Sunday, January 3, 2010

Q&A: Jay Dee singer/guitarist of the band Johnie 3

I met Jay and Myke of Johnie 3 in 2004. We performed many shows over the course of three U.S. east coast tours together in '04 and '05, becoming good friends in the process. Johnie 3 claims to be fans of my music- but I'm a fan of theirs. Their songs are great, their live shows are wheels-off and rockin', and Jay is one of the greatest dudes ever. They covered my song "Gisele and me" live, and even wrote a song about me called "CBD" (following the grand tradition of the Queers "Ben Weasel" and my song "Joe Queer sucks"). You've got to check Johnie 3 out and get one of their CDs, you'll be so glad you did! Jay did a quickie Q&A with me between their busy schedule of U.S. tours and European tours. Read on.

Q: fave songs of yours you play and why?

Jay: Of course I think all the new stuff Rocks! We play the old stuff everynight. I think we played pretty much the same set everynight this past tour. A couple differnt ones thrown in here or there. I love playing "Hang The DJ" and "Ohio Girls are Eazy". The hidden song off our Self Titled record called "Drunk" is fun as well. Some songs we have only played once and that was when we recorded them. I guess some songs are better on record than live.

Q: What made you want to be a rock and roller?

Jay: The first time I say Elvis and how crazy the girls went. Then I was totally hooked when I saw KISS and the show that was possible to put on. Not too many people can say they get to do what they wanted to do since they were 7 years old. I do! 3 chords have taken my around the world and back and still goin strong!

Q: what type of guitar do you play and why?

Jay: I play a Danelectro Hearsay model. It's a mosrite copy because I wanted to be Johnny Ramone but couldn't afford to be. It's light and take a f*****g beating. 7 or so years later and it still sounds great. Danelectros by themselves probably sound like s**t but I ripped out the pickup in the bridge and put in a Seymour Duncan George Lynch Screamin Demon Humbucker. That's my sound..I have a 1600 crate head run through a 4/12 marshall half stack. Some dude wanted to use my head the one night and asked "Where is the clean channel at?" haha! I just laughed and said.. ummm the what?? It might have one but f**k if I know.

Q: tell us about the song "ohio girls are easy"?

Jay: That song isn't about ALL Ohio girls. But they know who they are ;)It's just a spoof on the "Earth girls are Easy". Plus, when other bands hear it they always ask me if it's true and they wanna come and play here to find out. So if you really wanna know.. come to north east Ohio!

Q: where does the name johnie 3 come from?

Jay: In the 1980's there was a movie called "Short Circut" Starring one of our favorite actors (next to ARNOLD of course) named Steve Guttenburgh. The robot in the film was named Johnny 5...there are 3 of us...spelled the name different...and you have Johnie 3.

Q: what's going on with the Cincy versus Cleveland rivalry?

Jay: There is no rivalry...there sports teams haven't done anything since the Big Red Machine days of The Reds. Yes, true, Cleveland is on a historic NO championship drought. However, we are soo close with the Cavs! Indians are young and Hungry. Browns are blaah but I'm a Dolphin fan so who cares. I follow the browns cause you want them to do good cause they're our home town team ya know? Myke and Mr. KC are big fans but not me. The rivalry with the Steelers isnt even there anymore. It's been so one sided for so many years. It's the Ravens/Steelers that is the big one now. Speaking of that..long time great Browns QB Bernie Kosar was in the paper today talking about how he's bankrupt and his wife is taking all his money. What a b***h!

Q: The rumour is that you and myke duct tape two straps together because you are so tall it's the only way to "lowride" your guitars. any truth to this? and does it bug you that I refer to you guys as the "ohio giants"?

Jay: Yes, that's very true about the guitar straps. I still use it to this day. However the people at Ernie Ball have a new strap that fits us perfect. I think they woke up one day and realized that kids aren't the only ones that play them and maybe to make them with more length. I'm a tall drink of water..gotta spread my s**t out ya know?? We are the tallest band in punk rock so yes we are the Ohio Giants! And 2004 or '05 named the sexiest band in Punk Rock by Jersey Beat. Look it up!

Q: what was the drama going down when you guys played at insubordination festival?

Jay: Ahh insubfest. Ok here is the quick version...The first year we played and rocked it. Sold good merch and a crazy fun time. Second year came and we didnt get asked back. So of course I wonder why and then I'm told "You know what you did. You guys were so out of control blah blah blah" We had a blast so I'm totally clueless on what we did wrong. So 3rd year comes and Mr. Jon S. Rally gets us on because nobody from the fest organizers wanted us there. So we figure if they kicked us off for no reason the first year (still to this day I'm not aware off why) I wanted know what we did to get banned for life. And we did just that...I won't go into what. There is video of some of it out there plus if you were there you know already.
Rock is supposed to be dangerous and unpredictable. Bands today will try and say the right thing and do the right thing so they can get in these cliques so everyone is this big fake happy family. It's not like that so we don't pretend to get along with EVERYONE. If you're a d**k.. we will let you know you're a d**k be sure. We are out to have a good time in whatever town we are in. Our shows are fun cause you don't know if we are going to fight each other on stage, Trash our gear, fight a promoter that ripped us off, be too drunk that we're passed out 5 mins before we play. But the show must go on. It's a traveling circus and I LOVE to be a part of it!

Q: what's the deal with you guys and me [Darlington]? why'd you write a song about me and how did we tour together and such? I'm sure people wonder.

Jay: Elvis is why I wanted to play Rock and Roll, Ramones are why we started a band, but bands like Darlington, Apers, MTX are why we are out there f*****g doin it! I learned not to give a f**k what anyone thinks and to do my own thing. If you like it- jump on..if not I won't lose a single second of sleep over it. Being a big Darlington fan I figured I'd send an email on a long shot of asking to do a split 7' with him. So during Darlington's "Moron-a-thon" record we were blown away that he wanted to and was pretty much the start of Johnie 3. We had been around a year or so before but it gave us some ground to stand on. Then we got to tour with him 3 times all over the USA! Some of my favorite tour stories come from those tours and it's kept rolling ever since. We are great friends with Christy and he's one of the last ones in the business who "gets it" still.

Q: what's next for you guys?

Jay: We hit the road this summer with the Dee Cracks from Austria! They f*****g rocked it every night! It was great playing with them. So that was our summer tour. Also we played some shows with our favorite Danish the 20 Belows and the Mighty Apers from Holland. If you don't know who they are then stop reading this. New record coming on "Knowhere Records" end of summer/fall! Look for it! Plus the "Going Knowhere Fest" in Grand Rapids, Michigan July 25th and 26th with Sloppy Seconds, Huntingtons, Sheckies, 20 Belows so many more!

Q: when are you going back to europe?

Jay: We "do europe" Nov 3- Nov 22nd it's looking like. We will have the new record by then and tour with one of Europe's best "The Hitchcocks" from Denmark! I hope their new record is out cause they f*****g rock! See you over seas... "Till Death Do us Party"!

find Johnie 3 online at: