Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Jovian Mons

I had the recent opportunity to sit down with Jovian Mons (aka Tyler Burgardt) about more than just music. Jovian is a great friend of mine not only in the music industry but also in graphics as he is a graphic designer as well. I have actually had the opportunity to experience life with Tyler through the classroom as well as the stage. We have shared many meals, cups of coffee, and conversation with each other over the last few years and I am grateful to be able to speak with him today. So sit back and grab a glass of red wine, a pipe maybe, and enjoy as this old soul young heart beautiful mind tells us a little bit about what makes Jovian Mons just that.

So tell me Tyler, what in the world are you doing these days?

Currently I am doing a bunch of freelance graphic design work. On a week-to-week basis I’m busy creating anything from graphic illustrations for various campaigns around Indianapolis, websites for online marketing and education programs all the way to fine-art, architectural and commercial photography.

You have played quite a few shows at Birdy’s Bar & Grille in the last few years. What do you like about that venue?

Believe it or not I like the sound. It feels as cozy and expansive to me. Maybe its just because I’ve played there so many times but its kind of like my home turf. It’s one of the few establishments in Indianapolis that has seemed to have spanned the test of time (or at least the last 15 years) Not many can say that.

What is the largest crowd you have ever played for?

The largest crowd I ever played for was around 250 people on a cruise ship through the Caribbean.

Where does the inspiration come from when you write a new song?

My inspiration comes from a few different places. My music usually all falls under love, passion, God and complacency. I feel that anyone, those especially graced by the limelight, have the responsibility of using their influence for positively changing or reversing society’s negative authority.

You are a musician, sure, but what else do you do in your free time?

Well, free time is time I get to focus on my community, church, family and friends. I use that time to be supportive open to their needs. A great deal of my support comes from them.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?

That’s something I ask myself from time to time. And the answer is, I really have no idea. My life has changed so much even in the last year that I have no idea what to expect. I have goals of my own in music and business, but I’m certainly open in being used in ways I’ve never even imagined yet. I think we, as humans, are all very capable people. We’re capable of surprising ourselves as well.

You have had the chance to play a few shows overseas. Tell me about that experience.

Yes. I had the opportunity to play several shows in Poland over the last few years. It was a great experience. The venues were all quite different and new to me. I played in schools, farms and war bunkers. The singer songwriter style isn’t as big of a scene in Eastern Europe, but the response has been great. The people are just great and well receiving in Poland. I would encourage anyone to spend time there.

Who is your biggest inspiration when you are standing behind the microphone?

God. I can’t think of a more inspiring thought. He blows my mind on a daily basis.

If you could only play one song you sing for the rest of your life what one would it be?

Let me just tell you that that would be horrible situation. However, of the songs that I play, it would have to be my version of Silent Night.

You were just allowed the opportunity to open for a band of your choice. Who?

It would be Radiohead or Ryan Adams. Although if I were really in that situation I would probably excrement over a large portion of the surface of the stage. Then, the show would be canceled. The pressure would be immeasurable. I could probably sell a diamond after that show.

What is your salad dressing of choice?

For most of my life I’ve eaten my salad dry. Only in the last couple years have I enjoyed a topping for it. I think it would be Raspberry Vinaigrette.

If you could be any one topping on a pizza, what would it be?

I would have to be ripped bottle caps. Though not a favorite had by all, I’d at least live to die another day.

Do you find it hard to manage your time with all the activities you have going on in your life?

Yes, at times, it can be very difficult to manage. Though, I try hard to not let it get to that point. Free time is good for developing and maintaining relationships.

What do you want people to remember you for?

I would like people to remember me as a guy with a lot of passion for Christ. I’d like to known as that guy who sings about God on stage. “Hey, he seems cool. What’s he all about anyway?”

What are you drinking when you are on stage?

Usually, I like drinking warm water. Sometimes, the old vocal chords can seize up. You gotta throw a little “lubrication” in there (I love Spanglish.)

If you could meet any one person, alive or dead, who would it be?

Aside from “Hey-zoos”, I like to meet, and hangout with, Jeff Buckley… for about a month. I would normally say Ryan Adams, but he’s the type of guy that, at some point we’d probably ringing each other’s throats. It’s a love hate thing.

What are you doing on a typical Friday night?

A typical Friday night consists of hanging out with my brother and fiancé and cooking a big dinner.

I always like to have the artist get the last word in.

As hard as it is to sift through the noise of the music industry these days, be steadfast in keeping your ear open for new quality music that presents the beauty of humanity; because music saves.