Lostinmymind.com is excited to bring you the first installment in our interview series “You’re Already Home Where You Feel Loved” with the moms of the members The Head and The Heart. We are kicking off the series with an interview with Gloria Russell, mother of Jonathan Russell: guitarist/vocalist of The Head and The Heart.
LIMM: – is the team at Lostinmymind.com
GR: – is Gloria Russell
LIMM: Tell us about Jon growing up…
GR: Jonathan was my second child (and second son)—-if he had been first born, he would have been an only child! I say that with a mother’s love! He always managed to keep thinks lively—-guess you could say he was a bit headstrong, but never with a really bad outcome. He seemed to always have a “girl friend” from about the age of 9 or 10—-guess it was his charismatic personality.
LIMM: How did Jon get into playing music?
GR: Jonathan is probably unique in the fact that he really did not start to seriously play music until he was 19. He dabbled in high school bands, which is how he became acquainted with Tyler, but he personally views 19 as the age he “got serious”. He has said that he regrets not having been involved in music classes in high school, which makes the fact that he is self-taught that much more amazing. I used to listen to him sing in the shower and think that he couldn’t sing—-but he is light years away from that now!!
LIMM: At what point did you realize that your child was going to live the life of a musician?
GR: Jonathan has what I would call a “quiet confidence” about him—-he was never bragging about what he was doing—he would just simply go about his daily life (he left home at age 19) and do whatever he had to do to pursue music. He and Tyler were also in a band after high school, but they went their separate ways. In the latter part of 2008, Jonathan made the decision to move to Seattle, and he left in January 2009. It is very humbling to realize that he knew no one in Seattle, other than the friend he traveled there with, and simply shows up at an open mic night to sing, and gradually, one by one—-forms a band. Jonathan had the tenacity to pursue what he knew he had to do—-he kept himself alive by working in restaurants and did not care where he lived, or what he ate, or what he wore—as long as he knew he was working toward his dream.
LIMM: Did you ever imagine the band or Jon would achieve this kind of success?
GR: I have to admit, that I never in my wildest dreams thought he would reach the level of success that he has—-not that he could not do it—–it is just indicative of how small my thoughts were in the big picture! I am most proud of the fact that the band has done this “their way” as opposed to being told what to do and how to do it. The effort they put into their self-released CD is truly amazing—–absolute true commitment and dedication on the part of the band.
LIMM: How many The Head and The Heart shows have you been to? Do you have a favorite, and what do you consider the best part of the live experience?
GR: I personally have only been to four shows (the 5th upcoming here in Richmond on 3/21)—-my favorite would have to be Denver on 10/9/11—-his brother Jeremy was also there, along with his wife’s family members. It was a great show, and so moving to watch and listen to the crowd sing along!! That is by far the best part of seeing them live!
LIMM: Best perk of being the mom of a celebrity?
GR: For me, probably the best perk of being the mom of a celebrity has been having the opportunity to meet Dave Matthews and his wife in their Charlottesville home, and of course obtain his autograph. At work, I am known as the “rock star momma”—-a bit of a stretch, I know—but fun!
LIMM: Was there a specific food you cooked most often at home?
GR: I cannot think of any one specific food as being fixed most often—-although Jonathan probably ate more beans and rice than most of his friends, because I wasn’t a huge fan of meat. We had meat, but it was just never my favorite thing to fix. He might remember a Tuna Rice dish that I fixed fairly often, I guess—tastes better than it sounds!
LIMM: Can you tell us one funny thing about Jon that you think the fans might like to know?
GR: As far as one funny thing about him—–what comes to mind is when he was visiting his grandparents in Florida, and was at his grandfather’s (on his Dad’s side) church. His grandfather was a preacher. Jonathan and Jeremy were in Sunday School and Jonathan had asked to go to the restroom—-when he didn’t come back in a timely manner, the teacher found him on the bathroom sink, soaping up the mirror!! Harmless enough activity, but done by the preacher’s grandson!! Kind of makes you smile, don’t you think?
Thanks so much to Gloria Russell for agreeing to participate in this interview, and for raising a very talented, gifted, and well mannered son!