Today we spotlight film Composer and Instrumentalist GC Johnson, creator of Acoustic Labs.
What are your biggest non-musical influences?
My friends and family are pretty diverse in their work and creativity, and seeing them fired up and passionate and exploring things really feeds me creatively. Some are designers and manufacturers and they’ve taught me a lot about attention to detail and why it’s important to be as deliberate as possible with your craft. Others are spiritualists and scientists who both feed my curiosity about how much there is unknown and in need of exploration. Some people I know get so much done in a day, their sheer productivity alone is humbling and inspiring.
What makes your sound unique?
I go through a lot of experimentation with prepared techniques and effects to make my instruments sound different. I always feel there’s not enough sonic character if the instrument I’m playing sounds the same as it did the day I brought it home. One example is a fender Stratocaster I have that has fishing weights clamped onto the strings towards the saddle of the guitar, which gives the instrument a metallic, middle-eastern tone that – to me – totally reinvents the instrument.
Who is your favorite fictional character and how did they influence your music?
Harry Potter isn’t my favorite character, but the world JK Rowling created for him is definitely one of my favorites and it did influence me musically in a weird way. The books made it fun to think of music (or any other skill) as magic in that certain techniques or programs are really hard to learn at first, but in time, after constant repetition, suddenly you’re able to do it. Like a spell. I still compare music and magic, especially when I’m trying to conjure Jimi Hendrix on the guitar.
What do you do to get away from it all? What do you like doing outside of the studio?
I love writing graphic novels and screenplays, it’s another hat I wear, and it’s a nice creative shift to go from music to storytelling. If I burn out on music, writing can be a great meditation and vice versa, and they also feed each other. I’ll often hear a melody while writing or reading and will run to an instrument, or I’ll imagine a story while playing a new tune and make sure to write it down in my list of stories. I’ve been called a workaholic before, and it’s probably true. If I’m not doing one of the two, music or writing, I feel like I’m standing still.