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Koozie Johns

- 'Folk Grinder General'

By Chris Röckson Hi Koozie, been a while since we last featured you in SoundCheck Magazine, so we thought we’d catch up with you again to find out what’s going down. Last time we spoke, way back in the early days of the Mag, you were playing in Sinnerstar, which were a great band by the way…..even Alice Cooper rated them highly….what happened to them? KJ: Hi there SoundCheck how you doin'? Thank you Chris.. yeah I've enjoyed Sinnerstar over the years but i'm just taking a break from it 'cos I wanted to do something else. Kien Lim the guitarist is now back in Malaysia producing and Paul Slack and Chris Musto are playing with The Flying Padovanis.I have got 3 albums worth of new songs written for Sinnerstar ready to record when the funds are there and I wanna make some noise again.You played with some right names over the years and were in the Philistines with Glen Matlock. Is there anyone out there today that you’d like to hook up with for some shows/recordings? KJ: Yeah i've played with some good people over the years and i've learnt lots from them all, you never know what's round the corner......hey maybe a bit of guest guitar or bass on the next Pyratz album? You still got that Gretsch? KJ: Hahahaha, yes I do, can't part with her she's a keeper. A very rare guitar that's extremely too sexy to get rid of yet if ever I do.Tell me about the new band ‘fOLK GRINDER’….personnel/influences, sounds like .. KJ: Folk Grinder is myself on vocals/acoustic guitar foot stomps and yells and Miro Snejdr on accordion and piano plus the occasional guests.we describe our sound as SEA SHANTY'N'ROCK'N'FOLK'N'ROLL......There's a unique modern take on the Sea Shanty in which fOLK GRINDER manages to take you out across a dark sea of adventure and return you home safely knowing you'll never be quite the same again. There are love songs but not just any kind of love songs, for these are Rock'n'Roll love songs and there IS a difference. There's a Rock'n'Roll edge, there's a brush of country, some heartfelt soul a twist of folk as well as a taste of Americana.When I was living in Redondo Beach CA back in 2005, I used to sit on the porch staring out to sea with my guitar in lap and get inspired to write sea shanties starting off with a song called 'England dreaming' this then led on to what I am doing now with Folk Grinder which I formed last spring 2010 with Miro Snejdr. Any shows planned? KJ: Yes,we are out doing some shows starting this autumn. Dates confirmed at time of this interview are :Tuesday 27th September at The 12 Bar club London:and Saturday 8th October at The Guildhall Gloucester: Where are you based these days? KJ: Back in North London.Tell me some more about your interest in Sailor and Pirate fashion KJ: Well it all started when I was living in CA and spending a lot of time on the beach, staring out to sea, and I could kinda relate to being a sailor away from home, 'cos of touring in bands etc and hey, who does'nt love the whole image of Pirates of old..?..incidentally, I was living in Redondo Beach when they were filming the 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Black Pearl ship was docked there.....quite surreal seeing it especially at night and very inspiring too. So we have kinda developed this Rock'n'Roll sailor look and vibe with 'fOLK GRINDER' which we have a lot of fun with. Plus, all the girls love a sailor!!!!Which bands are ya listening to right now? KJ: Theatre of Hate,16 Horsepower, Ledfoot and Social Distortion to name but a few.....Listening to your tracks on the bands website, there’s a great simplicity to the song-writing. I personally love songs that anyone can pick up and play. Is that a conscious decision to write that way, or is it something that comes naturally? [ and have I just answered that question myself? Haha ] KJ: hahahaha yeah you kinda answered that one Chris....but I do believe that simplicity is the key.... and folk music is generally simply structured, as is Rock'n'Roll. Any recording planned out in the near future and where can we see you guys play? KJ: Well we've been in the studio recently with producer Steve Ellis recording a cover of Iggy Pop's classic 'The Passenger' which we are hoping to have put out in the autumn along with some fG songs probably as an EP.We are booking shows now for the autumn/winter....dates confirmed so far are as above.What’s your stage set up? KJ: Me = guitars - Gibson J-45 is my main guitar in fG and an old 59' Hofner semi, in a dropped D tuning, which I use on the Americana tunes. Pedals - Boss Tremolo TR2, Boss Eq GE7, Boss Tuner TU2Miro = uses a piano accordion, a two-row button accordion and an electric piano plus we also both use a home made skiffle-style bass drum, using an accordion case as a drum with a bass drum pedal up against it and a fixed tambourine on top.Finally, if you had one thing that you could take from the proverbial burning house, what would it be and why? KJ: Oooh, that's a tough one, but probably my 1972 Gretsch Super Chet.......though I wouldn't want to leave any of my guitars behind in a burning house.........I hope that i'm never put in that position.Thanks Koozie, always a great pleasure to chat with you and we’re looking forward to hearing and seeing


the band out on the road. Take Care,

Rรถckson Wanna check out more about Koozie and any of his projects? The follow these links, and tell him that we sent ya! alid & . Design by


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