In releasing his latest album, Nick Johnston is hitting a cross-country promotional tour. The guitar wizard has also released a ton of music videos and a new documentary on his YouTube channel. This promotional tour encompasses cities within Canada and USA. He has toured across USA, Canada this fall, just returned from touring around Asia and is heading to the UK tour soon!
Canadian atomic rock guitarist Nick Johnston takes us behind the scenes of the creative process of the making of “Remarkably Human”, his 4th album. The documentary is now available on YouTube:
Johnston says that “Remarkably Human” is the best and most ambitious record he’s ever created on every level. It definitely shows. You can hear the musician’s increased confidence, experience, effective tones, songwriting and a full-on natural evolution with this album. As he says, this album is “a new phase taking shape”. It’s essentially a concept album in its scope. All the songs, the artwork, and the atmosphere fall into the same mystical universe. Even the dialogue in the opening track picks up again in the end track, where a doctor’s voice suggests this all could have been a dream. “They’re [the songs] all from the same genre, which is a really big step forward for me as an artist” says Johnston.
The documentary is filmed inside their production studio with guitars, amps and equipment surrounding Nick Johnston and his producer Scott Griffin. The documentary is a mix of interviews and fly-on-the-wall observations in which the duo goes in depth about their production and creative process. We also get let in on some personal stories and learn how they overcame the challenges of putting together an LP. It all comes together with illuminating behind the scenes footage of their collaborative process.
“There’s some moments in this record that are really weird and awkward, and in the past I would never have been brave enough to try stuff like that, and if you’re familiar with my stuff this will be completely fresh and completely new” Johnston
Johnston says it’s the first time he’s worked with a producer, which presented a whole new experience for him. Even though Griffin says that his opinion didn't even matter because he loves everything Nick puts out, the producer really helped out by adding his professional touch and experimental ideas to the album. The two worked perfectly together, complimenting each other. Griffin nudged and developed Johnston ideas, which really shaped the album to become so stunning and unique. He added in more guitars, different amps and better technology.
The direction of “Remarkably Human” was to make a more ambitious work, but the writing and creative process all came naturally, without planning or forcing any specific themes. That’s what makes this album so sensational. Along with the guitar solos, the music also incorporates organs, soundscapes, bass by Bryan Beller, piano (used for the first time in Johnston’s album) by Luke Martin and drums by Gavin Harrison.
Scott, the producer, adds that the thematic nature of his [Johnston's] music isn't about the guitar playing, it's way more than that; it’s about the melody and about the song. That’s what sets Nick apart from other instrumental guitar artists.