Voodoo Johnson
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Voodoo Johnson

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Rock Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Midlands Rocks - Nov 2011"

Folk hanging around on the off-chance of Voodoo Johnson releasing a naff record are advised as follows: pull up a chair, bring some sandwiches and get yourself something to read. You’re in for a looooong wait…

The contributory elements that make them everyone’s Next Big Thing coalesce on Black Powder Mother Loader to superb effect and satisfaction is not so much guaranteed as arriving complete with a life-time warranty.

The slow-burn grind of ‘Swear It To The Sun’ shows the dark mojo, with which Voodoo Johnson are possessed, working it’s old black magic with no signs of abatement. In fact, there’s even a noticeable and exponential improvement in both the band’s song-writing and delivery. Maybe it’s vox man, Taylor-Stoakes, really finding his groove or lead plank-spanker, Gethin, who is absolutely on fire here, being touched by the hand of Satan. Who knows? It just works. Does it ever.

Let’s talk about Taylor-Stoakes for a mo. He might have the sort of name you’d expect to see inscribed on the brass name-plate of a stockbroker’s office-door but he sings like a dude who spent too many hours hanging around the crossroads at midnight. A very credible contender for the best male rock vocalist anywhere on these shores, his menacing blues roar on ‘Dogs of War’, for example, is breathtaking.

Comprising five tracks, the others being, ‘United Divided’ ‘Black Skies Mist’ and ‘The Garden’, this isn’t so much an E.P. as half an album and quality is branded right through to the bones of every song.

There will be those who don’t like Black Powder Mother Loader, of course. Mainly dead people and the hopelessly stupid. Anyone else, though, not loving this disc deserves to be spat upon in the streets and then stoned to death. Buy this muthafucker now. No dissent permitted.

9/10 - Midlands Rocks

"Powerplay Magazine - Nov 2011"

This EP sees the swaggering Voodoo Johnson debut their new singer
properly, the rather gifted Nik Taylor-Stoakes. Sounding somewhere between a gritty Myles Kennedy and a more enunciated Eddie Vedder,
Taylor-Stoakes absolutely soars over the top of the band’s rather grooving material.

Whilst “Black Powder Mother Loader” is only a short listen, it gleams with highlights throughout; “United Divided” brags a winding and damningly heavy riff in its slowed chorus and “The Garden” provides a serene acoustic number that serves to elucidate the vocal talent. Finally, after a great chorus and a quiet interlude that shows the band channelling their inner melody, “Black Skies Mist” climaxes in a metalized cacophony of vocal layers, pounding drums and wild
guitar solos. The EP ends on quite the high note and shows
Voodoo Johnson still have a thing or two to show us about good
rock music.

8/10 - Powerplay

"Metal Hammer Aug 2010"

VJ pack the kind of ballsy punch that really is full of headline grabbing potential. It's a mighty wall of sound that VJ offer....wtch this space!!!

8/10 Jerry Ewing

10,000 Horses named in Jerry Ewings top 20 albums of 2010 in Metal Hammer - Dec 2010 - Future Publishing

"Classic Rock Magazine - FEB 2010"

If the idea of Queens Of The Stone Age nesting with Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith appeals, then meet Voodoo Johnson, a young Birmingham band who’ve the potential to be global gods - Future Publishing

"Black Velvet Magazine - May 2009"

It comes as little surprise that Voodoo Johnson are already taking the country by storm with an EP as astounding as Into The Red! - Shari Black Velvet

"Powerplay Magazine - Feb 2009"

It's only a matter of time before they are huge. Voodoo Johnson simply ooze class and style" - Powerplay

"Classic Rock Magazine Feb 2009"

Voodoo Johnson grab fistfuls of vintage rock sounds and toss 'em in the air like confetti, a five man party in a box who've been slowly building converts the hard way: with brilliantly written hard rock songs - Future Publishing

"Kerrang Magazine Aug 2010"

Cleverly Honed Classic Rock With Global Aspirations

Neither glaringly retro or gleamingly new, Birmingham rockers Voodoo Johnson may have hit on something here. This debut packages up heavy but accessible music in seamless and satisfying fashion, taking on influences from classic rock and grunge. The raw riffs and slick hooks of It Doesn’t Matter To Me and mesmerising opener Headstone get the heaviness just right that they leave this UK band shining brighter than their more dilute, radio obsessed American rivals.
- Bauer

"Big Cheese Magazine"

Birmingham, UK probably wouldn’t be your first guess for the birthplace of American sounding rockers Voodoo Johnson, but their undoubted industry appeal shines through on their debut album. Produced by Welsh based dab-hand Romesh Dodangoda, “10,000 Horses” is immaculately presented, written and delivered. When they strike the balance they are a joy to behold; the pinnacle coming with “Burn”, a ready-made rock n’ roll hit. “10,000 Horses” is a vastly likeable outing which alludes t the work of Alice In Chains, Audioslave and Black Stone Cherry while resisting copycat tactics. Catch ‘em now!

Rating: 4/5 - Big Cheese


April 2009 - Into The Red (EP)
Aug 2010 - 10,000 Horses (album)
October 2011 - Black Powder Mother Loader (EP)
TBC - The Hope That Killed Us All (Album)



THE STORY of Voodoo Johnson begins in an ice cream factory in Birmingham, UK. Guitarist Carl Gethin struck up a conversation about stoner rock with drummer Dave Barker over a conveyor belt. “We were both temp workers there after finishing Uni and I started talking to Carl after I noticed his Monster Magnet T-Shirt” says Barker. “It helped relieve the boredom…slightly”

They began to meet up after work and jam for hours. “We both had similar influences, especially the 70’s rock bands like Zeppelin, Free and Sabbath” says Gethin “and we both loved Soundgarden. And Tool”. Voodoo Johnson was born.

Over the next year they played a few gigs with local musicians until settling on a lineup which included Carl’s brother Paul on guitar, Rich Bellamy on bass and singer Kevin Bayliss.

Six months and several explosive gigs later the band recorded the EP “Into The Red” with producer Gavin Monaghan and things started to happen for the band. “Classic Rock magazine seemed to catch on to us early and before we knew it we were being featured as one of the bands to watch for 2010” says Barker. “Then Bruce Dickinson played us on his Rock Show, we were asked to play Hard Rock Hell Festival and things just went from there”.

Following a year of gigging up and down the county (including support slots with the likes of Duff McKagens Loaded, The Answer and Valient Thor) the band entered the studio to record their debut album 10’000 Horses with Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral For A Friend, Motorhead)

Released in August 2010 on their own Polarian Records label, 10,000 Horses received great reviews from the likes of Metal Hammer, Big Cheese, Classic Rock Magazine, Kerrang and Rock Sound. American blog site Blogs ‘n Roses went as far as calling it the best debut album since Appetite for Destruction and Metal Hammers Jerry Ewing listed it in his top 20 albums of the year. Combining big stoner like grooves with a retro southern rock feel and huge choruses, the album struck a chord with the rock community, as well as a couple of rock legends…

“We got a call from Brian Tatler of Diamond Head asking if we were up for writing a song together because he really liked our stuff and we were local” says Barker. A week later VJ were contacted by the manager of the band Europe about supporting them on their UK Balls ‘N Banner tour. “Joey Tempest had seen an interview we did in Classic Rock Magazine and had checked us out, which was pretty cool” says Gethin

Unfortunately singer Kev Bayliss decided that he wanted to pursue a pop career within weeks of the album being released “It was a blow at the time but on reflection it was the best thing that could have happened to us.” says Gethin. “I think he could see the buzz around the band building and decided to jump before it got even harder to leave. Rock just wasn’t his thing but good luck to him”

VJ immediately set about finding a new singer and after 8 weeks the band had found exactly the frontman they wanted in Nik Taylor-stoakes, formerly of South coast metallers Vallenbrosa.

“Nik was the first person I thought of as I’d seen him a couple of years before at a local venue with Vallenbrosa. Even though they were a totally different band to us, his voice totally blew me away, so when he said he’d like to join us we were ecstatic” says Gethin.

The first half of 2011 was spent touring with Europe, playing a full UK headline tour and several festivals including Download and Guilfest. VJ then entered the studio with John Mitchell at Outhouse Studios in Reading to record their first material with Taylor-stoakes, the limited edition EP Black Powder Mother Loader.
“We were all focused on writing the next album but we wanted to get something out for the fans as soon as we could, and we wanted to get Niks voice out there so we decided to record an EP first” says Barker.

Black Powder Mother Loader was released through the bands website in October 2011 to great reviews and a fantastic response from the fans. Taylor-stoakes striking vocals married perfectly with the grittier riffs and gave VJ a harder edge without losing the hooks present on previous material. Classic Rock and Powerplay magazine scribe Harry Paterson described Taylor-stoakes as “a very credible contender for the best male rock vocalist anywhere on these shores”. Scuzz TV played the video for Swear It To The Sun on rotation and the same song was also on the playlist for Total Rock, Rock Radio and Kerrang Radio.

With a second successive appearance at Download festival scheduled for June, and a new album planned for the summer, things are looking good for Voodoo Johnson. “The new songs are sounding great” says Barker. “We’re looking forward to recording this album more than anything we’ve ever done”

For the final word let's go back to Harry Paterson - “There will be those that don't like Voodoo Johnson, of course. Mainly dead people and the hopelessly stupid. Anyone else though deserves to be spat upon in the stree