Jack Johnson Jack Johnson has gone from filmmaker, shooting and scoring his 16mm surf films to a well-known singer-songwriter. After spending the remainder of 2003 on the road in support of On and On, and slowing down in 2004 to welcome his new baby boy, Johnson released In Between Dreams in 2005 and Sleep Through The Static in 2008.
Raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Johnson practically began to surf as he began to walk. As the youngest of three wave-riding brothers and a long-boarding father, most of Johnson’s life lessons were learned in the water. With Pipeline in his front yard, Johnson started surfing the legendary wave at age twelve, at seventeen was invited to surf in the Pipe Masters competition, and one month later suffered a surfing accident which kept him out of the water for three months. Although Johnson had began playing guitar as a young teen, it was these land-locked months that allowed Johnson to hone his guitar skills and find influences in a wide range of musicians from Cat Stevens to Fugazi.
Johnson met fellow surfer Garrett Dutton (aka G. Love) who recorded Johnson’s Rodeo Clowns for the G. Love & Special Sauce disc Philadelphonic also released in 1999. The recording quickly gained radio airplay and Johnson’s reputation as a musician was building beyond the surf community. Despite offers to sign a record deal, Johnson chose to escape to the South Pacific to film his second surf film, The September Sessions. But Johnson’s bootleg tape fell into the hands of musician Ben Harper and his manager/producer J.P. Plunier who helped Johnson to make a record.
In January of 2001, Johnson’s full-length debut, Brushfire Fairytales was released on Enjoy Records; an upstart indie label founded by veteran A&R man Andy Factor and Plunier, who produced the recording. Brushfire Fairytales was an impressive debut on numerous levels: From the opening Inaudible Melodies to the anthemic Flake, Brushfire Fairytales turned many people across the nation onto Jack Johnson. Within a year of the album’s release it had sold 100,000 copies, in January 2003, it went platinum.
In May of 2003, Johnson released his sophomore album On and On, which mixed heartfelt ballads of love and simple joys with more serious subjects of materialism, industrialization, school shootings, offshore oil drilling, and war. The inner truth and social commentary that was evident in Johnson’s early songwriting on Brushfire Fairytales matured with On and On.
In 2005, Johnson released his third full length recording In Between Dreams. Johnson brings acoustic sing-a-longs full of smartly embellished strumming and solid basslines to create the hypnotic, blues and funk-inflected groove flowing through the album.
And on February 2nd 2008, Johnson released his latest album to date Sleep Through the Static. “Some of the songs on this album are about making babies. Some of the songs are about raising them. Some of the songs are about the world that these children will grow up in; a world of war and love, and hate, and time and space. Some of the songs are about saying goodbye to people I love and will miss”.
Having started playing music at his family barbecues and atop boats on far-off surf trips, it must be a touch surreal when Johnson finds himself traveling the world with his band, performing on television shows, and playing to sold-out amphitheatres. But the reality is that Jack Johnson has accomplished an impressive amount over the last few years as an artist, filmmaker, musician and now as a father. His fourth full-length release Sleep Through the Static delivers his signature sound that fans around the world have grown to love, in an upbeat collection of songs that will have everyone singing along