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Carl Johnson

Abandon All Hope All Ye Who Enter Here...

The Early Years

My first experiences with music were at about 3 years of age when I used to sit with my father at an old Hammond organ. He'd play a simple melody, and I'd copy it by ear. It seemed so natural to do back then. I often wonder if I never did this would I be able to play so easily by ear today?

I took music in elementary school, but there was no passion, no creativity. It never even tweaked my interest. I took violin, but it was just homework for me.

It wasn't until after high school that I met a guitarist friend, who showed me what music was really all about. I took up keyboards and synth, being influenced by conceptual bands such as Pink Floyd. My interest was always composition, although we played covers back then to learn, and to play out.


After a few years on keyboards, I decided to take up guitar, thinking the girls would like me better. That never panned out, it was the damn egomaniacal singers they really wanted. I always diverted from doing anything out of ego or self-importance, so... in lieu of dates, I practiced... and practiced... and composed... and recorded... and experimented.

Twenty years later, I am finally feeling like I have a handle on my instrument (my guitar, you perverts). After taking 8 years off to do art (oil and digital painting - creativity comes in all flavors), I'm now back in guitar mode, praciticing 4 hours or more a day, and starting to compose and record again. I'm looking for a band of advanced theoretically trained musicians wishing to experiment with a variety of original instrumental styles. I'm a lead guitarist moreso than rhythm, and most of my music could be considered listenable by many (as opposed to really esoteric and only listenable by other musicians). If pressed, I'd call my style "sophisticated melodic instrumental rock". When recording, I still use synths and MIDI to create complex textured soundscapes, upon which I can lay tracks of melodic, pristine, and sometimes kickass guitar.

I don't try to emulate any style. I listen to what moves me, then play what flows forth from me naturally. My style will develop itself, I try to be as experimental and diverse and non-judgemental during the creative phase as possible, and would love to meet others with the same zen-like philosophy about creative composition.

Musical Influences

  • Yngwie Malmsteen, JS Bach, Paganini
  • Joe Satriani, Steve Via, Randy Rhoads
  • Robben Ford, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix

Favorite Recordings

  • Black Star - Yngwie, Brandenberg Concertos - Bach
  • Surfin with the Alien - Satriani, Ah Via Musicom - Eric Johnson
  • The Wall - Pink Floyd