JamBase Questionnaire: Johnny Flynn

Welcome back to JamBase's baker's dozen to the bright lights of the music world. Last time we heard from The Bridge.

new album
Feted to be the phalanx of a new British folk movement after his exceedingly charming debut, A Larum (JamBase review), Johnny Flynn has neatly sidestepped that tag while pushing well past the folk cul de sac with his winningly diverse, slightly romantic and pleasantly modern follow-up, Been Listening (released last October on Thirty Tigers), which puts him in a line with top-flight yet hard to pin down ancestors like Richard Thompson and Elvis Costello.

There’s an interesting mixture of youthful energy and modern ears mingled with ancient textures and serious music craft in Flynn and his flexible, fast moving band The Sussex Wit, who swing between present day and sometime more bardic and hand-tooled on Been Listening. Producer Ryan Hadlock (The Strokes, Regina Spektor) creates rich textures, letting bows slide over strings as electric guitars chop at things, and atop it all rides Flynn’s musky, older than his years voice – a sound matched by a worldview that’s wiser and weirder than his 25 years would suggest. Impassioned, subtly funny and flecked with contemporary anxiety, Been Listening cements Flynn as a young artist on a steady rise, the perfect new find for those flipping their wig for Mumford & Sons and The Decemberists, who similarly mine the past for new song forms. (Dennis Cook)

Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit will be touring the U.S. in May & June. Find tour dates here.

Here's what Flynn had to say to our inquiries.

Johnny Flynn
Instrument(s) of choice: Vox humana

Nickname: Rubber

1. Great music rarely happens without…

2. The first album I bought was…
Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion 2

3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
Anna Calvi’s self-titled debut

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
A French novel

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
One where the audience is drunk enough to have a good time but not remember the details.

6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
I love Turkish Delight

7. I love the sound of…
The kettle boiling

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Miles Davis’ Porgy and Bess

9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
An Indian restaurant in Manchester where the waiter was doing an impression of Manuel from Fawlty Towers.

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
Glasgow, Belfast and psychoanalyst's offices

11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
Angry Birds

12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
Ledhead. Who doesn't love ok ork?

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
A 40 foot tall man made of water telling me to “resist nothing.”

Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit Tour Dates :: Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit News

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[Published on: 3/10/11]

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