doing. Jon Cohen knows exactly what he’s doing, and this is seen through out the album. The song ‘Don’t Be The Cloud‘ could not be a better example of a genius of the genre doing what he does best. It’s the kind of song you could put on repeat as you fall asleep.

But don’t think the LP is all quiet chords and triangles, there are one or two songs in which the pace quickens up. ‘No More Videos Just Teasers‘ is a song in which JCEX get louder, and yet it still somehow fits in perfectly with the rest of the album. As well as that every song on the album has its own little thing going for it. They all have a personality that draws you into it.

I don’t often find a record in which I like every song. There’s usually an Achilles heel somewhere, usually towards the end. But if anything Behold gets better and better as it goes along, and you slip further into a blissful state of mind.

I write this with all the best in mind – Jon Cohen is coming into his prime in the wrong decade. The fan base is out there, but if he was around in the late 60s people might be talking about his band like they talk about The Beatles today. And that’s about as much praise as I can be giving.

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- Goldenplec (Dublin)

"Music: The Jon Cohen Experimental"

Tom Hoare

Opposite me in a café in Covent Garden, some 3,000 miles away from his hometown of Montreal, Canada, sits a musician named Jon Cohen. Whilst he’s far from being a household name, he’s no stranger to music; Cohen has been playing as a guitarist in various Montreal music projects over the last ten years, the most successful of which was The Dears, the avant-garde Canadian indie collective who have opened for stadium acts such as Keane and Morrissey.

He’s in London right now, however, for a different reason. Tired of playing second fiddle in countless bands, and keen to forge his own musical identity, Jon Cohen launched his own solo project, The Jon Cohen Experimental (or The JC Ex) a few years ago. In 2010, Cohen released Behold, his second studio album as The JC Ex, and the one which brought him new levels of attention as a solo artist in Canada and the States. Sipping tea genteelly, he explains to me where the desire to branch out on his own came from.

“The JC Ex is my brainchild, my baby. I’ve been playing music in Montreal and across Canada for the last decade or so, and this is kinda like the equivalent of having worked for many different companies and then starting your own little thing… Say you’re a farmer, and instead of working for some mega-farm, you have like two little acres of land, but they’re yours, and you put so much love into it and you watch it grow, and you’re very protective of it, but at the same time you’re learning how to sow the seeds with the bigger company, that’s kind of how I see it.”

With his Moroccan heritage, and background in spiritual healing practices such as yoga and Thai massage, Cohen emits a sense of gentle mysticism, something which he claims is channelled into his music; he describes the “sound” of The JC Ex as “like if Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Gandhi got together and decided to shoot the shit and make something happen,” and talks with po-faced conviction about how his music is more for spiritual communication than for wealth or fame. “I’m not interested in my own payroll, or furthering my own career, as much as I’m interested in playing a show and conveying a message to people, which is a message of self-fulfilment and real happiness, and an examination of our relationship with our reality, and with ourselves.”

Listening to Behold, what really stands out is the polished quality of the song-writing. Cohen crafts his tunes with tightly-wound precision, sculpting intricately-built walls of sound that are lush and layered. Lyrically, although the content is a little on the spiritual side of things at times, it’s done in such an earnest and musically-inventive way that the listener doesn’t feel as though they’re being preached to. Rather, listening to The JC Ex is an experience of somewhat goofy yet warming positivity; this is as close as you can come to being given a hug by a pop song.

For all Cohen’s right-on vibes of tranquillity and harmony, he still takes his music incredibly seriously, and pushes himself to the limit to promote his message. A glance at his upcoming tour schedule sees him playing 36 dates in 10 countries, in just under eight weeks. He explains how for him, you either approach touring with unflinching enthusiasm, or you die trying. “I like to do these mega, three-month tours, I like to go completely heavy on it – it’s better to do it that way because you don’t have time to stop and think about it, your body doesn’t have time to relax, you keep a rhythm going, and as soon as you stop to relax, you lose momentum a little bit.”

Indeed, this full-throttle approach to gigging forms the basis of his next album, Passion Pilgrim; “The idea is to go back into the studio for that one in April, once I’m finished with this tour. The idea for this album is going to be to take a musician, who’s just finished an insane adventure, and try to extract whatever energies are there leftover from that tour, and put all that into the record.”

This is the first time Cohen’s brought his sound to the UK, and he has embraced the experience so far. It’s a unique challenge for him, taking on the solo performance routine rather than being one of three guitarists stood in the background, but he hopes that British audiences will be just as receptive to his unique “experimental” as the folks back home. When finally asked what fans can expect when they turn up to a JC Ex show, Cohen grins. “They can expect to be taken on a journey, where they are bombarded with positive messages, in a non-preachy way. They’re bombarded with an uplifting challenge, at the same time they’re propelled to move and to dance and to take part in the show, and to feel like it’s one unit altogether, and walk out and say that ‘I was part of this show.’ And they can expect to hear some frickin’ amazing music.”

For more information on Jon Cohen and his tour, click here.

The Harker provides a platform for young (unpaid) writing talent.


"The former ‘The Dears’ member talks to Kate Ross about the challenges of touring solo."

interviews, news - published: 3 february 2012
The former ‘The Dears’ member talks to Kate Ross about the challenges of touring solo.

Jon Cohen isn’t just your average touring musician. For him, there’s no four-piece backing band, no army of roadies, no tour bus big enough to hole up in for months on end. Instead, the Montreuil born artist is travelling solo, looping through Europe, Scandinavia and the UK by coach, train and even – deep breath here – the National Express – to present his one-man band, The Jon Cohen Experimental.

The name might ring a bell to avid followers of Canadian indie: Cohen is a former member of The Dears, whose music is almost predictably likened to that of The Stills and Malajube, perhaps sometimes for more geographic than auditory reasons. After parting ways with them in 2002, Cohen wandered through a number of other bands before eventually forming his own in 2006, and developing his own, layered up version of the modern alternative genre.

Several years, three Canadian tours and two albums later – complete with guest appearances from Evan Cranley of Stars and Broken Social Scene, Angela Desveaux, former Dears band mate Murray Lighburn, and Liam O’Neil of The Stills – Cohen parted ways with the rest of his band and made a break for solo. He then embarked on a three-month coast-to-coast state side blitz known as the Pilgrim Tour. Which should mean, theoretically, that’s he’s pretty clued up on this one-man tour business.

Now leaping across the Atlantic and hurtled Paris-bound, he’s headed for a two-night line up at Pop In and Abracadabar. But while he’s still experiencing the best of the UK’s national transport, he had some time for a few words with Gigs in Paris.

How would you describe yourself in one phrase?

JC: I’m a simple man with big lofty dreams of beauty, peace and music.

How have you progressed since your days with The Dears and The Social Register?

JC: I don’t think progress is as important a term as evolve. Progress indicates change for the better, new ways of doing things. Yet I’m still doing things the same old way, I’m still writing in the same way. I think I’ve evolved not as a musician but more as an artist, a persona, myself.

I feel now that I actually have something concrete to offer, something tangible in my music for people to hold onto and remember. It’s not mine per se: It’s something that comes from a place deep, deep inside that can connect with anything and anyone, and it uses music as its vehicle of communication. Playing in those bands before, I was more one of the engineers for this vehicle. Now I’m the driver, the passenger, and the vehicle all at once.

How will the Passenger Tour differ from the Pilgrim Tour?

JC: In subtle ways. One is that I’m driving on the other side of the road! All kidding aside, I think it’s a different beast altogether. It has many similarities though, but here I’m playing to a wider more varied audience. I’m playing 12 countries so that’s 12 different sensibilities, cultures and musical approaches. Here, there is a lot more adaptation involved and I don’t mind that in the least bit. It challenges the boundaries of this music I’m performing and that can’t be a bad thing.

What are the highs and lows of working and touring solo?

JC: The one thing is that doing these mega tours across the world becomes a real possibility when you are travelling solo. The logistics, time, money and effort of taking x amount of musicians with me would have been impossible, or at least extremely difficult. This way I am able to achieve as an indie artist what most well established local acts never do, so why not? Next year I’ll be touring Australia and Japan for three months, coast to coast to coast. How else could I do this?

Right now, I’m in the Scottish Highlands in my own private bus – an empty National Express. It’s quiet, smooth. I just slept for four hours and it’s a beautiful day out. I’ve got 300 quid in my pocket from the shows I just played: No gas money, no musicians to pay and no overhead. Those are the pros.

The cons are that it does get lonely at times. Even though I meet tons of people, I still feel like something of an astronaut or a ghost, remaining unattached to the people and surroundings around me. Same thing onstage: The music takes on a whole different approach. You are up there by yourself, so making a human connection without hiding behind your band or the fourth wall becomes detrimental to a successful show.

What makes you get up in the mornings?

JC: When I’m not touring, I get up and I think of things to be grateful about. I think about how lucky I am to be alive under the circumstances I am. Then I make a warm tea and start working on tours, music, business, whatever drives me. When I’m on tour I’m like a machine. I travel, I perform, I travel, I perform. I’m on autopilot. My alarm rang at 5am this morning in Liverpool; - Gigs In Paris (Paris)

"The Jon Cohen Experimental Manchester Jan 30"

February 1st, 2012

Many of you will know that I spent the best part of 10 years living between the States and Canada in my younger years (I’ve now been home from that jaunt for almost 7 years but it only feels like yesterday that I returned). The last part of my time was spent in Montreal in the province of Quebec and it was here that I really started to develop my photographic career. When I first arrived in the city, I was definitely of the ‘starving artist’ community and needed to work to pay the bills as I was assisting photographers on weekends. So – I washed windows! It was definitely one of the most interesting periods of my life so far and I met some of the most incredible people who i worked with. One of my ‘Vision Brothers’ was the amazingly talented musician Jon Cohen who at that time was involved with a band called Launie Anderssohn - they had the craziest show I had ever seen and I loved photographing them back in the film days with 3200 speed TMax – grain like the size of golf balls!

I didn’t really stay in touch with Jon, but through the power of Facebook, we connected a couple of years back and I was watching his musical progression from afar. When I saw that Jon was bringing his show to Europe and that he would be visiting Manchester I knew I had to hook up with him. I travelled over to Manchester and met Jon about 7pm and he went on at 9.45 at a venue called The Castle Hotel an amazing ‘proper’ pub that’s just been lovingly restored and has a really great concert room.

I wanted to pay homage to the pictures I had made of Jon 10 years ago in Montreal so got my head into a very ‘film based’ mind set and Jon gave me a superb photographic opportunity. His act is basically a one man band for the modern generation, spanning at least 15 different instruments that I saw. His energy was almost overwhelming and his musical abilities uncompromising - this was a show that challenged the audience in a very positive way and I’ll never forget the performance and I hope the images convey a little bit of the magic I winessed. Jon is basically self funding his curent 3 month tour and it is this courage and musical commitment that I so admire in people like Jon. He’s keeping a tour diary as he travels which makes for a great read, it’s archived at

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out… « thejoncohenexperimental01 February 12 at 5:32pm1
[...] the show, which really made me feel good. He is now a photographer and has his own company called Insight Photography. The man is so passionate about photography and has an amazing eye for it too. Check out som - Insight Photographers (Manchester UK)


January 19, 2012 by Synth Eastwood

Montreal is a Canadian city that boasts a vibrant music and arts community, flagship acts like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene & Chromeo have put the city on the recent global map. Jon Cohen is a native of that very city and a longstanding musician in the scene there. Having been a member of quality bands like The Dears and The Social Register he has decided to get stuck into a solo project entitled “The Jon Cohen Experimental“. Swapping his band members for loop machines & computers, tomorrow night, he embarks on a self-organised, self-funded 30 city tour with presumably his favorite place after Montreal, Dublin.

Jon Cohen (no relation to Leonard) takes to the stage of the Grand Social this Friday from 8pm - Synth Eastwood (DUBLIN)

"hypnotic folk psychedelia."


Ever wondered what happens when you leave a band like The Dears? Montreal musician Jon Cohen actually did that and wrote some new songs as evidence. Now he is about to embark on a huge European tour as part of his solo project entitled The Jon Cohen Experiment he will be surfing into Brighton on 25 January at the Latest Music bar with his brand of hypnotic folk psychedelia.

After recovering from the Green Door Store’s 1st birthday party at the beginning of the year The Sticks, with their blend of angular garage rock, are concentrating on finishing an LP for Upset the Rhythm that proceeds a tape of improvised ditties and swap around jams that will be released eminently on obscure Japanese label Sixteen Tamborines.

Another local band, Saint Coltrane bring out their debut single release the hardcore ‘Iron Dracula’ which turns out to be a limited edition split 7” with Weird Wives’ ‘Gila’, featuring members of Surfer Blood. Out on bedroom based Enjoyment records this release comes in a variety of colours and digital b-side downloads. - Drowned In Sound (Brighton UK)

"The Jon Cohen Experimental - Behold"

The Jon Cohen Experimental - Behold

With many years under his belt as a Montreal music scene stalwart, Jon Cohen decided it was time to put his own name behind a project. Setting out with The Jon Cohen Experimental, a band formed under his name with the help of a range of Montreal talent, his second album Behold was released in the autumn of 2010.

Initially taking Behold out on the road with the full band, The Jon Cohen Experimental embarked on a relentless tour schedule criss-crossing Canada. With a growing list of dates appearing across Canada and into America, the decision was made to leave the full band at home, and reinvent the sound as a one-piece thanks to a selection of loopers and electronics.

The copy of Behold I have playing here is, of course, the original album from late 2010, recorded with the full iteration of the Jon Cohen Experimental (and friends). This is one of those bands I have trouble describing in a logical and understandable way, as they cover a fairly wide array of sounds and influences you can pick through, creating something comfortingly familiar yet wholly new and interesting. To try and give it a shot anyway, start out with a laid back indie band, with lots of mellow guitar lines and bass. Add to that some very ethereal and trippy sounding vocals, then squeeze a light layer of synths and a smattering of other instruments in to the mix, and you have a pretty unique sound.

The album's namesake Behold or opener Hold the Fire are probably the most conventional of the album, sticking to a fairly traditional indie form and sound just with the addition of Jon’s vocals to add that unique touch. From there you can delve off into tracks such as Lucky Number Seven's swirling sounds and trippy feel, or the more ballad-esque Don’t Be the Cloud.

This leads me to what is really the point of reviewing a year-old album, which is the continuation of the continent-traversing tour to lands anew here in the UK and Europe with a string of dates for us to all get our teeth into… The tour starts out in Blackpool on January the 19th, with notable Scottish stop offs on January 23rd and 31st in Glasgow and February 1st in Edinburgh and a whole range of dates elsewhere in Britain.

For full tourdates and venues, music and the usual, check out The Jon Cohen Experimental site at or the usual array of current favourite music networking sites.


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"The Jon Cohen Experimental and ThousandSounds"

Montreal-based guitarist, formerly of The Dears, brings his new ambient guitar pop outfit to town, with support from widescreen psychedelic rockers ThousandSounds.
- The List (Glasgow)

"Review/Preview: JON COHEN EXPERIMENTAL // Behold"

Review/Preview: JON COHEN EXPERIMENTAL // Behold
January 13, 2011

When I mention that all the ex-Dears should start a whole new band, Jon Cohen jokes that a support group is probably more appropriate. Kinda just confirms our sneaking suspicions that Murray Lightburn is a power-hungry monster devouring any who don’t play his game. Or, well, maybe we just never liked The Dears very much.

But the Jon Cohen Experimental is trying to make up for that. He’s got a peppy little album out and is touring the nation right now.

Winnipeg – The Cavern – Friday January 14.

(I know, the Cavern usually sucks, but this is a good reason to go. We should probably dedicate a whole post to our frustrations with The Cavern.)

