Belle Vernon's John Johnson rising to fame with Black Lodge
Belle Vernon's John Johnson is finally living the rock n' roll dream.
Now known as “Johnny Royal,” Johnson's new band, Black Lodge, is climbing the charts and garnering the attention of industry VIPs.
Johnson, who moved to Hollywood in 2005, is currently on the second-leg of a national tour supporting the band's just released, self-titled, EP.
The band will perform at the Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh, Station Square at 8 p.m. Nov. 6. Special guests at the all ages show are Skratch and Rimbo Koss. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Johnson said he “can't wait” for the homecoming show.
“Of all our stops, this is the one I'm most excited about because I only come home once a year for Christmas,” said Johnson, a Belle Vernon Area High School graduate. “A lot of friends and family are coming, so it's going to be great.”
Johnson formed Black Lodge last year in an “untraditional way,” by first writing the songs and then hand-picking his bandmates: Gavin Reign (vocals), Christopher Royal (guitar), Ventura XIII (bass guitar), and Justin Greene (drums). Johnson is lead guitarist. The industrial rock band's music is “lush with dark vocal melodies, analog synth overtones, and haunting guitars,” according to the band's website, www.blacklodgeband.com.
Black Lodge's debut, six-song EP, was written and recorded at Johnson's studio, The Realm Creative, in Hollywood. In addition to Johnson and Reign, co-producers and co-songwriters on the EP are Jeordie “Twiggy Ramirez” White, (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle), Lee Miles (Rise Against, Puddle of Mudd), Zach Webb, Sean Beavan and Johnny K.
The EP is available on iTunes, on the band's Facebook page or its website.
The band's video for the track “Never Clean,” can be viewed on YouTube.
Johnson said the band's popularity is growing rapidly. Black Lodge was recently featured in “Revolver” magazine.
Dave Navarro, former Jane's Addiction guitarist and reality TV show host, tweeted about the band Wednesday.
“Growing up, I would fully immerse myself into the bands that I loved: Iron Maiden, The Misfits, Marilyn Manson, Morbid Angel, NIN,” Johnson told Revolver magazine. “When I started writing this record, I wanted to create the same experience for the listener that made me fall in love with music when I was a kid: memorable songs, great videos and cool artwork. We brought all of those elements into this record and have incorporated a great deal of alchemy and the occult in our song writing process and story arch.”
Johnson said he forged relationships and contacts with top producers and industry leaders through his years working behind-the-scenes in marketing and public relations.
“I sat on the sidelines for a long time, promoting and marketing other bands, and I knew my place was on the stage,” said Johnson, the son of Lynne–Johnson Christy and Bob Christy of West Newton.
Johnson, who has dual degrees in finance and classical music from St. Vincent College, was working at New York City's World Trade Center in 2001 as a stock broker when he decided it was time for a change.
Six months before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, he quit his job to venture into the music industry. The decision not only likely saved his life, but led him on the path he'd always wanted to follow.
He hasn't looked back since.
“To be able to perform, and tour the country, it's a dream come true,” Johnson said Thursday during a tour stop in Destin, Fla. The band has been touring with the band Pop Evil, but will headline their November shows.
After their tour ends Nov. 22, the band will return to the studio to complete its first full-length album.
Johnson said the EP is the first half of the 13-song concept album, “The Diary of Tomahawk.”
Due out next year, the album tells the story of an American witch named Tomahawk and her descent through a world of the occult, alchemy and ritualistic magick.
The full album will be released as a deluxe package, including a limited edition CD/vinyl, a graphic novel, merchandise and toys, that will be available through the a pre-order campaign.
“We love being on the road, but we're also excited to get back in the studio,” he said.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724- 684-2640 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Monessen man faces trial in shooting
- Cal U professor recalls talks with a Hitler henchman
- Former Ringgold guidance counselor facing sex charges
- Belle Vernon grad’s duties grow at Newman University
- Crawford carried skills, zest for life to the West Coast
- Fallowfield man accused of menacing estranged wife with kids present
- Donora residents likely to stand trial in alleged attack at bus stop
- Alleged Bunola shooter condition critical
- Vestaburg man accused of arson attempt
- In close race, Kepics wins Dem nod as mayor of Monongahela
- Dem wins bittersweet in Monessen