featuring Jet Shea by Shan St. J0nes
Freeform Portland presents PDX local Jet Shea, the innovative force behind RUNOTI, offering an exclusive glimpse into their solo musical project
RUNOTI is formulated with a diverse array of genres including Dark Wave, Industrial, EBM, Synth Punk, Noise, & experimental electronic music to produce a sonic statement that is [almost] joyously agonizing [like an empathetic wrath met with a pleasure resurrection through dance]
Jet’s work exemplifies a commitment to pushing artistic boundaries. In this interview, Jet sheds light on upcoming releases & a forthcoming tour following their latest release “Libra Moon” EP [obtainable in digital format, alongside cassette]
Sitting Down with Runoti
When, & how did you become a musician?
As a kid, I would organize my friends on the playground to sing & dance together [like the pop stars of that era.] I sang in the school choir, learning to cultivate my voice into an instrument. Once I moved out of a rural area I fell into the punk scene
As I’ve developed my solo project into RUNOTI, I started digging into playing hardware synthesizers & producing in Ableton to shape my raw vulnerability into danceable, cathartic songs
Can you describe the progression of how you came to the sound you perform today?
When I sang for punk bands, I didn’t use any effects – just my raw shouting, yelling, singing. I relied on the melody in my heart to carry everything out. I still follow that ethos now… Like, I do not know how to play piano, or really any instrument. I turned to using software instruments & looped my voice in layers. From there I got a Casio keyboard, Alesis QS6 & microKorg. I layered them all together until it felt right
At that time, I didn’t know anything about production or music theory. It was all heart. I sound design all of my samples & drums in Ableton Live since learning MIDI. When I play live, I manipulate it in a more tactile way on my Roland SP404 & Elektron Digitakt
What majorly influences your music pieces?
My personal life. My internal world. I struggle with sensory overload & emotional processing. Music has always been an outlet for me to really reflect to the world my internal experience & exorcise it in that way. I’m always daydreaming about the possibilities of the next piece
Is there an ambiance &/or mood to your music?
Urgency, pain, pulsing, grief, beauty, pleasure. I feel & transcribe my experience sonically
What is the most fulfilling part of producing your creative vision?
After I lay down the basics of a good drum beat & a bass or vocal loop, I start to feel this rhythmic sense in my body. From there, I sing a melody that comes straight from my chest [no specific words.] This is usually my seed for a song to build on the energy cultivated from there
Is there any piece of music equipment you stand by? What equipment?
My Roland SP 404
Are your live performances multimedia based?
Yes, I usually include visuals to my performances if the space allows. My early visuals were videos recorded with my phone, edited together with iMovie. Lately, I have been experimenting with visual synthesis on Critter & Guitari’s Eyesy
What sort of experience can we expect when we come to see your performance?
An exhibit of raw emotion, but also songs meant to cultivate pleasure & thriving. I want my performance to draw people in with my vulnerability & feel connective in the universality portrayed
Would you say you have established a community with other artists in Portland?
Yes, I have been playing music in some capacity here since 2010. It takes a long time to build community & I think consistently showing up has helped me connect with people. [Music has been my social icebreaker] Performing in front of people with your soul bare allows other people to connect, or feel safe to share themselves too
What seems to drive the success of a thriving Portland music scene?
There is something for everyone, every micro genre has a scene here to dive in. It takes going to shows & keeping an eye for fliers. If you dream it up you can seek it out here
Are there other Portland musicians you play shows with you would like to mention?
Killeen Dolan is my closest musical collaborator, we have recently joined forces with Kora Link & Maggie Jane to create a new & unique performance project
I have always enjoyed playing music with Lucia Luna, Xibling, Jen Void, Trust Anchor, Billy, Dancing Plague, Graveyard Gossip, Perimeters, & Production Unit Zero
Are there Portland musicians you have not played with, but interested to connect with?
Plenty! Physical Wash, Glori, Hexteria, Light Asylum, Orkis, Sweet Love Under Tyranny, & more
Are there specific venues you really enjoy booking with?
I heavily relied on others to ask me to join shows up until recently, so I’m relatively new to booking venues. I host shows at Blackwater Bar too
Do you book house shows, or performances outside established venues? Where?
I would like to organize some battery powered outdoor shows to make it more COVID friendly & explore creating space to perform & dance outside
Do you play benefit shows? What causes have you supported with your music?
Yes, in December 2022, Trust Anchor, Lucia Luna & I raised $300 for Club Q survivors
Is there any advice you could lend to other musicians starting out in Portland?
Go to lots of shows, tell people you play music, be fearless in your execution & share yourself generously
What future do you hope for in the Portland music scene?
I would love to see more Goth, Dark Techno club culture emerge
I want intentional space for queer & disabled folks [mask required events.] Places to sit down, lay down, stand & dance while experiencing music. Spaces that deeply consider sensory issues & provide a place of respite from sensory input. The scene here has always been so fertile & ever growing, I’m hopeful we’ll create or see some of these things emerge
Outro & Info
With a decade-long history of contributing vocals to punk bands & synthesizer expertise to dark wave projects, Jet Shea’s impact on the local landscape is evident.
You can check out RUNOTI [on their upcoming tour] in PDX Friday 11.24 at Azoth on the bill with Jen Void, Odd Person, & Haato. Stream Runoti online here Runoti Bandcamp
Check out photos & merch & more here Runoti Cargo
Upcoming Tour Dates
Fri 11.24 Portland at Azoth w/ Jen Void, Odd Person, Haato
Sat 11.25 Olympia at Cryptotropa w/ Static Ghost & Military Bass
Sun 11.26 Tacoma at Real Art Tacoma w/ Pentacles, Tim Held & David Lutz
Mon 11.27 in Bellingham at Karate Church w/ Immanuel Kunt, August & Jennifer What