Chris Wannamaker from The Jettison Commitment

My very good friend, Mr. Chris Wannamaker (aka PapaWann) was awesome enough to take some time out of his day to tell me more about one of my favourite bands, The Jettison Commitment. These guys are some of our best friends, and some of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. They are our go to guys for advice, and hugs.

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1- Let’s begin with basics, who are you, and what is your role in TJC?

– Names Chris Wannamaker (yes that’s my real last name) and I twang on the guitar for TJC.

2- Who are the rest of the folks in your band?

– Mr. Steve Krych: Guitar, Mr. David Goodman: Bass, and Mr. Jason Garbutt: Drums.

We are currently looking for a permanent vocalist.

3- How did TJC come together as a band?

– Well that’s honestly a story that Steve would probably be able to help you with a little better, but either way, this bands been through a lot. Steve is actually the only original member that TJC has in the line up currently since it was started 6-7 years ago. Bands go through musical changes and member changes as bands do, and as the time went on Dave was added 3-4 years ago, myself a little over 2 and Jason a little over 1. The 4 of us still working together strong!

4- Can you explain the origin of your band name?

– I’m super stoked that you wanted to interview me bud but again, you’d probably get a more detailed answer on this question from Steve haha. A name the band had that I walked in on. Some people think its a weird name, some think its a great name. I personal think its an incredibly unique name and i’ll leave it up to the readers to google JETTISON and put the meaning together and make a decision themselves.

5-Up to this point in your career, what has been the most satisfying show you have played?

– Oh man theres been many many greats. As for a couple that stand out on the spot, playing with August Burns Red. So stoked to share the stage with them. And also the Blind Witness show in our hometown. One of the biggest crowd responses and circle pits we’ve ever experienced!

6- Every band has its struggles. What is the one thing that has kind of stopped you guys in your tracks for a bit?

– Ahh we’re still in it. We’re actually approaching the 1 year of when our frontman quit the band. And it sucks to say but it wasn’t a pretty split. So having to deal with one less member, financial band debt and obviously not being able to do what we love to do, being play live, it was and is still the biggest struggle we’ve had. We have gone through a very good number of applicants to find our new frontman and hopefully soon this struggle will be over.

7- If you could pick one song out of your catalogue, which would be the one your are most proud of? Lyrically, musically or other.

– As for as long as I’v been in the band, one of my personal favourites is “Hey Alex, Be a Bro and Shut The F*ck Up!” It was released on our last e.p. “KEYAI” just before the split with our vocalist. I Feel it has a lot of what i look for in a song. Catchy/suspenseful intro, killer riffing throughout, strong chorus and bridge. I just dig it. However we keep writing more of my favourites so this question will be harder to answer later on. Keep an ear out for “Dose Tacos!” (ed- it’s seriously a great song)

8- Every band has had that ”night” where things just aren’t right, vibes are wrong, instrument/gear failure etc. Have you guys had one of those nights?

– Umm.. honestly man I can’t think of any particular issues that stands out. I mean sure we’ve all had issues like bad patch cords, wireless units failing, broken strings but thankfully none of our heads have blown up or anything! However I did personally have a couple shows where i have 2 inputs on my speaker cabinet, and both of them actually broke!? like what the hell?! haha

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9- The scene is incredibly tight knit, what bands do you go for advice or feedback?

– Not only bands man but promotors such as Brandon Eedy and producers such as Aaron Murray, always have something to say that is useful. But of course to answer your question, buddy bands like Searching for Satellites and Anu Beginning. Always dudes you can rely on.

10- You guys have done some touring, any terrible van stories?

– Of course. In the winter our van isn’t the greatest for handling so depending on weather and where we’re going we’ll borrow Steve’s parents Durango as its a 4×4 so we shouldn’t have any issues. Except for one show we were playing in Sarnia on a rainy/snowy day and along the 403, BANG goes the motor. Still ran but like Sh*t.. the exhaust blew off.. got it back and discovered we put a freakin’ cigarette lighter sized hole in one of the pistons! Sorry Steve’s parents…. but on the important side we made it to show 10 minutes before start time. Gear went from the trailer to the stage and some of us were still wearing our work clothes on the stage. Hahaha, me anyway.

