S4 E22 - 7/28/2021


Jono is a musician, coffee entrepreneur, comic writer, and serial room-leaver. In 2019, he released the album Life in Misophonia with his band Baggage. If you like indie rock, with some punk and shoe-gazer mixed in and great melodies you'll love this. Jono also has a small-batch coffee roaster company called Rootless Coffee.  As you know I am a huge advocate for supporting businesses owned by or affiliated with my misophonia brothers and sisters so please take a look, have a listen, and all the links are below.

Jono on Instagram, Twitter 
Baggage on Bandcamp 
Rootless Coffee 
Jono's comic The Inevitables 
KARMAjack digital marketing 

Sponsor: My daughter launched a new podcast, The Animal Q&A Podcast. Perfect for kids of all ages! 


Disclaimer: These are machine-generated transcripts and so are not completely accurate. However they will be manually updated over time until they are.

[00:00:00] Adeel: Jono, welcome to the podcast. Get to have

[00:00:02] Jono: you here. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I was very excited when you reached out because what a particular thing, .

[00:00:11] Adeel: Yeah, and I know I rarely reach out. I try to let people come and it happens, like people just sign up. But, you're one of the, you're one of the few people that was like, oh, I definitely have to get you one. Actually, somebody re recommended that I reach out to you. And I was like, of course. So I did a I'll Babylon a little bit at the beginning here, but when I started this, I also made a Spotify playlist that I wanted to make collaborative so people can put their favorite either misson specific songs or stuff that kind of helps 'em get through.

And your your Misson song was one of the first ones that I put on there. And I'm sure we'll tap on that a little bit. I've been listening to that kind of on repeat this week just in preparation for this. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah and actually, yeah, what, so why, before I start babbling too much, as I am prone to do, why don't we hear a little bit about you, like where you're located and what you do.

Looks like you have your hands

[00:00:54] Jono: in a lot of things. Yeah. So I am located near Flint, Michigan. I've been around here most of my life when it comes to the things I currently do or did there are a lot of them, but to narrow it down a bit everything from I was in touring bands. That's what I was most known for.

So I was in a band called The Swells from 2002 to 2015. Then from there I went on to write for a few music magazines. I trying, I love that. I'm trying to make my own bullet points cause I'm like, I did a bunch of stuff. So currently, I guess a good way of putting it is I am one of the owners of Rootless Coffee Coast.

So it's a small batch roaster in Flint, Michigan. I am in three different bands so baggage where I sing and play bass braided veins where I play drums, and then a band called No Trigger based out of Worcester, Massachusetts. And I met them. Years ago from early stuff, but I was also a hired gun drummer for a few years as well.

So when my main band broke up, I was a free floater as far as a musician. Yeah. So I would hop with other bands and be a hired gun in that way. And then on top of all those things, I'm currently the creative director for carjack Digital Marketing Agency out of Detroit. And I'm a comic writer as well.

[00:02:13] Adeel: Excellent. Yes. Okay. So on your I'm gonna have links to all these, and, but I did notice the comic publication that you just did on your, on Instagram, so that, that looks really interesting as well. Wow. Yeah. I didn't realize you had that many things going on. That's amazing. Yeah. And the band no trigger any relation to misophonia or was that co.

[00:02:31] Jono: Oh, absolute coincidence. Yep. Okay.

[00:02:34] Adeel: You found that band, so I figure, yeah. Okay, gotcha. Yeah, I let's, maybe, let's just, there's so much to talk about about what you're doing, but maybe let's just go back specifically about Misson. You're, you've, it's to the point where you're singing about it now, but where, how did it start for you?

Like when did you start to notice it?

[00:02:49] Jono: There were a few really big moments in my life that I go back to now. , I guess the way I found out what misophonia was there was a Facebook video floating around and I was watching it and I got teary-eyed cuz I was like, there's a thing.

It's a thing. Yeah. I just felt that way and I didn't know, what was going on. So after watching it and like getting this full explainer of going okay, I'm not absolutely crazy like I thought I was I would go back to certain moments. So one of them was, I remember riding in a car with my mom and my friends.

And someone was crunching a water bottle, and my mom screamed stop it. That's annoying. And I was like I don't think that was a big deal. That's weird. So that was the first time I observed kind of someone else having that. I'm like, huh. And then fast forward I remember I lived in Chicago suburb and I think the Bulls won.

The, it was like the repeat, the Threepeat or something against the Utah Jazz. Yeah. I

[00:03:43] Adeel: think we were around the same age. So yeah. The references make

[00:03:46] Jono: sense. Yeah. To date myself. So TVs were still black and white , but I remember everyone like jumping up and cheering and then it like, I don't know what it was.

It was like a switch flipped off in my brain and I just was very upset and I'm like, this was really jarring and I didn't expect it and I didn't like that. So that was the number two moment. And then number three, which was the most modern version of it. My band went on tour. We brought our friend with us.

And this is the first time I've ever been around a nail biter. And I have never really witnessed that before, but there was just, and I know there's obviously triggers when talking about these certain things, so I don't want to, go into hyper detail. But it was the first time I witnessed a chronic nail biter, and I just felt this just rage, unexplainable, rage every time it would happen.

So I would have to start putting on music. And as a musician, you are very literally crammed in these tiny vans with people. Oh yeah. For eight hours a day. You get to the venue, you sit backstage crammed with a bunch of people, and that's you get a bunch of people eating fast food and smacking their lips and do doing the whole thing.

So it was this like slow snowball of one of these things made me feel strange. Then I started thinking about it, which made other things make me feel strange. And then More so in I guess this modern era of my own misophonia. My, I have way more triggers than I used to. It wasn't like this immediate thing when I was born, but I don't know if it was a control thing, a manners thing, a learned thing, whatever it may be.

