Jocelyn Arndt Interview

Elyse Von Der Fecht

Singer /songwriter Jocelyn Arndt and her brother, guitarist and co-writer Chris Arndt create songs that evoke breathtaking emotion. Through ideal combination of melody and lyric, Jocelyn’s music connects with her audience in a way that is intimate and personal. Soon the two began writing original music, combining retro grooves and classic rock attitude in a unique, modern blend that still remains surprisingly tangible. The music is a stunning, mature, sound with timeless energy and a tendency toward the heart.

Caption: Jocelyn and Chris Arndt, a brother-sister songwriting duo, hail from Upstate New York (photo obtained via Facebook).
Jocelyn and Chris Arndt, a brother-sister songwriting duo, hail from Upstate New York (photo obtained via Facebook).

I recently met up with this talented Indie Rock/Blues/Soul musician and asked her a few questions.

Elyse: Introduce yourself and what type genre of music you sing.
Jocelyn Arndt: I’m Jocelyn Arndt, a singer-songwriter from Upstate New York. My brother Chris and I are a brother-sister songwriting team. Together we write what we’ve decided to call indie blues-rock. There are bits of pop, jazz, and soul thrown in for good measure, but all of our songs are tied together with their bluesy roots.

E: Why did you want to become a musician?
J: My brother and I grew up with music in our ears. My parents have a giant CD collection, and since I can remember there’s always been music in the background at the Arndt house. After listening to so much music, I guess Chris and I both thought that playing it was the next step for us. I heard so much emotion in the voices and instruments of the musicians I’d grown up listening to, and I wanted to share that feeling.

E: How do you come up with lyrics to a song? What is the process like?
J: I never know exactly when lyrics are going to hit me. Usually a song starts when I’m thinking about something or messing around with words in my head. Suddenly, a line will pop into focus, and I write from there. I tend to write lyrics and melody at the same time. Chris and I combine my lyrics with his chord progressions and instrumentation to build our songs from the ground up.

E: What is the message of your most recent album, Strangers in Fairyland?
J: Strangers in Fairyland is about exploring. It’s about thinking and investigating and never taking no for an answer. But mostly, it’s about coming to terms with the fact that sometimes our expectations don’t exactly match realities. Fairy tales are beautiful stories, but they’re not a one-size-fits-all road map to life. Our lives are a little more complicated than the “find the prince, kiss the prince, live happily ever after” approach that works in the movies.

E: What is the meaning behind the lyrics of “Still”?
J: Chris and I originally wrote “Still” as a Christmas gift to our parents. We wanted to create a song that captured the feel of the Holiday season as we’ve come to know it. As I was writing the lyrics, I tried to round up all the little things that make Christmas such a special time of year (sparkling lights, fresh snow, friendliness, singing, cookies) and put them in the song. It’s a snapshot of the holidays, and a gentle reminder to be “still” and soak it all in.

E: Who do you hope to tour with in the future?
J: We’re currently getting ready to perform at The Sundance Film Festival in Utah, but we actually just wrapped a tour through New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Alabama. We got to play with some really great bands and artists!  In the future it would be incredible to play with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I absolutely love her! Chris and I would also love to tour with The Black Keys. They rock. And I think if Chris had to choose one musician to share a bill with, it would probably be Joe Bonamassa. What an amazing guitarist he is.

E: What do you hope to accomplish in 2015?
J: Chris and I have big plans for this year. We’re going to work as hard as we can to make 2015 even bigger than 2014 was. We’re planning the release of a full-length album slated to drop toward the end of the summer, which is super exciting. In addition, Chris and I are writing more music and focusing on making our performance as powerful as it can be. We’re just going to keep working, keep pushing, and keep singing.