'The Rising Of The New Son of Rock!'
Huck Johns was born to rock. As proven throughout his self-titled debut disc, this Detroit native doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to delivering the straight forward, guitar-powered brand of hard rock that fill his songs with an almost primal energy.
“I’m from Detroit, so I grew up on things like Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, the MC5 and Alice Cooper,” he says, “that’s this City’s rock ‘n’ roll heritage. When you combine that with other great musical influences like Chris Cornell, Guns & Roses, Bon Scott and Faces you get the great mixture of rock I live and die for! It would be great if we could take ‘70’s rock and add some of the fun elements of the ‘80’s with the raunch of the ‘90’s thrown in.”
From the first infectious notes of his debut CD you can’t escape the booming guitars (courtesy of writing-mate and producer, Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson), the dripping-with-attitude vocals, and the stick-to-your-ribs melodies that all add up to deliver a timeless rock ‘n’ roll energy with an au-courant edge. On songs like “Fever,” “Kill Everything,” “Infatuation,” and the disc’s party anthem first single, “Oh Yeah,” Johns gives the impression he has been feverishly working on some secret plan to take over the rock ‘n’ roll world. In fact, he’s been busy paying his dues.
Huck started out playing in numerous bands while working in factories and repair shops throughout the Midwest. When it didn’t look like things were going to break in his hometown, he headed west for Los Angeles with his pockets full of hopes and dreams. Like most struggling musicians he learned what it was like to go hungry, working and living hand to mouth, week to week. It was during this period where most of the ideas behind his album came together. He honed these writing skills, began collaborating with Nelson, and caught the attention of his friend and soon-to-be-manager, Arthur Penhallow, Jr. who was struck by the transformation his buddy had undergone. “Maybe a guy needs to fall down to come back up and play with the passion that Huck’s got on this album,” Penhallow observes.
Chatting recently with Huck, I first asked him just why did he had made the move from Detroit to Los Angeles back in 2001 - and what was Detroit just not providing for him at that time? "Besides lack of sunshine, I really needed to take a step back, spend some time finding myself as a writer and a musician without the distractions Detroit provided. Don’t get me wrong, Detroit is my home, but sometimes home can get in the way. It’s a damn fun place to party and the party doesn’t pay the bills."
Your new album title 'Huck' is self-explanatory at best, but what could it so easily have also been when it came to naming it? "It would have been 'I Take The 5th' - but we ran out of recording money and never recorded the song!"
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Huck Johns at his musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "All of em' summarize me!"
Perhaps being best known as the frontman of the late 1990's Detroit band Broken Toys, I'm wondering just how much of that Huck is to be musically found in this new solo album? "You are a product of your desires, influences and experiences when it comes to music. The “toys” are in that mix. Musically they are not the same."
Please tell us more about your writing affiliation with Kid Rock ...? "No affiliation at all. It was more of a lucky coincidence!"
... and why choose Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" to cover from all that the great man has done? "I relate to the song I suppose, but mainly it’s due to the fact that the song kicks ass. Maybe the kids of today will dig it and rediscover the greatness of Bob Seger."
For fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'Oh Yeah' - OK, so just what could make you exclaim 'Oh Yeah' on a daily basis?! "Well ... women, money, and Budweiser mixed with a dose of Bon Scott!"
'Infatuation' - Have you ever had an infatuation with anyone and to what level of exploration was it ever taken?! "I'm infatuated with Kate Beckinsale but haven’t had any level of exploration ... yet!"
'Damn Fine Woman' - In your life, who has been the epitome of a damn fine woman ... and for what reason? "Every woman who's stood true to their man on every level while secretly knowing their man wasn’t
true to them or to them man that’s blind to the fact that he has lost a Damn Fine Woman. Of course ... a personal experience. My way of supporting those Damn fine women!"
It's been said that you were invited by Slash to audition for Velvet Revolver and that you turned down his offer! Er, ... why?! "Well, Scott is "the man" and the ONLY fit for that band. Need I say more? I bow down to that badass motherfucker."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "That would be 'Here I go Again' by WHITESNAKE - Obviously Tawny Kitaen included!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "That bird don't fly ... good eatin' though!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Huck's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Huck's new manager, Arthur Penhallow, Jr. has his own company ... what is its name?
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'HUCK JOHNS SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the upcoming tour dates for Huck Johns, which reunites Johns with friend and collaborator, Keith Nelson, Buckcherry’s guitarist:
April 2, 2006 - Milwaukee - Eagles Club - 8:00pm
April 4, 2006 - Ft. Wayne - Pieres - 8:00 pm
April 5, 2006 - Columbus - Alrosa Villa - 8:00 pm
* April 7, 2006 - Toledo - Headliners - 7:00 pm
April 11, 2006 - New York City - Irving Plaza - 8:00 pm
April 12, 2006 - Baltimore - Recher Theater - 8:00 pm
April 15, 2006 - Springfield - Jaxx Nightclub - 8:00 pm
April 18, 2006 - Boston MA - Middle East - 8.00pm
April 19,2006 - Sayreville - Starland Ballroom - 8:00 pm
April 20, 2006 - Hartford - Webster Theater - 8:00 pm
* April 22, 2006 - Saginaw - Shooter’s - 7:00 pm
April 23, 2006 - Atantic City - House of Blues - 8.00pm
April 25, 2006 - Jacksonville - Planet Rock - 8.00pm
April 26, 2006 - Nashville - Exit/IN - 8.00pm
April 28, 2006 - Chatanooga - Fathom - 8.00pm
* April 29, 2006 - Detroit - St. Andrews - 7:00 pm
* HUCK Non Buckcherry Date Toledo / Headliners
* HUCK Non-Buckcherry Date Saginaw / Shooters
* HUCK Non-Buckcherry Date Detroit / St. Andrews
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