DIY Spotlight: Jessamyn Violet

Jessamyn Violet is something of a renaissance woman. She plays drums in killer instrumental band Movie Club and she’s also an author, about to release new book Secret Rules to Being a Rock Star.

  “Movie Club formed in 2018 with the simple mission to be a sustainable project,” Violet says. “The real quest of any band is just to keep playing, so with that in mind we decided to do what we could with what we had (a duo) and keep it going in a way that enabled longevity and most importantly, freedom and fun.”

Violet describes the Movie Club sound as instrumental psych rock.
    “We try to stick to the core of the songs we write and not get too jammy, which we haven’t seen anybody else do,” she said. “We collaborate with some pretty spectacular instrumentalists in the studio and live. Someone once described us as ‘Radiohead with balls’ and I thought that was pretty funny in a ‘90s-joke kind of way.”

    The band has so far released four EPs and a full-length album, plus seven music videos, earning a loyal, enviable fanbase, and they’ve done it by themselves.

    “Doing it yourself extends to more areas than ever these days,” Violet says. “It’s very costly to be an artist, so you have to pick up as many skills as possible. I worked in production for a little while to learn how to produce, direct and edit music videos. Keeping up on socials, consistently recording and releasing content to keep people engaged and work the algorithms, press pushes, art directing your own brand of band; it feels like constantly doing backflips on a tightrope.”

    Following the devastating effects that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns had on the music industry (among others), Violet wonders if it’ll ever truly recover.

    “As the pandemic slogs on and prices surge inexplicably, there are ever-increasing excuses to stay at home,” she says. “If we’re going to keep the indie art scene strong in this country we have to keep up the participation and interest. Going out and supporting local shows is essential to keeping your town or city’s culture and small venues alive. And it always leads to more exciting ends than staring at screens at home.”

Visit movieclubtheband.com and jessamynviolet.com.