The OverUnder Interview

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When Jimmy Connors got out of school, music was always the dream but what to do with it was the question still unanswered. “A lot of my friends were getting 9-5 jobs and sort of going the typical route which I could’ve just as easily done myself. I knew though that I had to at least try to make a career out of music or I’d regret it, regardless of whether I succeeded or not” he says. With this, Jimmy moved to New York from a small city in Pennsylvania with the “hopes of making a better life” for himself.

However, a little over a year ago the 5 piece band The OverUnder broke up. But that didn’t stop Jimmy Connors from pursuing his musical dreams. What started as a “pop punk Fall Out Boy-ish type band” has become more of a “singer-songwriter project.” Connors decided to keep The OverUnder going as a solo project and now, “the songs have a much different feeling than the previous stuff.” While the solo project wasn’t his plan all along, it “sort of just happened that way but [he’s] happy with the way it worked out.”

Continuing with The OverUnder, Connors was able to find his own voice. He says, “I think the more songs I wrote, the more I started finding my own voice.” Connors says he owes most of his vocal ability to vocal coach, Melissa Cross. “Her DVD’s are incredible.” He started studying vocals, exercising his voice, learning what chords & progressions made his voice sound the best.

Now with a stronger voice, Jimmy Connors also has “a bit more freedom” to “experiment with different types of songs.” While writing songs isn’t that much different then when he was in a full band, you would have to “stay more within the confines of what everyone wants to do cumulatively.” When Jimmy hears a lyric or melody in his head, he’ll then “pick up an acoustic and try to play or create what I’m imagining.” Jimmy says with amusement that “a lot of times I’ll be in a place where I don’t have access to a guitar or piano or whatever so I’ll have to record myself singing the melody into my phone so I don’t forget it.” He also adds that “. I try to write songs the way a producer would write a song meaning I’ll write the ENTIRE song (all instruments, lyrics, and arrangements); I do most of my demos on FL Studio on my computer.”

A stronger voice and more freedom to write songs must make for a strong and lively live show right? Well that’s exactly what Jimmy Connors thinks. “The live show is pretty engaging, I have a full band behind me and we try to play the songs in new and different ways than what’s on the record.” He says he believes that people come to shows to see the music “performed.”

When asked whether or not Jimmy was working on new music, he replied enthusiastically and simply, “YES!” He will be putting new singles out soon on his YouTube channel once they are ready. Hopefully within the next couple of months.

what would you tell someone to convince them to listen to your music?
I moved to NY 5 years ago from a small city in Pennsylvania with the hopes of making a better life for myself. For a while I worked shitty jobs and lived in equally shitty apartments, struggled to build new relationships and keep old ones. Always have sort of viewed myself as an underdog who’s had to work for everything that I’ve gotten. Most of that material comes out in my music whether I try to incorporate it or not.

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.