Perks of going solo – Damon Johnson feels it’s nice to not have to make decisions by committee anymore
Former Alice Cooper and Black Star Riders guitarist Damon Johnson was recently interviewed by media journalist Mark Dean for Madness to Creation. Johnson was promoting his new album Battle Lessons, which will be released under the band name Damon Johnson & The Get Ready via Double Dragon Records on February 19, 2021.
Dean noted that the bio for the press release promoting Johnson‘s upcoming album indicated, “The song lyrics to Battle Lessons are about some past experiences in various bands I’ve been in through the years.”
Johnson then commented: “Well, yeah. I mean there’s great experiences. There’s positive experiences, there’s negative experiences. Bands are like a marriage, and anyone that’s been married will tell you that marriage is tough. Anyone that has been in a band, a working band, will tell you it’s tough. And I looked at all of that as simply a journey. That is all the experiences, the path that I have taken. It’s crazy to think, Mark, that I’ve been a professional musician now, literally, for 30 years. That’s a long time. So as I look back over those, I just think, “Hey man, what an amazing experience to write, record, tour.
Discussions about artwork, discussions about business, discussions about finances, about road crew, about travel, about the schedule, all that stuff.” It’s hard work, man. That part of it is really hard work. And that’s, for me, I feel like that’s what’s cool about the lyric and the chorus. It talks about when we were young, nothing to lose. When you’re younger, you’d play for free. You would play music for free. You’ll go to band rehearsal for free. We would drive hundreds of miles and play for free because we were young, and in developing, and the energy of it, the excitement, the newness of it. You grow up, you do it professionally. You got to tighten up your belt strap, you know mate?
It’s a business then. And it’s hard sometimes to run a business with other people because everyone has different priorities in their individual lives. So Battle Lessons is a look back to that. It’s like, “Hey, I’m going to take everything I’ve learned. These are lessons. These are battle lessons that I have learned.” And like the song says, there are no battle lessons lost on me. I guess they’re like notches in the back of my guitar. You know what I mean?”
Johnson continued: “And it would be a shame had I not paid attention and learned from all those things. So I find that, ultimately, it’s a celebration, Mark, to be where I’m at now, back behind the microphone, putting these records out on my independent label, and calling the shots. Some days, man, it’s really exhausting and it’s a lot of work. It’s certainly not easy, but it’s simple. There’s just things I got to do day to day and get it done. And it’s nice, man, to not have to make decisions by committee anymore. You know what I’m saying?”
You can read the rest of the interview with Damon Johnson by media journalist Mark Dean at Madness To Creation‘s website.
Damon Johnson & The Get Ready‘s “Battle Lessons” video (from upcoming Battle Lessons album):