Ska/punk has been neglected for the past few years and here to bring back this fabulously up tempo and vigorous musical style are The Johnstones.
The members, Ryan Long on drums and vocals, Jarek Hardy on guitar and vocals, Brent Marks on bass, Julian Warmé on trombone, and Rene Gillezeau on lead guitar, trumpet and MC, have been playing together for years.
Mixing fast-paced rap-style lyrics like those of Jimmy Pop of the Bloodhound Gang, and chant style choruses, give The Johnstones’ sound its uniqueness.
The guitar playing is comparable to the punk style of Blink 182, while the high energy horn sounds, resemble that of Less Than Jake, completing this sound and making. The Johnstones’ music infectious.
Jarek Hardy took a few minutes to answer a few questions for us about what makes The Johnstones tick.
On this album are there any concepts or major ideas?
How cool we are. It’s a fun album, we’re trying to bring a sense of humor to everything that we do and we obviously have fun with what we’re doing, and we try to incorporate that into it. I guess a side note is that we want everyone to know how cool we are and how badass, how strong, and how muscular we are.
I’ve noticed that a trademark in your performances & videos is to show a lot of skin, can you explain this naked fixation?
First of all, we like to have our shirts off because it’s more comfortable. What actually happened when we were playing was that we were getting so sweaty because we were jumping around and stuff and we’d get offstage and our stuff would be wet and we’d have a ruined shirt. So we just decided to start playing with our shirts off, and said fuck it let’s make it our shtick. And it’s definitely a shtick now; it’s also very practical.
How did growing up in the music industry & starting at such a young age affect you guys?
Pretty much we started in high school, Ryan and I started jamming together, I didn’t even know how to play guitar when we started the band. Then we went to University and still had fun with it, so in the last year of University we thought this could be a real job. We took it seriously and up until lately it’s been more fun than business, now it’s more business, but still very fun as well so it’s kind of matured us a little bit.
What has been your band’s greatest accomplishment so far?
I guess the music video. Getting on Much Music has helped us, and we didn’t even expect Much Music to take it, let alone put it on the count down. It was an independent video and it had big success.
What would you like to see happen next for your band?
We want to take over the world, one city at a time, one step at a time. I guess the next step would be to make a new album; we’re going down to Los Angeles actually, to work with Flashlight Brown’s two main songwriters. Then we’re gonna make a brand new album and make another music video, stuff like that. That’s in the near future, but the end result of all that is to take over the world.
The Johnstones play Foufounes Electriques on Sat., Nov. 10
with Mustard Plug.