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Justin Levinson: The Angelica Interview

article by John Powell
photography by Tim Monohan

Justin Levinson

“I stepped on stage and totally ripped my crouch out of my pants,” Justin Levinson explains, putting his foot up on the table to show us. “That’s how cool I am. I took a step up, and rip! At the end of the show I’m going to rip the leg off.”

He ushers us backstage to chat, and we sit down next to Aya Inoe, singer/guitarist in the other act that night, The Wee Folkestra. “That guy over there is Sean Witters,” Justin says, gesturing to the other guy in the room, who flashes a smile. He plays lead guitar in the band. Josh Glass, a local musician who we joke will play in any jam happening anywhere at any time- plays keyboards and sings background vocals. Simon Plumpton plays drums. Seth Barbaro plays bass.

Something about Justin Levinson seems so natural, like he was once, and may at times still be, insecure or too curious, but is not so anymore, although still maybe a little bit. For instance, this CD release party doesn’t have a door cover. It’s pay what you will. The intention is two-fold: come see the music; it’s free, after all- and maybe with a free door the crowd will buy the album instead.

In reality, Justin is most content making music, and on This Side of You This Side of Me, he’s a spectrum of men, from the introverted over-thinker to the more hard-assed soldier of Good Fortune. And that’s Justin, really. He ripped his pants. That’s sort of rock n’ roll, right?

Justin Levinson

As we sit down, Tim starts to take pictures and Sean leaps up to change the angle of the lamp. “I used to work in film production,” he says, taking his seat again. “So…” Justin laughs and reclines in his chair:

Justin: He taught me when I was in college; isn’t that so weird? It’s really humiliating. I was 18, in this awkward adolescent state and I was writing terrible assignments; everything was so moronic. The fact that you read those papers is really humiliating. [Laughs]

Sean: It was Berklee! There were kids that thought they’d never see a music professor again and my secret motto for the class, which I never told you, is, “The world doesn’t need another dumb musician,” and you were in the Smart Musician category.

Justin: Okay, so I passed, but I’m still embarrassed.


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