A new sound is emerging from the Boston music scene. A spicy mix of heavy rock, funky rhythms, and melodically rich themes is embodied by an energy-filled quartet called Johnny Wishbone.
The band was formed to fill the need for a cover band at social events at Tufts University in Medford, MA. But playing covers, although pleasing to college students, began to prove unfulfilling for the band. With this new found desire to create music, practices transformed from rehearsals to the genesis of ideas and the fusion of four distinct styles.
The key to the diversity of Johnny Wishbone's sound is the different musical backgrounds of each member. Lead guitarist Dave Raymond of Methuen, Massachusetts cites bands like Pantera and Rage Against the Machine as influences that occasionally surface in his groove oriented chops. Behind the skins, Dougie Arsham of Scarsdale, NY combines years of jazz training with an affinity for explosive rock drumming. Dickie Scandrett, who grew up in Framingham, MA, pulls his bluesy and often dark style from influences such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. And hailing from Hyannis, MA, Andy Milk's melody-intensive vocal style blends smoothly with his chordal rhythm playing. Despite the polarization of the members' influences, the band meshes with a straight-forward, powerful sound.
The guys of Johnny Wishbone possess a fervor for both playing music and enjoying themselves. While their determination is evident during practices and recording sessions, they often let off steam with impromptu wrestling matches, street hockey games, and other chicanery; having a good time is integral to their music writing process.
As for playing out, Johnny Wishbone brought a great following to the Middle East in Cambridge in early March and is looking forward to a busy spring and summer music schedule. They also recently scored a weekly acoustic gig at The Burren in Davis Square every Wednesday night. To the band's surprise, the acoustic versions of their music sound equally powerful and compelling as the plugged-in renditions.
In early April, Johnny Wishbone is going into the recording studio to burn an extended play compact disc. Their previously recorded demo tape was a good start but the band feels that the sound quality didn't do them justice.
For now, Johnny Wishbone continues to exhibit an unbridled enthusiasm for sharing the laid back, good time that comes tith their driving beats. Whether listeners sing along, dance, or sit quietly, Johnny Wishbone encourages and welcome it all.