The Ones You Forgot are a pop rock band from Brick, New Jersey that we happened to see live when we were at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ in late January. Right after their spectacular performance we knew we had to reach out to them to share their music and message with the world. The band is comprised of Jenna Bruno (Vocals), Matthew Thompson (Guitar), Ferdinand Benauro (Guitar), Justin Rodman (Drums), and Lance Nelson (Bass). We spoke to Jenna during her free time through this quarantine; it was a pleasure speaking with her and we cannot wait to see what the band accomplishes next!
WCBG: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you?
Jenna: Hi, I’m Jenna and I sing in a band [The One’s You Forgot]. Music has always been a huge part of my life for a very long time. I sand in chorus when I was 7 or 8 and I would go to shows when I got older. When I was younger, I had a big problem with stage fright. Then in High School I went to a lot of shows and followed my favorite bands. I met Matt and Ferd through mutual friends and we decided to jam. It started as a dream, as something unattainable and formed into what it is now. Art in general, though I’ve always gravitated towards music, I love creating things and working on projects from the ground up. It’s physically working with your hands and it uses the brain. Art is about connecting with people. Getting to do it myself is just awesome and whatever capacity I hit in life it’s always going to be there.
WCBG: What musician inspires you to be a better musician?
Jenna: An Artist that…when I was starting to pick up the guitar and take singing seriously…in middle school I was really into pop punk thing. Bands like All Time Low and Paramore. Bands with women in it made me want to dive into it in general. Now it has transitioned so much. One artist I particularly like, when I listen to his music it makes me want to practice more is Dallas Green well City and Colour. When I hear his songs, I’m like I need to go lock myself in my room and just get better.
WCBG: What are you currently listening to?
Jenna: Best Coast released a new album last month, Hayley Williams’ new music, The Word Alive’s new record, some new Boston Manor—they have four songs out so far and they’re awesome, I’m waiting for the album. Paris put out a new song that I was listening to.
WCBG: You’re going on a road trip, what songs are in your playlist?
Jenna: I was in the process of making this playlist and now that I’m locked inside my house, I’ll get to it, it was specific songs I had in mind for driving for a sunset. Wait maybe I did start it let me check Spotify. Okay, I did start it! There’s a lot of Turnover on it. I put one Mayday Parade song “Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven't Ended Yet.” Music that is calm and chill to relax to and emotional at the same time. If I added more to that playlist they would fall into that category.
WCBG: Describe your sound in 3 words.
Jenna: Poppy, upbeat but serious. We have pop hooks and a bouncy feel to move around but then the record takes a turn it and can get really dark really quick.
WCBG: What is your writing process like?
Jenna: It’s evolved a little over the course of the band. Ferd and I are the main songwriters. Ferd will structure out a song and put together the instrumentals and he’ll send it over to me and be like what do you think? Then we show it to the band and re-purpose and restructure it. After this I will add on lyrics and a melody. When I get to write and do my part the song changes a lot, it’s nice having the groundwork laid out for me for a mood and something to follow. Sometimes there’s something I really want to convey then the song does change. Some of the new songs, one in particular, it was the first time I presented a full song to the band. When I write on my own, I normally keep for myself. So, I wrote out basically the whole thing and played it for them on an acoustic [guitar]. It was a really cool experience because I had never done that. It’s really hard for me, probably the hardest part being in a band besides booking [is writing songs]. I write what I love and it’s painstaking, to have Ferd by my side makes it so much easier that we can combine our brains. The EP “Too Afraid to Say,” some of the songs on there Ferd had a basic idea and we just jammed and came up with something together.
WCBG: What is your favorite part of a song you’ve written?
Jenna: I can’t really specify it yet because the song isn’t out. We have some new ones done and in our possession. The melody and the chorus is so awesome, I always found it getting stuck in my head. The people we’ve showed it to so far, when they were singing the song that was a proud moment for me. The lyrics to that part of the chorus are great too. It’s so meaningful to me and it’s a classic The Ones You Forgot type of vibe. In general, Ferd’s guitar solo in ‘Here Forever’ will always be awesome!
WCBG: What’s the scene like in Jersey?
Jenna: When we started the band, we started playing shows in late 2014, and we released our first EP in 2015. We were completely new on the scene and we barely knew anyone. We started playing a lot of shows and going to shows and meeting so many people involved in the scenes (venues, photographers, etc.) Jersey is really cool; we live right by Asbury Park and that’s like the music city in Jersey. I love Asbury. Brick doesn’t really have a scene since there’s no venue in the town. I like [Asbury] because the community is so strong it’s a very artsy and creative kind of town. There’s so much support from everyone. There’s the Stone Pony, House of Independents, The Saint or The Music Foundation. It opens opportunities for musicians all sizes and allows for all experiences. It has changed a lot; a lot of the artists we played with then, their members are in new bands or those bands don’t exist. There are some venues we’ve played in that aren’t around anymore and new venues that popped up that we love.
WCBG: Speaking of venues what is your favorite that you’ve performed in?
Jenna: When we played Warped Tour last year we played on the beach and that was awesome! I’m going to say Starland Ballroom in Sayreville. I’ve been going there since I was 12 or 13 and it was a full circle moment to play there; it sounds awesome, there are big crowds; What a dream come true to play up there. I would also say House of Independents in Asbury. We’ve played there a few times; our EP release was held there in 2018.
WCBG: What is your opinion of streaming services like Spotify?
Jenna: It’s great and makes it accessible for anyone to listen to music and upload their music to it. With the streaming thing, obviously artist revenue is a lot lower, but I feel like it also makes it possible. There was a time when if you wanted to make it you had to have a label, a manger, and a booking agent. This gives so many artists the chance to be heard. It provides the opportunity to be like I wrote music and I’m going to put it out for the whole world to see. Money is made from touring and merch. The industry changes so much and artists have to adapt to it. Now that they’re in existence it is necessary to be on there, but in the end it’s your choice. Overall the concept behind streaming is really good but make sure to support the artists in other ways.
WCBG: If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be and why?
Jenna: I guess like any industry there can be like underlying if there was a way to make it a little bit more about the art itself, which is funny because when you go into music and you want your career to be music you have to look at the business side. It sucks when artists really have potential and have been grinding really hard and the digital numbers don’t show it. A lot of people are missing out on great artists since they don’t have thousands of listeners on Spotify. There’s a stigma attached to if you have no numbers, that you aren’t good enough. If we could adjust that in some way that would be great!
WCBG: What do you do when you’re not making music?
Jenna: Anything in the visual arts like drawing. Currently I’m into collage art and I rip up old books and paste things. Also, like video games. I like to go walk on the beach, go hiking, any outdoor activity. Like kayaking, going to the park. I love the warm weather.
WCBG: What are your goals for 2020?
Jenna: For the band it would be to get new music out and get out on the road again. We have these songs that are ready, and I want the world to hear them so bad. I also want to record more in the studio so we can drop an EP. Personally…let me think what I said for New Year’s…to drink more water (which I’m failing at), to stay active and go outside more, and to be positive and try to be happy and be more optimistic and look on the bright side of things.
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