Saturday, April 8, 2017

Interview with Paul Johnson and The About Last Nights

Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights may be from Mississippi, but this isn’t your traditional southern rock. Singer/Songwriter Paul Johnson and Drummer Zack Lewis had a vision in mind, which was to play songs people want to sing, a kind of "Power Pop”, with the emphasis on “Power." They unified on the principle of a "song first, honest music" mentality. High-energy rock n' roll that draws from their influences like Cheap Trick and the Foo Fighters and at times the band recalls the performances of Weezer and Sloan in full-on rock mode, but never neglecting the art of the power balled. This is a band with a purpose, which is to make great music and have fun doing it.
Here at Palace of Rock, we have a saying, if you think power pop is dead, think again!

Hello there, greetings from Sweden. Can you name three things that comes to mind when you are thinking of Sweden?
Paul-High seas adventure, Vikings, and beautiful people.

Are you taking a stand against bullying with your new video Burn it down?
Paul-Yes, being bullied by most of the people, and peers in my life growing up I'm finding more ,and more people that has had the same experiences. I have felt compelled to give us all a voice for a long time, and hopefully encourage those struggling today.

How come you got into music?
Paul-It was prevalent in my home because of my dad's love for it. Nirvana happened, and it changed everything for me. I didn't just want to listen to it, I wanted the emotional release of playing it, and recording it.

What was the first record you bought and really liked?
Paul-I want to say Pearl Jam Ten, but also, Superunknown from Soundgarden was a first as well.

I think you´ve got a cool bandname, it bring thoughts to the 2006 album The rise and fall of Butch Walker and The About Last Nights. Are you familiar with Butch Walker?
Paul-I am, I love him. His music, and songwriting is phenomenal, and he is a southern boy that blazed his own trail. As far as the band name similarity to one of his records? No, it was simply the "everyone write a band name as cool as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers down!' That one won the vote.

Tell me about your upcoming debut EP Give Up The Ghost, when will it be out and is the music going in the same direction as the single?
Paul-It will be out May 1, 2017 on iTunes, and all major streaming services. I can say if you like "Burn It Down' you will love our EP "Give Up The Ghost" its got the same sense of urgency, and hopefulness, along with the guitar riffage, and energy we are getting known for.

There aren´t that many new artists in the power pop genre, are you the saviour of power pop?
Paul-I would never call myself a savior of anything, but I will say we at this moment stand out, and I love that.

With the streaming services taking over, what are your thoughts about the future of selling music?
Paul-The future of the industry is on hard times for sure, there are less opportunities for making a living based off the old model, but like anything that changes, I am hopeful new bands can still break out, and succeed at their craft without having to go on gameshows or a be in a sex tape.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Paul-The Ghost I refer to in the EP title "Give Up The Ghost' is talking about these spiritual Ghosts we all carry around from childhood trauma. At some point we have to give them up to something higher, and move forward stronger than ever.

You come from the state of Mississippi that has a fine tradition of great rock and roll bands like 3 Doors Down, Blind Melon, Saving Abel and even up and coming artists like The Electro-Lights, Bass Drum of Death and yourself.
What has the city of Hattiesburg meant to you as an artist?
Paul-It is where I cut my teeth in the clubs, and bars. I have some good friends there, and I am hopeful we can be a part of a big MS music scene one day because the talent there is just amazing.


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