Contributor’s Note: Transatlantic post-punk duo JOHNATHAN/CHRISTIAN are pleased to announce the release of their newest EP, Together We’re Alone. Available on all digital platforms globally NOW!
“Unlike previous releases, the lyrics and inspirations on this one is a bit of a paradox” says singer/co-writer, Christian Granquist. “Some of our “usual” vocal topics like loneliness, isolation and of course, death have become so much more relevant during the pandemic. And for the exact same reason they appear less relevant, as they become less metaphorical. ”
Together We’re Alone features appearances by MACHINERY OF DESIRE‘s Adrian Auchrome, Italian singer Elisa Mammoliti and the brute force of 45 GRAVE drummer Tom Coyne (“My Dying Words.”)This new EP brings their sound full circle and closes it up with a cover of the ADAM & THE ANTS song, “Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)” to end on a lighter note.
In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, Johnathan/Christian discusses mental health, their music and they use the opportunity for us to get to know them. Fans can find Johnathan/Christian on Facebook.
Madness To Creation: What gets you through the difficult times?
Johnathan: Writing music has been one of those things that get me through most of my difficult times, although there’s been plenty of moments in the last year that even having the desire to sit down in front of a piano or keyboard to come up with an idea was a bit rough.
Madness To Creation: What got you into music?
Johnathan: My late father was an amazing pianist and he tried his best to get me to play piano and I had no interest. He passed in 1978 and I was only 8 years old, and it was that night that I promised myself I’d learn to play, take lessons, etc. and I’ve been playing ever since. As a child of the 80s I was all about early Depeche Mode, Sparks, Joy Division, New Order so getting my first synth, a Korg Poly 800 that I stupidly would wear like a Key-tar with was a game changer for me.
Madness To Creation: Tell us about your current project, what were some challenging and rewarding aspects?
Johnathan: When I was in school, long before the days of the internet, I had learned about Marshall McLuhan and his “Global Village” regarding how the world was becoming more and more interconnected, and Johnathan|Christian is a great example of this. I was just putting up music ideas on Soundcloud out here in California and Christian started commenting on my music. I started listening to his music that he was putting out there to the world from his location in Stockholm and thought how great it would be to team up on something. It’s such a cool thing to work with some 5,531 miles away to something together that we both can be proud of. (Are you reading this Soundcloud? That’s some great PR!)
The biggest challenge is trying to figure out putting together a live show. I’ve got some great friends and fellow musicians to work with, now we all just have to figure out somewhere to meet up halfway to start rehearsing for a live show.
Madness To Creation: The soundtrack to your life is from this artist/band and why?
Johnathan: There’s so much going in that ADHD head of mine music wise it’s hard to pinpoint. Our band logo is a play on a skull & crossbones but with (2) martini glasses as a recognition of just starting out as a piano player with a love of jazz, but Gary Numan’s darker music since the days of winding up on the same Cleo comp (Goth Box) has really brought out the darker synths and combining with a lush string and piano feel to make it feel more of a acoustic feel.
Madness To Creation: What has been the biggest blessing and curse about going through the pandemic? How has it affected you mentally?
Johnathan: I think the only blessing for me is a newfound appreciation of the smaller things, still being here and having the support of my wife, Amanda who is, quite honestly, the best friend I could ever had hoped for. I have no idea where I would be without her in all of this madness. The biggest curse which has really affected me mentally is the pandemic coupled with the political climate of 2020 really made me see the ugliness in people. It doesn’t feel good at all to say goodbye to people you’ve known for so many years that now have this hatred towards other people, or science, or tolerance. In fact, I used to think moving to Southern California would be a dream, and in most retrospect it has been, but in 2020 I’ve met Nazis. I’ve seen a truck driving down a local freeway with a noose on its hitch, I see people still flying their failed leader flags along with flags that say F*** Biden, all of this is just infuriating and exhausting. There’s only so much Golden Rule I can follow, and I’m running out of sh**s to give for people that believe Bill Gates wants insert a microchip with your vaccination, or we can just pray it all away or the people who Dox our health care officials.
Madness To Creation: Are there any songs of yours, published or unpublished that perhaps mentally served as a vehicle of therapy? Are there perhaps any that dealt with a subject too painful, that you didn’t want to release them?
Johnathan: I think Christian and I are like a reverse Bernie Taupin/Elton John kind of thing where I come up with a song melody first and an idea behind it and then Christian takes my musical idea and injects his own words, thoughts, feelings and fears.
Madness To Creation: What do you hope for the rest of 2021?
Johnathan: That we all just make it 2022 in one piece and not kill each other.
Madness To Creation: What’s next, music-wise?
Johnathan: Funny you should ask, I’ve picked up a nice bottle of whisky and plan to start playing with some ideas tonight so stay tuned.
Fans can check out the video for “My Dying Words” by Johnathan/Christian below: