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On the Go (Archive)

Glen Ellyn resident pours his soul into his rock band JIP

Glen Ellyn, IL

JIP bassist Joe D'Onofrio provides some rhythm during the band's live set at Ultra Lounge, 2169 Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago on Thursday, March 29, 2012.  
snapshots.mysuburbanlife.com/1442200
JIP bassist Joe D'Onofrio provides some rhythm during the band's live set at Ultra Lounge, 2169 Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago on Thursday, March 29, 2012. snapshots.mysuburbanlife.com/1442200

Jim Gwynn’s music career began when he started singing in the back of the car when he was 5 years old. He bought his first guitar at age 15, and now he’s the singer, songwriter and guitar player for the Glen Ellyn-based band JIP.

Gwynn started out in an improv band, OMSH, while he was writing his own music on the side.

When he realized he wanted to start something a little more serious, he put together JIP, a band composed of Mike Charbonneau on the drums and Joe Donofrio on the bass.
Although Gwynn still does solo shows on the side, he’s pouring his focus and efforts into making this dreams a success.

The trio released their signature album, “Year X,” in 2011 with big things in mind.

Tell me a little bit about Year X.
It’s my sixth record, and it has more studio recording. “Year X” was the first time that I ever let anyone into my world. Spencer Watson and I were working together, and since we were huge Local H fans, we went into their studio to record my signature record. We put together the best songs that we could put together. It was a really big deal for me.

From where do you draw your musical influence?
I was a consumer of music before I was a musician. I have been writing lyrics since I was 12… and I have seen Local H 38 times. A lot of my influence comes from them. I don’t want to sound like anybody, but we have a 90s alternative rock basis. I don’t want to pigeonhole us, but when you see a band 38 times, it says a lot. It’s part of our blood by that time. Plus, Brian from Local H is actually from Glen Ellyn.

So you’ve always been an avid music fan?
Music was always part of my life. I would go to concerts three times a week. I was a consumer. I was always writing music and using it as therapy for myself. When I was 17 years old and breaking up with a girl, music got me out of that mindset. Now, after all these years, I’m finally releasing into the wild and getting a great response. Screw it. Let’s go crazy.

What does JIP stand for?
I was a really emotional kid before this — I would say I led the “emo” lifestyle. It stands for Jim’s Intimate Perspective. Coming off of the OMSH improv thing and hopping into this was a little more of a serious project. It’s simple and easy to listen to with that deep meaning.

Do you have a day job as well?
I have a day job that I’m committed to. This is my second job, but this is what I go to work for. I work for a nursing school in admissions.

How do you do it all?
I have a positive outlook on life. I’m a really happy dude and that’s how I’ve live my life. I’m a student as well, so it’s really straining at times, but there’s not a negative aspect to JIP. Some people golf, I do this on the side to clear my mind.

Would you consider doing this full-time?
If this were available to me as a full-time job, I would totally take advantage of that. I want to make more commercial stuff that’s easier to consume. In 1995 I saw my first show, Stabbing Westward, with my cousin at the Metro in Chicago. We went body surfing… I want to relive that, but be on stage doing it.

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