Now it is totally different. So now pretty much just anything that I feel is unnecessary, I've noticed are the main triggers for me. And that involves lip smacking while eating nail biting, and then just like unnecessary repetitive noise which could be from trying to fall asleep on tour and people snoring and then me having to blast music to be able to fall asleep.

So repetitive

[00:05:47] Adeel: noises, not necessarily human made

[00:05:51] Jono: noises or mostly human made. Mostly human made. Yeah. Yep. Because I've noticed too, a lot of my friends are very aware, especially after, we'll talk about the album and stuff, but yeah, life in Misophonia, the album that I did. Even my parents bring up this stuff now, which is really funny.

They're like, oh, is that, are you okay? Is that making you mad? I'm like, no, that's fine. It'll be, I don't know water dripping or some mechanical thing. Maybe that's like on a, an exact repetition, whereas a human made one, I'm always trying to correct it in my brain being like, it doesn't have to do that.

That can be solved. Why is it still happening?

[00:06:26] Adeel: There is free will within that person, and they've decided to ruin my life kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. So yeah, it's interesting. Yeah, just to recap your childhood at least the misho part. So typic, so it was you, yeah.

Interesting. You, so you noticed your mom. So did your mom have misho? Have you talked to her about about it? After that moment. I, or since

[00:06:47] Jono: you've knew it was I brought it up. But I've noticed it's only for certain things. So hers are tapping or TV commercial volume and I, it has to be from her.

So yeah, like I, I haven't gone to length about it, but I've definitely brought it up and I'm like, I remember this moment. Do you? She's yeah, it's annoying, it's stupid.

[00:07:09] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah. That's about all I get out so then, and then through through, so was it also like dinner table with the family?

Did it start to expand at that point, or was it much later that, that you really started to have the triggers expand on you?

[00:07:22] Jono: I remember I was actually on tour in a band when that's when it was like the full on trigger. Yeah. And it was all based on people eating in close proximity. Because there's if you have any assortment of people.

and this mostly being in the band world, you're going to have one superstore. Yes. And then you're going to have at least one lip smacker for chewing. And I feel like this will be the like, revelation that we have later in the show or something. But the thing I've spent a lot of time processing cuz I'm a writer and I like live in my own thoughts, which is the joy of all this.

I've had to force myself to come to the realization that people aren't doing things that are wrong. They are just doing what's natural to them and the control thing. I am absolutely self-aware of the situation as it happens. And I think that is the upsetting part where I know the stuff is happening and I'll jolt my neck.

If my wife maybe bites her nails or something like that and I feel my head just snap over and stare and then she'll put her hand down. And I'm like, that's awful. I really don't like that. My body is acting quicker than my brain. And I don't know if you feel that or other guests have felt that, but I've noticed it's like a strange, unfortunate muscle memory for me now.


[00:08:45] Adeel: I was just talking about this earlier today when somebody asks like, what do you have talking to all these people? What do you think is this is about, and I'm like, I'm not a doctor. But, it's come up where people theorize whether it's almost like there are two, two part two parts of your brain go into action at that moment where one is this kind of ancient lizard brain that is looking at for danger around you.

And then there's the modern brain, which is, self-aware and is in conflict with this old brain, which seems to be rewired or un unwired or rewired in, in a way that is assigning danger to all kinds of stands where, your modern brain is is not.

And at least I somehow it seems like maybe there's something dormant or something misconfigured from the past that is coming back to haunted. So I don't know if you've ever thought about it

[00:09:31] Jono: that way, . Yeah. Like one of the first things was the whole fighter flight thing where it's that.

Yeah, exactly. It's that feeling. So one of the major ones for me, which is it's obviously been a very strange, awful year for a lot of people but one, I don't know what you're talking

[00:09:45] Adeel: about, but Yeah.

[00:09:47] Jono: one like really wild thing though is I, my wife was like trying to not go to many movies because I, when I'm in the moment, it's I don't know how to word this.

Let's say like late at night you do something stupid or awful or whatever it may be, and then in the morning you're like or you go through some type of trauma, let's say, and then in the morning you wake up and then you're like, I feel better now. So then it didn't happen. Okay. And then you move on.

That's how I feel in a weird roundabout way of if I would go to the movies and people were eating popcorn around me or like maybe whispering or whatever. Again, it's a controlled thing where very literally popcorn is made to pop when people chew it. It is one of my other main f specifically main food trigger.

Yeah. And I have a very hard time cuz I'll hear it. It's, I always say it's like having spider sense without any of the benefits. You can't act on any of it. You just get upset. That sucks. But I could hear everything going on. So she pulled me outta going to movies and then we started going to like matinee's and we started trying to do different things.

And then once Covid hit and movie theaters weren't a thing and I would watch movies from home and I would be able to focus and enjoy myself. And then I would start going back to those moments, those fight or flight moments where I would hear someone like unwrapping a candy bar way too loud or like these.

Really dumb things, but I remember it was so bad that I would grab my leg to feel pain, so I couldn't focus on the sound. And I was like, this is such an awful response to this thing. Just so I could say I went to a movie and I was like, it was clenching my teeth, grinding my teeth, doing all these things, whether it was, subconsciously or willingly to get away from that feeling.

And, you try and combat this, like you said, like there's the old brain and the new brain, right? There's body parts, there's wisdom teeth, these things that haven't fully evolved. And I am absolutely aware that brains can be, wired in a certain way that's not the same as everyone else.

What is unfortunate is knowing that and it's still happening. And I guess not to, throw a curve ball on this, but I'm sure it's the joy of conversation. Yeah. But I imagine, do you probably have a lot of people that deal with anxiety as well? Oh yeah.

[00:12:08] Adeel: There's all kinds of comorbidities.

So anxiety, O C, D and then a lot of P T S D and c, PTs D stuff that has come up for

[00:12:15] Jono: Sure. And so the reason I ask is because I am, I have really bad anxiety , but I've noticed that, like since I was a kid I did I would randomly just start crying for no reason or just feel like everyone hated me.

All these really strange feelings. And then I never knew if the misophonia was the byproduct of that, or they were, working in parallel with each other, some kind of thing. Another thing I noticed too, having been in coffee, we could ta talk this as well. So when I was working at Starbucks, like years ago, , I was drinking like six shots of espresso per drink, because A stupid but b, because all of us are like, oh man, this is stressful.

We should like power through it, right? So what we're doing was giving ourselves essentially panic attacks later in the day, but not correlating to it being affiliated with the the withdrawal of caffeine because we would do so much. And then later in the day, like there, there's one thing, and I'll always remember this, just going to the back room, and I was completely fine and my face started crying , like my like emotions and physical self just completely split. And it just started happening. And I was like, this isn't good. So I like went to the doctor and I'm like I have some something going on. I need help. And the first thing they were like, just don't drink as much coffee . But what I started realizing was, if you, there's obviously a sweet spot.

So for me, like I like mental illness and all that aside, like I always felt a bit lethargic and needed like two hours of brain thaw time in the morning. And I was having these jobs that didn't allow for it. So the first hour in the morning, I am irritable as hell. If someone tries talking to me, I'm already mad.

Any sound is just exaggerated. And then I found if I drank coffee to get myself to zero as opposed to this negative feeling, then it was fine. So I eased back on coffee, did enough of it, which is, the normal human amount. , not the six shots per thing. Yeah. And for a bit it really did help.

I think my misophonia, maybe it was some kind of placebo effect or something, but it wasn't as bad as it was. So I do know personally that over caffeination and. Adding to my anxiety exacerbated the misophonia itself. Yeah.

[00:14:45] Adeel: Stress comes up a lot as a, as an exacerbator. And yeah. Interesting. Yeah.

You're on edge when you're waiting for a trigger. So anything that, like six shots of caffeine I've never been on six caffeine, six shots, caffeine. But I would imagine that that just yeah, this kind of puts you on edge Engine doesn't really let you relax, which is another key way of getting over triggers.

That yeah, that, that kind of makes sense. Interesting.

[00:15:08] Jono: Yeah. And a lot of it was obviously trial and error on myself, unfortunately because, try trying to find a network. So for example, and, not to discount it or anything. Cause I imagine a lot of the people probably listen to this, but I went into, it was like a, this is around the time the baggage album was coming up and I went into a misophonia.

part of me a Facebook a Facebook group. And I was like, oh, we could learn from each other and this will be great cuz I, in other platforms or whatever I'll have one for like comics professionals. So as a writer, I go in there, we all grow together, learn together, musicians, music industry, marketing, like I, I'm in all these different groups, but the one I went to in the misophonia thing, what I realized there were very few helpful.

Hey, I learned from this. Let's all learn together. And it was more of my damn neighbor keeps hitting this thing and it sucks and everyone, it just turned into a lot of complaining. And I am the most I can be one of the most negative people I know, even though I'm very hopeful and I like see the potential in everyone, but my brain auto corrects the everything sucks.

I'm gonna go complain. So when I saw like a group of that, I'm like, this is not the right place for me because I need someone to like, Calm me down. Talk me out of the, I, I don't know if you've witnessed that at all but that's an interesting thing because it's this new concept for a lot of people.

How Absolutely. How does a community work together to get through it? Yeah,

[00:16:36] Adeel: absolutely. I think the cycle of what is a common cycle is like you have missed money for your whole life, that you don't know what it is, and you find out what it is and you're all of a sudden all night you're researching because this is like a revelation.

Then you find the Facebook group and it seems great. There's 20,000 people. And then after , yeah, after a few weeks, you're like, this is just like con, this is three sentences of rants, like every two minutes from different people around the world. And so you like taper that off and then, but people are still looking for communities, reddit is the same thing. There's one inspiration for this show is to be able to talk to somebody for an hour, almost like a, a NPR or a or Larry King situation where we can just like talk, like friends and get to know each other because I've found that talking to other Misa phones, it's almost like you've known them kind of your whole life, or at least you known this giant thing about them.

And so there's an easy conversation and it seems to bring a lot of solids to people. So I long way of saying, yeah I feel you, I totally agree on the online communities for Miso versus some of the things that I'm in as well. There's, yeah, there's a need for some other way for us to all, join together

[00:17:39] Jono: And I think get to know each other and that's, the power of podcasts or long form interviews where obviously, this is more of a conversational piece.

But what I feel. Helps is adding all of the information around the bullet points. So you look at the bullet points being, I'm complaining, I'm upset, this sucks, or what do I do? But having context for all that, like how someone was raised, what they go through now and very similar to therapy, like being wildly honest about things helps so many more people.

I have never in my life heard the, like when, so they get into it. So I started a band called Baggage and we did two eps and did some, regional touring, whatever, nothing big. And then for our big album I, that was when my MyPhone was at its worst. I was personally going through a really hard time with a lot of other things.

My band broke up a few years prior and I was just trying to process like I'm not in a happy place. Also this part of my life is awful and I feel like I'm losing control. So I called it life in Misophonia. And that is a double play one, very literally, because that was like one thing, it was so bad to the point where getting through the day was just pretty awful.

And it was never that bad until that point. Number two, being a musician with the hatred of sound, is a very combination. And that's at the time I did a bunch of interviews and it was the first time everyone was hearing the word misophonia. And keep in mind I only heard it like a year or two prior to that.

So I was like, oh my God, I could find some solace in this. I can meet people through this will be great. And a lot of my. It was similar to when I used to post like vanity plates I thought were funny, and I had hashtag jano plates on Instagram and it got to I got to a thousand posts or however many it was.

And then tons of people started doing that. And then it became like a, an internet thing for a second on Instagram. And then people for years after that were texting me license plates and I'm like, that's cool. Yeah, you don't have to do that anymore. I tried to like politely do it. So same with misophonia where not exaggerating.

I've probably had 50 people text me in my, like people I know and being like, I think I might have misophonia. And then they asked me about it and I was like, oh my God, I might be like a spokesperson for this and not realize. Yes. Because like when it comes to entertainment, like you, you have this platform you don't necessarily realize.

What I wanted to do with the album and it was before, again, I got into even more personal bummer stuff. Band members are leaving like a bunch of st to pull a Larry David. It's a whole thing. But like when I was getting ready to release the album, I reached out to the Misophonia Association and I the Institute, misophonia Institute, Mr.

Funny Institute, I believe. And I was like, I got on the call with both of the heads of those and I'm like, I want to put our heads together and actually come up with this, like this plan because I feel like I might have a platform I didn't realize and I wanna include something with our album and not make it where I'm benefiting from it.

And the conversation started there we're like, yeah. And then it was like, maybe we could do like pamphlets or something that we could include in records. And they're like we don't have those yet, but we could make 'em. I'm like, yeah, okay. We could do that. And then people started quitting my band, right when the album was coming out and all of the like pieces were no longer in place.

And then I was like, I'm gonna just pump the brakes because I don't want to invest in this big movement or this this thing I believe in if my own medium and engine for it is falling apart. So I just was like, ah, nevermind. So I like eased off that whole conversation. And in retrospect I wish I didn't because I personally would've loved to pursue more and learned more and being able to relay that information.

A, you having this podcast is great, so thank you for doing it. And then b thank you for having me on it because it's a very nice reminder of, oh yeah, this is the thing that I just com compartmentalize so I don't have to think about it. But it is important that I do because repression is a very real thing and it's not a healthy thing for.

[00:22:00] Adeel: Oh, no, thank you for that. That was a really, yeah, really interesting context around the time of the release of that album. I want to Yeah, talk a little bit more about that. So I'm familiar with the Mis funny Association and Tom Doser at the institute they've both been on the podcast and yeah, we should maybe talk after.

Yeah. I know you have a lot of stuff going on, but maybe we can just brainstorm a little bit after this call. But yeah, going back to oh, I should have been writing notes, but yeah, around, so around the time you were yeah, one thing I wanted to understand was was when you set out to write the album, was misophonia kind of one of the main themes that you were going to write about?

I know that a lot of the album is about being in a band itself and a lot of the things that come up come with that, and then there's a lot of lyrics about miss Espi. Did you set out to write the album on Miss Funny, or was that something that you you evolved while you were working on it?

[00:22:47] Jono: The, I always write, from the heart and the gut. So there's, and as you're mentioning, you're working on like a musical concept album, all that. There, there's something about being a creative where you just let your body do the thing and then what comes out, you're like, oh, there it is.

That's my subconscious, that's what I'm really feeling. I've always believed in doing that with lyrics. So I would write a melody first and then that would come after. Or sorry, that's not necessarily the case. I would just start singing and I would say those words. Yeah, so I would, I started to notice a trend and pretty much all I wanted to do was connect those dots.

The album is very much to me a half and half of the life in misophonia concept where part of it was I was starting to hate being in a band my life because of it. Whereas I was watching like my friends around that world in bands and outside of bands Thrive, and I was like why isn't this happening to me?

And it was just processing like really strange, primitive feelings. So the song Horseshoe, for example, that's, we played a show in Rochester, New York, and I think eight people showed up and keep in mind this is after the band I was in that was starting to sell out shows and doing a bunch of stuff, and I'm like, I'm at the time getting closer to 30.

Just what am I doing? Why am I doing it? And it's, there's a joke in music called The Horseshoe, where when there's not enough people at a concert, they all stand spread apart and Right. It's never someone close up to the stage in the middle. They're the one that's already all the way in the back and then everyone does the horseshoe shape around cuz it, it's too awkward to be close.

Yeah. So that was the whole concept on that end. And other parts of that too, like our, my band van that I used for years broke down on one of our tours. Like things were very literally falling apart for that band in particular. The other half of it was processing, like anxiety, depression, and then what I started noticing was like the misophonia through line through a lot of that.

So why am I such an uptight person? Why am I angry a lot? And what things are being affected by that? Because I started getting hyper-critical of myself for being hyper-critical of others at all times. And that was a very exhausting feeling.

[00:25:07] Adeel: Yeah. That, that can cycle. Definitely. If, can you mind if I read it?

So there's obviously the song misophonia, but there are a couple other of my favorite songs on the album, like choking on nothing. I can't concentrate. They're all watching me choking on nothing. I try to shake it off, but I can't break free choking on nothing. That has to do with the, the concentration.

I dunno if it has to do with misophonia, but I really felt that because, concentration breaking is like that, it's like glass breaking to me. And I feel like that kind of captures that in hotel hallway. I love too. Lay in your bed and hope no one knocks. Forget to hang the do not disturb.

Sign next to the lock. The help lock in is too awkward to talk. Every door is the same and you're to blame. Yep. That's we, yeah. We all feel that. But I love that. Yeah. I love that metaphor with the, yeah. With the hotel room. And do not disturb Sign. I hadn't you hadn't thought of that before.

That's great.

