The Next Chapter

The book that reminds Jon Hembrey of his song lyrics

The Strumbellas's guitarist shares why he loves The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
Jon Hembrey read the unabridged version of the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. (Heather Pollock)

Jon Hembrey plays guitar for The Strumbellas, who won the Juno Award for single of the year for their song "Spirits." Hembrey recently read the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

It makes you ask the question, "What is justice?" The Count comes across this immense limitless fortune. He uses this fortune and his intellect to plan out revenge against the people who wronged him earlier in the book. It made me wonder, "Is he really good? Is he actually the hero in the book?" I'm not really sure.

I think a lot of The Strumbellas's songs actually look at both the worst moments of your life and the best moments. A lot of our songs pair very sad lyrics with fairly happy music. If you listen to "Spirits," it's a song about extreme darkness and depression but it's also about how there's this light at the end of the tunnel. That relates pretty well to The Count of Monte Cristo.

Jon Hembry's comments have been edited and condensed.

Listen to "Spirits" by the Strumbellas: