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Greg Johnson's artistic triggers and 'Thunder in Fall' album

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Feb 2024, 10:40AM
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Greg Johnson's artistic triggers and 'Thunder in Fall' album

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Feb 2024, 10:40AM

Almost 40 years and counting, highly prolific kiwi singer-songwriter Greg Johnson is still going. 

Those decades were packed with awards and albums, the thirteenth of which, ‘Thunder in Fall’, is releasing tomorrow. 

The album's first single was released back in December, 'Rooster Tail’ inspired by the sight of a rocket launched at sunset and the trail of smoke coming down. 

Johnson told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking that it wasn’t so much the rocket itself but the reaction on the ground. 

“There’s always a certain level of paranoia here. It’s like, ‘Oh Christ, the Russians, have the Russians launched a pre-emptive nuclear strike or something? But no, it was just the sun striking the smoke.” 

“Everyone sort of stops from it.” 

Living in cities is a study in contrasts, Johnson saying that there’s a craving for nature and moments of silence. 

“Those kinds of things are triggers for me, you know, as an artist.” 

Speaking of artistic triggers, one of the ones for ‘Thunder in Fall’ was the upright piano Johnson acquired. 

“I just want to abandon the electric guitar a little bit,” he told Hosking. 

Much like the rest of his discography, his latest album wouldn’t be described as a “party record,” Johnson describing it as quite a dark album with a real atmosphere. 

“I wanted something that’s really nice to sort of sink your teeth into.” 

With the release of this album comes a tour, Johnson bringing his ‘1000 Miles Tour’ to New Zealand next month. 

Coming back, he told Hosking, is a highlight for him, especially playing smaller venues. 

While he will be performing his new album, he isn’t forgetting about his older hits. 

“The core of my show is always my, my top ten. You know, my audience top ten, and then the other ten I choose from, you know, my pretty extensive book.”  

“I’ve got, so far, 87 of the songs I like to play in a little book, just small enough that I can’t read the lyrics, so I have to try and remember them. 

Greg Johnson will be back in New Zealand, performing from March 15th through til the 30th. 


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