Graveyard Johnnys are a band that have no respect for any sort of rules or guidelines. Formed in 2008 the trio immediately embarked on doing things their own way. Their debut, self-funded EP ‚Streetblocks and City Lights‘ was fired out to anyone they thought might listen. One pair of ears that pricked up immediately were those of Mike Davies, champion of the underdog and master of the decks at the sadly now demised Radio One Punk Show. Heavy rotation followed and to date, five BBC sessions, including two at the famous Maida Vale Studios.
The boys, wasted no time packing their kit into a van and headed off on tour all over the UK and eventually Europe and Scandinavia. The vultures were already circling. Joe Grogan plays double bass and treats it with no respect whatsoever, just the sort of the fella the Psychobilly scene loves. Complimenting the ‚click-clack‘, is the thunderous drum abuse, that only a real life lumberjack like Tom Lord could produce.
With influences mainly coming from Punk Rock and early Rockabilly but straying into heavier territory at times and a hint at the Irish-folk side at others, the Graveyard Johnnys can’t be pigeonholed into a single genre – Working on their own terms, with no compromise and steering clear of the well trodden gimmicks of days gone by.
The Johnnys snapped up the cream of the Psychobilly Festival slots all over Europe but, whilst keeping their options and avenues open, forged their own way playing headline gigs anywhere and everywhere alongside a wide range of support slots to bands ranging from Turbonegro to Hayseed Dixie, amassing a Graveyard Johnnys Army along the way.
Through relentless hard work on the road, heads were beginning to turn, and the band’s first European tour with Mad Sin and The Peacocks followed, the Graveyard Johnnys snatched at the chance, and took to the road, again.
Fast forward to 2011 and minus two guitarists who fell by the wayside, Tom and Joe decided to write their first full length album – ‚Songs From Better Days‘, with Joe playing all the guitar as well as slapping the bass. The album showcased the band’s thirst to push the boundries of the genres they were so often lumped into whilst telling tales of those first years on tour and the life and times of being in the van.
At this point, a two-piece, the band needed a permanent guitarist, so into the fold wandered Callum Houston and finally the definitive line-up was complete. Since finding their feet as a trio the band have continued to tour relentlessly throughout Mainland Europe and Scandinavia and made their US debut last summer on an extensive tour of the Westcoast opening for Nekromantix.
The line-up is now solid, so time for this new album, ‚Dead Transmission‘. Piss and vinegar in places, affectionate in others, but rocking everywhere. There are lyrical nods to the past, Dale Hawkins and Carl Perkins, and even a tribute to the Sex Pistols in there. Really? Probably not, it’s all interpretation…
FFO: The Hives, The Living End, The Cramps, Eddie Cochran
|04/08/18||Tampere||Psychobilly Crisis Festival||Finland|