Johnny Stanec
Gig Seeker Pro

Johnny Stanec

Youngstown, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006

Youngstown, Ohio, United States
Established on Jan, 2006
Solo Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
06
Johnny Stanec @ Cedar's West End

Youngstown, Ohio, United States

Youngstown, Ohio, United States

Nov
04
Johnny Stanec @ The Park House

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Music

Press


No es verdad. Eso de que en esta vida cada uno consigue lo que se merece es una mentira como una catedral, por mucho que algunos se empeñen y lo repitan una y otra vez. Si fuera cierto, Johnny Stanec, que es un músico excelente, debería disfrutar de un reconocimiento general, de público y de ventas. Quien le conoce se rinde a su magia, quien le descubre compra sus discos pero, desde hace ya bastante tiempo, en esta jungla de la música el talento no es un valor que se cotice y grandes músicos, como Stanec permanecen ocultos, en las sombras… ¡que se haga la luz!

Johnny Stanec es un cantante, guitarrista y compositor de Youngstown, Ohio, miembro desde 2006 del grupo de power pop e indie pop First In Space, banda de la que fue fundador. Su primer Lp, “This Is Not Here”, autoeditado en abril de 2007, es un discazo tremendo plagado de auténticos himnos de pegadiza melodía, con efectivas guitarras y cantados con una gran carga emocional y bonitos coros. Se daban un cierto aire a Gin Blossoms. Mención especial para canciones como “Jenny”, “Wasted Time” y sobre todo “Now She´s Gone”. Dos años más tarde, en septiembre de 2009 lanzan otro monumental álbum “Geronimo”, con demoledoras composiciones como la irresistible “When I Was Young (I Was Cruel)”. En el verano de 2013, First In Space publica su tercer disco al que, con bastante sentido del humor, titulan “Greatest Hits: Vol. III”. De nuevo mantienen un altísimo nivel y entregan diez gemas de puro pop, como la rotunda “Rambling On…”. Y el pasado otoño llegó “In The Red”, su disco más maduro, algo más tranquilo pero pleno de guitarras, melodías, estribillos y desgarro a la hora de cantar. Hay coincidencias estilísticas con Green Day pero sin artificios. Buenísimo. La discografía de First In Space es muy recomendable, casi imprescindible.

Y en la cabeza de Johnny Stanec se siguen amontonándose las buenas canciones, no puede parar, así que desde 2011 empieza a editar discos en solitario, con su nombre. En el primero, “Narrow Is This Ghost Town”, se alternan las piezas acústicas con otras más eléctricas que podrían ser complementarias a su labor en First In Space. Hay auténticas maravillas como “Sunny Day Are Nothing New”, capaz de iluminar los días más nublados o “Going Tonight”, pura urgencia con un estribillo que desarma al más pintado.

En septiembre de 2012 llega su segundo álbum “The Past Echoes”, con Stanec, al igual que en su debut en solitario, tocando todos los instrumentos, escribiendo todas las canciones y destrozando todos los corazones. Este tipo es un genio. Ya no hay duda. Power pop electro-acústico en forma de canción, por ejemplo “Same Old Songs”. Simple y llanamente eso, canciones. ¡Qué magia!

Y ya en abril de 2015 Johnny Stanec saca “No Horizon”, su tercer disco en solitario y en el que se muestra más íntimo, más cercano, más emocional. Reflexiones, recuerdos, sensaciones, como en la canción del videoclip “Love, Life & The Chances We Missed”, la demoledora “Winter´s Song” o la impulsiva “I Want To Fly”.

No es famoso, millonario, ni portada de Rolling Stone, pero Stanec tiene seguidores por todo el mundo. Aficionados a la mejor música que reconocen la gran obra que ha entregado hasta el momento. Con más de 400 conciertos a sus espaldas se ha construido una gran reputación entre la comunidad musical underground como compositor y músico de inmenso talento. Y no para. Ya está preparando el quinto trabajo de First In Space, que saldrá a principios de 2016. Que siga, que no pare. Por favor, que no pare nunca.



I’ve been staying up way to late because I thought that you might go
To all the places you’ve never been down a better traveled road

I’ve been thinking about what you said and I’ll do my best to soldier on
But I can’t get the vision out of my head, well I’m wearing out and I’m feeling old and I need a friend because I’m near the edge…

All the things that you could have said and all the things that come to mind
They’re pouring out like cheap cliches from a discount bottled wine

I’ve been thinking about what you said and I’ll do my best to soldier on
But I can’t get the vision out of my head, well I’m wearing out and I’m feeling old and I need a friend because I’m near the edge…

I know I waited way too long, but I’m coming home again I just couldn’t wait until the end
You changed the locks outside so I could not get inside your head it’s better off this way I guess
But the light that shines from your eyes illuminated everything in sight
And screaming out among the crowd, I can see you now, I can hear the sound. - Loffit


The break-up of a band can be a trying time for everyone involved. It often ultimately leads to new and better things after the initial shock and disorientation wear off however. Boardman, Ohio's Johnny Stanec is a classic case of an artist who has moved from strength to strength. "When my band, First In Space, called it a day I felt a little empty for a while. I loved that band, but it was beginning to become harder and harder to get everyone to make commitments to shows, recording, etc.," says Stanec. With songs already in hand, he got to work. "I didn't want to wait around to gather a new group, so I recorded everything myself at a studio in western PA called 'Mind Rocket'. When the record was finished I really wanted to start playing again, so this past May I started booking solo acoustic shows."

Having trouble coordinating the band members to all show up for gigs had given Stanec some experience doing solo shows. "I had done some acoustic shows, but it was usually to fill in for the band when someone couldn't make it. This time I was out promoting my own record. It took some getting used to," he tells us. And the dynamic of the songs, and the performances, changed as well. "I always had a tendency to keep things light-hearted with the band, even though the songs were serious. But these new ones were a little more personal. I don't think I intended them to be so heavy-handed, but that's how they came out, so live you have to try and convey that without being boring and pretentious."

This new sense of freedom allowed Stanec to write in new ways as well. "When there's a band involved, it seems obligatory to include them on every song and make them fleshed out rock songs, but since it was just me, some songs became more acoustic. For this record I was able to do whatever I wanted, which was cool. I got to experiment with different sounds and different accompaniments. I let my influences come out as best I could." Stanec has "always been a very personal songwriter. I don't write political songs or anything that talks about specific events. I don't want to make concept records. Songwriting has always been a therapeutic process for me. My songs are about me and what goes on in my life and how I perceive what's going on around me. They're just little stories used to cope with my worries about the future and how to move on from the past."

As you might expect, his influences vary far and wide. "I grew up on 60s rock thanks to my dad. He is a huge music fan, he kept real music on and kept the crap out. When I hit my teens I listened to a lot of punk; NOFX, The Clash, Operation Ivy and whatever else I got my hands on. When I got to college I started to open up to other styles. When I was 19 or 20 I went with my folks to see Neil Young and it opened my eyes. Here was a guy still sounding fantastic all those years later. Can't say the same for bands that went the extreme route. It's great when you're young, but it can't last. I started listening to singer/songwriter stuff like Elliott Smith. He had rock songs, but you could see him playing them when he got older (had he not died). I like that," he told us.

He adds, "I just hope people enjoy the songs. I want them to actually listen. I want people to put their iPhones down for a few minutes, get a beer (sorry Johnny, no beer at the Galaxy) and hang out. Shows are a lot of fun and I enjoy playing small places, way more intimate and a better show all around. I really just try and write simple, honest music. I'm not famous, I'm not rich, I have no connections. I'm doing it because I honestly believe in rock and roll as something more than just some fashion statement."



Sample Johnny Stanec's music.

The Youngstown (Stanec's hometown of Boardman is near Youngstown) music scene, like many others, seems to be a tough one for original artists. Stanec commented that "In Youngstown there are a handful of places to see live original music. It's always been a stop for independent touring bands. However, the scene is scattered. There is no 'Youngstown sound' or typical Youngstown band. The people are reluctant to go out and just support someone unless it fits into their social schedule for the night. Ten years ago it was way better, less distractions, but now there is so much to compete with that you have to have patience or not worry about it. I didn't spend much time trying to build an audience in Youngstown." As if to drive that point home he told us that "When I started First In Space our first show was out of town."

Using the internet to his advantage though, first his band, and now his solo show, has played all over the US and Canada. "There is so much the internet makes possible, like booking shows or getting reviews or connecting with people thousands of miles away. My music is for sale on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc. and without that I couldn't have people in Spain buying my songs. I have no label or manager. I do everything myself. If the right opportunity came along I'd love to work with a label or agency, but so far being independent is working fine. I've played all over and have done that without a booking agent or label."

In addition to getting heard, Stanec says the internet has allowed him to get press for his project in a way that previously may have been nearly impossible. "Getting your album reviewed is definitely possible, just don't expect Rolling Stone to review it. There are so many better websites and publications that will do a write up. Local scene papers and blogs come to mind. They actually care about what they're doing and who they're featuring. Not just some trendy bullshit like in Spin." Booking shows is clearly helped by all the online resources as well. "I like Reverbnation. It's like myspace was, but it has a lot more to offer as far as show opportunities and things like that. I also have to mention 'indieonthemove.com'. It's an extensive listing of clubs, bars and venues in every imaginable town and city in the country. I've put it to good use."

He concludes by saying that "So far, I've enjoyed the solo shows. It's always hit or miss, but hopefully in time more people will start coming around. I'm down for anything and to play anywhere. Hopefully my persistence will pay off someday, in some way. Until then, I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I can and see where it takes me." Stanec will be appearing at the Galaxy on January 27th along with Reactions, Life After Liftoff, Awake At Last, and Yankee Go Home. The show is at 7pm, is All Ages, and just $5.00. Thanks to Johnny for taking the time to talk with us, and we'll see you at the show! - Galaxy CDs


Singer and songwriter Johnny Stanec spent the latter half of the 2000s touring and recording with Youngstown indie rockers First in Space. The band had a pretty good run till it decided to "take a break, but not call it quits" last year.

Since then, Stanec has kept busy prepping his just-released solo debut, Narrow Is This Ghost Town, which he played almost entirely by himself. "Surprisingly, it wasn't that hard," he says. "I just did it a track at a time and layered everything."

The bulk of the album was recorded by Josh Roman at Mind Rocket Recording in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, a studio on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border where several Youngstown bands have made albums. "[Roman] was a good fit," says Stanec. "He's a quick worker, and I wanted to get in and record, and not waste any time."

Narrow Is This Ghost Town mixes soaring anthems with brooding ballads, recalling U2 and Coldplay ("Goodnight My Love") as well as more rootsy artists ("Tearing Me Down Tonight"). "I guess my sound is pop-rock," says Stanec. "I don't like to scream or anything like that. I'm a big Beatles fan, but I also like the Replacements."

Stanec is writing new songs and setting up shows for late summer and fall. He's also putting together a new band for the road. "I have to let things get out there and work their way through," he says. "It's an uphill battle, because I'm starting over in a way." - Cleveland Scene


Whether fronting First IN Space, or releasing a solo record, Johnny Stanec is about as consistent and dependable as they come! His latest (third) solo outing serves as another case in point as an example of his high quality songwriting coupled with a warm and heartfelt vocal delivery. "When solo, he trades in the Replacements-style rock of his band for more of a singer-songwriter vibe in the vein of Jesse Malin or Ryan Adams. 'Let it Slip Away' starts off slowly and acoustically, and then builds into a full-band anthem, while 'The Trouble With Spies' sounds like a track that could have been heard on the radio in the late-90s heyday of the likes of Semisonic and Third Eye Blind. The standout for me, though, is the folk-rockish 'Winter's Song', which recalls peak-era Blue Rodeo. A solid effort." - Absolutepowerpop.com GREAT!! - Kool Kat Musik


Johnny Stanec-No Horizon. Speaking of prolific, Johnny Stanec seems determined to stay on your music player of choice, with his third solo disc out now hot on the heels of last fall's First in Space album. When solo, Stanec trades in the Replacements-style rock of his band for more of a singer-songwriter vibe in the vein of Jesse Malin or Ryan Adams. "Let it Slip Away" starts off slowly and acoustically, and then builds into a full-band anthem, while "The Trouble With Spies" sounds like a track that could have been heard on the radio in the late-90s heyday of the likes of Semisonic and Third Eye Blind. The standout for me, though, is the folk-rockish "Winter's Song", which recalls peak-era Blue Rodeo. A solid effort. - Absolute Powerpop


Singer/songwriter Johnny Stanec draws from quite a large pool of rock, pop, Americana and punk influences. The Youngstown-based, jack-of-all-trades musician recently released his fourth solo effort, “Farewell, Sadness,” and he’ll perform an acoustic set March 26 at George’s Lounge.
“I’ve always been into lots of melody and good harmonies,” Stanec said. “There’s so many artists that I consider influences. I always mention Oasis and Noel Gallagher. What he does really clicks in my head. I really like Elliot Smith, — a good songwriter who put out some really intricate, insanely organized pop rock music. If I go back to my childhood, Nirvana was my first love. As a songwriter Kurt Cobain was really interesting. He was kind of better for his limitations.”
Stanec played all the instruments — drums, bass and guitars — as well as sang on his latest release, but similar to Cobain, certainly doesn’t peg himself as a virtuoso.
“I’m proficient,” Stanec said with a chuckle. “I was always more concerned with writing good parts. Being showy with big solos, I never really put myself in that position. It’s just not what I do.”
Prior to 2016, Stanec balanced his solo efforts along with Youngstown rock trio First In Space, a band he co-founded a decade ago. Looking ahead, however, for the first time Stanec’s focus will be solely on his own tunes.
Recently, he chatted about his music ahead of his George’s Lounge show.
1. How did “Farewell, Sadness” come together?
A. “I wasn’t really planning on doing a record. I had done a record last year, and it was more low key and acoustic driven. First In Space was going to make another record, so I had written my songs for half of it, but then we decided we were done. There was no fallout, but I wanted to record these tunes I had. Because there was no longer a band to make a record with, I did everything myself again. It came out pretty good.”
2. Was it hard writing for both your solo efforts and for First In Space?
A. “My main priority had always been First In Space. But when writing, I’d always come up with songs I knew would never fit on a First In Space record, so whatever was left, I’d put them on a solo record in between First In Space releases.”
3. How has being from Northeast Ohio affected your music?
A. “You can definitely get a little jaded or frustrated, but I like it now more than I ever did. I’ve played shows in a lot of different cities over the years, and you come here, and I guess sometimes a little smaller is better. It’s easier to maneuver through things, and I feel like there’s a pretty good music scene in Northeast Ohio. Everybody knows the good and bad about being here. It had its heyday, and now it’s rebuilding, and people have that stigma they attach to it. But to me, it’s a lot better than anybody would probably give it credit for.”

Page 2 of 2 - 4. What do you think it will take to get your music to the next level or more widely recognized?
A. “There’s so many people competing for everyone’s attention. People are processing so much information every day. The Internet was supposed to level the playing field, but in a way it made things more cluttered. It’s all about social media and how many likes and shares you get. It’s not really about taking the time to listen to the music. I think if people had to go back to calling clubs, sending a cassette tape demo with a bio, and they actually had to go back to what people did 20 years ago to book a show or create some kind of buzz about their band, I feel like way fewer people would do it. I think about how to get my music to a larger audience all the time. You just have to stay on it relentlessly.”
5. What does the rest of your 2016 look like?
A. “I just started on another record. I don’t have a real deadline for it, but maybe I’ll finish it up by late summer or fall. I feel like it’s the first one I’m working on on my own where I can start from scratch. I don’t have to write songs for the band and keep some for myself. Now I can just do whatever I want on my own. I can write without expectations or having to tailor anything to any band or sound or vibe. I can experiment with some newer sounds. I’m really gonna try to work on a string of shows to go with this next record. Last year, I did eight shows in eight different cites. Maybe I’ll do them all at once this year.” - Canton Repository


Johnny Stanec-Farewell, Sadness. Johnny Stanec is no stranger to this site, staying prolific over the last 6-7 years with numerous releases from his band First in Space, which broke up in 2014, and as a solo artist. His latest is another fine collection of Heartland pop/rock, somewhere in the sweet spot between Ryan Adams and The Gin Blossoms. So at one end you get singer-songwriter-styled tracks like the opener "Tired of Today" and the other there are quality rockers like "The Sky is Falling" and "Find Your Place". And "In Conclusion" is a perfect album closer, a wonderful track about finding humility in life. - Absolute Powerpop


Johnny Stanec (First in Space) returns with a confessional, mainly acoustic album that stands in direct contrast to his rock n’ roll band. The easy strum of “Let it Slip Away” grows into a repeatable chorus, and the solid “The Trouble With Spies” recall the late ’90s Toad The Wet Sprocket in spots. This album relies more on Johnny’s confident vocals to carry things, and the production is more stripped down than previous solo efforts.

“Until The Dawn” is one of his better ballads, and the poppiest effort here is the upbeat “Love, Life and The Chances We Missed.” Stanec certainly proves he’s versatile with the poignant “Winter’s Song” and “End of Days.” Give it a try. 7/10 - Powerpopaholic


Singer/songwriter Johnny Stanec draws from quite a large pool of rock, pop, Americana and punk influences. The Youngstown-based, jack-of-all-trades musician recently released his fourth solo effort, “Farewell, Sadness,” and he’ll perform an acoustic set March 26 at George’s Lounge.
“I’ve always been into lots of melody and good harmonies,” Stanec said. “There’s so many artists that I consider influences. I always mention Oasis and Noel Gallagher. What he does really clicks in my head. I really like Elliot Smith, — a good songwriter who put out some really intricate, insanely organized pop rock music. If I go back to my childhood, Nirvana was my first love. As a songwriter Kurt Cobain was really interesting. He was kind of better for his limitations.”
Stanec played all the instruments — drums, bass and guitars — as well as sang on his latest release, but similar to Cobain, certainly doesn’t peg himself as a virtuoso.

“I’m proficient,” Stanec said with a chuckle. “I was always more concerned with writing good parts. Being showy with big solos, I never really put myself in that position. It’s just not what I do.”
Prior to 2016, Stanec balanced his solo efforts along with Youngstown rock trio First In Space, a band he co-founded a decade ago. Looking ahead, however, for the first time Stanec’s focus will be solely on his own tunes.
Recently, he chatted about his music ahead of his George’s Lounge show.

1. How did “Farewell, Sadness” come together?
A. “I wasn’t really planning on doing a record. I had done a record last year, and it was more low key and acoustic driven. First In Space was going to make another record, so I had written my songs for half of it, but then we decided we were done. There was no fallout, but I wanted to record these tunes I had. Because there was no longer a band to make a record with, I did everything myself again. It came out pretty good.”

2. Was it hard writing for both your solo efforts and for First In Space?
A. “My main priority had always been First In Space. But when writing, I’d always come up with songs I knew would never fit on a First In Space record, so whatever was left, I’d put them on a solo record in between First In Space releases.”
3. How has being from Northeast Ohio affected your music?
A. “You can definitely get a little jaded or frustrated, but I like it now more than I ever did. I’ve played shows in a lot of different cities over the years, and you come here, and I guess sometimes a little smaller is better. It’s easier to maneuver through things, and I feel like there’s a pretty good music scene in Northeast Ohio. Everybody knows the good and bad about being here. It had its heyday, and now it’s rebuilding, and people have that stigma they attach to it. But to me, it’s a lot better than anybody would probably give it credit for.”
4. What do you think it will take to get your music to the next level or more widely recognized?
A. “There’s so many people competing for everyone’s attention. People are processing so much information every day. The Internet was supposed to level the playing field, but in a way it made things more cluttered. It’s all about social media and how many likes and shares you get. It’s not really about taking the time to listen to the music. I think if people had to go back to calling clubs, sending a cassette tape demo with a bio, and they actually had to go back to what people did 20 years ago to book a show or create some kind of buzz about their band, I feel like way fewer people would do it. I think about how to get my music to a larger audience all the time. You just have to stay on it relentlessly.”
5. What does the rest of your 2016 look like?

A. “I just started on another record. I don’t have a real deadline for it, but maybe I’ll finish it up by late summer or fall. I feel like it’s the first one I’m working on on my own where I can start from scratch. I don’t have to write songs for the band and keep some for myself. Now I can just do whatever I want on my own. I can write without expectations or having to tailor anything to any band or sound or vibe. I can experiment with some newer sounds. I’m really gonna try to work on a string of shows to go with this next record. Last year, I did eight shows in eight different cites. Maybe I’ll do them all at once this year.” - Canton Repository


Johnny Stanec-The Future of Nothing. Johnny Stanec is nothing if not prolific - The Future of Nothing is the eleventh album released under his own name or his band First in Space in the last 11-12 years or so. His latest doesn't break the Midwestern power pop a la The Gin Blossoms mold of his body of work but it's one of the best-sounding examples of it. Opener "I'll Be Your Ghost" is pleasingly melodic, "Feeling Lost" has that BoDeans/Connells feel to it, while "Phases of the Moon" and "The Strangest Sound" delve into Jayhawks-styled Americana. If you have any or all of his previous ten releases, you'll want this one. - Absolute Powerpop


Discography

The Future of Nothing (June 2018)

Ohio (September 2016)

Farewell, Sadness (February 2, 2016)

No Horizon (April 2015)

The Past Echoes (September 2012)

Narrow Is This Ghost Town (January 2011)






Photos

Bio

Johnny Stanec is a singer-songwriter from Youngstown, OH. Since 2006 he has been writing, recording and performing music. In 2006 he started the band, First In Space. First In Space released five full-length albums from 2007-2017. Together they toured the mid-west, east coast and Canada. Their music reached audiences across the world and their albums frequently landed on year-end lists in the underground music community.

Starting in 2011, Johnny started focusing on his own music and began releasing his own solo records. 2011's 'Narrow Is This Ghost Town' was a mix of songs left over from First In Space sessions that didn't quite have their place in that band. With that record, Johnny began performing live as a solo artist.

Shortly after, Johnny released 2012's 'The Past Echoes' and completed several small tours to support it. The album landed on several best of lists at the end of the year and was a step forward sonically and lyrically for Johnny.

In late 2012, Johnny returned full-time to First In Space and the band released two more full-lengths in 2013 and 2014. Several small tours were completed and both albums became the band's top sellers. However, by the end of 2014, First In Space decided to go on another long hiatus.

In the beginning of 2015, Johnny began working on his third full-length record. 'No Horizon' was released in April of 2015. The album was a departure for him and featured more somber, low-key songs. In the Spring of 2015 Johnny toured from Chicago to NYC, culminating in a performance at the CMJ Music Marathon.

In the Fall of 2015, Johnny started work on his fourth solo record. 'Farewell, Sadness' was released on February 2, 2016. A video for the single 'The Future's Promise & The Dying Breath' was also released.

Throughout 2015 and 2016 live shows were performed from Chicago to NYC in support of his releases. In fall of 2016 Johnny released his fifth solo record, 'Ohio'. In the beginning of 2017 he regrouped with First In Space for a new record and some regional shows. His sixth solo record, 'The Future of Nothing', was released in June of 2018.