It seems like the best bands start off as little more than a group of musically inclined friends that enjoy playing together and do so regularly. Johnny Awesome, a local act comprised of Austin Cobb, Trevor Fain, Joel Webb, Mitch Smith and nobody named Johnny, began as one of these friendly musical experiments. What it’s become is an escape from the status quo, a medium for individual expression and an avenue for creative exploration. How do we know that? We asked! And they answered! Read on to see what they had to say about their past, their future, their favorite Atlanta venues and the Atlanta music scene in general.
When and how did Johnny Awesome form?
We got together in the fall of 2007 as a group of friends that just wanted to have a good time and play some music. We decided to simply experiment on each member’s personal style to find the medium that would be what is Johnny Awesome today.
Who (or what?) is Johnny Awesome?
Johnny Awesome is our way of taking the path not taken. It is a way for us to create an opportunity to support ourselves and to not be part of the “norm”. It is a mindset that we can achieve the American Dream by expressing how we feel.
How do you feel about Atlanta’s local music scene?
Somewhat on the fence to be honest. There’s a lot of amazing groups out there that have one hell of a style and flare goin’ on. But the music scene is an ever-changing wind that sometimes kicks a little dust in your face. Tends to be more bands out there that are worried about style and too much of [what's] “in the now.” We hope to help bring back some of that heart and gritty soul that used to be here when music was a way of life, and not just a weekend warrior.
What’s your favorite Atlanta venue and why?
Our favorite venue to play gigs at definitely has to be Smith’s Olde Bar. There’s a lot of history in that place. The sound is always spot on for us. They have a great staff that feels like old friends and we never go thirsty there. Haha. But when it comes to a venue to go watch a show, has to be The Fox Theatre or The Tabernacle.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
There are many influences from various decades that affect us as a whole and individually. But to name a few, that “uhmmph” drive from Zeppelin’s grunge, the creative mapping of chord progressions of George Harrison and that overall southern soul serenade that The Allman Brothers have flourished at. We try to take what we like to listen to and put a new twist on it to blend with today’s generation.
Describe your music in one word.
During a show, what do you do to connect with the audience?
We try to get out and see as many shows as possible, local bands and big name acts. So we can always keep in mind what it is that we like to get out of a concert then turn around and give that to our audience. It’s a give and take of energy that makes seeing a live act that much more remember-able.
What are your plans for 2014?
To take what we have created and allow it to explore itself to see what it can really become. We’ll play as many venues here in Atlanta as possible to prepare us for the road.
Sounds pretty awesome, Johnny Awesome.
These dudes have a very romantic show planned for the Smith’s Olde Bar crowd this Valentine’s Day. Tickets available here - you better start perfecting your concert-spooning skills.