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Johnny Reed – Robot Not Me

Johnny Reed - Robot Not Me

Johnny Reed - Robot Not Me
Johnny Reed – Robot Not Me


Discuss your personality. 
I’m really self-motivated by inspiration. The spirit of rock music…


Brief us about you as a musician.
I play all the instruments on all of my 6 albums.
I play by feel, by ear, and self-taught.  Drums were first, then acoustic guitar, then acoustic piano.  To this day I just have one of everything; I’m not a collector kind of musician.  For electric guitar: Fender Telecaster, Acoustic guitar: Takamine, Acoustic drums: Ludwig, Digital Drums: Roland V, Bass Guitar: Ventura (a Hofner copy).  In my beginnings, I had a cheap guitar and cheap amp… I thought if I just had some top expensive gear that’s what I really needed to be great! Well, a guitar player from a major group dropped into our rehearsal one day.  He picked up that cheap guitar with that cheap amp and made that thing SING!  I never forgot that lesson, it’s not the gear, it’s the player.


Go into details on what has changed in your life for choosing music as a career.
When I chose music as my main thrust in life I left the safety and solid footing of a normal life. I entered into a free-flowing creative way of life with no assurances of success or any future.  There’s no one that can tell you what the best path in life is for you, they may try but they don’t know.  The hours are crazy working into the early morning and then getting up in a few hours and doing it all again.  It’s not just creative for me; I love the promotion as well.  I have to constantly promote my music.
It’s all tied together.  It seems like I’m tethered to the studio.  Every time I decide to try to get out… I find I have to go right back!  But when those magic creative moments happen, it makes it’s all worth it.


Tell us the benefits and drawbacks of choosing music as a career.
I’m not tied to that 8 to 5 grind anymore… it’s eight to whenever now!  I’m working longer and longer hours, no overtime pay, just paid in self-satisfaction.


Tell us how you will manage fame as an established artist.
As an established artist, I will put fame under my belt and continue to create for the purpose of creation, and not fall into some “what should I do now that I’m a famous artist” sort of mode.  I won’t be chasing other artist coattails, just creating and expressing naturally.


Elaborate on the storyline of this song.
The song ROBOT NOT ME is song number two on my new album, FORTRESS OF ONE. This song deals with artificial intelligence and our complacency to embrace it.  We want it, we need it, we think… But at some point, we may find that it is the US that are being controlled by the robot and artificial intelligence.  And a second message in the song is… in society we are following the commands and doing what the establishment wants us to do making us the real robots.  As with several of my other songs this tongue-in-cheek presentation highlights an underlying message.


Tell us the means of connecting you and purchasing your music online.
Johnny Reed


Let us know the greatest moment of your music career.
The greatest moment for me was… Well… there are several:
When Mel Evans the Beatles road manager told me I reminded him of Paul. When Music Connection said my vocals reminded them of Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad. When the ZAGmusic e-zine said I reminded them of Ginger Baker and Keith moon on the drums. When StubbleZine Magazine said my electric guitar playing reminded them of a post-Jimi Hendrix. When Bobbie D. says my harmonies remind him of The Beach Boys or the Beatles. When a Hollywood magazine says I’ve made a Pink Floyd concept album. When Celebrity Café magazine said I do the kind of Rock the Rolling Stones used to do.  These are my most precious moments, putting me if only for a moment, in the shade of these giants.


Tell us the highest amount of money you have ever received from your music career and how it happened.
Well, it was actually from my voice talent. During the RAWK DAWG albums, I was requested to “Blue Sky” the sounds for the Peter Jackson KING KONG Universal Pictures ® film in 2005. They ended up using my voice for the King Kong, the V-Rexs, The Brontosaurs, Mutant Insects, and even the Ann Darrow scream… etc. in all the merchandising for the movie. I made over $50K.


Discuss your experience pertaining to live performances, gigs, shows, and tours. 
And since I play all the instruments on my albums, when I tour I need to bring on other players, sort of a “Hollywood Heroes” of musicians who are a who’s who of great rock groups. Europe is very favorable toward American Rock and Blues music. Music fans in these countries are not tied to the top 40 Hits as most American fans seem to be.


Tell us how you interact with your fans.
My fans are great.  I like to do things like give special clips, messages, or other things to them when I can.  Their support has made me continue to release albums, and try to stretch my creativity to where it feels it should go naturally; they give me meaning to go on.


