Originally from Nogales, Jon Villa is a singer, trumpeter, songwriter and longtime leader of The Jons, who are recording their fourth album. The group recently performed the tunes of Electric Light Orchestra during The Great Cover Up. Villa also is a member of Kiss and the Tells, and Gabriel Sullivan and Taraf de Tucson, and recently has been recording with Giant Sand.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
I was in maybe the third grade, and my brother, my cousin and I got dropped off at Six Flags Magic Mountain for a concert by Poison and Kid Frost.
What are you listening to these days?
Old Mexican bolero trios, like Trio Los Panchos and Los Tres Ases.
What was the first album you owned?
My older brother had a Kool Moe Dee cassette that I borrowed without him knowing it, and when I lost it, I had to replace it. I like a lot of that old-school rap.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
I like a lot of his old stuff from the Woodstock era, but it seems like every song on the radio has to have Carlos Santana on it. Why does everybody feel the need to have that sound, and why does he do it?
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
I wish I could have seen James Brown live.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
I really like New Kids on the Block's "Tonight."
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
"Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks. That song always gets to me.
What band or artist changed your life and how?
Maynard Ferguson. Every time you hear him play, it's like he's up in the stratosphere, blasting the hell out of it.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
If it had to be one album that I would have to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be Los Fabulosos Cadillacs' Fabulosos Calavera.