Behold is cleverly arranged with gentle retro grooves and strong lyrics, showcasing that the “Experimental” is actually a highly creative band. This is a one-man project done right. Echoes of psychedelia swirl through folk-ish melodies and pop hooks. Highlights include the title track, Brain Pollution and Don’t Be The Cloud. The standout is probably Nightmare-Over with its horns, Calexico-inspired groove and energetic performances.

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- At Constant Speed (Winnipeg)

"Interview with The Jon Cohen Experimental"

Jon Cohen, first became a musician of international standing as part of Montreal’s The Dears. Once hailed by NME as “the best new band in the world”. A heavy moniker for any band to carry and though the flame burned bright for several years, it fizzled, just like the acclaim. Cohen, moved onto more critical acclaim with The Social Register, and several other bands. His latest undertaking The Jon Cohen Experimental, has spawned 2 albums 2007's self titled debut and 2011's Behold.

Jon Cohen, brings his one-man orchestra to The Grand Social this Friday (20th) in what promises to be an eye-opening evening. Full details available here. We caught up with him mid-transit, dreaming of a pint of “the black stuff”.

How the devil are you?

Damn good, feeling great, on top of my game. I’ve been putting this beast of a tour together. It’s called the passenger tour and it will see me on a two-month non-stop road trip across all of Europe, Uk and Scandinavia. I’m at the airport lounge now waiting for my late flight and finally breathing a sigh of relief that it’s actually underway. I cant believe it! This is gonna be sweet.

Your musical past and present is quite varied and there seems to be a simultaneous personal and musical development. How did the latest chapter evolve and how would you describe your current output?

My current output is at about 120 volts AC and 1700 Ma DC…ok just kidding, Well I’ve always considered the music I make to be an amalgamation of influences that are so jumbled together none of them want to show their true identity. That being said, I have always been a true believer in the power of tender love and care. The same way you would treat a gently child, or a flower or a beautiful woman, I would with a song. Especially when it is first being conceived. In the past I would write and write and write to my hearts content but I wasn’t developing anything I wrote. I was only into the instant pleasure of creation. Now I’m trying out a different set of gloves. With the songs on Behold, it was all about care, all about working and re-working them with the band. It was about letting the music grow and develop over time, like fine wine, letting it ferment and take its own shape as opposed to recording them right away. This has been the last chapter of my life, fatherhood but not of children, rather songs which are my children. I am now putting them through the growing pains of adulthood by transforming them into solo one-man band songs. I’m impressed with how well they turned out.

Having been in many bands over the years is it liberating to be the ringmaster at last?

Yeah, it’s more liberating to be touring and playing as a one man orchestra on top of writing and performing my own music. In many ways it has its own challenges. But I like meeting them and I love being involved and growing something, seeing it manifest, becoming something beautiful. Music has a special way of reminding us of our own humility. It’s so grandiose in itself, so deep and so powerful. When you are in that studio and its all coming together, it’s like you are no longer in control of it. You kick started the process but that’s all it took. after that it’s out of your hands if you are wise. Because then it takes on a life of its own. I was in the studio for the record all the time listening to the mixing thinking “did I really create this?” That’s why I say I didn’t record this album. Rather this record recorded me. In the same way, when I was playing in other projects, I wasn’t so much involved in the process but rather I was used as a tool to achieve it. It’s not a bad thing at all, it’s a wonderful thing to be a tool. You become the instrument, the scalpel, the drill with which the artist can create. I enjoyed that a great deal too and still do it (albeit I do it a lot less now than before) but I hope to be utilized again.

Will this be your debut Irish performance? If so what are your expectations? if not how did you find the previous experience?

I have no expectations; I chose to play in Ireland because I feel a certain Kinship to the Irish. Not many indie performers from Canada do Ireland when they do a UK tour for some reason, must be the straight (maybe they can’t swim as well as me!) I spent some time in Dublin about ten years ago and fell in love with the place, the people and the Guinness (still remember the taste of that original pint in the underground bar at the Guinness Brewery). That’s really why I’m coming back!!!

No but seriously I think it’s going to be a kickass show and I’ve heard great things about the Grand Social. Whatever happens in Dublin this Friday night, expect two hundred and fifty percent from me on that stage.

Are you aware that Dublin is currently a hotbed for experimental and post rock music, with highly passionate and well-versed fans? Whit that in mind, what can people expect from a Jon Cohen Experimental show, and why should they attend?

I am aware t - Goldenplec (Ireland)

"Jive talkin' : The wide-ranging Jon Cohen Experimental laugh off goofy comparisons"

ive talkin'
Jamie O'Meara

The Jon Cohen Experimental: "Pick and choose your own influences"
photo: Liam Maloney

The wide-ranging Jon Cohen Experimental laugh off goofy comparisons

I can feel Jon Cohen's eyebrows arching on the other end of the phone. I've just clumsily told him that his acoustic-based indie rock/pop outfit, The Jon Cohen Experimental, sounds like The Bee Gees - they don't even remotely, but I swear that there's the barest suggestion of a suggestion of the brothers Gibb on new song Stroke (of the Night) - and I'm doing my best to backpedal away from that mischaracterization when he gently lets me off the hook.
"For me, it's great to hear these references that I would never expect," says Cohen diplomatically. "Like, The Bee Gees? It's really funny to hear that, but from my perspective, what you put into the grinder and what comes out, well, you often have no idea."

Cohen has, in the past, performed with a vast array of Montreal's best and brightest ("Yeah, I've prostituted myself"), including The Dears, The Social Register, JF Robitaille and more. Probably one of the bigger benefits of having worked with so many others is that when it comes to doing your own material, there's a rich bank of buddies from which to withdraw favours, which Cohen does in liberal fashion on his second and latest, Behold, enlisting the aid of members of The Stills, Stars and The Dears among many others.

"The best part of making this record was working with people who I was a bit nervous to work with, because at that point I didn't feel like I could sort of measure up, but it gave me the confidence to say, 'Hey, I can do this, and these people are great, and I'm

great, so let's do this.'"

The launch for Behold will take place in Bain Mathieu - yes, in the pool - under the auspices of the Dix Jours du Faubourg multidisciplinary music and arts festival (Sept. 9-19). "They're trying to promote an area of Montreal called the Faubourg, just to show that there are a lot of artists coming out of there... It's like saying there are things happening in NDG or Hochelaga - there are musicians out there, and not just on the Plateau."

Shaughnessy Village represent!

"Not quite as obscure as that," he laughs. "It's a cool little festival that they're putting on and they wanted us to be a part of it. The whole thing is that they wanted to incorporate other artist mediums - there are going to be people painting to our music, so that should be pretty interesting."

The Bain Mathieu show will feature the band in their fundamental trio form (whereas their upcoming Pop Montreal performance, Oct. 1, will also showcase the talents of some of those who lent their names to Behold) and, ensuring maximum value for your concert dollar, admission is free.

"What you'll get is a band that's fresh off an [East Coast] tour and shit hot," jokes Cohen. "And there will be visual artists painting live renditions of our music as we play. Honestly, I don't have any clue what that means, but there will also be projections and, of course, the swimming pool let's not forget. So bring your bathing suits - it's going to be wet and wild!"

The Jon Cohen Experimental
w/ Drop Of A Dime
At Festival Dix Jours du Faubourg, Bain Mathieu (2915 Ontario E.), Sept. 16, 7 p.m.
- The Hour

"The Jon Cohen Experimental à Paris"

The Jon Cohen Experimental
Le trio montréalais de rock-pop indépendant The Jon Cohen Experimental s’apprête à parcourir l’Europe pendant 2 mois. Il sera de passage en France du 8 au 15 février :
8 février – Paris @ Le Pop In
9 février – Paris @ Abracadabar
10 février – Reims @ L’excalibur
15 février – Bordeaux @ El ChiCho
Pour plus de détails sur la tournée et le groupe : - Longeur D'ondes (Paris)

"The Jon Cohen Experimental - This Kind Of Caricature Orchestra"

Aoife Barry talks to Canada's Jon ("no relation to Leonard") Cohen who brings the Jon Cohen Experimental's Passenger tour to the Grand Social on Friday 20th January.
Jon Cohen has been a part of the Montreal music scene for many years, playing with bands like The Dears and The Social Register. But having spent most of that time playing in other people's bands, he has recently decided to take the leap and go out on his own, as The Jon Cohen Experimental. And though initially a trio, the JCEX is now – in a move Cohen described as "shifting gears" - a solo pursuit.

