It has been a busy few months for local musician Johanna Fegan which has resulted in her new EP ‘Cutting Out The Noise’ going global.
The three track EP has caught the attention of various German magazines and last month went stateside by winning best Alternative Rock EP at the Californian Akedemia Awards.
We caught up with Johanna this week and started off by talking about her influences for the new EP. “I’m very punk rock influenced” she said.
“I like good strong hitting music. In the past I would have been influenced by Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, Skunk Anansie but now-a-days it would be bands like Biffy Clyro.
“The EP itself is a new distinctive sound. It’s very minimal, I wouldn’t say it has been influenced by anyone in particular, but it is a style that has kind of developed over the years with having worked with different people.
“It’s made up of three songs that I had made with Jack Carlin and because we decided to do very minimal stuff, I wrote them on the bass guitar and then brought the guitar in with Jack playing.
Although the PR reach for the new EP has been vast, the team behind it has in fact been very small. “A local photographer called Ray McCrossan helped me create the PR campaign for the EP. We wanted to take a simplistic approach with lots of photos of myself and we kept firing them out via social media which caught people’s eye and highlight the EP and it really worked.
“It was such a small team, just myself, my partner and Ray but from the outside it probably looked as if I had a large team behind me.”
“I’ve been getting a lot of good press recently about the EP and I have really been pushing the promotion of it and in doing that, a lot of stuff has been coming back my way and coming back very quickly too.
“I’ve been blogged in a lot of online music sites, and also had some interest from a few German magazines who found me via Bandcamp and then I won an Akedemia Award for Best Alternative Rock EP in California. There’s also been a lot of local interest as well with the likes of the Derry Journal and Culture Hub magazine.”
Targeting the local scene was important for Johanna with this release “I decided to target the local market with this EP because the local music scene is overflowing here, we’re so rich in talent that it can be very tough at times to break into, because there are so many great bands out there.
“I already had a good on-going world-wide following from about 60 different countries and that was already going steady for me so with this EP I wanted to target the local scene and go ‘look, I exist too, I’m local, I’m female, I’m Punk, I’m Rock, I have something to say and I want to be part of this’.
Johanna is no stranger to the local music scene and for the past year has been a member of local band Suspect Device who have been together for over twenty years. “Suspect Device is the perfect band for me. It was everything I had wanted in a band and more” she said.
Still going strong today, the band themselves are also big fans of her original music. “We’re gigging every weekend at the moment and they have learnt a lot of my original songs, so although we play old school tracks from the likes of the Pistols, the Buzzcocks and the Stones, we also play my own song’s too which brings a unique flair to the set, so we don’t bombard people with originals. We even find that people are now requesting us to play my original songs.”
While not gigging with Suspect Device or writing her own material, Johanna has started a side project ‘JoJo Star’ which is an international project involving producers reaching across the Atlantic.
“I’m working with different producers at the moment as well on my JoJo Star project which is an electronic project.
“I’m working with Daniel Monroe aka Phat Pockets* who is a Californian producer, a Rock producer called the ‘Punk Tutor* a UK producer called Liam Boyle and also a Swiss producer too.”
So keep your eyes peeled for her new material and in the meantime make sure to check out her award winning EP Cutting Out The Noise which is available to stream via on Spotify and Soundcloud or can be bought on itunes, Amazon,Google Play and Bandcamp or you can pick up a cd at Cool Discs or The Yellow Yard.
Art Work By Ray Mc Crossan...R.R Media