Enjoyable, refreshing, unique—The Johns Band, a relatively new musical group, adds some fresh tunes to playlists with their laid back, standout riffs and lyrics. A self described “indie, dreamy, alt rock band” great for a “road trip with your buddies and the windows down,” the group creates music appealing to those looking to hear something original and “vibey.” A perfect blend between chill and emotional, rock and bedroom pop, The Johns Band shows great musical talent and a bright future in the music industry.
The group first started in Utah during May of this year with the intention to fulfill a life-long dream for all members and to “make music for a living.” Their band consists of Jeff, the guitarist and main singer/songwriter, Shane, the bassist and background vocalist, and Aleco, the Greek drummer. Funny, none of the band members are named John. The origin for their name, The Johns, comes from an admiration for “musicians that are named John.” For his incredible talent, John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chili Peppers exists as one of those Johns that motivates prolific musical talent in the band.
Not only does the group admire John’s, but also popular 90’s bands. Grunge groups “Nirvana and Pearl Jam” and personal favorites “Slow Dive, RadioHead, the Smiths, and the Cure” all serve as inspiration for a style and sound that is unique to The Johns. Also surrounded by a vibrant music scene, The Johns take huge inspiration from the Backseat Lovers and other “bands in the Utah scene like Blue Rain Boots”. Preferring to create music that envelopes listeners in a new musical experience, The Johns say they are inspired “not as much by big artists”, but rather on what they surround themselves with: good music and a dynamic space for local musicians.
Starting as any band might, the Johns Band found themselves first creating music with friends. Jeff says, “the band started with me and my other friend Jack. We were writing a lot of music together for a while. We recorded our music and released it to make the first album: Taxi to San Fran.” Finding that they both enjoyed playing music together, they wanted to take it a step further and form a legitimate band with the ability to perform for audiences. Their bassist, Shane, after liking the vibe and the band in general, joined as one of the core members. Ultimately, after Jack left for personal reasons, the band cycled through two more drummers. They met their final and “current drummer, Aleco, through the Utah music scene.”
Still a relatively new musical group, The Johns find themselves recording in a makeshift audio recording studio in Jeff’s home. That however, doesn’t discourage wonderful music making and creativity. Fostering an environment ideal for musical composition, the studio serves as a catalyst for creative freedom in addition to saving costs. In a innovatie, spontaneous environment, lead singer Jeff compares the process of crafting a song to painting on a canvas. Starting with a base he’ll “have the lyrics and the cords down beforehand.” Layering on the general idea of the song, he’ll then add “a guitar riff or chord, add some drums, and the base to it” to create an original song for the rest of the band members to record or add additional parts themselves. The members explain that the whole process is “very free” as everyone in the band makes “all the decisions and make it [the songs] sound how [they] want.”
Accomplishing a lifelong dream, The Johns move onto greater goals and aspirations for their musical group. At the top of their priority list, they desire “to build fan bases around America, hopefully reach Europe and other places in the world, go on tour, and maybe release another album.” Ultimately, the band hopes to build a future musical career where they can “connect with people all around the world with music.” Excited, listeners should anticipate future shows in California and Texas, the states with the most support for the Johns. Down in California specifically, they hope to play at the Troubadour and large outdoor festivals like Lollapalooza.
With a potential to gain a large following of listeners who enjoy indie, chill, and alternative music, all their new music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and any other streaming platform. Recommends Jeff the lead singer, “‘The North Star,’” ‘Taxi to San Fran,’ and ‘5 Dimension Place’” are all songs that listeners should play as “those three songs show what we’re really about as a group.” A delightful, pleasing ensemble of talented musicians, this band is sure to break through to mainstream audiences soon with their incredible discography and different style; definitely, a band worth listening to!
What do each of the members of your band play?
- Jeff Dewsnup: Guitarist (Main) and Main singer
- Shane: Bassist and background vocalist
- Aleco: the new drummer. He started a few weeks ago. He’s really talented, he’s actually Greek.
How did you all meet to make the band?
- So the band has had kind of off and on members. The strong, long standing members have been me [Jeff] and Shane, the bassist. The band started with me [Jeff] and my other friend Jack. We were writing a lot of music together for a while. We recorded our music and released it to make the first album: Taxi to San Fran. From there, we decided “Ok, let’s form a band so we can start playing gigs and stuff.” Then, we got Shane to play base. Shane and I were friends and I asked him if he wanted to come and try out playing for the band to see if he liked it. He liked our vibe and everything so he joined. Jack, for personal reasons, he’s not playing in the band anymore, so we needed a new drummer. We’ve had three drummers now––we’re on our third one now. We met our current drummer, Aleco, through the Utah Music scene. It’s pretty cool.
When did the band first begin?
- May of this year. We’re a really new band.
Why did you first create a band?
- It’s always been my [Jeff’s] dream as it’s also been all of our dreams to make music for a living. We all just finally started this project of making music and making the band. We’re super happy with how everything’s going in such a short amount of time. We’ve really gotten our name around which is good.
Why The John’s Band? Was there another name that you would have chosen?
- The funny thing about The Johns is that none of us [the members] are named John. That’s what people always talk about. The short answer is we are very inspired by musicians that are named John. For example, in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, their guitarist is named John Ferchante. He’s my favorite guitarist of all time and my huge inspiration. We honestly are inspired by people named John so we named our band that. There’s no big significant meaning. We like people named John.
You guys just chose it and it stuck?
- It seemed right and unique enough. People remember it.
You’ve released a ton of music in 2021 and 2022 on Spotify. Did you just make it or have you been sitting on a lot of music?
