Bruce Dickinson said that ‘fans of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin should check these guys out’. I wholeheartedly agree; in fact I would add to this my personal opinion that Voodoo Johnson are the best thing to hit the UK Rock scene since the original line up of Iron Maiden back in ‘79. They are a truly inspired balls-out full-on five piece Hard Rock band based in Birmingham, UK. They are a hot bed of all that has been and is good about Rock music, packed into the barrel nice and tightly then set off with a variety of fuse lengths. I their own inimitable way Voodoo Johnson are shaping the future of Rock already, they are currently number 27 in the unsigned charts over at http://www.tourdates.co.uk/default.aspx or check them out at http://www.myspace.com/voodoojohnson you will not be disappointed.
I have been checking out their songs and they are all brilliant, glowing examples of top Rock songwriting, production and musicianship. They have a superior grasp of driven rolling rhythms accompanied by outstandingly colourful riffs and chords. The vocals are a perfect match. It all synergises into a Rock sound second to none in a fresh style of its own. Also, very much like a great act from Australia, they have two brothers on lead and rhythm guitar. It is BRILLIANT, find out for yourself, Voodoo Johnson ROCKS! I recently had the chance to interview the boys and I have updated this post with our interview.
1. How did VJ form and what inspired the name Voodoo Johnson
The band was created in an ice cream factory! Well, Carlo and Dave formed the band when they met in a factory. Paul was next to join and was an obvious choice being Carlo’s Brother and having a style that complemented Carlo’s really well. There was a couple of false starts, but after a couple of different singers and loads of auditions the lineup was completed by Rich and Kev. They joined within a couple of weeks of each other around Christmas 2007.
As for the name, Carlo was reading about the legend of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the Devil, and the influence of Voodoo on the Blues…..and it kind of went from there
2. What would you say are the highs and lows of VJ’s experience to date
Well Carlo got to meet Jimmy Page and Brian May when he won Riffathon, that must’ve been pretty damn cool. And we’ve shared the bill with a few quality bands; Zico Chain and Sign are up there for us personally, but as far as gigging goes the highlight so far is watching Duff McKagan from the side of the stage as he did It’s so Easy. We supported him when he came to Wolverhampton and it was a quality night. But there’s also the recording side of things; anytime we can come out of the studio with some brilliant new songs we’ll be pretty happy.
As for the lows… Nothing springs immediately to mind. We’ve been lucky so far, I guess. Worst we’ve had are those shitty little gigs where you’ve traveled for hours to play to a near-empty room and the few people who’ve bothered to turn up don’t have a clue who you are and weren’t that fussed in the first place. We’ve had a few of them.
3. How far would you like Voodoo Johnson to go, and which markets do you wish to captivate
Is that a trick question? Far as we can! We think we’re good enough and there’s a real dearth of quality rock bands these days; most are either trying to prove who’s the heaviest or wishing they were AC/DC. But we don’t really have a preference about which markets we’d like to grab; we keep hearing that rock music’s finished in the UK and we can only succeed in Europe or America or the Far East. That’s cool and we’d be happy with all of that, of course, but we think we’re due for a rock revival back home as well.
4. Who do you think are the bands to watch at the moment
Ummm… Santeria, Maylene & The Sons of Disaster, Amplifier, Stone Gods, The Parlour Mob, there’s quite a few really. It’s good, gives you the feeling our kind of music might be on the way back. And there’s still the old favourites like Pearl Jam and Tool kicking around of course, bless ’em.
5. Do you prefer playing large or small venues, what would be your ideal gig/tour
Really, we like playing FULL venues. So far for us that’s meant they’ve tended to be on the small side, but we’re hoping that’ll change soon! It’s always been my dream as a Liverpool fan to play Anfield some time. It’d be nice to be on the same bill as Pearl Jam, too. We just respect that band so much; they’ve got great integrity, they write whatever the hell they feel like without worrying about ‘the market’ but without scrimping on quality. They’re brilliant musicians with personality and they seem like a really nice bunch, too. So, us supporting Pearl Jam at a packed Anfield. No, them supporting us! Or double headline, let’s say. I’ll be nice. That’d be a good gig. I’d go to that if I wasn’t playing.
6. where do you see yourselves in five years time
Well, we’d LIKE to be the biggest band in the world, I guess. Wouldn’t everyone? But to an extent that’s out of our hands. We’re kind of learning that it’s best not to put a time limit on things, because they always take longer than you expect. A year or so ago we would’ve been hoping that we’d be signed by this point, and we’ve had offers, but they haven’t been right so far. Really, as long as we feel like we’re moving forward (which we are) it’s worth our while to keep going. And the songs keep getting better! One of them’s gonna lodge in the nation’s brain sooner or later.
When I first started networking to discover new Rock sounds Voodoo Johnson were the first to catch my eye with their great logo. As soon as I heard the VJ tunes, I was hooked and have been ever since. I have a strong suspicion that these golden gods are gonna go far, watch out for the rise of Voodoo Johnson in the next year or two, they have an intoxicating formula.
Enjoy this free download of Voodoo Johnson’s Dirty Angel courtesy of the band and The Rock and Roll Report!