MM’s 5:1 Interview No 7: Harry George Johns

Mad Mackerel 5:1 Harry George Johns

The last few months have not been good for Harry George Johns. On his Bandcamp page a few sparse words sum it up: “Winter 2011. I had an actual breakdown. Homeless, jobless, girlfriendless; I stayed on my friends’ sofa and borrowed food and some microphones and made Post-Breakdown Blues

Harry George Johns - Post-Breakdown BluesAnd so he did. Opening with Drink Myself To Sleep and closing with the stunning Hospital Blues, the scene is set for six tracks that are desperate, raw, personal and genuine; songs that feel as if they have been almost torn from the soul such is the force and the impact they carry.

We love the record. It is one of our discoveries of the year so far. Best of all, you can get Post-Breakdown Blues on a pay-what-you-want deal from his Bandcamp page here.

But please, don’t just take it and run, give something for it, and then turn down the lights, draw the curtains and listen to it. Really listen to it. It’ll be worth it in every way. But before that even, read his contribution to our 5:1 Interview series.

Five words to describe your music:
Sad. Dark. Miserable. Whiskey. Night-time.

One book you’d recommend to an alien:
I’m big on books man. Probably ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ by Kurt Vonnegut, right? If there are any humans that haven’t read it that’s insane. I’m surprised that’s not mandatory reading for anyone over the age of 15 with a working heart.

Five bands (or albums) that have most influenced you?
Hmm. Ryan Adams – for being honest. Led Zeppelin – for inventing RAD drumming. Eels – ‘Daisies of the Galaxy’ for being so sad and opening me up to instrumentation ideas. Skip James – for opening my eyes. Slipknot – for making it ok to be different and open-minded (aged 16).

One moment in time you’d like to have witnessed:
The moment that Kurt Cobain put the first 4 chords of Smells Like Teen Spirit together…

Five people (living or dead) you’d love to share a stage-jam with:
I’m way too rubbish at playing guitar to even stand a chance with anyone.. Maybe the Stooges would be a good jam.

One biggest regret in your career (to date):

Five things on your perfect rider:
Buffalo Trace. Ice. Halloumi.

One hour to live – who would you spend it with, and why?
Go listen to the record…

Five perfect songs:
Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl, Fugazi – Caustic Acrostic, Ryan Adams – Come Pick Me Up, Nirvana – Even in his Youth, O Death – Ralph Stanley

One song of yours that you’d most like to be played in 50 years time:
Hospital Blues





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