Scottish-American songwriter Johnathan Rice might have first landed on your radar through his duo Jenny & Johnny with his former partner Jenny Lewis. Rice’s story starts in Virginia and Scotland where he spent time going back and forth for his dad’s work. Each place having its own effect on his young musicianship. Virginia embodied a typical mid-90’s American teen experience where he loved Nirvana and actually had a first hand encounter with Dave Grohl, who lived nearby. In Scotland, he was surrounded by a large family where music was front and center. It was not uncommon for the family to gather and Rice, after spending time practicing for the moment, would perform in front of his first audiences.
Johnathan discusses his early connections to the Saddle Creek music scene, which revolved around Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), who he claims very much influenced his writing early on. He also talks about his 12 year relationship with Jenny Lewis and how his latest album The Long Game was inspired by times during their relationship, during the breakup, and the aftermath. Recently, Johnathan has become known for his Instagram haikus, which he has a published book and fill up most of his feed.
It was a pleasure to get to know Johnathan during this interview. He’s kind, attentive, generous and has great dry-humor to his delivery, which shows up in his writing.
Hope you enjoy! Please subscribe!