Let’s face it folks, it’s great to stick two fingers up and say – we told you so. In the case of JOHN, the powerhouse two-man boyband from down South, we bloody well told you so – again and again… and again!
In a bit of thrilling news, JOHN have just announced they’ve got a new LP on the go! With the release of new single ‘Ghost Printer’ and the announcement of their debut LP ‘GOD SPEED IN THE NATIONAL LIMIT’, we thought we’d get in touch with our pals and find out what’s been happening this past year. Take it away, John(s):
BCFB: Hey John(s), we’ve known each other quite a while now haven’t we? We hear you’ve got some good news to announce?
JOHN: Indeed, right from the very beginning I believe, back when we were youthful and fresh faced. That’s long gone now I must confess. We also mustn’t forget the first time we met in person in Manchester, when you missed our Carefully Planned Festival set to watch a comedian; I hope they were very funny whoever they were! Anyway, that’s probably not very interesting for a reader, so yes… We have good news, we have an album recorded that will come out this year, along with the imminent release of the very first track from it.
What’s the story behind the LP – who’ve you been working with and when can we expect it?
It’s a record of the journey of the last year or so, a collection of songs that nod to various experiences, and these experiences or observations then become warped and fictionalised through the songwriting process. We decided to go into the studio with Wayne Adams of Death Pedals/Big Lad (Formerly Shitwife) fame at Bear Bites Horse in East London, simply because we thought that he would know what to do with our racket and how best to capture it. Having chatted to him at numerous shows prior to the recording, we both agreed that he is just such a big/varied music fan that he wouldn’t let us do it badly. Regarding the release, exact dates are always prone to moving around – as I’m sure you understand – but we’re gunning for early Autumn.
Bear Bites Horse has been the recent home of a shed load of rad bands, eh? How was it putting the record together there?
It was certainly another reason for choosing the studio, we’ve listened and loved those records, and have even had the opportunity to play with quite a few of those bands (USA Nails/Death Pedals/Yards/Casual Nun amongst others), which made us all the more excited to see how our ‘thing’ would filter through Wayne’s ears and hands. It’s safe to say we weren’t disappointed. He also made some slight but very clever suggestions for a number of tracks, including an audible cameo on the lead track ‘Ghost Printer’; a sprinkling of synth behind the guitars and it works a dream.
Fancy telling us a bit more about the brutal lead single ‘Ghost Printer’?
As with most of the lyrics, they come from the most mundane situations of experience. This particular song presents a miniature fiction of an individual who blames his lack of success on a ghost who haunts his words. I guess it’s semi-autobiographical in the sense that I was writing a lot of applications at the time and questioning my own abilities as a human being. I’m particularly interested in how both written and spoken language can fail us all at points; it’s certainly not as flawless as we are brought up to believe – just look in the newspapers at the moment.
The last we heard from you physically was little over a year ago – What’s been happening in Camp JOHN since?
Yes, I suppose the last release was ‘Cultural Trip’ for a Record Store Day Compilation in 2016 via Alcopop Records. Since then, Johnny’s got married and has established himself a daytime tv celebrity on the BBC through his furniture restoration skills, and I’ve got accepted onto a Masters programme – so there’s been lots of interesting stuff going on. On a more musical note, we knuckled down and continued writing. As many musicians say, it was great to play the songs a lot live to consolidate the material, to etch them into muscle memory before recording. When we did eventually get into the studio in January, we didn’t actually have a particularly concrete idea of the outcome, but through the process it became obvious that we should be honest to the sum of that time spent writing, and I think you can see this in the way the songs run together despite all their unique spasms and idiocies.
For those poor unfortunates not in the know, what can be expected from ‘GOD SPEED IN THE NATIONAL LIMIT’?
I feel we can confidently promise half an hour’s escape from the irritating, repetitive sensationalism that we tend to be experiencing on a daily basis. We’ve certainly thoroughly enjoyed making something that hits you immediately with its force but also gives you a second uppercut of substance. Of course, we bloody love playing live and I feel GOD SPEED gives a pretty good attempt at trying to capture that; although it’s not a valid excuse to not come to a show!
Lastly – I hear you’re working on moving about later this year. Where we can expect to find your double act in a live setting?
We’ve got some great shows lined up and it feels very good to be asked around the country to play these little chunks of imagination to people. Next on the list is a trio of allday festivals in Bristol, London, Birmingham, which we’d of course (impartially) recommend to anyone. Then we’re looking to nail down a fitting celebration to push the GOD SPEED out into the world after Summer. You’ll all be very welcome.