Speaking to Thumped, he described it as a case of all or nothing, of going for the "dream life" of being a full-time musician. He decided to trust in fate, to just go for it, and now he has pretty much single-handedly booked an entire European tour in support of his debut solo album, Behold.

The decision to shift gears turned out to be a great one. "All of a sudden the gates of heaven opened up and I was able to tour, to do these big long tours that I've always dreamed of and make some money off it," said a delighted Cohen.

Jon Cohen makes indie pop with a deep side, sweet summer songs that hint at a darker edge – think a happier Brendan Benson, a more mindful Broken Social Scene, or a less anglicised The AM. To play the tracks from Behold live, he has had to reinvent his set, using loop pedals and other instruments to enable him to become "this kind of caricature orchestra". His forthcoming The Passenger Tour, which will bring him around Europe and Scandinavia, was fuelled, he said, by the desire to play in places like Dublin: "Places I've never played before. Like Finland - I never dreamed I'd be going there." Now he has thrown off the ties that bind, Cohen is relishing this new freedom.

"I think this band is a constant reminder that I always have to keep changing; I always have to keep evolving," said Cohen, adding that otherwise he wouldn't be able to do one of the most important things when playing music – "letting go and feeling something raw and real".

As a politically-aware Canadian, Cohen recently took part in the Occupy Montreal movement, volunteering as a stage technician. "You could feel this excitement in the air, some mobilisation happening," he recalled. He spent so much time in Victoria Square in downtown Montreal that friends and workmates wondered what had happened to him. "I kind of got carried away with it and I started putting everything aside. I was spending entire days and nights working on this. My family were worried, and my job was wondering what was going on. I was still living my other life, my working life and then going there after work and this thing felt like living a dual lifestyle."

Occupy Montreal meant a huge amount to him. "For me it was a really unique experience; something that hadn't happened before. Whether it was successful or not, whether it got the point across or not, just to be part of that, it was definitely an enriching experience."

Thanks to Arcade Fire, the spotlight has been on Montreal indie bands since the early 2000s. The Dears, for example, were described by the NME as the "best new band in the world" upon the release of No Cities Left in 2003. "There is great music everywhere and it is a very easy sport for music to focus on one city and say this is the hot spot because so much good music is coming out of there," cautioned Cohen. "People are getting way ahead of themselves with Montreal. For me, since I've started doing this I've almost adopted every other city but my own musically now. It's like for me this place is same old, same old. I've had my time here in Montreal. I feel now that music for me, the real meat and potatoes of it is outside of the city. That's why I love the touring"

He feels the press attention "changed the dynamic" of the scene, but doesn't want to be too critical. "I'm not dissing the city," he stated. "It's so deserving of everything the city gets." He sees Montreal as a fantastic city for music: "not just indie music - all kinds of music".

Cohen has many inspirations, but lately he has been paring them down. Listening to nothing but Talking Heads these days suits him just fine. He recognises the links that bands have to each other, and the musical threads strung between songs. "I'm a firm believer that nothing is new in music. You're taking something someone else has done and giving it your voice and filtering it though your experience."

He mentions Dirty Beaches, the Taiwanese-Canadian musician whose music takes from the Beach Boys, Suicide and Francoise Hardy, but still remains original. Seeing Dirty Beaches play set Cohen off on a run of watching other one-man bands; men who, like him, make music alone. It inspired him to set up his own festival dedicated to these lone males, which it is hoped will take place later this year.

"It's a funny thing. A lot of people are turning to [being a solo musician] because it is just so much more - Thumped (Dublin)

"January Jonesing: The Best New Music From Last Month..."

There are other big names to mention before we finish, but the music I have played most in January is Passion Pilgrim, an EP by the Jon Cohen Experimental, who appeared before on these pages back in 2012. He is a one-man New Order, which would certainly save on fall outs, legal bills and black eyes. Why do I like it so much? His music reminds me of more than a few of my favourite things, such as lo-fi disco, early House, Captain, 1989, Ben Lee, Eno, and so much more. This is 'In Order To Survive', but I urge you to check out the EP as every track is worth your attention; one listen and you're hooked:

More classy sounds from the indie disco. The perfect companion to the Jon Cohen Experimental comes in the shape of The Duke, Detroit and their latest single, 'Iconic', which is not out till March but is too good not to mention right now. Drum machines, snare, handclaps, bass-lines to die for, and a guitar break that could have come from Nile Rodgers himself; what's not to like? They've been good before, but this is the best thing I have heard from The Duke, Detroit yet and they are quickly becoming one of those bands whose new music you can't wait for. You won't be able to listen to this and not have something move when you least expect it: - Scots Whay Hae!

"NXNE Concert Review -2011"

Montreal’s The Jon Cohen Experimental took the stage next, electrifying the audience with his extreme talent. This one-man show consisted of improvised original content as he recorded himself, looped the sound into his system and continued this way for the duration of the set. - The Indie Machine

"Earshot Reviews: Jon Cohen Expiremental Behold Self-Released"

Hearing this for the first time I imagined listening to an 80’s Joe Jackson avec some Canadian injection of poppy rock along with some attitude and grace. Jon Cohen and his band of merry men make up the majority of the musical substance. Ken Martin & Seb Coté add what I believe is an uncomplicated array of harmonies and the cohesion on each track is very noticeable. If you are familiar with the Montréal pop rock experience, you’ll know he graced The Dears which is another wonderful creation of musically prolific artists. “Brain Pollution” is by far the most eclectic and powerful song. The moving guitars and flowing vocals swiftly carry out a sensitive groove you can’t ignore. “Peace to Pieces” is a great wake up tune. Wake up and get moving to get back in order! The soft and soothing lyrics bear a powerful meaning and the gritty guitars build that energy during the half way mark. Another loud and banging track is “No More Videos Just Teasers”. The screeching chords rival the catchy vocals and mad slaps of bass. Bring out the orchestral and jazzy horns sounds in “Nightmare/Over” and you have another instant easy going song that light sup the night and your soul with a furry of joy especially during the bass riff that takes on a psychedelic frame. With a show coming up shortly in Winnipeg I’ll try and make it down to the Cavern but knowing the size of the venue it’s hard to say if I’ll be able to experience what Jon Cohen has to offer on this fantastic musical adventure.
By Marc 'Oxide' LaCasse
Jan 5, 2011 - Earshot!

"Behold Review"

January 20th 2011
by Matt Preprost (Arts & Culture Editor)


Label: Independent
3 out of 5 stars
Aptly named, this sophomore effort from Montreal’s Jon Cohen Experimental is truly a disc to behold. The 10-track album clocks in at just over 43 minutes and is a lush endeavour by Jon Cohen, a former guitarist of Montreal’s The Dears. The album is diverse with numerous genres and textures, ranging from Montreal’s signature blend of indie pop on opener Hold The Fire, to ’80s new wave on No More Videos Just Teasers, to subtle Hindu influences with a sitar on Lucky Number Seven. Throw in a three-part horn section here and a ton more brass there, Behold is truly a science experiment in music. I’m just not sure if it was deliberately planned or if Cohen made it up and had fun as he went along.

This review appeared in Volume 65, Number 16 of The Uniter, published January 20th 2011.

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Devin Wehrle
U of W student
“The whole transit system is really terrible in this city. And just roads in general are really bad. It’s really hard to get around here.”

