Josh Johnstone

Josh JohnstoneJosh Johnstone launches his solo EP, Half A World Away, this Friday, September 19, at the Indi Bar with help from Conan Chapman, The Jook Joint Band and Chris Rowe. BOB GORDON reports.

Always something of a hard-working all-rounder, Josh Johnstone has released solo material before under the name, Joppy.

But with the release of a new EP, for the first time under the name, Josh Johnstone, there’s a different essence to it all.

No doubt,” Johnstone notes. “Most of the music I released under the Joppy banner were demos of songs that I had sitting around which didn’t suit any of the bands I was playing in at the time. I’m really happy to be making a fresh start with a clean slate back here in Perth. It feels right and its great to be calling this place home again.”
Johnstone has been flat out during the last few years, touring and recording with his bands,
The Happy Endings and Vida Cain. Though his new EP is a solo release, the process has been as open to a group ethic as his bands have.

There is a lot more collaboration with random musicians and producers,” he says. “If you do get your hands on a copy of the EP and read the credits you will see that almost every song was tracked and mixed in a different place with a different bunch of musicians.

“This EP is me finding my own sound, so I’m not sure what the next release will sound like, but I do like this snapshot of the last few years of my musical life and think with so many people involved in the process it has something unique about it.
“Five or six of the songs were written in Broome when I had some downtime during a national tour The Happy Endings were doing a few years ago. It was like there were a whole bunch of songs in me that were waiting for the right environment and a break in gigging to come out of me, and they did.

“The other track, Reckless, which is the opening track on the EP, was written in a friend’s studio in Italy when I was there a couple of summers ago. We hadn’t planned to do any music during that particular downtime but it just happened and there is a cool energy to the song given that it was all done on the fly.”
Johnstone has been co-writing an album with Steve Parkin and has just started tracking one of the new singles from it with Joel Quartermain
(Eskimo Joe/Wastelands Studio).

“It’s sounding really cool,” he reveals. “Once that album is done, it will be time to tour the US and Europe again, this time under my own name!”
In supporting roles at Friday’s launch will be Conan Chapman, Chris Rowe and
The Jook Joint Band, featuring Johnstone’s father, Bill.

“It’s something I have wanted to do for a very long time,” he says. “For one reason or another it hasn’t happened, but I feel that stylistically and timing-wise, it has worked out perfectly really.

“I’m so happy to have them on the Bill!”