Lost Embers - New Day Ahead

Lost Embers is the solo project of songwriter and musician Johnny Boon.

After playing guitar in bands up and down the Welsh Valleys, Johnny decided to call it quits after writing and producing songs for a number of years.

During this downtime from music, Johnny started to write poetry and get into photography which served as other outlets for his creative energies at this time.

However, Johnny’s love of music was never too far away, and soon he was back in the studio demoing sounds to accompany his writings. This time, however, things were different and Johnny decided to produce songs which could be translated into an unnamed solo project. Writing the songs without the presence of others meant that Johnny could experiment with the sound a lot more, creating music and tracks that ranged along his vast musical spectrum – including electro-rock, folk, pop, alternative and rock. These tracks were heavily influenced by his own extensive musical tastes – ranging from Draco Rosa, R.E.M., Red House Painters, Dan Wilson and Noel Gallagher – to name a few.

Whilst recording the album, Johnny also fixed on a name for the new project – Lost Embers, and released his debut album ‘The Borders of Winter’ under the name Lost Embers in April 2015. ‘The Borders of Winter’ was pre-released via Pledge Music to ensure Lost Embers fans were able to get a full-on musical experience in addition to the debut album, offering one-time exclusive events such as Q&A sessions, signed album artwork and also limited editions of the CD itself.

Since this release, Lost Embers have released the singles ‘Borders of Winter’ (January 2015), ‘No One Else Like You’ (February 2015), and ‘So Many People’ (April 2015) – all of which can be found on iTunes and Amazon worldwide - and have been played on BBC Radio Wales as their ‘Introducing Artist of the Week’ and have also been played on radio stations throughout the UK, Europe and the US.  He has a new single 'New Day Ahead' that will be released August 10, 2015, which can also be found on iTunes and Amazon.   The album THE BORDERS OF WINTER is available in physical and digital format and includes 3 new songs including the new single. This is available at www.lostembersmusic.co.uk

You can read more about Johnny on his website. www.lostembersmusic.co.uk/bio
You can hear his music www.lostembersmusic.com/buymusic or www.soundcloud.com/lostembers

I thought it would be fun to have Johnny answer some random questions, and I am pleased that he obliged.

1. When did you first start singing?

I have been singing and playing guitar ever since I was 12. I have always enjoyed experimenting with sounds and writing both music, songs and poetry, so have always had an artistic flair. If I am not playing and writing music, I am writing poetry and playing around with photography.

2. What was the first song you recall singing?

The first song I remember which really took hold of me was R.E.M. Losing My Religion. I remember after hearing that for the first time, I really wanted to sing and play a lot more than I had been doing up to that point. Before this, another song that I loved to sing was In My Life by The Beatles. Again, a captivating song and such a beautiful song to sing. Since then, I have always had a fascination with anything R.E.M and John Lennon and I think they have heavily inspired the sound I have today.

3. Who are your musical inspirations?
Aside from R.E.M. and The Beatles, my main musical inspirations have evolved over time and have become quite varied. I enjoy listening to all kinds of music today, and I feel that in doing so and being influenced by what I listen to, I am growing as an artist. Today, my influences range from R.E.M., John Lennon and The Beatles to darker and more experimental music such as The Doors and Draco Rosa. I also take influence from later INXS and Michael Hutchence sounds.

4. What genre of music do you listen to today?

I listen to practically all types of music and do not limit what I listen to. Today, I listen to Michael Hutchence, his solo album is one of the most underrated and often over looked albums ever, in mu opinion. I also listen to current bands and artists, ranging from Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics to Passenger, Bryan Adams, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Goo Goo Dolls, Idlewild and I also like Hozier, Prince and some Take That too. So, I listen to a wide variety of genres, and don't stick to one particular genre.

5. What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

Looking at my iPod at the moment, I think I have a pretty good mix of music on there, consisting of all of the above. I also have some additional Welsh bands like Paper Aeroplanes, whose album I have really been enjoying this summer. Probably the embarrassment of the iPod is (and I admit to having the whole album) Shayne Ward - i do have the new Shayne Ward album on there - although it reminds me of Darren Hayes musically, so it IS pretty good!

6. Where would you most like to perform?
I enjoy performing in both large and small venues. However, performing in front of larger audiences provides such a cool buzz- I think I would love to perform somewhere like the Hollywood Bowl in California or Madison Square Gardens in New York - both incredible venues and great acoustics, so I am told. Maybe one day!

7. If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

I think I would be a pretty frustrated person if I wasn't singing and songwriting. I have a huge passion for arts and always find that I enjoy getting words on paper in some form. If I didn't write songs and be able to succumb to the artistic side of me, I would just be a frustrated person.

8. What instruments do you play?
I can play a number of instruments from bass guitar, electric and acoustic guitars to piano, harmonica and drums. I try to play around with sounds as much as possible and I think the results can be seen on a number of tracks on The Borders Of Winter - most notably, the R.E.M./Neil Young inspired New Day Ahead, the rocking Beatles-esque So Many People and the experimental rocktronic track Sad Machine.

10. If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?

I think I already dabble in a number of genres already! I think the genre that I have not yet tried is Jazz, but I would like to try to do something with this genre on the next album - time will tell!

11. What other talents do you have?

Aside from the music, I enjoy writing poetry and photography. Some results of my photography can  be seen on my Instagram and also on the sleeves of The Borders Of Winter album.

12. What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar/in the car/for karaoke?

This differs each time I am in the car, but I like to sing Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and think I am going to do a cover version of this for fans shortly, to be released as part of the upcoming Lost Embers website subscription packages. I also enjoy singing INXS rockers like The Stairs, By My Side or Suicide Blonde - incredible songs and great to sing to.

13. If you could sing a duet with any musician, living or dead, who would it be?

There are actually two musicians I would love to duet with - the first being Michael Hutchence because he was such an incredible showman and had such amazing cadences to his voice. I have a song actually, that he would have sounded amazing on! If only! The second, is Draco Rosa who is a latin rock musician and who is kind of an enigmatic person, who I would love to be able to work with in any capacity - if he is reading this - give me a call!!

14. What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?

The hardest thing about the music business currently is trying to get real music out there and heard. There is constant competition from the hugely promoted X-Factor winners that real music and musicians feel that they are playing ball on an uneven playing field -so to speak. I think record companies are now afraid to take chances on new musicians because they also need to invest where they can make the quickest return on investment. Sadly, in the current musical climate, there is little room for artistic expression, which is quickly being replaced with the creation of mainstream 'hit' music, leaving the musical market saturated with the same kind of music.

15. What has been the best advice you have ever been given?

The best pieces of advice I have ever been given is to never give up on your dreams, and to work hard to achieve it.

Please give Johnny a like and a follow on his social media, it would greatly be appreciated!

Facebook www.facebook.com/lostembers
Twitter www.twitter.com/lostembers

Thank you, Johnny, for taking the time to share your story and music with us!

What does tomorrow bring?

Tune in to find out! 

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