Interview With Johnny Stanec

What was the beginning point for your music career? How did it all start?

Before I released music as a solo artist I had a band that put out music and did a lot of shows. During one of our breaks I decided to record some songs I hadn’t finished and released them under my own name. I did that off and on for a while, but then in 2018 my band quit for good and I released my first fully-realized solo record called ‘The Future of Nothing’. From there I toured a bit. I spent all of 2020 working on new music and at the end of the year I released a vinyl collection called ‘Never Met A Stranger’. Since then I remixed old songs and released two streaming collections earlier this year.

Were there any bumps on the road? What kind of challenges did you have to deal with?

I would say it’s been all bumps, haha. I sort of figured my band would last forever, but that was me being hopeful. During our breaks and stops I would work on solo recordings to stay active. Over the last five years I wrote some good music for myself and recorded those songs. They never got the proper treatment as releases due to other commitments. I can now focus on those songs and more recent ones, plus upcoming new music. 

I got sidetracked too many times and had to cancel things or scale back because of other people’s schedules. But now on my own I can do what I want. I am finally getting over the bumps and doing this with a more focused effort unlike before.

What was the most fulfilling and satisfying moment so far?

I think the last twelve months have been much better for me. Seeing some songs get out there finally is rewarding. It isn’t one specific moment, but really this moment in my timeline that is fulfilling. I am seeing some developments and progress being made on my behalf. I am excited for the future.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

A mix of Americana-inspired rock and the sounds of the 90s Britpop movement. Acoustic guitars and piano meets big choruses backed with guitars. I try and incorporate a lot of different ideas in my songs, so I don’t stick to one song style. There’s a mix of all my influences at work.

What is your creative process like?

Spontaneous. I pick up a guitar and just write when it happens. I come up with a melody and some chords. From there I will structure the song and write supporting parts. Recording is as it comes. Whatever the songs call for, I work out myself in the studio.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

There are so many talented, worthwhile bands, artists, whomever, making music; but often the focus is on the wrong people. Pop music sensibilities are good, because catchy music is fun and great to listen to, but pandering to a certain sound is not. All that really matters is the songwriting. The focus needs to go back to that.

If you were asked to give a piece of advice to upcoming bands, what would that be?

Expect to be frustrated, ignored, misunderstood and rejected. There is no guarantee that anyone will listen to you, ever. However, your songs matter. If you believe in them, then keep moving forward. To hell with all the bullshit. It is on you to keep going. Success is just making and creating music in the first place. The rest is a side effect.

What has been the best performance of your career so far?

I’ve opened for a few of my favorite songwriters like Jesse Malin and Ike Reilly, but my favorite performace was a music festival in upstate New York. The festival was mostly a letdown, but I was with good company and that is all that really matters. Even when you want to smash your guitar against the wall in frustration, sometimes the worst shows end up being the best. Better to be on the road playing music than anywhere else. So I appreciate the disappointments as much as the successes.

If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing now?

I don’t know, actually. I’ve been so focused on this for so long that I can’t imagine being anything else. It is such a long road sometimes, but absolutely worth every minute. I live to make music and write songs. I hope that never ends.

What is new with the band at the moment? What are you currently working on and would like to share with the world?

I just released two new singles this summer and I have more new music in the works. All my songs can be found on all major streaming sites and Bandcamp.

I hope to have a new record out early next year and maybe a new single before then. In the meantime listeners can check me out at the links below.

Thanks for your time!


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