This is Part Four of a series of interviews about Stormfest. Check out parts one, two and three if you haven’t already. You can RSVP to the monster April 11th show here.
Johnny Legion. The man, the band, the myth, the mystery. So mysterious, in fact, that we are just going to have to wait and see what Johnny Legion is up to this year. We do get a little insight into the inner workings of Johnny Legion, and hear a little about his Into The Void podcast. You can keep up with Johnny Legion, the band, here. And get Johnny’s podcast here.
Damascus Wootz: Johnny, this is the band’s first time on Stormfest. Tell us about the kind of music you play, and why you do what you do.
Johnny Legion: Honestly, I have no idea, at least in a sense. Formally, I would have to say the kind of music is Heavy Rock, but only for professional purposes. I loathe the idea of being placed in a box that limits creativity, and I feel that following the “formula” of a genre does just that.
As to why I do what I do… I’m sure that’s a better question for a psychologist or a shaman, but I’ll do my best. Music is just as old as mankind as we know it, used by witch doctors, and yes, shaman or holy men, and even the common man. Just as the musicians of ancient times (and modern times), I want my music to transport the listener to a different realm, or give them that last push over the edge into a different reality. I want them to question everything they think they know, just to find out if there is anything else, which I have personally found there always is.
The main reason though… I love doing anything artistic or creative. Music especially has saved my life during the low points. Even though at times it feels more like a curse than a gift.
DW: Johnny Legion incorporates some makeup and costumes into the show, have you been doing that since the beginning of the band? What do you think it adds to the performance?
JL: Theatrics, makeup, and costumes have all been part of the fun since the beginning. Humans have been doing this for tens of thousands of years to connect to their gods, or the spirit word, or what have you. I like the idea that we can directly connect to our past through this. When you put on a mask or makeup, you are no longer seen as just a person, but something else. It can be anything you want, and it’s also a very liberating experience for you and the fans in the crowd. We can all become our own gods for a night and that’s pretty awesome.
DW: There aren’t many heavy bands in the local scene that are named after one of the members, like Johnny Legion, how did that come about?
JL: I have been in a lot of bands through the years and some have been good, some great, while others were dogsh*t and some in-between. I admit, I’m not exactly the easiest person to be in a band with at times, due to my eccentricities and other shortfalls. So it made sense to write all my own music, do most of the leg work, and not have anybody be able to tell me what to do, if I didn’t want to do it. The name Johnny Legion is another way to connect this age with a much older one. Something new, something old. I love the idea of duality, ying and yang so to speak.
DW: I can’t seem to find it now, but didn’t I see a while ago that JL was working on some new recordings? What are you guys up to?
JL: shhhh, it’s a secret….
Let’s just say I have been quietly working on something. As to when any kind of official announcement will be made, it could be next month or next year.
DW: What does 2015 have in store for Johnny Legion?
JL: That is a very good question…
DW: You have been doing your podcast “Into the Void” for a while now, how is that going? You cover a wide variety of topics on the podcast, how do you pick your guests?
JL: Generally, I feel it’s going well, it’s really just another way for me to open my mind to things that I don’t know, or to gain more info or understanding on sh*t I’m interested in. But mainly it’s just fun to sit down and have a long conversation with cool people. So really it’s just people I find interesting.
DW: What are you most excited to see at Stormfest this year?
JL: There is a great lineup this year, I don’t know that I would say I’m looking forward to just one band. A lot of the bands are friends of ours, and I am looking forward to hanging out with all of them, and doing what we all do. Last time I was at Stormfest, I met Clown from Slipknot, so you never really know who is going to show up, or what is going to happen. That’s why it’s such a great event in my opinion.
And Johnny doesn’t stand alone in that opinion! But how the f*ck are you ever going to find out if you don’t…
…get out and pay some cover charges f*ckers!!