Johnny Antonopoulos, a.k.a. Johnny A‘s (since he was eight years age old) musicality, versatility, and taste set him apart from the run of guitar gods. Lush and full, clear and soothing, biting and intense – Johnny A’s guitar is always just right for the song and mood.
Johnny A. has one of the most eloquent voices in modern music – and he doesn’t sing a note. Instead, he channels joy, love, humor, sadness and every aspect of the human experience through his guitar.
Not only has Gibson produced a Johnny A Signature Model, but for a man who’s never had a guitar lesson – Johnny A’s rendition of “Walk Away Renee” (originally by The Left Banke) was selected by Gibson Guitars as the #4 Greatest Valentine’s Day Instrumental. I talked to Johnny A about his take on classic cars, and his next studio album.
What are your top five picks of classic muscle cars?
Johnny A: No special order:
American muscle: 1970 Dodge Super Bee 440 6-Pack, 1970 Plymouth “Hemi” ‘Cuda, AC Cobra, ’58 – ’67 Corvettes and 1969 Chevelle SS 396.
Foreign: Porsche 911 Carrera S, Porsche Turbo, Porsche GT, Lamborghini Murcielago and Ferrari 458 Italia.
Who or what inspired you to pick up your first instrument and how old were you?
Johnny A: I was originally a drummer (self – inspired) and then guitar (inspired by The Beatles).
Remembering back to your first time in front of a live audience, what comes to mind?
Johnny A: Excitement!!
What has been your biggest triumph as an artist? Greatest challenge?
Johnny A: Getting there! Getting there!
If the whole world were listening, what would you play? And why?
Johnny A: everything I know, because hopefully there would be something in there for everyone!
As your music as evolved, what do you think has been the most significant change and do you consider it a positive or a negative?
Johnny A: Maturity. A positive.
What do you want fans to get from your music?
Johnny A: I want people to feel emotionally connected when they experience my music!
What is your favorite song to perform live? Why?
Johnny A: It’s hard to pick just one, but if I had to it would probably be “Get Inside” because of the emotional connection that I have with that song live.
What do you value most in life?
Johnny A: Life, family.
If you could, is there a band or artist that you could recommend (Who they may not know about, but you think they should.) to our readers?
Johnny A: Chris Whitley.
How have the recording processes changed/stayed the same from Sometime Tuesday Morning, through Get Inside, and to One November Night?
Johnny A: The recording of the guitar has essentially stayed the same meaning – I record direct NO amplifiers or speaker cabinets. The difference between the albums is that “STM” – was recorded, and mixed 100% analog to tape including the mastering process, “Get Inside” – guitars, bass and drums were recorded analog to tape but then those tracks were transferred to protocols. “One November Night” – was recorded totally live, no overdubs and was recorded digitally.
Will we be seeing a new studio album in the future?
Johnny A: Yes, I have finished writing for what will be the next original studio album.
What does 2011 hold in store for Johnny A and your music?
Johnny A: Hopefully an albums release in 2011. Also more touring with my band and a couple of guest spots both in studio and live.
I would like to thank Johnny A for his participation in this interview.
~Denise Smith (interview 2011.05.01)