Tell us what you will like to change if you have the chance to turn back the hands of time.
I would love to work with David Bowie, the old Bowie.  He was such a Space Case, so interesting “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” was just so out there.


Tell us the most important people that have boosted your music career and how you met them.
One would be Mal Evans, he was the Beatles road manager in the early days.  I met him in the Kings Head Pub in Santa Monica, CA. He befriended me and encouraged me, saying I reminded him of Paul, which really re-fueled my engines.  Also, Ronnie I, a great songwriter & artist himself, encouraged me to let the true artist out.  Even if I did hard rock songs he didn’t appreciate, he urged me to express myself and keep going.
Last but not least, Stuart Cheese, a UK producer I submitted my work to, gave me encouragement saying things like “You must know how impressed I am with everything you send us over. You are the kind of artist, where it is purely a matter of time… I genuinely hope that at some point in the near future, we can take some part in what has to be a very bright horizon for you.  Wow, that took me up a notch or two for sure!


Brief us on what you have in mind before considering music as a career.
I worked in the computer & telecommunications industries.  They were good jobs, but far from my passion. I later worked in the independent film industry, it was challenging and interesting, but again far from the spirit of music passions I had.


Discuss your good and bad experience in life. 
My best experiences in life have been when I’m being spontaneously me!
The joy of creating laughter in others, and playing something musically gives me that tingle of WOW!
My bad experience, my worst time, is when I found my daughter had been in a car accident and had suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury.  She was in a coma for 4 months.  In the hospital for over a year, and still can’t walk, and can barely talk to this day.   I’ve used this tragic situation as inspiration to writing several songs on my albums.  Songs like: Such a Beautiful Bird, Talk Another Road, Live in the Moment and It’s Gonna Be Alright.


Name the artists that have influenced the world.
The Beatles, John Lennon singing “All you Need is Love” became an anthem for a generation.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote songs that brought an emotional side to Rock that it hasn’t seen since.


Tell us about your moment of rejection as a musician and how you are able to cope and move on.
Yes, rejections happen all the time. Everyone likes to give their expert opinions. You have to stick by your guns and your gut feelings about your music.  I always remember the countless times, artists had been rejected, only to become HUGE later.  I think the biggest was in 1962, when Decca Records rejected the Beatles, saying “guitar groups are on the way out” and “The Beatles have no future in show business!  Now if that doesn’t say it all… experts don’t know anything at all.  PS that’s the theme of my song “Anything at All” on the new album FORTRESS OF ONE.
Tell us the most negative comment you have ever received about your music
Elton John’s producer Gus Dudgeon took the time to write me, telling me that my voice & music was just dreadful!  Wow, he must have really hated it!
But I did find out later that in a book by Elizabeth Rosenthal, “His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John”, Dudgeon called the 1974 Caribou album “a piece of crap … the sound is the worst, the songs are nowhere, the sleeve came out wrong, the lyrics weren’t that good, the singing wasn’t all there, the playing wasn’t great and the production is just plain lousy.  Whew!  I think Elton & I must have a weird connection.


Tell us how to become a famous artist.
Perseverance is the key to success. Don’t give, don’t cave in, keep playing, writing, performing until the world wakes up and embraces you.


Tell us how you plan to make an impact on society.
Many of the songs on my albums are message songs, so I’ve already started.  My subjects include Artificial Intelligence, Gender Identity, Native Americans Value, Servicemen and Women & Veterans Appreciation, International Love & Tolerance.  These aren’t topics that will get me into the TOP 10 on the pop charts but are things that need to be brought out and discussed, not just passed over or forgotten.


Elaborate on the recording process of this song.
I started the recording for ROBOT NOT ME by singing it and playing the drums at the same time (a Roland V set).  This established the feel, beat, and tempo for the song.  I then added a clavinet keyboard (a Korg Triton le). Then the heavy electric guitar (a Telecaster 1965) using a Zoom 9150 to accent the lines.  I played the lead guitar through an SM58 mic Peavy Studio Pro. The bridge release was written as I played, it just fell into place by feel.  I added snippets of electronic sounds to accentuate the robot theme.  It’s like some of my songs are a tongue-in-cheek premise with an underlying serious message.




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