- Yeah, we’ve been sitting on it [the music] for a while. On our album, the song “Taxi to San Fran,” I wrote that when I was 15 years old, back in 2018. That one has been existing for a long time before I released it. There’s a couple older songs like “Tell Me Your Story.” Some of the newer ones are “Mess”—that’s a fan favorite for sure. Our song “the North Star” is actually a couple months old. I wrote that in March of this year. We have old, very old, new, and very new songs. Constantly changing.
Do you have a favorite artist or musical group that you guys like to draw inspiration from?
- We, as a band, love the 90’s and all the eras of the 90’s. From Grunge, Shoegaze, Indie music, indie folk—there’s a lot of really good indie folk. Some of the bands that we really love are the major grunge bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and similar bands. We especially love Flo Dive (one of our favorite bands ever), RadioHead, the Smiths (there’s a little bit more of the 80’s but we still take inspiration from them), and the Cure.
- Some of the more modern influences, because we live in Utah, are the Backstreet Lovers. They’re about 10 minutes from where I live so we grew up in the same music scene as them. I even saw them when they were super small at an apartment complex. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from them over the years and a lot of bands in the Utah scene like Blueramboo. When it comes to modern stuff, we’re more inspired by the scene that we’re in and not as much by big artists like indie artists.
Do you have a favorite place that you’ve performed?
- We love Kilby Court. Kilby Court is a legendary place around here. It’s the venue that Kilby Girl is about. We’ve played at the Kilby Court and The Valor too. Those are our two favorite venues; they’re very legendary. This is outside of Utah, but up in Rexford, Idaho there’s The Basement and we love the people and performing there. We have a good fan base down in Rexford, so it’s really fun.
Do you have a dream venue?
- Yeah. There’s this place in California, called the Troubadour and it’s my [Jeff’s] dream to play there. It’s not some huge venue, it’s just really legendary and there’s been a lot of very famous people that have played there. Other than that, there are some festivals that I’d dream of playing at like Lollapalooza or any of the bigger ones. It would be a dream to play at one of those places.
Do you have a favorite song to perform or just in general?
- That varies because some songs when we’re in band practice and are playing, we think “Damn that song was hitting today more than usual.” Other days it [playing songs] will be like walking through [nothing too special]. Right now, our favorite song to play live is “Tell Me Your Story.” At the end, there’s this big break down and it’s so fun to play and it is super high energy. It [our favorite song] changes a lot and there isn’t a song we don’t like to play.
Where would the music take you? What are your aspirations for the band in general?
- We [the band] want to get to a point where we can play for our job. That’s our ultimate goal. We also wanna be able to build fan bases around America, hopefully reach Europe and other places in the world, go on tour, and maybe release another album. We ultimately want to be able to find success and do music for a living and really connect with people all around the world with music.
Do your listeners have anything to look forward to? New releases? Concerts?
- We’ve written and recorded a lot of music that we probably won’t release for at least a year. As far as performances, we’ll be playing down in Utah for the time being. Hopefully coming either at the beginning of next year [January] or February of next year we are going to try and get shows down in California and Texas because we have a decent amount of fans in those states and areas. When it comes to California, we’re trying to find a good middle ground for the people in the Northern and Southern side. Probably right now though, when it comes to shows, we want to play in those states because that’s where we have a lot of fans.
How does the recording process work? Someone’s house? Recording studio?
- So, I [Jeff] actually have my own recording set up in my house. It’s something that I really enjoy doing. When I write a song, a lot of the time I will write the song as I’m recording it. So, I’lll write a guitar riff or a guitar chord. Then, I add some drums to it. Then [I’ll add] the base to it. I guess I’ll have the lyrics and the chords down [beforehand] but I’ll write new guitar, bass, and drum parts as I’m recording.
- It’s super nice having my own set up because recording in a nice studio can be a lot more expensive. There’s already enough costs to be a musician, so it’s nice to have the freedom to be able to record whenever I want. I can make all the decisions and make it sound how I want. I feel like, as a band, we have a very interesting sound because of the freedom we have with it.
Do you have specific meeting times or is it just like hey I have a cool idea, come over?
- It’ll usually be (when the other guys record stuff), they’ll know the songs that I have already since I’m the primary songwriter of the band. I’ll show them the songs and sometimes Shane will add his own bass part. If they want to record it, I’ll either play the part he wants or he’ll come over and play the song himself. For drums, because we’ve had a lot of drummers, I kinda record and write all the drums. It’s very free and whoever’s free can come to record and what not.
How long have you been playing music for? Jeff’s answer.
- So, guitar was the first thing that I started with. I’ve been playing for 7 years. I didn’t get into base or drums much until I just started recording on my own. I guess it all just comes from listening to songs you like to listen to and copying what they do. Not copying but learning as you go to see what they did with the music and replicate it. Take little bits and pieces from other songs. It’s very trial and error with recording. It took a little while to get to the point where I know what I’m doing. It took a little bit to mess up. It took a lot of songs that were bad to make the good ones.
How would you describe the music you make? What’s the vibe of the band?
- I’d say our band is an indie, dreamy, alt rock band. If you are going on a road trip, it would be good to listen to on a road trip with your buddies with the windows down. Yeah, I think we have a song for every emotion you’re going through as we have songs that are all pretty different and have their own strengths.
Top three recommendations for listeners?
- Songs that describe our sound as a band are “The North Star”, “Taxi to San Fran,” and “5 Dimension Place.” Those three songs show what we’re really about as a group.
Where can you listen?
- Music is available everywhere and anywhere.
Funny moment in your band?
- We were playing a show about 2 months ago. At the end of a song when we were going crazy, Shane and I were on our knees strumming the crap out of our guitars while the crowd went crazy. I lost my balance and I went straight into Shane causing his bass to hit him in the face. He had a headache, but he’s alright. That is our funny moment.