A partnership forged by a shared passion for adventure - the parallels are evident between the English Brothers and lifelong friends Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance who together form Americana Folk Duo Jamestown Revival.
Texan born and bred, Zach and Jonathan affectionately describe their music as "Southern & Garfunkel" and write songs about everyday life, taking inspiration from storytellers of adventure, nature and simplicity.
We sat down with Jonathan and Zach to understand what makes them tick and discussed life philosophies and the importance of an adventurous spirit.
How did you first hear about Bremont?
Jonathan & Zach: From a friend who has great taste in watches.
What made you choose your Bremont watch?
Z: I love the classic feel of the Alt1-C, it reminds me of that great photo of Paul Newman sitting in a vintage car.
What is it about Bremont that resonates with you personally?
J: These watches are meant to be worn, to be taken on a story of their own. They’re not made to sit in a safe or a drawer. I’m completely infatuated with the level of quality and attention to detail put into each watch and when I’m bored, I flip my watch around, watch the movement, and ask myself how on earth it works.
Z: For me, it's the adventurer’s spirit of Bremont that really resonates. People pursuing something bigger than themselves.
How did you get into music, was it always part of your life?
J: It sounds cliched, but music was always part of my life. My Father plays guitar and piano, and he was constantly playing for none other than the pure joy of it. He’s damn good too, he was just never crazy enough to try and make a career out of it. I can remember in high school getting cut from the basketball team. At the time, I thought it was the end of the world but now I’d like to find that coach and thank him. It forced me to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. At 17, I was entirely consumed by my obsession with the guitar. It was my first true love and passion, and it shifted the course of the rest of my life.
What have been the biggest challenges you have encountered along the way?
J: We’ve been making music together for over 20 years now and so much has changed, both in terms of our career, and our lives. I have an incredible wife and two beautiful boys now. Our priorities have changed and we’ve changed. We’ve had to learn to be flexible, patient, and accepting as life continues it’s steadfast march down the track. Maybe that’s the key to a band staying together?
Z: When we first started Jamestown Revival, we used to pretend to be a booking agent with a fake email and book our own tours in small bars or anywhere people would pay us a little money. We’d sleep in the back of our car at truck stops or camp. There were a good number of years it felt like us against the world but our camaraderie helped to carry us, like we had a secret no one else knew.
What drives you?
Z: Memories and experiences, that’s something no one else can take from me. At the end of the day, we get to write and perform music for a living, so I’d say we’ve got it pretty good. The way I see it, I might as well try and soak up as much of the journey as possible.
Touring is a test of endurance; how do you keep your mind and body in the game?
J: I am an avid practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it’s a lifelong pursuit and a big priority for me. I also find gyms and schools to drop in to when we are touring. It’s a great way to meet people, get yourself out of your comfort zone, and keep sharp while you’re on the road. I also go jogging a lot while on tour, I feel like there’s no better way to explore a city.
How does time play a part in your discipline?
J: I try to be incredibly diligent with my time. Whether I’m on an airplane, at home, in my car, or just hanging with my family, I’m making an effort to make the most of my time. I strive to be present, and I do my best not to waste the precious gift we call ‘time’.
Z: Writing and performing are muscles that you have to stretch and exercise. Dedicating time to honing that craft is essential.
How do you spend your down time?
J: Sitting on the back porch enjoying a beer. Not looking at my phone. Staring at the leaves in the trees and If I’m lucky, sharing the moment in the company of someone I love.
Z: Even after all the touring I really enjoy traveling. Getting outdoors and finding adventure ignites me. A motorcycle trip or a camping trip up the coast, that’s the time my mind can catalogue ideas and inspiration.
How does song writing compare to watchmaking?
J: Anybody can make a song; the masters are few and far between. Quality knows no shortcuts. Structure is paramount; beauty is magic. Perfection lies somewhere in the middle.
To me it's the craftsmanship. Writing a good song is a craft that is honed over a lifetime of work, much like the process of crafting a beautiful timepiece. If done well, they can both become an heirloom, something generations after us can pass on and celebrate.