It’s been a minute.
Ten years ago I moved from Boston to Los Angeles with my (now fiancée) Maddie and our little mini-dachshund Meatloaf. It was a pretty significant schism in my life. I had gone from obsessively promoting Johnny Stranger in the Northeast with a great band (who have since gone onto greener pastures) but I was feeling lost and frustrated with my own goals in life. Moving to Los Angeles meant starting over and it meant stepping away from Johnny Stranger.
My time in LA has been both tough and amazing. I started a duo with Maddie called Polaris Rose that’s still going well. And I got into making music in many different ways... whether it be producing other bands or making tunes for sync. The entire time though, I kept writing songs for Johnny Stranger. I didn’t really have the means to bring the project back to life, but I kept writing and planning.
I want to say unequivocally: JS is happening again because I started receiving letters... messages from fans and friends from both Washington and Boston... people who knew different albums and different lineups... but all reached out and shared stories about what JS meant to them and that they still listened. These messages were what really inspired me to step back up to the plate and start recording these albums.
Now, it’s finally happening. The next record (our 5th studio record) is coming in January 2020. It’s called ‘Valkyrie’ and it’s a concept record (like all of them) and it’s a little piece of the planned 12-album series that I’ve written.
Getting this started again has been tough. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Maddie. She was the one who got behind it and said “let’s focus on this”, which meant stealing time away from Polaris Rose and our sync music (don’t worry... I’m currently recording a new Polaris Rose record now). But she believed in me and loved me so much that she saw that I need JS in my life.
So here’s what’s been happening...
On March 26th, we performed for the first time. We were lucky enough to meet Brad Rickert, fresh off a long stint drumming for Save Ferris. He is an amazing player, a great guy, and he has given 200% to these JS shows and rehearsals.
We were also thrilled to have Martin Sarango join us. For those of you who followed the band back in the day, Martin played for Johnny Stranger circa 2008-2009 in Boston. You can hear his playing on our album “Galacticus 9”. Marty joined us for the night and his playing and energy are amazing.
That Satellite show took a lot of work to get rolling and was a ton of fun. Since then, we have played a couple smaller shows as a 3-piece. Sort of a warm up for the bigger shows coming this fall.
Our first single - ‘P is for Pompeii’ - came out in May and it has gotten a great reaction. It’s July now and we’ve surpassed 50,000 plays. Which I have to give credit to Maddie. It has been her strategy and hard work that has put us there.
It’s funny to write this blog because most of the work we’ve been doing for the last year hasn’t even come to fruition yet. Next month we are releasing our 2nd single... and a 3rd in the fall. Plus, we have something special coming up this holiday season. Plus more LA shows... but we have plans for shows outside California.
I’ll be posting here - hopefully - every other week. Stay tuned and thanks for listening! 👌