Thoughtful and full of talent, but lacking a plot
Wide-legged pants, pantsuits and shoulder pads
Dancing on the knife’s edge - Uniter

"The Jon Cohen Experimental Behold (5 stars)"

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The Jon Cohen Experimental

Hearing this for the first time I imagined listening to an 80's Joe Jackson avec some Canadian injection of poppy rock with some attitude and grace. Jon Cohen and his band of merry men make up the majority of the musical substance. Ken Martin & Seb Coté add what I believe is an uncomplicated array of harmonies and the cohesion on each track is very noticeable. If you are familiar with the Montréal pop rock experiences you'll know he graced The Dears which is another wonderful creation of musically prolific artists. "Brain Pollution" is by far the most eclectic and powerful song. The moving guitars and flowing vocals swiftly carry out a sensitive groove you can't ignore. "Peace to Pieces" is a great wake up tune. Wake up and get moving to get back in order! The soft and soothing lyrics bear a powerful meaning and the gritty guitars build that energy during the half way mark. Another loud and banging track is "No More Videos Just Teasers". The screeching chords rival the catchy vocals and mad slaps of bass. Bring out the orchestral and jazzy horns sounds in "Nightmare/Over" and you have another instant easy going song that light sup the night and your soul with a furry of joy especially during the bass riff that takes on a psychedelic frame. With a show coming up shortly in Winnipeg I'll try and make it down to the Cavern but knowing the size of the venue it's hard to say if I'll be able to experience what Jon Cohen has to offer on this fantastic musical adventure. [Oxide] - - Urbnet.COM

"More music this week with Jon Cohen"

More music this week
by Ellie Einarson (Volunteer), Matt Preprost (Arts & Culture Editor), Sam Gallagher-Bishop (Volunteer)

The Jon Cohen Experimental.


The Jon Cohen Experimental creates unique music that pushes the boundaries of today’s music scene. Not easily compartmentalized into a genre, they are what Cohen describes as a “Chinese buffet” of music.

Their thought-provoking lyrics span themes of spirituality, intersection, self-reflection, and personal insight. The title of their recently released sophomore album, Behold, speaks to their musical message.

“It’s about beholding who you are and what your place in the world is,” said Cohen.

Cohen, a former member of The Dears and The Social Register, formed The Jon Cohen Experimental in 2006 and quickly put together their self-titled debut.

“I was inspired to take my musical skills into my own hands and create something tangible that I could use as a vehicle to speak to the people and do what I love best,” said Cohen.

Behold is a more deliberative album, taking two years to complete. The album features well-known musicians such as Evan Cranley from Stars, Liam O’Neil from The Stills and Murray Lightburn from The Dears.

Besides Cohen, the two other core members of the band are bassist Ken Martin and drummer Sebastian Cote.

“I’m really fortunate to have them,” said Cohen. “They make happen any of the crazy musical ideas I might have.”

Martin and Cote, however, aren’t joining Cohen on his 2010 tour. The show will be just Cohen and what he calls his Casio Orchestra and Astral Projections.

Curious as to what that means? Check out The Jon Cohen Experimental Friday, Jan. 14 at the Cavern. The first 15 people who arrive will receive a free copy of Behold.


—Ellie Einarson - The Uniter (Winnipeg)

"Jon Cohen Experimental is a road-tripping way of life"

Jon Cohen Experimental is a road-tripping way of life

Comment Print
By Ken Eisner, February 10, 2011
The Jon Cohen Experimental is the name of a band, but it’s also a way of life for its founder and chief lab technician, Jonathan Cohen. That’s why the group’s moniker is still in use as the singer-songwriter undertakes his current solo tour of Western Canada and the United States—even though the music has a radically different sound than that found on his regular trio’s new album, Behold.

Creating a memorable identity is just part of the goal for the Montreal-based Cohen. The rest of the journey, as per a certain Mr. Hendrix, is more about the Experience.

“I really like travelling and I really like meeting people,” says the tall, bearded singer, during an easygoing visit to this writer’s home. “And music is one of the best ways of doing both those things. Essentially, it’s the vehicle for communicating my personality. There could be others. I’ve been writing quite a bit lately, updating my blog almost daily as I travel, finding my voice in another area, and keeping in touch with people. I want to take everyone with me on this road trip.”

Indeed, in the post-big-label era, recording artists are ever more dependent on social media to expand their networks.

“The closest analogy I can think of is going to a yoga class. There are a lot of them around—like Starbucks—and you choose one because you like a particular teacher. Music is like that.”

In the time of acts like, say, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, and Love—bands that have had considerable sonic influence on Cohen’s poetic, psychedelic-tinged originals—it made sense to let other people handle the business end of being rock stars.

“They used to outsource all those jobs,” Cohen says. “But now most musicians usually can’t afford to have other people take care of that. I am my own business—which is weird, in a way, because that is so antithetical to being an artist. I mean, these are very different skill sets.”

Case in point: if a real publicist were involved, Cohen and I probably would spend a lot less time playing Beatles songs in the basement. On the other hand, this gives a highly trained professional like me the chance to witness the ornate filigree this musician—who pulled instrumental duty in Quebec bands like the Dears and the Social Register before helming his own project—puts into the guitar, and the way he weaves it with his soft, airy vocals.

His main axe in the solo version of the JCEX, however, is the electric bass, which he plays in combination with various drum pads and keyboard tracks, all coordinated live through looping pedals and MIDI controllers.

“It really is experimental,” declares Cohen, coming up for air. “I’m a work in progress, and I’ll be interested to see what I do next.”

The Jon Cohen Experimental performs at the Railway Club next Thursday (February 17), at Burnaby’s Great Bear Pub on February 18, and at Cafe Deux Soleils on February 27.

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- Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

"Jon Cohen Experimental Answers The Call Tonight"

After a decade or so ensconced in Montreal's honor-festooned indie rock scene, including stints with The Dears and The Social Register, Jonathan Cohen started his own eponymous collective. Not that "The Jon Cohen Experimental" should conjure images of three dudes frowning around a creatively amplified circular saw covered with mustard -- as Cohen explains below, it's really more like The Jon Cohen Experiential. For its part, the 'sperimental plays a woozy, sun-dappled brand of rock that sounds decidedly "classic," though you'd be hard pressed to pinpoint an exact era. (Pink Floyd? Steely Dan? Beulah?) On the group's second album, Behold, the proggy coexists with the hedonistic, the grandiose with the paranoid, in a lush, leafy haze. Check out some samples here.

Cohen hit the road last week to embark on an ambitious, 55-city solo tour, which conveniently enough brings him to the Elbo Room this evening along with The Bang and Teenage Sweater. You can read extensive accounts of his adventures so far on his on his blog, or you can get an abridged Q&A version below. It's your internet. Go nuts.

Make it across the border safely?
Yup. I was a bit nervous about the crossover but I took the train instead of the bus to get across, as they treat people with a little more decency on the border at the train station. But our train actually died 10 minutes outside of Portland, and we had to get literally "dragged" by another train that happened to be passing by. It was actually kinda fun!

What's the idea behind your "pilgrim tour"? What's the plan?
The pilgrim tour came about one night when I was making some serious life-changing decisions about where I was heading in life. I knew I was feeling the pull to get out on the road and knew I had to do it by myself. It's like when you feel a pull, you simply have to answer it, no matter how strange or unfeasible that inner request may be. Since this is a solo tour it almost became something of a religious or spiritual experience for me to be put into completely new situations and to live a completely new reality that will take me to as many place as possible and bring my music, personality, and positivity to as many people and places that call out to me as possible. So I took out a map and I booked about 55 shows in 55 cities based solely on instinct and on whether they called out to me, some obvious, some completely not. I was essentially responding to the call. I feel like a pilgrim who is trying to connect the dots and make sense of the larger landscape and see where my musical output belongs within that landscape. A pilgrim goes to a site and also offers something to the place, whereas a tourist is merely an observer.

If you had to describe your U.S. tour experience so far with one song, what would it be?
"Long May You Run," by Neil Young, because it has a positive message of not just letting life happen to you but rather asking you to happen to life, to get out and truly experience for yourself to what is out there. I really only feel truly present when I'm playing music, when I'm on the road. I'm not running from something but running to something. Like Joni Mitchell says, I'm a prisoner of the white lines on the freeway.

