21 marzo 2017

Frank J. Oteri di New Music USA riporta una bella conversazione tenuta di recente con Mike Johnson, offrendo ai lettori un pezzo ampio e articolato che ripercorre le molte vicende del musicista e le tappe dell'evoluzione del gruppo Thinking Plague, di cui han fatto a lungo parte Bob Drake e Dave Kerman. Circa il senso di diffidenza e critico sconforto generato fin dai titoli dagli album più recenti - A History of Madness, Decline and Fall, l'ultimo Hoping Against Hope - Mike spiega: "I’ve never been able to go with a direction that’s just celebrating or joy and I have felt for a long time that it is important for my artistic activity to make some commentary about what’s going on in the world. Part of that is my work background. Since the '80s, I have been working in human services programs, like working with the homeless, helping people to get shelter, helping people to get jobs. Then I worked with poor students to help them deal with all the issues that were keeping them from being able to be successful.  I had a day career out of this, and I was good at it. That informed my music, because when I went back to college after the music stuff, I took a lot of social science classes - politics and sociology and all this kind of stuff. My perspective definitely moved left, and I’ve been there ever since. The cliché is that as men get older, they get more conservative. Me, I’m moving left. I’m left of left now. I don’t even know where I am."