Having already sent Italian heads reeling with his concept album, Phoney Music Entertainment, Mr Punk is preparing to send his opus to UK ears on 13th October. Showcasing his uniquely theatrical take on music as being either entertainment or a challenge to the intellectual elite, you can be assured that even the kitchen sink hasn’t escaped being thrown at this boundary pushing piece of work.
Hailing from Sicily, self-styled dandy/gypsy hybrid Johann has developed a persona that brings to mind troubadours such as Sufjan Stevens, whilst also evoking thoughts of the pixie-ish faux naivety of early David Bowie and Syd Barrett. Mixed in with the freak Wurlitzer sound of harpsichords, Latin rhythms and, yes, flugelhorns, is the ever-present Johann, delivering his polemics in a style somewhere between and beyond Shakespeare and Adam Ant.
Designed to upset the status quo, the album uses melodic, though clashing musical styles to construct an art-rock opera where no two songs are remotely the same. Listing his influences as ranging from Frank Zappa to Jarvis Cocker and Brian Eno to Miles Davis, a second single, Tragedy, is scheduled to be released just prior to the album’s launch.
With only a smattering of session musicians, Johann has played over 20 instruments, as well as writing and producing the whole album. Johann is aiming to build on the success of his first, Italian-only release, which was nominated for best debut at Italy’s most prestigious music awards, The Premio Tenco. Teeming with paradoxes, contradictions, punk ethics and thrillingly chiming melodies, Johann Sebastian Punk has every right to declare himself The Mario Balotelli of art school rock.