Wednesday, November 4, 2015

24 Hour Ticket Giveaway: An Interview with Johnny Two Bags

Are you a fan of Social Distortion? Yeah, we thought so. Social D is one of those legendary bands that everyone likes because they have always wrote and performed really solid music. Johnny Two Bags has been part of Social D for the last 15 years, but he has been touring the country and playing music since 1991. He is a really good songwriter and a hell of a singer.  

Recently, he decided to take his career in a new direction and recorded a very personal solo album. The album has a lot of heart. It is a look at his journey over the last 48 years, including the ups and the downs. He is currently on tour with Scott Birman and Jesse Dayton. The trio will be making a stop at The Majestic Cafe this Friday, November 6th, so we decided to check in with him to learn a little but more about the man behind the guitar. Check out what he has to say and read on to find out how to enter to win a pair of tickets to the show. 

HID- Why did you decide to take it solo?
Johnny- "For just about as long as I've been playing I've dreamed of having my own project. I don't think I necessarily envisioned it as a solo thing, but when this finally got off the ground it just made more sense to call it that. At this point in the game it's difficult to keep a band together without players coming and going. The whole point of doing this was really about being able write and record without the compromise that exists in my other bands."

HID- You wrote your solo album while touring with Social D, did you also record it while still touring?
Johnny- I did. We worked on the record over the course of about two years during time off from SD.

HID- This record focuses on the earlier years of your life, why did you decide to take us back to the beginning?
Johnny- That's a good question. I suppose it just kind of worked out that way being my first record. Some of these songs have been around for quite a while. I wrote "Then You Stand Alone" and "Forlorn Walls" right after I started playing with Mike. I guess I thought they might be good SD songs, but it didn't work out that way. The rest were written somewhere in the middle. I imagine the next record will be less reflective. I guess I just needed to purge some of that stuff haha!

HID- Why did you name this tour The Blood and Trash tour?
Johnny- That was something Scott came up with.

HID- Why did you invite Scott H. Biram and Jesse Dayton to be your opening acts on this tour?
Johnny- Well it's really a co-headlong tour with Scott. As far as I'm concerned I shouldn't be billed above either one of those guys. Jesse is a true veterano and an incredible player and performer. He's been out doing a couple hundred dates a year for a long time. The same goes for Scott. Somehow it just worked out this way. The tour is about all of us having a great time, so it really doesn't matter. It's a great lineup.

HID- Do you perform solo on tour or do you bring a band along with you?? If so, who is going to be accompanying you on stage?
Johnny- We're doing this as a trio. I'm joined by Brent Harding on bass and Gene Louis on drums.

HID- Music has changed a lot over the last 15 years, what do you think has been the biggest change in the industry in your personal experience?
Johnny- It has changed so much and it seems to affect people in different ways. I can only comment on this from my own experience. My perceptive is probably quite a bit different than that of a 22-year-old recording and touring with their first band. To me it seems as though there has been a decline in the value of music. Maybe it's due to easy access to a huge amount of content. Digital was the game changer for sure. Good? Bad? I don't know. I'm 48. I can't help but to be a bit jaded. I mean video games probably have just as much of a roll in this as anything.

HID- What bands are you listening to?
Johnny- So far today, on the drive to St. Louis, we've listened to A.A. Bondy, Jason Isbell and Calexico...

HID- You have been to Detroit a lot of times, do you have any favorite things to do when your in town?
Johnny- We've never really had any time to hang out. Usually we just find something to eat and then go do the show. Detroit shows are always a blast though.

If you would like to win a pair of tickets to see Johnny perform this Friday please email your full name to with the subject line #johnnytwobags. We will be drawing a winner early on Friday and they will be able to attend the show with a guest for FREE courtesy of Black Iris Booking.  

Catch Johnny this Friday at the Majestic Cafe, he seems like a pretty fucking solid dude to us! 


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