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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LA ARTIST JOH

What made you decide to start in music?

I think having different projects allows us to express ourselves as an artist and test our capabilities in different ways.
There’s a lot of music – as a featured artist, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and member of a band founded by my brother and myself – that I get involved with. Starting up a solo project gave me an outlet to be entirely “self-indulgent”, and is a very therapeutic experience; it’s something I purely create for myself and no one else.

What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?

To be honest, I don’t really like talking about myself in general…

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

Uummm, haha!! I mean I’m never one to say “no” to the possibilities.

Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?

No, not really. I bought my brother and I several matching pieces of clothing but I found that quite necessary.

What useless party trick do you have? 

I don’t know if this counts, but I can do the worm backyards. A good amount of tequila shots in me and it will eventually happen.

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

My and SamJGarfield’s band, Lexington Kills, played at El Cid in 2019. We had the best set from start to finish.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Probably the worst experience on stage I ever had was when Lexington Kills played at The Mint. Sam’s computer decided to update right when we were plugging in and doing sound check. And then I think I forgot my verse for at least two of the tracks we played. Overall it was an awful show, but it’s one that I value immensely because I saw how badly we can fail but also how much we can work with to still have a great performance and experience for the audience. 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? 

Before I actually sat down with the reality that music was my life source and my true passion. I first grew up with the idea that I was going to strive to be an AllStar WNBA point guard. 

If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it? 

It’s the melody of the soul.

What makes you stand out as a artist?

I feel it’s ultimately inevitable that an artist or band will stand out when they are being organically themselves. There’s a formula and equation to music; making a bop, composing a ballad, etc. and it’s very easy to fall into that and then become stuck on it to the point that the individualism gets thrown to the shadows. And I would like to think that when I write and play I don’t put myself in that box. 
I want my listeners to see themselves in me and the music I create; I want to be almost like a mirror as I am for myself, maybe too often, and articulate the deeper sensations that many, if not most, don’t naturally know how to. It requires a very meticulous approach of emotional transparency fused with a use of language that pulls on the subtle details that make us human, complex, almost mysterious. It’s a beautiful experience and I want others to feel that with me.

Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?

Besides all the problematic situations that have been occurring on an international level….day-to-day basis I would have to say it’s dealing with 9-5 traffic when I have to. Why doesn’t anyone know how to drive??



What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

My brother and I wrote a song for our band, Lexington Kills, called “Mess”. It’s one of those tracks that came together so organically and with ease. We wrote it on a day where he woke up on the couch getting home from the bar he worked at extra late because our car broke down…and I came crawling out of my bed 3 hours after my scheduled shift for a job I definitely got fired from that day….
It’s a fan favorite, but also is just the most fun to play live. 

I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?

Yeah! I have a single coming out this Friday, April 15th, “Rainy Daze” It’s the first single off of my debut album, “Hiatus”. 
I felt this was a good introduction to the album, being a nice balance of the core narrative carried throughout the album while also being the more upbeat track. 
Essentially it was inspired by a moment when I was actually waiting outside in the rain for my lover at the time. They were dropping off a gift and long story made VERY short, we kissed through the gate in the rain. The gift was a couple of those mini bottles of wine. It was very dramatic for no reason but also for all the reasons.

Talk me through the thought process of the single?

This album is a compilation of very vulnerable and raw thoughts and poems I wrote in my journal over the past 5 years. 
It’s reaching into the deeper inner monologues that we all carry throughout the day but also tend to suppress and too often invalidate of simply ignore.

What was the recording process like?

I actually allowed this creative process to be very different from my instinctual approach. Normally I write a song all at once; the instrumental will come and then I write the lyrics and melody as I evolve the progression. But I wanted a lot of the creative process to be a part of that precious studio time, especially with Sam. I think doing it this way added this underlining tone that is raw; simultaneously comfortable and uncomfortable.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?

This time around, I went into the studio with fragments of guitar layers I had been orchestrating in my mind and recorded all of them with my brother ready to go with the flow. Then I walked away with what we had and wrote a melody intertwined with the journal entries I had written. It was interesting to have created these boundaries for myself but also having all the possibilities at my fingertips.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Always! No matter the project, I think every artist feels there is something they could have done differently, or maybe even “better”. 
But no, I don’t ever want to change what happens so organically. To me that’s what makes art so beautiful and fluid and timeless. Because it was just honest.

What are your plans for the year ahead?
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

I actually have already started writing my next album!

Thanks for joining us today!