Solo Artist of the Day: Ellis Johnson

Today’s solo artist got our “full band” questions by mistake. On the other hand, he’s taken it all in good humour so we fully recommend you listen to all of his stuff!

Simple things first – where are you guys from? How did you meet?

Yeah. I met me at birth. In Manchester. ;-)

How long have you been playing as a band?

I’d love to have a band to work with. I’ve worked in bands for well over a decade, but I went solo about 7 years ago.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

I’ll let you know when I have one!

What are your influences?

I I love music, all music. But originally I was into rock and punk music, I was introduced to music by my father, properly. He brought me up on Led Zeppelin and bands of that nature which led me to want to play drums, at the age of 10 or 11. I’ve since grown to love all kinds of music, anything from hip-hop to heavy-metal.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

I suppose you could call my music, pop indie.But each song I write, seems to be pretty different to one another. I have some songs that are just bare bones acoustic. And some with a more rock edge.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Not generically, I tend to treat each piece of music individually, but I am a long-term sufferer of anxiety, so often that occurs in the writing, whether I like it or not. I also make up loads of stupid ridiculous stories.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

My live shows have been described as cultural lectures that make you want to sing and dance. As I said I like to make up loads of stupid ridiculous stories. Honestly, I like to play my music, and have people respond to me, and I like to interact with the audience.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

I haven’t really let my wild side come out on stage yet, because I am keen on gaining the following! Once I have a good following, and I will. I’ll relax in the knowledge that people will show up to my shows, and that I can then show the ridiculousness of my personality. I’d like to have my crowd start a massive mosh pit when I play a ballad.

I did once jump from rooftop to rooftop with a Scottish geeza from a band I was on the bill with, around the centre of Doncaster, after a gig one night. Chucking empty beer bottles at a bin about 50ft away, and 50ft down, none went in the bin, but they smashed near it. So it’s like lazy littering, or haphazardly recycling, whilst drunkenly climbing on roofs. The next morning I woke in a child’s play tent in the attic of the venue. As much as I like to make shit up, that one is completely true. It’s not big and it’s not clever, but it was fun.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

I have several guitars, a Taylor, a Strat, a Zebrano Fender and a P-Bass. Drum wise I play Tama drums and Zildjian cymbals. When I play live on my own, are use a Boss rc-300 loop station.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

Things have somewhat changed for obvious reasons! So it’s difficult to actually plan anything, other than continuously writing and giving live whenever I can. I’d also like to have a crack at being fit, apparently it’s good for you, or something?!

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you?

I’d love to open up for Gang of Youths, and have Megadeth fronted by Ariana Grande, perform before me.

A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

Presumably, you’ve only recently heard of me! So I’d like to plug Ellis Johnson, he’s a lovely geeza with the best intentions, and he writes pretty good tunes too! Which are available on Spotify, iTunes and all the rest of it. I couldn’t really mention one band or artist, there are too many, I’d feel bad on so many, deserving of a plug. Some deserve a butt plug.

Ellis Johnson: facebook | instagram | reverbnation | spotify

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