Jesse Johnson







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is happiness. It was one of my earliest reminders of God’s existence and love for us. He could have assembled our planet and its physics without this intricately-designed wedding cake of sound that anyone can access, but He did it anyways. The way sound travels requires air, an atmosphere, and physical elements that can be manipulated by humans through conscious/subconscious understanding of math, ears that were fine-tuned to perceive resonances between 20-20K Hz, and hormone triggers/pathways that make these sounds desirable to us. I have always viewed these things as evidence of design rather than chance or evolution. He took a look at everything and chose to give us this because something seemed off without it.

What is your music dream?

Radio, global fan base, minimum one hit that cuts through the noise, and ability to play/create until I die. These hands/ears/bodies don’t last forever and are a gift from God.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Too many troubles in the world, but I suppose I would go after worldwide poverty. I believe some wars would never have existed if people felt less need for money/food. Maybe focus on implementing sustainable infrastructures throughout the world and ensuring everyone has easy access to modern human necessities. Another personal hope is to see major advancements in robotics, bionics, and neurology. I believe these will have a huge impact on quality of life for so many people who need it. Most people are pretty lucky to have healthy bodies.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

“Ship Drop” sequence from Flight of the Navigator. I can probably pinpoint this as the moment I fell in love with music.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Atomic Tom, Broken Cedars, Slick Shoes, PAX217, Darren Hayes, Sixpence None the Richer (the early stuff prior to “Kiss Me”), Skrillex, Eiffel 65, Ian Van Dahl, Relient K, Zomboy, Making April, Pentatonix, MiTiS, Owl City, Tritonal, Yellowcard, The 1975, and many others! These are my ultimate favs.

What inspires you to make music?

My own sanity I suppose. You know how blogging/writing down your thoughts helps deal with stress? Music does the same thing for me. It takes the good, the bad, the ugly and spins it into something beautiful that helps make sense of it all. It gives closure, peace, hope, and inspiration to keep moving forward with joy. More practically speaking, relationships are my biggest inspiration. “Fly” was 100% about someone who changed my life. Every day occurrences/observations/humor are an occasional inspirational also. “Armedchickgeddon” had a lot of songs like that. (i.e, mosquitoes, murderous chickens, immature people in checkout lines, etc.)

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Hope. It takes a conscious effort to find happiness sometimes. I hope to convey that effort is worth it, and it is achievable with constant focus and refusal to give up.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Adrenaline. So much fun!

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Overall, I feel a musician’s reality is in a neat place nowadays. Internet allows quick access to almost anything and allows sharing music quickly and getting valuable feedback. I’d say the thing that might need improvement is culture in general. Modern culture leans heavily toward everyone staying in their “lane.” I.e, we have insurance/professional fixes for everything, so there is less need to connect with others for help, and those that do not have access to these things slip through the social cracks because culture lacks the simple muscle-memory to deal with them. I think we all just need to talk and hang out together more and be online less.

What do you think of Drooble?

Pretty cool! It feels empowering and fun to be on a social platform that systematically encourages supporting each other.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Most of my frustration is with myself actually, and I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bad thing. I.e, struggling to write bridge lyrics, a guitar solo, mixing flat-sounding guitars, etc. Frustration is an integral part of the art of making music. It forces you to stay sharp and always ask the question “how can I be better?”

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I do not support as much as I would like (as I could in my younger years), but I am enjoying the opportunities Drooble and other online outlets allow to easily support other artists! Life changes season-to-season, and some seasons, it is more of a struggle to give what we want to give. My default reflex is to show love and respect in all you do.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Honesty, respect, engagement, hard work, and quality. If you fail on any one of these points, it is an uphill battle. I have made mistakes of my own, but you learn from it and try to be better each day!

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Atomic Tom, Broken Cedars, Slick Shoes, PAX217, Darren Hayes. These are great artists/bands who have had varying time in the spotlight, sometimes very little, but who have had a significant impact on my growth and inspiration as a musician through their incredible music, songwriting, production, and musicianship.