Hello everyone and welcome back to another instalment of the Band Of The Day Interview. Today for you we have a singer songwriter who focuses on heartfelt lyrical imagery and melodic exploration through layered production, please welcome Johnny Stanec.
If you could introduce yourself for us, who are you?
My name is Johnny Stanec and I’m a singer-songwriter from Youngstown, Ohio. I’ve been releasing music under my own name for much of the last decade. I used to front a band called First In Space and we released five records of Tom Petty-meets-Replacements inspired powerpop. My solo records are more Americana-folk rock mixed with heartland rock and roll and a dash of Britpop thrown in. I’ve toured throughout the midwest and east coast of the United States and also made a few stops in Canada over the years.
How did you get started in music?
I was always around it. My father was a drummer and there were musicians coming and going all the time at our house. So I naturally became interested. In my early teens I taught myself guitar and enjoyed the solitude of learning music by myself. My first inclination was to attempt to write a song. It was terrible, but from there I never stopped. I had the usual high school bands and then during my college years it became more serious. It culminated with my band at the time recording and releasing our first record. Since then I have released a stready stream of music.
How long have you been playing?
Really all my life. From my early childhood I would bang on the drums and then after that I got into the guitar. I have to go back pretty far to get to a time when I wasn’t playing music in some way.
What three words would you use to describe the music you play?
What are your musical influences?
Like most people who end up writing music, I was surrounded by it and was hearing the usual classics like Dylan, Neil Young, Beatles, Tom Petty, etc. My teens years were spent listening to my own tastes in punk, alternative and indie. Nirvana was my first obsession and from there underground punk like Operation Ivy and One Man Army were constantly on my player. I opened up a bit in college and got into bands like Wilco, the Shins and Elliott Smith. But overall my biggest influence has been Oasis. Noel Gallagher is my favorite writer.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen during a show?
Back a bit my band did a record release show and there was a very inebriated woman dancing in front of the stage. She was really into it, but she was gyrating out of time and erratically. So, the other guitar player in our band decided to dance along with her while he played. He was on stage, but moving and encouraging her to keep going. There is some video somewhere of it. Kind of like Elaine’s dancing on Seinfeld. Pretty strange scene. Plus she was unaware she was acting odd.
Being away from the stages since last year, where is the one place you’d visit when the restrictions are lifted?
I can never choose one. I miss driving to shows, though. Wherever they are, it is always a good time. Long drives to Chicago or New York. Little spots in West Virginia. Sometimes shows take you to a place you would never have gone otherwise, so I look forward to getting back out there soon.
What’s the one record you own but wouldn’t ever admit to owning?
Laundry Service by Shakira. No joke, pretty solid pop record from what I remember. I got a promo copy from my sister who worked in a music store and listened to it out of curiosity. I liked quite a few of those songs, haha.
What have you been listening in the last few weeks?
There’s a good band out of England called Grade 2. Quality throwback punk rock and roll. They have a few releases and their most recent full-length, Graveyard Island, is fantastic. The kind of band my fifteen year-old self would have loved.
I also recently dug back into a few of the old Flaming Lips records like ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’. Such a layered and nuanced record. Another good and totally obscure band I have been enjoying is a band called Flop. They put out some records in the mid-90s. A good guitar band with some really melodic songs.
Are there any releases you have planned in the near future?
I just released a new single called ‘It Was Easy Now’ on June 18th and I have another new song coming out called ‘Feels Like I’m Fading Away’. Both are some of my best work. After that a few more singles in the fall and hopefully by the winter there will be a new full-length record. I have a lot of new songs I am excited about in the works.
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