[00:25:52] Jono: And try. So for me I, for the longest time I had trouble speaking clearly about things that were actually affecting me, but I could speak very openly about cosmetic things, right? Yeah, the tour's going great. We're having a good time. Oh, we have a new album coming out, whatever.

And then the second I would talk about anything serious out loud, without music behind it. I would start like feeling that, like breaking down, feeling like, okay, this is getting too heavy. And then I would back out and then I'd make a bunch of jokes because that's what I do. I'm like, my brain is very fast, so I use it for , like comedy as a shield.

So Oh,

[00:26:33] Adeel: me too, man. Absolutely. People would be sh Yeah, sorry, go on .

[00:26:36] Jono: But to your point like Conan O'Brien for example, like he deals with a bunch of stuff, Stephen Colbert, like all of these very like quick-witted people. Yeah. Because their brain is so fast. They also are very good at processing negative emotions very quickly.

And that's why I feel like misophonia being a byproduct of that as well, because like, why am I generating this thing when I don't want that feeling there? So lyrically I I was just trying to like, how the hell do you explain this to someone? So metaphors, here's a way you could digest that.

Like whatever hopeless feeling it may be. And I never there's a line in that Hotel Hallway song. I don't know if you watched BoJack Horseman. But I was a really big fan of that cartoon that was on Netflix. And it dealt with like depression and some really serious issues. And one of the things they talked about was fetishizing sadness and how some people willingly gravitate toward it instead of changing their life for the better and running away from it.

And I freaked myself out and that song being part of that where I was like, am I like oddly enjoying the struggle so I could talk about it and claim it as this thing. I think that's something every

[00:27:46] Adeel: artist Yeah that's probably something every artist kind of thinks about at some point.

It's am I doing this just because it's, makes me more productive? Or if I just snap out of it, if I just stop, trying to create the next, pick the next piece of art maybe I'll just. Be happier. I think it's probably something a lot of people think about at

[00:28:03] Jono: some point, and the flip of trying to suffer on purpose to make better art.

Yeah. And that's such a like, toxic, awful thing. But people get caught in that loop because they hear these sad songs where people are opening up and they're like, I want to be like that. No, you don't, writing a melody is not worth the payoff. Back on the misophonia side of things like there, because it is a seemingly abstract concept that when people first hear about it, they think it's a joke.

So to put it in perspective, the drummer of baggage at the time he was like doing this like mouth chewing thing, like as a joke to like a bunch of people and then kept getting closer to my face. I'm like, can you please stop man? Can you please stop? And he is what? What? And he made it worse and worse.

And then I was like, I have an actual thing where this is really bad for me. Can you please stop? And then he did it more, and then the other guys had to yell at him, and he is like, what? And they explained what was going on and he was like, oh. And that's how strange of a thing it is for so many people, as you can attest to, for having this podcast and all of these guests.

Like it, it is a, trying to explain to someone. Oh. So I think most people are wrong in the things they do because my brain tells me that way. So I want to have the control of having them not do that anymore, but I know I can't, so I have to live in that cycle. , that sucks. And it's, that's the heavier version of saying I don't like zones.

Which, that's how people think, right? I'm annoyed by chewing or something. It's so much, unfortunately, deeper.

[00:29:33] Adeel: A Absolutely. Yeah. It's a lot. It's a lot more than that. And and yeah, another thing that comes up is that it just gets exhausting for for us to explain it to the point where at some point you we start to calculate is this even worth telling this particular person, whoever I'm in front of?

Because there's the probability that you'll be either dismissed or mocked or have the sound repeated is high enough that you were almost like, I'm don't even bother. So we just internalize it and bottle it up. And and another reason why I think, doing something creatively like you're doing is is a great outlet because rather than, trying to explain it literally, which can often fail.

And especially

[00:30:11] Jono: without Yeah I was gonna say, especially without a diagnosis, right? Yeah, very rarely it's oh, here's my doctor's note for , this thing


[00:30:18] Adeel: Have you gone? Have you talked to? I'm, I dunno I'm assuming with some of the other issues you've you've talked to therapists in, in the past.

Has have they known about misophonia? Have you mentioned it

[00:30:27] Jono: up or brought it up? First I went to a doctor who told me to drink less coffee and I said, no, I'm already drinking less coffee from the last time you told me. She's huh. And then that ended there. And then the therapist I was going to for other things, which is where I learned the beauty of repression and how it could lead to chemical imbalances.

It was like this, like really nice older lady who just, so to put it in perspective, at one point she handed me a book called The Very Worried Walrus and left the room to go to the bathroom. And it was a children's book about a walrus who was afraid to ride his bike cuz he didn't want to get hurt.

And then finally after he stopped coming up with excuses, he tried riding the bike and then he was able to do it and it was fine. And I like. Had this moment where I was like, I don't think this is the person to talk to about this. Because I brought up to her the idea of misophonia and all that, and she was looking at me like I was speaking another language.

. And then I was like I believe after doing my own research, which obviously people love to hear in professional fields, listen, doctor, self-diagnosis. Yeah. Yeah. WebMD for everything. So I was like this to from, based on what I've seen, and some people I've talked to, it's triggered from anxiety, oc d or I could count the rest on all my limbs or whatever.

Yeah. Yeah and it was just like maybe you should just, oh. So her advice was you should journal the things that you're witnessing. And I was like, okay. So she tried to play along for a second. So I went to a movie that night. Had another awful time. And she was like I want you to work through those moments.

And it was like this very I forgot what the term is. There's one of the doctors from the Misophonia Institute or someone in that world was talking about like the idea of a positive replacement or reinforcement kind of thing. So I was like, okay, I'm going to not pinch my leg until it hurts and I'm feeling pain and I'm gonna be present during the sounds that upset me.

And it was 10 times worse, . And I was like, this isn't fixed. Because I've, I have a pretty strong will and I feel like my brain is fairly powerful and that is not a thing that I can just change after going to a movie one time or during the movie where it's happening. So I like, reported.

She's did you try hard enough? I'm like, . Yep. Yeah. So it's a dead end, yeah.

[00:32:54] Adeel: Yeah, that's a, it's not exposure therapy, but it's yeah. Trying to fight through it and trying to change your thinking in the middle of a trigger is the worst time. And yeah.

That's something that people don't try a second time, I think . Yeah, typically. So what are your some of your kind of co, coping mechanisms? You mentioned the stuff that you do when you're in a theater, but is it typical like headphones and leaving situations as much as possible or yeah.

Curious kind of how your day to day is. Yeah.

[00:33:22] Jono: It's I'm glad this podcast is here so I can feel accountable for the things I do . So initially Some of the things were okay, I need a fan to sleep. I now know that after having been on tour and having to listen to music very loud Oh yeah.

To find out all the snorers. So I was like, okay. And I had to learn how to fall asleep to music just so I could sleep, because that's how bad, like white noise wasn't even blocking it. Now that I'm home, I need a white noise machine sometimes, like some drops to CBD and earplugs, like that whole combination, just to fall asleep.

Cause I'm a very light sleeper as well. But I am a cereal room lever and I've unfortunately and I'll disguise it with washing dishes or something while so like I'll just like casually get up, I'm like, oh, I ate really fast. Crazy. And then I get up and start doing the dishes and then, my wife's still eating or anyone

[00:34:16] Adeel: need another drink?

Something like that or Yep. Ex.

[00:34:18] Jono: Yeah. Or I have to go to the bathroom and check my phone. Like I, when I'm at my parents' house, that happens sometimes. Or I could just feel like I don't know if you feel this way, do you ever feel like you have almost a level like you're leveling up in oh, this is gonna be bad, this is gonna be bad.


[00:34:35] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah. When I go into the situation, I like size up, who's in the room, like what's happened in the past and try to figure out like how close do I need to be to the, to an exit ?

[00:34:44] Jono: Yeah. While I'm in, I, I kinda have a few strike rule and again, like I, I sound very neurotic talking about it, but and these are how, this is how I cope.

So for example, we'll be with like a full family like gathering thing or friends or whatever it may be. And I'll hear one or see some one person doing a thing. And I'll be present for a second. I'm like, okay, I'm gonna let this happen. I'm going to, I'm going to hear what they have for me

Yeah. And then I'm like, okay. Yeah, still bad. All right, cool. Got it. And then I'll it's almost like lightning strikes, right? Like I count in between, and that's what I mean by like that meter essentially. Like when I like, yeah, I know it's gonna get to 10. So when I'm at like a six or a seven, I'm like, this is gonna keep going up and I'm going to clench my jaw or do a snapped head turn and look at someone or say, the worst thing that I do, and I hate that I can't control this, is try and allude to the thing in a sly way without being mean, but be like, oh, are you eating something?

If someone walks by and they're like chewing something. Yeah. And I hear them like breathing out of their nose or and I do those and it slips out and I'm like, I hate that I do that. And I'm I have so much guilt after because I'm like, I could have just not said anything very easily because I can't do anything.

And in my head, I think there's gonna be some kind of positive reinforcement or a tweak that I could make for someone else, which is again, such an awful controlling thing and be like, Hey, little comment. And then they go, oh yeah, good point. And then they stop and then their behavior changed forever.

[00:36:29] Adeel: That doesn't happen.

Think you can OB one kenobi them into complying.

[00:36:32] Jono: Yeah. And then, but like those thoughts make me realize okay, this is a control thing because the world isn't operating in the way I want it to. And I feel like there is some combination of fight or flight and control that makes this negative cocktail that is misophonia.

Yeah. Control comes

[00:36:53] Adeel: up a lot. And yeah, yeah. You're, now that, now I understand your leveling thing is sim I think similar to something, something I mentioned is maybe is it's just like being a, being aware before a trigger starts and while it's getting worse, that to try to prepare your mind to hopefully I guess you're, in your situation, you're not telling your mind to calm down.

Maybe you are, but I sometimes tell people like, okay, if you're gonna sit down and eat or something over the family or whatever, just before anything happens, just tell your brain, look around. You're not in the Amazon jungle like 5 million years ago. Nothing's gonna come and jump on your attack.

You. And that can somehow, if you can catch it early enough, that can maybe lower the stress level in your brain enough to like not react as hard. It's what happens is like when you don't think about it And then a trigger happens, and then it's like game on and, or almost like game over where it's it's gonna be a downward sprout no matter what you try to do.

Yeah. So maybe I'm gonna try that leveling thing too, is to try to give you, give a three strikes your or I'm out strategy. See how that goes and

[00:37:53] Jono: What I, and again I don't necessarily advise it because I, again, don't know what's right. Whereas years prior, a therapist said, be in the moment, work through it.

That's a little easier than something done. On my end I have literally just reverted to having to get up a lot. ? Yeah. Oh, I gotta go wash the dishes. Oh. And when I eat, like my wife and I only eat with a TV on, we have TV trays and we sit with the TV on and I'll have to be like, Hey, can you turn it up a little bit?

And and. It's not her specific thing, it's just like most people. And what the awful thing is, like I'll hear one, whatever the sound may be or something like that. And I think a lot of people, they think the feeling is, oh, I find this sound gross or unnerving or whatever, but they don't realize, and especially as an individual, the way I feel, I very literally feel my whole body tensing up.

I start getting a headache. I could feel my heart pounding and it's from a noise and trying to explain that to someone that this is an actual physical response, not just a mental thing where I think something is gross or, not pee. Exactly. And that's one of the most confusing things to explain and keep in mind, like if you have a good circle of friends.

They totally understand and they're super cool about it. And even some of my friends will my friend Sean, who owns the rootless coffee with me will be somewhere and he'll look at me and go, that's driving you crazy, isn't it? I'm like, oh yeah, . And it's like our nice little like inside joke thing where it's no one else has to know.

It's cool. Yeah. But what I noticed was like, I was at the Flint Farmer's Market, it's this really big spread out place so I could be like 15 feet away from someone at the table. So Sean and I will go there and do some work, and then people, like someone got wings and they were like four tables away.

Keep in mind how long that distance is and they're doing the thumb suck or the finger sucking thing. Yeah. And my personal background is I'm also a germophobe, so putting your fingers in your mouth was already like a weird thing for me. And then you add the sound to it and then it just adds that.

Extra oh it was like a, almost like a whistle sound, but there's this frequency and I mentioned this in the actual Missoni song a good frequency means everything to me. Yes. I have that written down. Yeah. And the reason that is, is because it's like the, it's the nails on the chalkboard concept where a like thumb suck sound hits this frequency that I can't explain, and I again, don't unfortunately know enough about music or sound or whatever where it's just it's white pain through my brain.

Like I, I literally feel the ache and I can't turn it off. It seems as if you if you hit your shin on something, like it's that kind of feeling. And yeah. Anyway the long-winded version of that short is there are certain sounds and the last thing effects of them are. , I think very surprising to a lot of people.

[00:41:07] Adeel: Absolutely. You did mention that you, another thing that's come up a lot is the the feelings of guilt and shame about, giving the glare or whatever you have to do. Do you, has that, that, that come up a lot for you and it can also, lead to, distance between whether it's friendships or family relationships or whatnot.

Is that something that's been on your mind too? Or have you noticed that in, in, in your life?

[00:41:29] Jono: I, I have, but if I'm genuinely friends enough with someone, it will bypass that feeling. So for example, like some of my friends that I know eat a certain way I just don't make eye contact.

I'm just heads down or like eyes down the whole time. Yeah. I usually will eat really fast to get through it sooner so I can get up and, like I had mentioned before I get up often. Yeah. And then, but I haven't actually like completely pushed away anyone for that reason or left them out of a thing.

But maybe that type of situation I have, so it's less of, hey, you want to go out to get food and more of, hey let's go get coffee. You can't really mess that one up. And so this is one I want to send your way. So slurping sounds were a very big one for me, but a strange one was when I went to Japan and everyone was drinking ramen, like native Japanese people were drinking ramen and slurping it.

And someone explained to me, oh no, you have to do that cuz it s it and cools it down and you get all of the flavors similar to coffee. , and I swear to God, it turned that switch off of my brain and I went, oh, okay. And then I had a weird moment where I was like, I think I've just added meaning to this thing and it's now practical.

Whereas before it was unnecessary and it, I like solved that one thing. Have you found that with any of those kinds of triggers,

[00:43:00] Adeel: that's really interesting. No I, no, I haven't really, I haven't really found that. But that could be linked to the, just the fact that you've convinced your brain that it's not dangerous and there is some context behind it.

Maybe that's what's going on there. And somehow it fortunately it hardened in your brain and maybe it's forever linked that way. And that's why I turned it off. That's really interesting.

[00:43:21] Jono: Yeah, because I like I'm vegetarian and would be traveling all over the world to these different countries on tour, and I remember.

So part of my control thing was like I need to find like a vegan restaurant, or I need to find whatever. And then I noticed that I was inconveniencing other people with my personal lifestyle, right? And then that's what started making me think about it. And I'm like, if I reverse this situation, that's how people think about me when I'm doing this stuff to them.

And I was like, huh. And so I've had these like revelations like that where, for example, different cultures, there are different sounds or different ways of existing that are just different. So I often wonder like maybe it's, I was raised in this way and then when I put in the world and I see other versions of it because, so for example, like my brother, like he's a pretty intense chewer

And like we've talked about it and he was like, when I started o openly talking about all this stuff, he was one of the first people. He was like, I always. Thought you were just being rude, but I didn't know there was like an actual thing going on and he like apologized. I'm like, you don't have to

I just unfortunately can't watch you eat. Yeah. But I don't really wanna watch anyone eat to be fair. So there's like these certain moments where I could like, I could solve something and crack a code and I add context and meaning to it. And then there's other things where I'm like, I will never understand, like popcorn, the existence of it is to make a pop because people like eating loud, fun foods.

Chips another one for me. I can't be in a room when people are eating chips because every single bite, is one of my triggers

[00:45:02] Adeel: 10 times is loud.

[00:45:03] Jono: Yeah. Yeah. So it's it's a food meant to project. So for me, for you, for a lot of people that's just like this exacerbated trigger.

So I have to remember though, that the purpose of the food and the reason the person likes eating that food are the same thing. It's actually a thing people enjoy. So I've tried to like make sense of certain triggers like that, but even then I'd be like you could bite the chip, but put your mouth all the way around it so it's not as loud.

And then I start yeah, exactly. You know

[00:45:36] Adeel: what I'm thinking? As you were saying that, I was like, yeah, but yeah, ,

[00:45:40] Jono: because it like, like a mouth is a megaphone if you use it a certain way. So like with certain foods, I'm like you put it in your mouth, then you close your mouth and then you chew. But again, I'm sure you've heard, now over a hundred people be like why can't people just do this?

That's the thought that we all have. We have to, it's hard to disconnect ourselves from that.

