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By Ginger Coyote
Punk Globe: Thanks for doing this interview guys.. Tell us who is in the band and what they play?
JJ: Johnny J, Guitar and vocals; the Hitmen are numerous and
ever-changing. On our latest CD,
"Louisiana Rockabilly," we have John Veninata on bass and Michael
"the Creature" Neyrey on drums. They also play in a great local punk band, Stephi and the Whitesox
Punk Globe: When did the band first begin and do you have all the original members?
JJ: 1983! As for the original Hitmen, J.B. Weese has gone to the
big bandstand in the sky, and F.Z.Dice moved to South Dakota to be a cowboy...
Punk Globe: Tell the readers about your first show?
JJ: At Jed's, everyone played there back in the day...
Punk Globe: Johnny you have a great voice. Who writes your material?
JJ: Thank you! I do most of my writing like Edgar Cayce, only I don't see tomorrow, I just
hear a little music. The songs on "Louisiana Rockabilly" were all written or originally performed by
Louisiana legends like Dale (Suzie Q) Hawkins, Tony Joe White, Al Ferrier and many more...
Punk Globe: Tell the readers about your recent television appearance?
JJ: Ouch! I hit my head on the camera..thought about calling Morris Bart (local celebrity ambulance chaser)
Punk Globe: How would you best describe your sound?
JJ: I used to call it post-depression white trash rock
and riot; now I just call it human beat.
Punk Globe: Who are some of your influences?
JJ: Guitar Slim, Bobby Charles, people singing in foreign languages (you get right to the feeling) tons of others...
Punk Globe: How many recordings have you released?
JJ: Six of my own, and three more with other musicians.
Punk Globe: Has the band toured ?
JJ: We turned over a few odometers, logged many airmiles, and saw the midnight sun.
Punk Globe: I have known Cindy for years since the Red Rockers days. How did the band meet her?
JJ: New Year's Eve,
1980 - we were at a party in an abandoned house near the French Quarter
- I think they ran an extension cord into a police station for power -
what cajones! She handles our websites and merchandise now.
Punk Globe: How would you compare the music scene in New Orleans now to how it was before Hurricane Katrina?
JJ: It's pretty much
the same - someone hollered, "Razoo!," and grabbed all the marbles, then
put them back in a slightly different way.
Punk Globe: Did Hurricane Katrina have an impact on the band?
JJ: It was harder to get our dry-cleaning done, but the band played on.
Punk Globe: What are some of your favorite venues to play?
JJ: Mid City Lanes
Rock n' Bowl - we were the first ever band to play there. Banks St. Bar
and Grill is another great spot to hear live music in New Orleans.
Punk Globe: Tell us about your favorite show so far?
JJ: Jason D. Williams asked me to sit in with him at Tipitina's - he jumped on my back, I ran around the stage, then my amp blew up!
Punk Globe: Did you play any special shows for Fat Tuesday?
JJ: It's pretty
rough to navigate to a gig on Mardi Gras day.
I'd like to play at one
of those ski lodges where the locals go to hide out.
Punk Globe: Can you tell Punk Globe readers some good New Orleans bands to check out?
JJ: Little Freddy
King, Gal Holiday, Alabama Slim, Johnny Sansone, Suzy Cowsill, Jimmy
Ballero. Cindy adds The Swaggers, Clockwork Elvis and the Unnaturals.
Punk Globe: Can you give the readers your website, Facebook, MySpace addresses?
JJ: Too much info on me at www.johnnyj.net,
Johnny j Hitmen on Facebook, and we're twittering now, too, i think. The CD is available here: www.cdbaby.com/cd/jjathitmen2
Punk Globe: Any tours, recording projects coming up for the future..
JJ: Stay Tuned!
(note from Cindy: Johnny J just found out he'll be backing up
rockabilly legend Dale Hawkins in Italy this summer...)
Punk Globe: Thanks so much for the interview. . Any parting words for the readers?
JJ: Peace, Love and take the time to give a shit...