We hope you've enjoyed meeting some of our friends so far! This week we would love to introduce you to Jesse Woghin.
You've been in a lot of bands, can you tell us about your musical history?
I've been in a band called Mannequin Men for a little over a year. They've been around for a while and actually released a couple of their earlier albums on Flameshovel. I'm also part of a project called Shrimpss where the band writes, records, and mixes a song in one night. Previously I played in the following Chicago bands in reverse chronological order: Like Pioneers, Thee Hardy Mums, Chin Up Chin Up, and The Narrator.
I've played instruments as long as I can remember. Pretty certain I started on a Suzuki violin. I actually still have that violin and the size of it sort of blows my mind. It's so tiny. Piano lessons followed, then I played trumpet throughout high school, and I taught myself how to play guitar when I was 16. I would tape all of my favorite songs off the radio and obsessively rewind them over and over until I had figured out how to play along.
Which came first, the label or the bands?
I had played in bands since I was in high school, but I think the label reached legitimacy before any of my bands. The Narrator was the first band that felt like a real band for me, and that came a few years later.
You do a lot of work in many different mediums - as a musician and a label owner, but you also worked in publishing for The Onion... Can you tell us about some highlights in each field?
Launching The Onion's third publication, ClickHole.com, in just under two months was a hell of a ride with fantastic results. Watching the traffic consistently grow since June has been incredibly satisfying and makes me so happy for the fantastic ClickHole editorial staff. Maritime crossing the 10k copies sold threshold and getting that 50th release under our belts felt pretty great at Flameshovel. Touring Japan with The Narrator and playing Pitchfork Music Festival with Chin Up Chin Up were certainly two of the best music experiences of my life.
How is time important when you're working on various projects in different fields?
Time management is crucial in my line of work and my daily life. I'm constantly juggling about four or five sizable projects in an agile development environment; two week sprints move pretty fast. Combine that with band obligations and life gets out of hand pretty quickly if I don't manage my time wisely.
What's your favorite song of the moment and why?
What is your favorite watch style?
I love the modern look of The Disk.
What is the one piece of time management advice that can be applied to anyone on the planet?
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller
But honestly, the best advice I can give is to tear things into manageable chunks, but never lose sight of the big picture. If you find yourself constantly wondering why you're doing something, there's a reasonable chance that you shouldn't be doing it at the moment or possibly ever.
Where is the most beautiful place you've ever traveled to?
At the moment, I'd have to say Rio de Janeiro. There's nothing quite like walking along some of the best beaches I've ever seen while being surrounded by mountain ranges and rainforest.
If you could go back in time, where and when would you go and why?
April 5, 1993, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans. I'd sit courtside near the Michigan Wolverines bench and spend the entire game reminding Chris Webber of how many timeouts they had left. The Fab Five deserved that title. (Did I mention I'm a little bit obsessive about basketball, too?)
Originally from New York, Jesse Woghin has lived in Chicago for over a decade. He is in the band Mannequin Men, and co-founded independent record label Flameshovel Records. Like most our pals, Jesse's resume doesn't just stop there - he's also a product manager at an education technology company called WyzAnt!