Chris Johnson

Name: Christopher Johnson

Position: Drums, vocals, percussion, piano, whistles, fiddle, banjo

Instruments: Sonor drums, Paiste cymbals, Vic Firth and Promark sticks, Big Dog pedals.

Musical Influences (Not exhaustive and in no order of importance) Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, U2, Deep Purple, Gogol Bordello, Kings of Leon, Bob Marley, Arcade Fire, Toots and the Maytals, Prince Buster, John Martyn, The Whiskey Priests, Eddie Vedder, Dilated Peoples, Vaughn Williams, Elgar, Jethro Tull, Rudimentals, Johnny Cash, The White Stripes, John Gustafson, Ska cubano, Basil Poledouris, Ennio Morricone, Gillian Welch, Joan Baez, Pentagle, Azam Ali, Old Blind Dogs, Iona, Martin Neill, Ranarim, Cake, Varttina, Huun Huur Tu, Malinky.

Favourite Book: Zombie Survival Guide, Swedish Carving Techniques.

Favourite Films: Gran Torino, Jeremiah Johnson.

Favourite TV series: Firefly, Sanctuary.

Favourite cartoon character: Samurai Jack, Totoro

Favourite tobacco: Aromatic, Bob's chocolate flake (Gawith and Hoggarth):  English, Artisan's blend (Ashton's).

Favourite tea: Ringtons Connoisseur teabags, Northumbrian Blend leaf tea.

Musical Background

Christopher Johnson was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne and remains an incorrigible and frequently truculent Northerner. His youth was spent in the rural fastness of Weardale where he roamed the moors during the day and sometimes poached eels from the Wear by night. His mother was a good keyboard player and he was inspired to learn to play, but Christopher's first introduction to drumming came when his father bought him a drum kit as a form of therapy, after a childhood illness paralysed him for a year. As a result he joined various local bands to gig in the area, and finally met Jules Clark when he became drummer for the J.J. Clark band. After many years and several countries, including half a year in Beijing, Christopher left the band to pursue his fascination with the mysterious Orient, spent a year learning Japanese, and ended up teaching English to Toyota Corporation managers and also playing for the highly successful local band 'Hakoiri Gaijin' in Toyota City and Nagoya.

Chris also sings back-up vocals and sees both the voice and drums as the primal first instruments, the most physical and shamanistic of the instruments. He plays keyboard, a little violin, mandolin and banjo.

As another of Christopher's many interests has always been the gentle art of pugilism and hitting things as hard as possible, drumming also provided a therapy of another kind. He has practised kendo, karate and laido in the UK and in Japan where he also became interested in the Japanese shakuhatchi (bamboo flute) and began learning to play. Christopher is a fervent believer in the power of tweed to bring out the best in every man. He is a founder member of the Fantasy Landrover League, heartily endorses Ringtons tea, Gawith and Hoggarth pipe tobacco, and firmly advocates the cultivation of fine facial hair.