Interview with Mister J guitarist of Strong
Name: Magnus "Mister J" Johansson
Birth date: The year of the Dragon
Place of birth: Malmo Sweden
Favorite album of all time? Just one? There are too many!!What is the first CD or LP you ever bought? The first LP I bought was "Born in the USA", Bruce Springsteen
A guitar: I play Gibson Les Paul Custom, ESP eclipses and Fender Stratocaster. My first guitar I played was my father's semi-acoustic BB king style guitar, and the first guitar I got was a Morris Les Paul
Favorite musician: Ohh! There are so many! Dann Huff, Kee Marcello, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Joey Tempest, Anders Wickström, John Norum, Gary Moore, Eric Clapton, Nuno Bettencourt, Richie Sambora and many more
Favorite band or group: There are so many, but right now Europe, Whitesnake, Avantasia, Hardline, BLS (Zakk Wylde), Journey, Giant and many, many more!
As you describe yourself ? I'm a humble, funny guy
Mister J, what are your most recently completed projects?
Makin hits for Strong and PowerSwitch, and in between writing and producing music to other bands and artists.
When did you first start playing guitar?
Well actually, I started to play the keyboard when I was about 10 years old I think, and guitar came along later when I was about 15-16 years I think. That´s pretty late to start playing, but wanted to play solos like Kee Marcello and John Norum, after I heard and saw Europe back in the days .Plus my father played the blues guitar and listen a lot to the one and only Eric Clapton. So when I started at my new school I met a guy called Niklas who showed some cool power chords and inspire me to keep on going. He also introduced to Zakk Wylde which is one of my house God today.Now, nothing has stopped me. I was getting better and better, and I began to record my playing and write songs. I trained all scales and exercises I came over and had. I Played along my favorite records and developed a good melodic language I my playing I think.
Who were the bands or musicians who had the greatest influence on you? And who are your guitar influences?
Well, from the beginning it was a couple of guys out there who inspire me, like Kee Marcello and John Norum from Europe, Steve Lukater and Neil Shon from Toto and Journey and later on Zakk Wylde and his aggressive style and playing. Which you can hear in my other band PowerSwitch.I am also inspired by Gary Moore and Eric Clapton with their bluesy touch, and of course the guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen inspires me in a way what make me understand the meaning of doing your thing, no matter what!
What is music to you?
Life without music would be like a long lonely walk in the desert.
Tell about the band...when was "Strong" formed?
"Strong" was formed by me 2005. I asked my good friend and amazing musician/songwriter Anders Wrethov, If he wanted to sing on my record ( at that time I called the project; Mister J). He wanted to do it, and then Andreas Grufstedt (on bass) at that time played with Paul Diano joined in. And together with Johnny Benson and later on the great musician Rasmus Ehrnborn came along on Keyboard, "Strong"was formed. The funny thing was at that time, there was a new band without a record deal from Stockholm writing on strings guest book, what we were great and we thought they were great.That band was and are called H.E.A.T We decided to take a break after a meeting we had back then.I know that People and fans wanted us to come back, and that promise I´ll return now with a new Line up and “strong” songs! Featuring Philip Lindstrand on vocal and Joacim Sandin on bass. So now we´re back and gonna give the world some amazing AOR hits to listen to!
What is next for "Strong", new album or tours on the way?
The next thing will be released the new single and video in the end of April. The album will be out in the end of the summer. So much fun and exiting things has happened during this 3 weeks we've been out on YouTube with our "Young Love" so there will be a tour soon I think! They will also play us webradio/Radio, Deutchland England and Greece his week, and they have written about us in melodicrock.com also. For more info see: www.facebook.com/strongtheband
To end the interview, a phrase you want to leave ....
Don´t do anything you don't like! Life moves pretty fast ...so live it!