What's experimental about the Jon Cohen Experimental?
Everything about our experiences is experimental; this is how growth takes place. I have been told the title of the band is somewhat misleading because the music itself is not "experimental" in the traditional sense of, say, how John Cage or Laurie Anderson is experimental. In my music, I'm always talking more about how we experience our surroundings, how we express ourselves to ourselves and to others around us and how we grow inwardly through this experimentation. I'm not talking about drugs or mind-altering substances either. I'm referring to the method in which we interact with our surroundings. We are basically making it up as we go along, trying new things and finding new ways to relate to the world around us. We are "creating content," so to speak. Music is just one form of that content and this is how I approach making music. So the approach is experimental, the process is experimentation, the experience is experimental. The message/music/output is inherently always the same and has always been the same.

What can we expect from your show at the Elbo Room?
Grungy bass, double dribbling drum machines, ethereal astral keys, astral projections, the bard's weave of beautiful lyrical lines, and harmonies even The Jordanaires could be proud of. It is dance-driven, pop-infused, spiritual, meditative, and just plain heavy. Expect everything and receive nothing, expect nothing and receive everything.

If you had to dedicate one song to American commuter transit, what would it be?
"Chocolate Town," by Ween: "Makin' time, breakin ground, Greyhound bus to chocolate town." That's the song that's been spinning in my head on the road lately.

What year were you born and in what y - SF Weekly (San Francisco)

"THE JON COHEN EXPERIMENTAL experimenting with the human condition"

experimenting with the human condition
By Tannis Baradziej

A conversation with Jon Cohen is like a chatting with Eckhart Tolle and Roger Waters wrapped into one. Add a dash of Canadiana indie rock and you have his latest solo project: the Jon Cohen Experimental.

With an awareness of how the human condition affects him, Cohen’s approach to writing music is an honest reflection on the simultaneous emptiness and beauty of humanity.

“When I write music, I’m just trying to get a glimmer of truth and hold onto that for enough time,” Cohen says. “I’m trying to grasp a bit of truth and put it down to a two-inch tape.”

It’s this attitude that lends to the construction of melodies, fleshed out by Cohen’s gentle crooning of lyrics that guides the listener to open their eyes to the ego-driven world around them, and embrace who they are as individuals.

Hailing from Montreal, Cohen – formerly of the Dears – is keenly aware that there is nothing experimental about his music, per se. With a strong, psychedelic, ’60s feel infused throughout Behold, the listener cannot help but draw comparisons to Pink Floyd or the Beatles.

“The Jon Cohen Experimental isn’t experimental in the sense of the music, but more in the sense that I’m putting myself through all these experiential stages in my life and documenting it as a musical form,” Cohen explains.
No, that doesn’t mean he’s ingesting mind-altering substances to create his sound. Rather, as he puts it, his music is inspired by the human condition and his interactions with people he meets on the road.

And he’s bringing that music to Calgary later this month.

A seasoned musician, Cohen has made wonderful use of his experience in – and connection within – Canada’s music industry. Showcasing artists from the Dears, Stars and the Stills, this album is a veritable smorgasbord of Montreal talent.

Alas, Cohen says, such talent won’t be appearing with him at Broken City. In fact, no one will.
“I’m putting together a kick-ass show. It won’t just be a guy with a guitar – I’ve invited my Casio orchestra along with me,” he laughs. “I don’t have any mouths to feed that way.

“I’m not a starving artist, but a broke artist,” he says, explaining that his lifestyle – which includes meditation and a clean apartment amidst writing and performing music – is probably crushing the image that some may think most musicians might try to put forth.

Cohen's undertakings avoid living up to the artifices expected of musicians, instead inviting the human condition to inspire his approach to songwriting. And it does: Cohen’s subject matter is sometimes bitterly realistic, such as in “Behold”: “While the suits shake hands/Wave hello and good-bye/They're stabbing us with knives/Enriching their wives.” Yet, he also sings, “Time is running out/So be what you’re about,” in the delicately poignant song, “Don’t Be the Cloud.”

Indeed, Cohen shows awareness of the fleetingness of time. At 34 years old, the musician knows he isn’t getting any younger, but he’s committed himself to devoting the time required to produce meaningful music.

“I don’t go for quantity. I’ll write 12 to 15 songs over three to four years… some people do that in a week.
“Through (making this album), I went through a relationship, a few jobs and a couple apartments at the same time,” he reflects.

According to Cohen, the album was well worth the time spent writing and producing it. The songs have been met with “an amazing array of different reactions,” he says, and that feedback is what keeps him going.

Cohen says he’s not concerned with making money or creating hits, but with making connections. Meeting people, he says, is the reason he tours and the way he rejuvenates his passion for music.

“I’m in this to find myself. It’s an inner journey, and what I’m finding out is you find yourself through other people, and the way I meet people is by playing music.” - Beatroute Calgary-Vancouver

"A Nice Man’s Band: Cohen is talented and friendly and by gosh, I like him"

A Nice Man’s Band
Cohen is talented and friendly and by gosh, I like him
by James Brotheridge
Jon Cohen is overwhelmingly positive. Almost comically so. Evidence? My phone interview with the musician took a bit of wrangling, as he’d dropped his phone and broken it. Then, speaking to me thanks to a phone card, he said of the tour so far: “Yesterday was basically our second night, so, so far, so good. Apart from the phone thing, things have been pretty good.”

Then, in the same breath: “Our car died today. Every day is a challenge. But in a good way. It’s a good stress, not a bad stress.”

Maybe it isn’t optimism so much as his newfound determined nature. Cohen’s been kicking around the Montreal music scene for years now, playing with his own group, the Jon Cohen Experimental, since 2006. However it’s only been with the release of 2010’s Behold that he’s really tried to make a go out of the music business.

“I’m 34 years old,” he says. “I’m no longer in my 20s. People are starting families at my age. I just thought, I know I have a great talent with music and that I love people and that I love to network and that I love to travel. So I want music to be the vehicle to achieve my dream, and not just the end result.”

He continues, “I’ve never really fully committed myself to saying, ‘You know what? I am a great musician and I want to bring this to other people. I want other people to be part of this as well.’”

Behold is a good record to get behind. Cohen’s extremely well-produced indie-pop is catchy and accomplished, showing the fully developed sound of a guy fully comfortable in the studio. (“I think I was born at a studio, because whenever I’m at a studio, I can be there for days without noticing the time go by,” he says.) Guest spots from members of The Dears, Stars, and Broken Social Scene sweeten the deal.

Right now, Cohen’s on a multiple-month tour that’ll include a stop at South by Southwest. Since he doesn’t have his bandmates with him, he’ll be performing with what he calls his “Casiotone orchestra.”

Even if these are the acts of a man who really wants to succeed, he also seems like a kind-hearted guy, the type of fellow who’s committed to giving out 20 copies of his album at each of his concert dates.

Further evidence: I ask him about an interview I read with him from another paper, where the writer compared his music to the Bee Gees — a description that doesn’t hold a lot of weight, which the writer admits — and Cohen is super gracious about it.

Since then, though, Cohen has started to see some Bee Gees influences work their way into his music.

“Maybe he implanted the seed, so now it’s just coming into full bloom,” he says.

My theory is that he’s so nice, he actually held onto that description and, subconsciously perhaps, made it come true. What a man. - Prairie Dog Regina's independent voice

"Experimental experience Ex-Dears member Jon Cohen strikes out solo"

Experimental experience
Ex-Dears member Jon Cohen strikes out solo
Published January 13, 2011 by Sean Marchetto in Music Previews

The Jon Cohen Experiment with Raleigh and Axis of Conversation
Broken City
Thursday, January 20 - Thursday, January 20

More in: Rock / Pop
Three years after the release of his debut solo album, Montreal’s Jon Cohen is riding into Calgary on the surprisingly accessible pop sounds of his sophomore followup, Behold. Cohen’s arrival at Broken City, his first performance here since his days with The Dears, will be a solo show with projections, electronic loops and, he mischievously promises, his mysterious little orchestra. The full band won’t join him until it begins its tour along the B.C. coast, a trip that will eventually see the Jon Cohen Experimental descending into California and towards Phoenix, then heading into Austin for SXSW, eventually touring its way home sometime in April.

Behold features 10 straight-ahead pop songs ranging from the lackadaisical “Don’t Be the Cloud” to the urgent and anxious “Brain Pollution,” a catchy tune complete with backup singers and “Ba-ba-ba-oom” choruses. When asked about reactions to the music, given the band’s name, Cohen laughs. “It’s not experimental in the musical sense. It’s not about John Cage or Laurie Anderson…. It might be a little misleading to call it experimental, but I like that. It catches people off guard and they can be pleasantly surprised by it.”

Despite the delightful pop sounds of the Experimental, the group challenges notions of what it means to be a band, especially in this age of artistic collectives. Although Behold is clearly Cohen’s project, its recording involved a shifting state of membership, one that took advantage of the many musical relationships Cohen built up since leaving The Dears in 2002, drawing in Angela Desveaux, Dears guitarist Murray Lightburn and members from bands such as Stars, among others.

“I play guitar, piano, keyboards and drums for other people. I’ve played everything from 12-string guitar to electronic triangle, harpsichord, strings, anything that can be plucked, but with this album it was not so much about the instruments, but about the person. I wrote the parts with people in mind. I thought maybe Liam (O’Neil of The Stills) could do something here. This would be a great part for this personality. Being a multi-instrumentalist is good, you can always flesh the song out, thinking maybe it needs more flugelhorn here, but I approached it differently. And it was the best experience, to open it up to anyone who felt they could add to it.”

This open process contrasts the methods of plenty of solo artists, who hire session players to fill in and then keep a tight rein on improvisation. Instead, Cohen allowed his various collaborators free rein, resulting in an album full of little flourishes, from the guitar work on “Peace to Pieces” and “Stroke (of the Night)” to the fuzzed out sounds of “No More Videos Just Teasers.”

“The album was about working and reworking songs, eventually deciding to involve my musical peers and put the call out there to see who would be willing to lend their voices. It was great to have that positive reinforcement with so many people contributing. It was the best part of making the album. I had always had trouble with confidence, in part because I was always playing music for other people, but when you decide to take the helm and assume leadership, you put a lot of pressure on you to do well by and for yourself.”

The Jon Cohen Experimental is promising free copies of its latest CD, Behold, to the first 20 attendees of his Thursday, January 20 performance.
- Fast Forward Weekly (Clagary)

"The Jon Cohen Experimental: Inspirer, relâcher"

The Jon Cohen Experimental: Inspirer, relâcher
Valerie Thérien
17 août 2010
Après avoir fait partie des Dears de 1999 à 2003, Jon Cohen se sentait prêt à lancer sa propre aventure. The Jon Cohen Experiment est ainsi né en 2006. Le guitariste montréalais a dû s’ajuster dans son nouveau rôle de chanteur, mais avec deux albums en banque, dont le p’tit nouveau, Behold, Jon croit aujourd’hui être arrivé à maturité.
« Dans le temps des Dears, j’écrivais, mais je n’avais pas en tête d’avoir mon propre groupe, précise-t-il. J’avais besoin de trouver la confiance nécessaire en d’autres musiciens. Je n’aspirais pas à être frontman, mais j’ai commencé à penser à ça en écrivant plus, en formant mes muscles de composition! Je suis très critique de ce que je fais alors je ne sors pas des disques aux six mois!»
Musique PPP
La pop de Jon Cohen Experiment s’écoute mieux les yeux fermés. Tantôt plus planante, tantôt plus psychédélique, c’est le genre de musique qui transporte ailleurs, mais qui ne s’éloigne jamais vraiment trop de ses repères. Bref, si tu n’es pas déjà dans les vapes, ça devrait faire l’affaire!
Alors que le premier disque du groupe (complété par les musiciens Seb Côté et Ken Martin) a été enregistré rapidement, ils ont voulu faire les choses autrement pour Behold. « En revenant d’une tournée dans l’Ouest canadien, j’avais des pièces incomplètes. Je les ai retravaillées et retravaillées. Je voulais une approche différente. Je me suis dit “OK, j’ai une trentaine de chansons. Je vais les sortir de leur cocon, les jouer live et voir comment elles vont développer en les laissant respirer. Quand elles arriveront à maturité, je vais les encapsuler”. »
Là où le son est différent
Ce deuxième gravé a été enregistré à Ottawa, au studio Little Bullhorn du producteur David Draves. C’est en entendant un album d’Angela Desveaux, produit dans ce même studio, que Jon a voulu suivre dans les pas de la musicienne folk. « Sur son album, il y avait un son assez particulier que je ne pouvais pas associer à d’autres groupes de Montréal, mentionne-t-il. C’est vraiment un son qui m’a capté, un son différent de Montréal. Pour nous, de sortir de la métropole pour enregistrer, ça nous a donné une différente approche, même si Ottawa, ce n’est pas exactement exotique!»
Behold profite d’une belle brochette d’invités, des artistes que Jon admire et d’autres avec qui il a travaillé auparavant: Murray Lightburn, Krista Muir, Angela Desveaux, JF Robitaille et Rishi Dhir. Le musicien explique que ce sont des voix qui ajoutent un je-ne-sais-quoi à l’album. « Il y a des parties spécifiques auxquelles je pensais pour telle ou telle personne. Je me suis fait une wish-list. C’était une question de figurer ce qui serait bien pour le musicien et de voir où ça irait. »
Rien de bizarre là-dedans!
Et finalement, pourquoi « Experimental » dans le nom du groupe?
« C’est plus «experimental» dans le sens de chercher quelque chose. Quand tu expérimentes, tu rentres dans l’inconnu. Pour moi, c’était ce genre d’exploration de l’inconnu avec ce nouveau groupe. »
- N’as-tu pas peur que les gens croient que tu fais de la musique expérimentale?
- Non, pas vraiment. Honnêtement, de nos jours, on ne peut pas savoir ce qu’un groupe fait juste par son nom. And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, par exemple, ils font quoi? C’est la musique qui parle aux gens, pas vraiment le nom. Je pense que les gens vont chercher plus loin qu’un nom.
The Jon Cohen Experimental sera en spectacle au Café Campus de Montréal le 20 août, à l’Agitée de Québec le 8 septembre, puis au Bain Mathieu (2915 Ontario Est) le 16 septembre. - bang bang

"Critique de Behold par The Jon Cohen Experimental"


Ma cote:

Jon Cohen Experimental
Cote de Voir:
ARTICLE - 30 septembre 2010
Olivier Lalande

Le Jon Cohen en question a officié chez les Dears, The Social Register, JF Robitaille et autres grosses pointures locales, mais ne cherchez pas de traces d'indie machin dans son véhicule actuel. Second album dudit projet (chargé d'invités: Murray Lightburn, Krista Muir et Evan Cranley, entre autres), Behold penche vers une pop progressive bien seventies, tout en ambiances feutrées et voix «overdubbées». On pense souvent au Alan Parsons Project (Hold the Fire, Brain Pollution) ou à Steely Dan (Peace to Pieces). Il y a bien un côté passéiste ici (trois mots: solos de saxophone), mais Cohen a un style de composition épuré et direct (bien senti dans la ballade Don't Be the Cloud) qui lui permet d'éviter le pastiche. - Voir

"The Jon Cohen Experimental: ce band local nous chante la pomme au Bain Mathieu"

The Jon Cohen Experimental: ce band local nous chante la pomme au Bain Mathieu
2010-09-14 17:57 par: Marine Anaïs


Aimez-vous les bands indie trash qui vous donnent envie de crier à tue-tête et de faire des moves de bras louches à la Duchess Says? Nous aussi. Sauf qu’on n’a pas toujours envie de recevoir nos amis à souper sur fond de tachycardie musicale. C’est là que The Jon Cohen Experimental entre en jeu. Ces musiciens n’ont rien à envier à la nouvelle vague montréalaise. Histoire de profiter des contacts qu’ils ont accumulés au fil de la décennie, le trio s’est entouré de collaborateurs comme The Stills, Stars et The Dears, dont Jon Cohen est un «ancien combattant».

Avec ses accents pop planants, le deuxième album du groupe, Behold, séduit à coup de mélodies bien ficelées. Soudain, on a comme une envie d’aller gambader dans le parc en robe fleurie, à compter les pétales des marguerites, ou encore de remettre le LSD à la mode. Et quoi de mieux pour partir sur un trip d’acide que de faire un concert dans le fond d’un bain?

Histoire de promouvoir sa douce musique juste assez psychédélique, Jon Cohen et ses deux acolytes se produiront au Bain Mathieu ce jeudi dans le cadre des 10 jours des Arts du Faubourg. Les arts visuels et la musique y cohabiteront pour le plaisir de vos yeux et de vos oreilles!

Bain Mathieu | 2915, Ontario E.
Jeudi 16 septembre à 19h

- Nightlife Magazine

"Critiques: The Jon Cohen Experimental Behold"

20 juillet 2010
The Jon Cohen Experimental
genre : Rock
étiquette : Indépendant
date de sortie : Mai 2010
C'est quoi?
C'est Behold, le deuxième album du trio montréalais The Jon Cohen Experimental. Fort d'une expérience musicale considérable au sein de formations telles que les Dears, Jon Cohen s'entoure, pour ce deuxième effort, de ses complices habituels, mais aussi d'invités de marque; pensons ici à Murray Lightburn, à Krista Muir ou encore à JF Robitaille.
De l'orfèvrerie?
De bon calibre, même. Si la pop progressive à caractère un peu psychédélique traverse ce disque de bord en bord, elle le fait d'une manière telle qu'elle réussit à nous donner un sentiment nostalgique sans jamais devenir passéiste. Un peu de Plants and Animals mélangé au côté un peu plus paresseux des Kinks, auquel on aurait ajouté une touche subtile et réjouissante de claviers. Ceux-ci viennent d'ailleurs donner une couleur éthérée aux deux pièces les plus intéressantes de l'album, Behold et Don't be the cloud.
À écouter sous un arbre dans un pré?
En regardant les nuages. C'est d'ailleurs le défaut de la qualité de ce disque. Quelques aspérités auraient peut-être permis à la musique de gagner en mordant ce qu'elle finit par perdre avec son côté aérien. Mais comme c'est assumé et fait avec adresse, ça passe la rampe. Je vais le réécouter, celui-là.
Une écoute avec des écouteurs, sur une colline, de François Lemay
Bande à part
7,5/10 Internautes
2 appr - Bande à Part (Radio Canada)

"Call & Response: The Jon Cohen Experimental"

Call & Response is a series of Q&As with bands, artists and random people we dig that live in Montreal, visit here, or have some dubious connection to the city.

The Jon Cohen Experimental is a local trio fronted by, well, I guess it's pretty obvious from the name. What you might not know is that Jon Cohen has been a member of influential local acts such as the Dears and JF Robitaille and the band's latest album, Behold, features guest appearances from members of The Stills, Stars, Angela Desveaux, and others high profile musicians from our city's scenes. The new album finds the band weaving a tight but relaxed sound that meshes pop and indie rock with extended psychedelic instrumental jams. There's an organic feel to how the songs on Beholdunfold, and they're loaded with harmonies and vocal hooks. In preparation for their show this Thursday at Bain Mathieu I decided to chat with Jon and his experiment. As we do in this series, I put to him the world's most pressing questions:

You've got a great jam-band feel on this album? Was it hard to make an album sound this relaxed?
Yes, it was. It takes a shitload of work and frustration to sound this relaxed...really. I'm not so sure about the jam band reference though. We are pretty surgical when it comes to making and recording this music. No note left unplucked and no beat unrehearsed. If a bandmember wants a solo, they have to write a three-page thesis on why they feel it would be beneficial to the song.

Where is the best place to listen to your music?
Deep in the subconscious.

What do you love most about Montreal?
Music and arts, women and diversity.

On some songs I hear Pink Floyd, others I hear the Beach Boys. In a cage match of your influences, who comes out on top?
Brian Wilson is too out of shape and depressed to get Roger Waters or David Gilmour pinned down and Sid is dead. I would stay away from Mike Love or Al Jardine because they are crazy and unpredictable. Much like our music, it would be a standstill.

What do you love most about Poutine?
It's quick and dirty.

What do you hate most about Poutine?
When the people who make it don't understand proper cheese/fry/gravy ratio.

You've played previously with some big name local bands (The Dears, JF Robitaille, etc.). How does it feel striking out under your own name?
Feels good to create something where I have more control and where I write the songs. It's music I can be proud of and it gives me lots of motivation to continue.

Do you remember your first gig?
The first time I ever played a live show was at my high school talent show with my friend Lionel and a drummer. We played 'Alive' by Pearl Jam and 'Psychotherapy' by the Ramones. Then we stage dove into the unsuspecting audience and were forbidden to play again. Then girls started talking to me for the first time ever. It was better than anything I could have ever imagined.

If your music was a famous historical figure, who would it be and why?
My music would be the bastard child of Ghandi and Stevie Nicks...a healthy blend of debauchery and spirituality.

Describe the atmosphere at a Jon Cohen Experimental show. More Experimental or more Jon Cohen? Or something else?
A Jon Cohen experimental show offers you the unique opportunity to lose yourself in a deep thought-provoking mood altering ejaculation of sound and dance. Go where no one has gone before.

How did you spend your 16th birthday?
I invited some friends over and we drank beer and watched A Clockwork Orange. I don't think I was ever more terrified in my life.

Listen to The Jon Cohen Experimental here
or get the full experience at these upcoming shows:

Sept 16th @ Bain Mathieu (2915 Rue Ontario Est)
Free show in the bottom of a swimming pool with mind-bending visuals as a backdrop

Sept 30TH @ Club Balatou 11PM
Part of Pop Montreal

The band's sophomore album Behold is available here - Midnight Poutine


Self-Titled LP (2006/Independent)
Behold (2010/Pipe &Hat)
Passion Pilgrim (2014/OMBF)
Uniformitarianism (2016/Independent)
Go Getters (2017/Sugar Gator) 
Songs Only A mother Could Love (2019



Throw open the gates of restraint, numb yourself to narcotic beats and dance around in circles, just don't stop the alchemy. Jon Cohen Ex takes you by the hand into a hypnotic, ethereal, genre-defying maelstrom of beat-driven tunes injected with catchy hooks. Consisting of past members of The Dears, Final Flash, JF Robitaille and Social Register, Jon Cohen Ex's new sound explores opposing forces that parallel the creative process - the lyrics capture a spiritual aspect that holds place and focus while the rock band runs at high speeds, humming like a well-oiled machine.

Go Getters is the band’s 5th release, recorded by Dave Draves (Kathleen Edwards) mastered by Jett Galindo (Sam Roberts) and released in 2017 on Sugar Gator (Moulettes). This is playful yet moody music,“Baby Life” is a high-energy intersection of Ween and The Strokes, while album closer “Go-Getters” bounces effortlessly from George Harrison to Lightfoot to Pavement in a single measure. “33rd Floor” channels Beatles, Blur and Jefferson Airplane. At times orchestral or grungy, the E.L.O vs. the 90’s vibe is raw and unapologetic.

In the end, JCEX’s earnest songs and dynamic high-energy live shows are what shine through. With a confident yet loose stage presence and unpredictably precise instrumentation, Cohen’s crooning vocals and unintimidating presence emanate from anything he does, reminding even the most wound-up of us to tap a toe, maybe even jump out onto the dancefloor. In late 2017 JCEX toured Canada playing Pop-Montreal, Ponderosa (with Wolf Parade, Austra) and Mile-Out (with Moulettes) as their album charted Canada-wide, garnering great press. Previously, they also toured worldwide supporting bands like Oneida, Rich Aucoin, Brasstronaut, Justin Ruthledge, Dropkick Murphys, Elephant Stone, Geoff Berner etc., performing at NXNE, CMW, SXSW, Mtl-Jazz, Oliofest & Iceland Airwaves.

Band Members