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Johnny Truant

A couple of days ago I had the luck to run into the first album of Johnny Truant called 'The Repercussions Of A Badly Planned Suicide'. Of course I got it immediately and it did not disappoint me. I must however mention that I had their latest record already injected in my brain and 'In The Library Of Horrific Events' shows just that bit of progress you would like to hear from a band like this. A whole lot of styles are mixed in their metallic hardcore, although they would prefer to be categorised as 'fucking rockers', as singer Olly Mitchell states it. So be it, and everybody should check them out!

By: Jasper | Archive under different metal

Could you please Johnny Truant to our reading audience, who are you and what does Johnny Truant stand for?
Johnny truant is a character form a book ('House Of Leaves' by Mark Z. Danielewski) that all of us have been inspired by, it was the first name that we all decided on and it seemed a natural progression for us to name the band after a piece of literature that we were all so inspired and wrapped up at the time.

You play a pretty eclectic style of metal, with some slices of other styles, but a hardcore undertone that stays around the whole record, could you tell me something about your history, did you start out as a hardcore band?
Johnny Truant never was and never in our opinion has ever been a hardcore band. Our routes mainly come from metal, we see ourselves as a metal band period. I think to many pigeon hole terms are thrown around like some sort of competition to find the newest name for something. We are a metal band, we play metal, we act metal. Metal. I think history wise the band really just came together through a passion for music as simple as it sounds. We enjoyed hanging out and making music - it was part of our friendship, that's how it began.

I must say, 'In The Library Of Horrific Events' blew me away, especially the hectic structure of the songs which makes sure I did not get bored. Could you explain to me how you write your songs?
I think the songs that we write really tend to write themselves although everyone is very much involved in the writing process. We like to push ourselves and the music that we play. I think too many bands these days are guilty of not putting enough thought into their music and song writing. They seem happy to play along with whatever is being glamorized in the US. I guess what ever is hip. Johnny Truant has always been a band that stands against that and our songwriting and structures reflect that.

Being named Johnny Truant, can I presume you guys like playing metal more than going to school, are you high school drop-outs?
No, we are fucking rockers.

band image

Looking at the song titles I noticed some pretty weird ones like 'I Love You Even Though You Are A Zombi Now', and 'Dirty Vampire Feeding Frenzy', what's up with this fascination for the morbid, should we be scared?
Ha, we take our music very seriously however there is definitely an element of sarcasm and irony in a lot of what we do. We have a sense of humor and we certainly like to inject that in our music.

Knowing the English press a little, I can imagine they are very glad with you guys, however often outside England the opinions are a lot less “ecstatic”, what is it like for an English 'island band' to go to Europe (both releasing a record and touring-wise), is it a big step?
I think its just another step that needs to be taken. Playing your music in another country is fantastic. I remember our first show in Europe…it was incredible. However its something you need to build on. You can't just go to Europe and expect the same reaction you have back home until you have shown other people what your band is all about. We love playing in Europe. We just got back and we had a fantastic time - everyone is so accommodating and you get twice as much beer.

What is your view on the English metal scene in comparison to the rest of the world, and where would you place yourselves?
The UK metal scene is very weak right now for the simple reason that there are not enough bands out there pushing the genre forward. However the few bands that are there doing it are fantastic. Beecher, Sikth, November Coming Fire, Architects. There are a few bands that are really pushing things. I think our new record has placed us right up there. We are not arrogant about our music but we have faith in what we do. We believe our band has something very special and a sound that no one else is close to. Plus we are incredible looking… like models HAHHA.

Who are your musical “gods”?
Queen, Suede, Death, Botch, The Smiths, Ryan Adams, Grohl, John Bonham… the list is huge.

What do you think of Tony Blair, and British politics in general, or are you a “music-only” band?
Political views is not something our band focuses on, however we have strong opinions but we just don't feel that our music is the outlet for that.

If everything goes to plan, where will Johnny Truant be in about five years from now?
In Hugh Heffner's mansion sandwiched between 1000 female porn stars? Yeah that's where we'll be.

Any plans of visiting The Netherlands in the near future, do you look forward to it?
Very much so, the Netherlands is one of our favorite places to play in Europe. The fans are great there and we get so well looked after. It's a beautiful place and we love having the opportunity to play our music there.

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