[00:46:03] Adeel: Absolutely. Yeah. The ramen explanation, since it actually makes a little bit more, I don't know, plausible sense, maybe that's why that's stuck. But You're right. All these other things like chips.

Yeah. There's really no difference between, in terms of enjoyment between eating it quietly and eating it loudly. So we're like, ugh, just take it easy on that chip. Yeah. So yeah, we're getting to about an hour. I feel like we haven't even, I'd like to actually talk a little bit about some of your more your creative projects.

I, I guess before, before we go left Ms. Funk, obviously I'm gonna make sure as many people listen to as possible. But have you has Ms Funny creeped into any of your other creative projects or business projects since then? So

[00:46:43] Jono: the creative projects as far as if I'm doing digital marketing, for example or rootless coffee where I'm, so I do a lot of, or I do all of our, like social media and all that.

Yeah. What I've noticed is when I'm editing video like lip smacking, all these little things where I'm like, I would change that. And I have the ability to have that control for those moments and be like, all right, like I'm playing that. This is cool. So in, in those cases, as far as like editing others, you have a podcast and AI apologize for any sounds I'm making cuz I know you have No,

[00:47:15] Adeel: I go into Launch Pro and I edit everything up.

I hand and I have now I have Isotopic eight where I can it's gonna, actually has a mouth de click setting specifically for mouth sounds. Oh wow. Okay. Anyways, but,

[00:47:26] Jono: But that's that's one of those, one of the things I think about often where Yeah. I did are you familiar with Loom?

Like the

[00:47:33] Adeel: video sharing? Yeah. Is that what you're talking about?

[00:47:35] Jono: Yeah. Yep. I did one for one of our clients where I was walking through like a website wire frame yesterday, and I realized I haven't had water in a while and I just was making like, Really intense saliva sounds. Yeah. And I watched the video 10 times in a row.

It's a five minute video, so it was almost a full hour of reviewing this. And I, all I could think of was that one time when I start talking, I sound like I have really bad dry mouth. I wonder if they're gonna be upset about it. And I just was like, critiquing my, and I'm like, Nope. Send over, move on. Yeah.

So in that aspect, sure. I, whether it's me or other people, like I noticed that and we're all on Zoom calls and hearing people talking to 'em, whatever. Another one is if people eat on the phone with me, I just don't find that necessary or conduct conducted anything real.

So I can't hang with that. One of my

[00:48:22] Adeel: friends, I tell people to stop eating Yeah. On a zoom call or whatever. That's just, I can't,

[00:48:27] Jono: yeah. Yeah. You're eating into a microphone, put it on mute, and that's not even like a. , like misophonia thing. That's just, that's weird, right? You're projecting that sound.

So anyway, so th that kind of thing has happened a few times where I was my friend and I were working on a project and we would be on like two to three hour calls and then he would start eating like a salad while we were talking, but he wouldn't put it on mute. And I like, without having to try and explain the whole MyPhone thing to every single person I talk to, I'd be like, Hey man, can you put it on mute?

While you're eating? He's oh, is it bugging you? ? Yep. And like then it makes you think, does it not bug other people or do they Yeah,

[00:49:10] Adeel: I was like, the fact that I've maybe brought her up suggests that it is bothering me.

[00:49:14] Jono: I actually like it. Can you turn it up? , so there's that version and then one of the, like one of the first comics that technically got.

Picked up and then the person just disappeared. But I was working on one that was based on so since I'm like from the Flint area, like I was around when the whole Flint water crisis was going on. And I did one about how I wa I wanted to tell a story about anxiety and misophonia and all of these things through the con the context of a young barista.

Again, what I also did, it was like, it was very obviously like me, all of this was me. But then it was like, how do I throw this into a wild metaphor and make it a thing? So what happened was when this guy had anxiety bad enough, he was able to control things with his mind. So the thing we talk about where I want control, I wanna do this.

Yeah. It was like the negative side of it, of this is what would actually happen where maybe you can't control that and it only happens when you're the most anxious. So why would you be making rational choices? I won't say the name of it, just in case one day I actually , give it another shot.

But it was politely passed on, or, when it did get picked up, guy disappeared, so it'll never be a thing probably. But anyway, I actually very literally had a whole scene about someone eating buffalo wings, and that's starting to be like the instigator for this thing where you start seeing him doing the thing that I was talking about, like where like you're leveling up and you're like, Hey, can you stop that?

Eh, whatever. And then it gets worse, and then boom, something really bad happens. So almost like stranger things, but anxiety driven and not like interdimensional or whatever. So I have messed with that kind of stuff in creative projects so that, so in theory, like all of them other than coffee, cuz I think it'd be really hard to sell a coffee for.

This coffee Sounds good. Don't worry. Like I, it, now that you mentioned it, like it really has ended up in a lot of the creative projects I do. Which I guess is my way of venting about anything.

[00:51:12] Adeel: Yeah. I think there's lot of opportunity I think to, to. To see this and to explore this creatively maybe.

Cool. One, one more one more lyric as to close a show. It's from flying home from a funeral, a far funeral. Instead of questioning what's over my head, I'll try to remember what you said. Do your best to spread hope around. Don't get distracted with the hatred of sound. Those are the last words, I think, on the album.

And yeah, I think a great way to maybe and this interview. Thank you Jono, for coming on. This has been really enlightening and it's been great to have you and I know a lot of fans are gonna and new fans are gonna wanna hear what you have to say. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for coming on.


[00:51:45] Jono: so much for doing what you do and for letting me be a part of it. I really appreciate it. Thank

[00:51:49] Adeel: you Geno. Everyone, please go listen to a baggage. Grab a bag of beans from Rootless coffee and pick up some comics. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you're listening to the podcast.

Music here is always by Moby, and until next week, wishing you peace and.