Interview with Johanna Rey
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
With my parents being big Queen fans I grew up listening to those legends and all sorts of things until I discovered Limp Bizkit and all the early 2000’s nu-metal. I was big into football before I joined my first band, so I’d probably be a professional goalkeeper or something haha! - Rob
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
My daily job is pretty creative and I like to continue that in my spare time, so when I’m not playing I’m generally mocking up designs for future band merch or artwork. - Rob
How long has your band been around?
As the 4 piece we are now we’ve been going since mid-2020 since Alec joined, but Leigh, Pete, and I have played on and off together for ages. - Rob
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We’re based out of Birmingham UK, where the lockup costs are pretty affordable compared to, say, London, which gives us the flexibility to write collaboratively a lot. Birmingham has a rich musical history, with Black Sabbath being an obvious reference to Brum metal. Although, they probably don’t feature in our direct influences haha. We play a bit faster and rowdier. Gotta love Ozzy though! - Alec
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I remember this day clearly as we wanted something to kinda relate to the bands and era we love. We were sat around Leigh’s in the garden trying to figure out a name for this band when one of us stumbled across an article involving a couple of women drugging dudes and robbing them. One of them had ‘Johanna’ and ‘Rey’ in her name, so we put those together and, amazingly, agreed on it! - Rob
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Centrala, November 21’. It was our first show with our vocalist Alec, it was in an art gallery and it was all floor vibes, no stage. Everything at that show was amazing, from the sound and lighting to the amazing bands we played it with and shit went off, it was great! - Pete
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Centrala is one of my favorite venues in Birmingham. Would love to play on a festival stage, or any venue in the US as the crowds seem to go off big time! Alec is originally from Brighton so it would be sick to play there soon. - Rob
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Sheeeet man, there’s too many bands! Past or present? Tough one, but the Bled, END, Make them Suffer, Silent Planet, ETID…I can’t go on because it’ll turn into a fucking festival haha! - Rob
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
My advice to anyone just getting into a band is to have fun and enjoy yourself! Also, take your time. There’s no rush to write songs or find your sound, and you don’t need the best most expensive equipment on the market. I’m still rocking a 20-year-old handmade cab & head which cost my dad £120 because it sounds awesome haha! I’d tell my younger self to practice more, and to learn bass because it has been quite a learning curve going over from guitar to bass haha. - Rob
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Pete writes most of our riffs and demos them up. Then, they are brought to jam out with everyone so we all put our stamp on the track. Leigh will take the demo away and work on drum parts for what seems like weeks haha. Rob always has sick little nuggets that refine the riffs, like polishing and refining hooks and add flavor. I work on lyrics straight after the demo is written and will refine them as we go. - Alec
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I always want the lyrics to have meaning to me. I write about topics that make me uncomfortable, either angry or self-reflective. Art should be subjective in my view so if you read the lyrics and take something away that was different than I intended, that’s cool. I’m not sure I have a specific message, I just talk about what I see as problematic things and things I wish I could do better I guess - Alec
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Having ‘Trial by Choice’ premiered on Outburn has been awesome and our album ‘Reality Fallacy’ has been really well received. We are working with a booker to get a load of shows together this year. We are going to crush a load of venues in the UK and get some more tunes ready to put out and keep grinding through 2023. - Pete