For everyone reading the interview, who are we talking to and what do you do in Neon Blonde?
I am johnny and I played Singing Guitar bass synth and piano on the neon blonde recording.
So, both of you are in the blood brothers. What made you decide to start a new project?
During a lull in bb's songwriting around fall of 2004 I started coming up with a lot of material on guitar that wasn't really bloodbrothersy enough to be a bb's song. Thus the idea came to me to do something else.
Besides you two guys, did anyone else play a big part in the writing and recording of the album?
our friend joel cupland played sax on some songs but other than that no.
Was there any big influences when you started the band?
Prince. Sex pistols. Nick Cave. Jay-Z. Black Uhuru.
Can we hope to see you guys out on the road any time soon?
we are probably going to play south by southwest and then try to tour in the summer between the end of the bb's recording and when the bb's start touring off of said record.
I read on a bio that this album was for fans of David Bowie. Did his work play a big influence?
Bowies songwriting has always been a big creative influence for me. I would say on songs like headlines or chandeliers in the savannah theinfluence is a bit more obvious.
When you started the band, did you find it hard to differ the writing from when you wrote for The blood brothers?
Not really because at the time I wasn't really able to write songs on guitar for bb's. The original inspiration for about 80% of these songs came from guitar riffs. Thus it was not hard at all.
We talked about influences of the band and the album, but what are some big influences for you personally?
one thing that influenced this record a lot for me was my environment. I wrote all of the record in a 3 month span of time that the bb's weren't touring a lot and I was living in this house my dad bought to
fix up and resell in a really affluent neighborhood 20 minutes outside seattle called Kirkland. Its walking distance from lake washington, it's beautiful, it's green. All in all it was just a great place to wake up in everyday and devote yourself completely to music.
The music scene is obviously very important, but is there anything about it that you guys would like to see change?
hm. The bb's have pretty much been on tour constantly for 3 years solocally I cant really comment on the seattle music scene. I would say as a general observation that 6 or 7 years ago there was a lot more
creativity in the music scene. I remember seeing bands like the monorchid or the VSS or the locust or murder city devils or botch when I was in high school and really being inspired by their originality. I
think the fact that emo or hardcore or whatever you want to call it has become profitable and visible within the past few years has made for a lot of safe, generic bands.
When you have some free time how is it usually spent?
hanging out with my girlfriend and/or designing T shirts.
What are some of your favorite books of all time?
"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" by Carson Mcullers.
"Crow" by Ted Hughes
"Oryx and Crake" by Margret Atwood
"Winter of our Discontent" by John Stienbeck
If you weren't playing music what do you think you would be doing in life?
Designing T shirts full time or writing short stories.
Have any really horrible jobs before being in a band?
Cashiering at a grocery store. I had to memorize about 75 different produce codes and when I would go to sleep at night I would dream only of those devilish little numbers.
Any crazy tour stories that you would like to share?
A few years ago the BB's played Drag Race open to the public in El Paso texas. They set us up on the flatbed of a semi truck and we played for a bunch of really confused drag race enthusiests.
Thats about all the questions I have for you guys, is there any shout outs or any last words you would like to say to all the readers?
i wonder if he designed that yellow/black striped shirt hes never without (props to you if you know what im talking about)
iknowiknow. i love that shirt.
neon blonde is awsome.
bloodbrothers is awsome.
ijust - i cant decide which one is better so i wont try. johnny whitney is a garghhghasd fucking talented singer. he makes me happy in my pants.
if i ever get tired of listening to bb (almost never) but if im in the mood for NEON BLONDE (which is like all the time) i can just listen to them, and it fits perfectly....just enough different, but with that same amazing voice...8)