11- A lot of bands have a bad rap as ”douches”. Have you guys run into any of those bands, touring or other?

– Oh yeah. I mean thankfully almost everybody and every band we have run into and worked with have all been great people, because like you said before the scene is a tight knit family. But you’ll still run into some promotors not paying you what was promised or at all and even some bands trying to steal your bands members behind your back and just stupid silly sh*t but hey, I guess some drama is expected in this business right?

12- We’ve been asked some really weird stuff by kids at shows. What is the weirdest request you have ever had?

– Some kid wanted my socks..? This guy was wearing a bunch of our stickers all over him and had two hats on .. I think he was surely under the influence but hey I was flattered anyway. Didn’t give him the socks though.

13- Growing up, I think every musician, myself included, had that one band that they wanted to be. What was yours?

– Man every band! haha. Nah I loved a lot of bands for a lot of different reasons but as for wanting to be a part of, was Killswitch Engage. They were huge, their music was great, they knew how to have fun on stage and I wanted every part of it! Never a dull moment watching a Killswitch show.

14- You guys are amazing riffers. What guitar player has influenced you and Steve (guitar) the most?

– Thanks man that means a lot. Honestly my biggest influence for my style of playing is Lamb of God. More specifically Willie Adler. His killer riffs gave birth to mine. Check his stuff out and listen to mine and let me know if you agree. I’ll be honoured if you do. 

15- Being in a band, and being in a relationship is often a difficult thing to do. I know you have an awesome girlfriend, how do you personally make it work?

– It’s all in her patience and support. Neither myself or her are from London. She moved here for me and to support my dream. We of course live together so we see each other everyday which is the biggest help. We might only see each other for an hour each day before we go to bed, when your working around her schooling, both our jobs, and TJC band practice. Ya gotta take her out to dinner and a movie sometime to help keep her sane(lol) but like I said its her patience and support that makes it easy.

16- Every band has their favourite place for pre/post show eats. What restaraunt do you guys stop at the most eats?

– Pphhfftt I don’t know whether its a favourite of ours but the $1.39 menu at McDonalds is always a winner for us!

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17- Being in a band, I know this feeling. If there was one person in your band who you could take in a wrestling ring for 5 minutes to blow off some steam, who would it be?

– Every single one of them. For real. Haha The 4 of us work really well together but the 4 of us also to the same degree don’t see eye to eye with each other. So as I say I’d take them all into the ring I know if you ask them they would say the same thing. 

18- Bands often have a lot of free time pre show. You load in, then have nothing to do for 3 or 4 hours until you play. How do you guys occupy your time?

– Many things. Practice/warm ups. Runnin’ through riffs/beats. Merch watch. The odd hacky-sack game. And mostly just trying to get to know the ppl we’re working and playing with that night. And hey you can never pimp your band and friends bands enough.

19- Most bands have a family dynamic. In TJC, whos the dad, mom, etc.

– Hmm… Never thought about it this way. But probably two dads and two brothers. lol This is bad press for TJC now where it seems like we are a 2 dad family… hahaha but Yeah I’d say Steve and I are the Dads, and Dave and Garbo are the Brothers. That may make more sense to the people that know us better. (ed- that makes so much sense)  It is what it is. lol We’ll leave it at that.

20- If you described your band dynamic as a sitcom group (Friends, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld etc) who would it be?

-Another way I haven’t thought about it. I dunno what TV show would make sense to put with a family of two dads and two brothers? lol Perhaps a better perspective looking at us from the outside in to answer this question.

 

I’ve hung around these guys enough. It’s like Two and a Half Men. That’s a fact.

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