Story and Interview by Lana Nimmons
From Marchs Vandala Magazine 2014
Aussie Metalcore heavyweights I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN are back with them comes ‘Beloved’ their heaviest cut of metal to date! Like its predecessor ‘Music For The Recently Deceased’ the new album was recorded at Sweden’s Studio Friedman, the birthplace of many a Melodic Death Metal masterpieces over the years. I had the distinct pleasure to chat with Jona Weinhofen about the making of Beloved, art, the state of the indie industry and the story behind IKTPQ signing a record deal with Epitaph.
You’re about to go on the Take Action Tour on March 12 in Ventura, CA with The Devil Wears Prada, The Ghost Inside, and Dangerkids. Take Action Tour 2014 is presented by Living The Dream Foundation, I’ve heard you are always involved in charities, could you tell me a little bit about that?
Jona: I don’t actually know that much about take action itself but the coolest thing about the tour inside is that I get to learn about that and I killed the prom queen is pretty big on charity and you know how to get different charities doing things with a positive message and a cause behind it. Organizations like seaShepherd, PETA, Animals Australia. We’re four vegans and one vegetarian so we’re pretty passionate about animal welfare that kind of thing. I also work with a charity here in Australia called the Carly Ryan Foundation which is based around informing young people on Internet safety and the dangers of internet predators and how to go about making it safe as possible when you’re on the internet when you’re a young person. That’s just a couple of the things we normally work with and it’s cool to be able to do a tour in the States which does have a positive message behind it not just getting out there playing shows for no reason. Another cool thing about it is that we’re really good friends with the guys from the ghost inside and we both share management with them Devil Wears Prada so a tour like that is kind of fun because of the friend aspect it’s going to be really awesome. I think we’re actually going to be sharing a bus with the ghost inside too, so maximum hanging.
I’ve never heard of the Carly Ryan Foundation, it’s pretty amazing, in schools here they’ve started teaching kids about internet safety. It’s hard when you have teens, teaching them the concept that everything posted is permanent is hard.
Jona: You know, young people find themselves in chat rooms can I get added by strangers on the internet and that’s the whole thing it’s like you don’t know who is on the other end of that chat unless you can physically see them. Basically the point of the foundation is to educate people against that because the foundation was started by a woman called Sonya Ryan and she was the mother of Carly Ryan. Carly Ryan was her 16 year old daughter who met a young guy on the Internet and decided to meet up with him and turned out to be an older man posing as a young person and she ended up being murdered by the man. Sonya has made it her life’s work to stop that from happening with other people’s children.
Whoa, that’s pretty intense.
Jona: Now that’s one of most extreme cases and nobody wants that to happen.
I think it’s really amazing that you’re involved with so many different charities.
Jona: We are in this position of influence with young people and we believe that its good to use that influence positively not you know there are so many bands out there going on tour and partying and doing drugs and drinking and whatever and whatever they might do they don’t understand how that comes across to fans, young fans. These young people are saying I want to be a rockstar I go out and get drunk and party do drugs I do everything my favorite bands are doing not necessarily limiting to drinking and that’s just an example of the kind of influence we do have on young people. I prefer to try and use the influence positively direct the attention to positive things to do instead of things which we might be into in our personal lives which might be damaging.