Johnny Headband

Johnny Headband

 Detroit, Michigan, USA

Group therapy in the form of a rock show


Before their band existed, brothers Chad and Keith Thompson grew up playing music together. As children, every morning they woke up from their dream filled slumber and ate breakfast, cleaned their rooms, dusted the furniture, went to school, went to various after school activities, and then came home and played music for hours. They were very resourceful young children. Pots and pans were made into full-fledged drum sets, and bedrooms became training grounds for proper air guitaring.

It was no coincidence that their father’s guitar managed to make its way into Keith’s hands. He picked it up and was taught basic chords, along with blues scales on the bass. In Chad’s case, the family band needed a drummer so he became a drummer. Keith’s affinity for death metal, the Cure, and the Clash rubbed off on Chad eventually, but he never wanted to be exactly like his older brother Keithy. So, he taught himself piano, drummed, and listened to depressing classical music.

10-year-old Chad discovered songwriting and multi-tracking on the same day. He was reading a book about impressionist painter, Pierre Renoir. “Pierre was born in Limoges on February 25th”, Chad read. He thought to himself, “say!!!, those are some goddamned good lyrics”. So he decided to use a newly bought 4-track recorder and sing harmonies with himself. His voice sweetly encased in swirling reverb from a broken Peavey P.A. head, Chad played simple piano chords while singing Renoir’s biography. It was his first original song. It was a good song. Not only did the brothers enjoy playing music, they enjoyed recording and writing music as well. In fact, they enjoyed everything about music, except liner notes.

One blindingly sunny morning in the summer of 2004, Chad decided that he wanted a conduit for all of the songs he had amassed. As well as an outlet for the visions of performing he and his brother had always carried with them. After many years of assuming they would always play music together in some structured form, they finally formed Johnny Headband.

Electronically tinged rock music, instrument switching, multiple keyboards, guitars, and sweat. Once described as “a car wreck where no one is hurt and everyone is smiling”, their live show was a springboard to explore boundaries of performance for the beautiful duo. In the fall of 2005, Johnny Headband added a backup band appropriately named the Headbandits. Options increased for the band. Great Lakes Gregory McIntosh (guitar, backup vocals), Carey Gustafson (keyboard, backup vocals), and Robert George Saunders (drums) breathed life into music that was previously coming from a laptop. In Late 2006, Johnny Headband will release their debut LP presently entitled “We Have No Good Title For Our Album Yet”.