Given the history of Jamiroquai, fleeting bandmembers has become a scary norm for the current climate of the band. First it was Stuart Zender, a founding member after a miff with Jay Kay, then a second later Simon Katz, then less than a hop and a skip later Wallis Buchanan and Toby Smith.

The new fans of Jamiroquai may consider Jamiroquai dead and gone due to Jay Kay being left alone, but he has surrounded himself with new bandmembers who have refined Jamiroquai's sound to a worldwide dancefloor. One such factor is new Jamiroquai keyboardist Matt Johnson, filling the shoes of Toby Smith may not be easy, but Matt is surely ready to meet the job head-on.

JamiroTalk.net presents a rare interview with Mr. Johnson discussing his musical influences, the state of Jamiroquai and wonders on "where Jamiroquai is going to"....

Text: JamiroFan2000


"When I'm not walking my dog or looking after my daughter,
my hobbies include oil painting and modern art generally. I also swim
as much as I can and am getting into yoga. All this good stuff at home
just balances out getting as drunk as I do on tour!!"

JamiroTalk.net:   Who were some of your musical influences when you were growing up?
Matt J.:   They range from Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie through to Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheney, though later on I got into lots of black music, mainly rare groove and funk such as Parliament and Me'shell Ndegeocello. I also love David Sylvian.
JamiroTalk.net:   What is your Favorite Jamiroquai song to play?
Matt J.:   It changes, but at the moment it's Mr Moon. It has some really interesting chord changes in it and I get to play a solo!
JamiroTalk.net:   How was the recent Midnight Sun Tour for you and Jamiroquai?
Matt J.:   It was great, touring with a slightly smaller line up gave it a more intimate feel and we really fed off each other musically, lots of improvisation. Plus lots of days off! It was called the Midnight Sun Tour because we played Finland Jazz festival where, at that time, it didn't get dark until about 3am. We had a really fantastic gig at Montreaux also.
JamiroTalk.net:   Could you pass on any hints about what the fans could expect musicially from Jamiroquai on their upcoming 6th studio album?
Matt J.:   I think it will be more live instruments, less computers. Also, I think the sound will be more raw.
JamiroTalk.net:   What are your individual impressions of your other bandmembers?
Matt J.:   Rob's the joker, Derek's the drinker, Sola's the thinker! As for Jay, he can be all those things and a few more besides depending on what mood you catch him in.
JamiroTalk.net:   Have you had much creative input so far in the process of making the
6th album?
Matt J.:   We're still at the writing stage and yes, i have been fully involved.
JamiroTalk.net:   What is your favorite brand of keyboards?
Matt J.:   I have to say Alesis, as they sponser me! But I really think the Alesis Andromeda is the greatest synth ever made. It has all the classic sounds of the great keyboards of the 1970s and 1980s combined with the technology of the 21st century. I also love the Fender Rhodes, that's my preferred piano because of it's great response. Jay Kay has a huge collection of vintage synths and I've been round at the studio trying to learn how to use them.
JamiroTalk.net:   Comical question: When the band goes out drinking and socializing, who usually picks up the tab, JK or someone else??
Matt J.:   Usually the club we're at. Works for us, works for them!
JamiroTalk.net:   Thank you, Matt!
   

Biographical notes:

Born 3rd Feb 1969 in Bournemouth
on the South Coast of England

Moved to London 12years ago to do music

Started off busking on the streets in London

Soon started meeting people and
played regularly in the R&B scene

Has been concentrating on on writing and
producing artists and had
several records out as a producer but when the
opportunity came to audition for Jamiroquai it
was too good an opportunity to miss, he says

Matt was recommended by Craig David's
drummer and Musical Director, with whom
he had played a lot.

 


Currently in Matt's car CD player:

Miles Davis: In a silent way Justin Timberlake: Justified Steely Dan: Aja Roy Airs Massive Attack.

 

 

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