Artist Interview: Chrys Johnson
17 October, 2019 by
Artist Interview: Chrys Johnson
Mark Krikorian

If you are MI Industry insider you know Chrys as one top AR professionals for brands like Ampeg, Mackie, EMG and Jim Dunlop. Now you get to learn the muscian side of Chrys. Please welcome Chrys Johnson the PRA featured Artist of the Week.

Please tell us about yourself and your latest projects?

My name is Chrys Johnson. I’m the Director of Artist Relations for Jim Dunlop Guitar Products in Benicia CA. Since I have been here I have developed a signature Primetone Jazz III XL pick for Animals As Leaders and currently have products in the works with multiple artists I can’t tell you anything about at the moment but can say I have one that I’m pretty excited to see released soon that is a collaboration with Misha Mansoor of Periphery. Outside of product development my main pet project is producing a live in studio performance series called Dunlop Sessions. We just finished up filming for the 2nd season by doing an episode with local legends Beats Antique. Some other recent sessions were with Casualties of Cool featuring Devin Townsend & Che Aimee Dorval, Big Wreck, Snarky Puppy & Eric Gales. Watch all the episodes here:

What got you into music and what was the first concert you attended?

1st big concert was Pantera, Sepultura and Prong in Portland OR July 10th 1994. Totally got lucky and met a tech at the music store before the show and was lucky enough to be given back stage passes to hang with Pantera after the show…my buddy Ryan Meranda and I were only 16 and could barely believe what was happening…still to this day one of the coolest things that ever happened to either of us. Got to meet the whole band but Dime hung out and talked to us forever it seemed and let us drink his beer while he talked to us about skateboards and a number of other cool things…he ended up shaving my head and basically stealing Ryan’s t-shirt which actually belonged to our mutual friend Jay Bustamante but that’s a whole other story that will eventually be in my book someday.

Tell us about the first gig you ever played?

Think my first gig was with one of my brothers many bands called 6 from 10 but it’s hard for me to really recall if we actually played a show or not but my brother Adam and I later ended up resurrecting another one of his projects called Hell of All Saints and had some great times rocking half pipes and burrito joints.

What was your most memorable performance?

I have many good memories in this department but here’s two of them…one was my band ONLY HUMAN’s last gig in 2008 when we had Matt Cameron’s side project HarryBU McCage open for us as well as a bunch of other cool local bands. The band was firing on all cylinders and so much was 2nd nature that we really couldn’t have asked for anything better…perfect amount of people turned out (about 200), many of the fans new our songs really well and everybody rocked out! AND …the one time back in 2011 I was lucky enough to be asked by Devin Townsend to play 2nd guitar for the DVD filming of his album ‘Ghost’ in London at the Union Chapel…pretty life defining moment…I mean it’s Devin freaking Townsend and I was on stage with him holding a guitar…people told me I played the guitar but I can barely remember that…I was in some sort of spacey zen like trance of sorts.

What are you listening to now?

Some of my favorites of 2016 have been….Anderson .PAAK – Malibu, D.D. Dumbo – Utopia Defeated, Allen Stone – Radius, Alicia Keys – HERE, Animals As Leaders – The Madness Of Many, Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, Candiria – While They Were Sleeping, Plini – Handmade Cities, Tribe Called Quest – We got it From Here, Devin Townsend – Transcendence, Kishi Bashi – Sonderlust, Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Broken Lines, Beats Antique – Shadowbox, 12ft Ninja – Outlier, Car Bomb – Meta….and like 20 other records.

What is your deserted island album?

Tom Petty – Wildflowers

And if you were stuck on the deserted island and could only have one type of food and drink (besides water) what would that be?

Tacos and Kombucha!

Who is one person you would like to meet (alive or dead, musician or not)?

Dead tie between Alan Watts and Joseph Campbell.

Who would you cast to play you in a movie?

People have said I resemble a ‘well fed Ed Norton’ and I like Ed so I’m cool with that.

Besides music, what are you into?

Yoga. I recently got certified as an instructor over the last year and it has definitely become a strong centerpiece to my life and how I attempt to stay balanced.

Interview is not an interview without talking about gear. So let’s talk gear. Must have, best for studio, a must for tour?

Gear is a very personal thing but for me I’m really in love with my Kiesel Vader guitars, my predominantly MXR, Dunlop & Way Huge pedalboard and my VHT (Fryette) Pittbull Ultralead amplifier.

Tell us about your experience with PRA Audio and WiC Wireless System?

The WiC wireless system has officially made me ok with using wireless. I have always just opted for an old fashioned cable because of simplicity and assuredness but the WiC system is SO easy to use and it sounds great so it has been something I prefer to use at this point.

To keep up with Chrys go here:
Artist Interview: Chrys Johnson
Mark Krikorian 17 October, 2019
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