Sunday, 29 November 2015

FINN JOHANSSON [Songwriter + Musician]

Meet Finn Johansson! A motivated and talented songwriter and musician producing psychedelic country songs. Getting all avant-garde shooting him in a cinema (which we thought wasn't in use!) with Finn staring at the ceiling for the entire interview (the lighting looked better on his face that way) together we chatted about his music and songwriting methods, cloning and holy holograms. Click below to watch his interview video:

Finn takes diverse approaches to songwriting, and to keep himself motivated and productive he sets himself goals. An example: 

"Last year I signed up to a website and basically made a deal with myself that I would write and record a new song every day. And if I failed to do so, $100 from my bank account would go to a charity I hated. i.e. The Westboro Baptist Church. So that was a good way to get the ball rolling."

In another inspiring effort to get himself to output work, he pledged he would direct a new music video for each song on his debut album. His first one is for the new single that's out called "Gregor Samsa". You can watch that below!

Finn's Music Video "Gregor Samsa"

He left New Zealand to go travelling in 2013. It didn't start too well:

"I tried to go to the UK in Jan 2013... I got refused entry. I didn't have an onwards ticket, I think maybe I smelled a little bit like airline merlot... and they basically detained me for six hours, they looked through my shoes, gave me a turkey sandwich, asked me lots of questions then they sent me right back home. That was my very first overseas experience."

Luckily things got better. A lot better! After getting all the right visas Finn eventually returned to Europe later in 2013 and toured Germany and Denmark with Irish band Keeva (below), thanks to the coordinating efforts of his buddy Gerry Paul. 

Keeva, out of Ireland

With a zoom microphone that he bought for about $400 and using REAPER (an open-source audio editing programme) he produces all his own music, and likens his production style to that of a painter: 

"You can spend days on it, you can come back to it, you can slowly add to it. Basically I layer things up... I'm always open to change up my style and stuff, and see what might suit me better, but right now it's very sort of introverted... cloistered. Solitary. 
It's more similar to visual art in the way that it's made."

Finn describes his music production process as being similar to that of a painter.
Not unlike this man, Otto Dix 

His next steps include promoting his Patreon page, where patrons can pledge a certain amount of money to support him when he does something grand such as release an EP, or a song or a video. He is also forming a band and playing shows in Wellington city and her environs.

To discover more of Finn's music find him on Bandcamp where you can buy his latest album titled 'Two Thousand and Fourteen' (released in July '15), or go to his Facebook page for more info and updates on upcoming gigs.

I'll leave you with something he said which I found quite profound and which I will try to remind myself at any future times of self-doubt:

"Sometimes you have a fear of following up work that you're proud of. It's quite an obvious fear: it's the fear that it won't be as good as the work that you're proud of! For some reason your brain tries to trick you into thinking you could be a lot worse than your previous product. But it's a myth. It's not true. 
It's quite rare to get worse and worse the more work you do."

Hmmm. Wisdom, this is. Thanks, Finn. 
I'll leave you with those words. 

And this photograph of Roger Waters in 1970:

Roger Waters (photo by Barrie Wentzell 1970)

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