johnny was here is the workings of highly strung singer-songwriter, Johnny Gates. After years on the live circuit, performing in his successful band Runaway Saints and another solo project of his own, Johnny has now decided to take full reins of his own solo career with this new-found venture. The Rhode Island born and now Nashville based multifaceted artist has channeled all of the energy from his previous musical experiences into johnny was here, and the result is something refreshed, raw and most importantly, exciting.
Recording all of his new material at home in his producer's bedroom studio, Johnny wanted to fully encapsulate the DIY aura of where the music was born, in a full batch of songs with him and producer Austin Luther working together to hit that sweet spot between alt-rock and indie pop. His debut offering is six-track EP ‘Nervous Wreck’, with lead single ‘silverlake’ fully showcasing where johnny was here sonically lies.
‘silverlake’ is a high energy and crisp indie-rock offering, full of catchy guitar chords and simply brilliant lyricism and melodies from Johnny. There are moments of solace and singalong lines from him before the energetic chorus ensues, in a song that’s all about romanticising the past for him personally. It’s melancholic yet angsty, which is immediately what sets johnny was here apart from the many, not the few.
There are remnants of early Foo Fighters in the performance, where Johnny’s vocals possess so much power, presence and personality that is simply impossible to ignore. It’s stripped back to guitar, bass and drums, which is the recipe for the biggest and best songs that have ever been released, and Johnny’s songwriting prowess alongside his intoxicating vocal tonality is truly something to behold and admire.
“Silverlake is the first single off my newest project, johnny was here. I was in a band for 13 years. We signed to a major label, and toured all over the US, but we broke up in LA, and this song is me romanticising that, and going back to that time when we first moved to LA, and ran around silverlake, just playing shows, and even though we were toxic by that point, I’d do it all again. After focusing on a more singer songwriter, solo project, and writing songs for other artists, it’s my first time back in the alternative rock world, since playing in my band.”
Signed to Amuse (Yot Club, Brooksie) in tandem with new company East Music Row, set up by Johnny and his manager David Robkin, this also highlights Johnny’s exciting new venture even more with the backing he has behind him already. ‘silverlake’ is the perfect introduction to johnny was here’s relentless and euphoric craft. It’s an alt-rock anthem that pulls you in from that first second and doesn’t give you any time to breathe in the most enjoyable and fun-filled way possible, in this stunning debut from this one of a kind artist.