NorthBoundVideo clip of NorthBound live in concert.
Nick Jones is a 19-year old Richmond Hill High School graduate and Christian rock musician
How long have you lived in Richmond Hill?
My whole life.
What is your impression of your hometown?
For a small town, it’s very nice. It’s rather peaceful here. The school system is good. The only negatives are the traffic going to Savannah and the gnats.
Was your experience at Richmond Hill High a pleasant one?
It had its ups and downs. Being a Christian, I stood out of the crowd a bit. I tended to get picked on, but people came to me for help when things got bad for them. I was glad to get that opportunity to help them out though. It was really rewarding.
So, obviously, you have a strong Christian faith.
I haven’t always been a Christian. I wasn’t raised that way. In 1999, I went to church with a family member and got hooked. It wasn’t until my tenth grade year that I finally got it and it clicked. When it did, it was the only thing that made sense and the only thing that seemed worth living. I just couldn’t rationalize with living for myself. I just couldn’t picture anything other than there has to be a God, so I began to research it. Everything that I found just backed it up that much more. And so, for me, I absolutely believe that the best way to live is the way that Jesus lived. You just have to be authentic and be up front about what you struggle with and what you can’t do. I strive for a life that matches up with what the Word says.
How has your outlook on religion impacted your life?
It impacts me in everything I do. Whether I’m sitting in a traffic line and not freaking out, like I used to, or whether it be music. I do the music because it’s the best way I can tell people about God. I can sit down with somebody and kind of manage with them one on one but give me a crowd and it’s a little bit harder. I believe that music has the ability to speak more clearly than normal words can. I believe it has the ability to tear down walls and boundaries that people have built up. I believe it’s a language of its own. It’s the way that I choose to speak.
When did your venture into music begin?
I picked up the guitar in the eighth grade. I took lessons for about a month and then I quit and began to teach myself. I’ve taught myself how to play acoustic, electric, bass, mandolin, harmonica and drums. My passion for music didn’t allow to me to be satisfied with one instrument, and it’s all come pretty naturally to me. It’s definitely a blessing that God has given me.
I know you sing and play guitar for the Christian rock band NorthBound. Tell me about that.
We actually play every Wednesday night at Richmond Hill First Baptist, for the youth group. That’s actually where I met the other members of the band. We just kind of branched off and started playing other places too.
What types of gigs have you played?
We’ve performed at local events like Relay for Life and Station Xchange’s Christmas Xtravaganza event. We’re going to be playing New Year’s Eve in Pembroke at Emmanuel Community Church.
What does the future hold for NorthBound?
The rest of the band is still in high school. The electric guitarist, Charlie West, is a junior, the bassist, Jordan Britt, is a sophomore, but this is the last year for our drummer, Xavier Winkler. He is a senior and plans on going to college to get into the medical profession. As far as keeping the band, I’m not sure where it’s going to go. For the time being, we’re just kind of playing every opportunity we can. As for me, I plan on going to Liberty University in Virginia. I’m trying to save up the money to go by playing music and working at Plums Sandwich Shop.
What will you major in?
I plan on getting a degree in music with a minor in youth ministry. This may sound crazy, but I would like to make it big and give all my money to people who want to go out and do mission work. I’ve already told God that, if I get the opportunity, He can have 100 percent of my profit. I’m confident He’s going to take care of me. It may not include fancy clothes, fancy cars and a million dollar home, but I don’t think God called us to be comfortable. I think He’s called us to be authentic, like I said, and take each day at a time.
What bands do you like?
On my Christian playlist right now bands like David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, Building 429, Kutless and Under Oath. John Mayer is a great singer, guitarist and singer-songwriter. He plays everything from blues to pop acoustic and pulls it off in style. I also like the Goo Goo Dolls, .38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers – it goes everywhere from Southern rock to blues to praise and worship to metal.
Going back to your high school days, are there any teachers that stand out as being influential?
Oh yeah, there were many. Miss (Kristen) Vogel was my 12th grade English teacher and just a very nice lady. I had some medical problems for about a month, and she was willing to come to the church and pick up my research paper even though it was late. It showed me that she cares and wants to see people succeed. Mr. (Pat) Paruso is very funny and very intelligent. He balances that in his class, and you learn a lot at the same time. I took him for SAT prep, and I got a decent score. Mr. (Charles) Blakewood believed in teaching you not only to know the information, but knowing why you learned it and how to apply it to your life. I respected him for that. Miss (Leslie) Krull is a great history teacher. She never let you settle for less than what you could be giving. People mistook that for being hard, but she just didn’t want to see you waste your time in class when she knew you could be doing more. I could keep going. I could say something great about every member of the staff. We really do have a great school system.
For a live acoustic video performance of Jones, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfGQlLNojqM