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Johnny Stanec / Blog

New Albums For 2016

Quick updates for those of you reading...

Released my fourth record, 'Farewell, Sadness', back in February. It's now available through iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon and wherever digital music is sold or streamed. Hardcopies through my Bandcamp and through Kool Kat Records.

Also, another record will be released this Fall. It will be my fifth. Titled, 'Ohio', it will consist of ten songs exploring various styles and themes. Be on the look out for it later this year!

New Album for 2016

I have no idea if anyone sees or reads this. There are literally ten million distractions going on at any given time. I'll write something new so it looks legitimate and current.

Back in April of this year I released my third solo record, 'No Horizon'. It was self-released and got a few good reviews. I hadn't done anything solo since 2012 and in 2013/2014 I was busy with my old band, First In Space. This year, though, I've been focusing on my own records again. I had a few dozen songs that I wanted to record. 'No Horizon' was a lower-key affair and recorded in just seven days. After I released it I played shows in Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Youngstown and NYC.

Since September I've been busy recording my fourth record. I'm planning for a winter 2016 release. It's a lot more uptempo and I spent more time recording it. In all honesty it might be the last record I put out for a while. Since 2006 I have put out (including this upcoming one) eight full-length records, both solo and with a band. I really haven't stopped. Are they all good? Yes. At least I think so. Time and production values differ. Some were done hastily, and others were given more attention and care. I think all the First In Space records sound fucking massive. My personal records vary, but I think this fourth one is going to change that. Instead of wallowing in my misery with low-key sad songs, I'm wallowing in my misery with louder rock and roll tunes. It's a win/win for the listener.

Honestly, though, I'm burned out. All I've done for the last decade is record and play shows. It's what I wanted to do, but I need a long break. I hate pretty much everything going on in current music, both local and national. I have no interest in being a part of a "scene" either. I laughed at that notion years ago. I have a hard time caring about bands that won't be around in six months and their shitty shows playing to their drunk friends that are still hanging around because they have nothing better to do. Guys in bands wearing cargo shorts and band t-shirts they bought from Target. It's all just too lame for me. I had a vision that it would be different, but the bros won out and took over everything. People can't tell the difference anyway.

With that in mind, be on the look out for my next record. Most likely it will titled "Farewell, Sadness", unless I come up with something snazzier.

It will be available everywhere online and physical copies will be made available through my Bandcamp page and through Kool Kat Musik.

New Album In The Works

Been a while since I posted anything to this site, been busy the last two years with my band, First In Space. We released albums in 2013 and 2014 and played a few dozen shows throughout the mid-west and east coast. While the band is taking a short break I'm starting work on my third solo record. No title yet and a release date has not been set. I'm hoping for sometime in the spring if all goes well. More updates to follow. Later... Johnny

Some (sober) rambling...

Aside from shows and my record, I've been keeping things pretty low-key lately. There is such a bottleneck anymore with bands and songwriters competing for people's limited attention spans that I'm finding it less appealing to force myself to stay in the mix of things. Well more than usual. If I threw a dart I could hit someone else trying their hand at being in a band or songwriting or whatever. It has become so stale. Most of these people will burn out before they're 30 and go back to whatever it is they were doing before. Hopefully. I say "hopefully" because the quality has gone way down. Mostly people are happy just ripping off someone else that is successful and repackaging it with their name on it. How many more 22 year old singer/songwriters do we need? Male and female? Or bands still playing the unholy musical genre that grunge devolved into? I've been at this shit for a long time and have had limited successes. It's exhausting anymore with having to be on Facebook and Twitter and whatever else. Once upon a time you just had to be a good writer and put a record out and tour. Now you have to live on the computer. Bands promote their facebook pages as if having thousands of likes means anything more than they have a ton of extra time. What does it even equal? If you scroll through facebook and look at how many bands have pages you will find thousands...no, millions of bands that you have never heard of that don't regularly play live and might not have even released any music. Since 2006 (when First In Space got together) I have released 4 full length records (2 with FIS and 2 on my own) and played on 3 other people's recordings. And I have very little to show for it. Anymore I feel it all means nothing. Social media has it's place. I'm using it right now. If you are reading this, it's only because these websites exist, but it doesn't make a band successful and it's hurt live music. People can take one second and look up a band online, listen to the first song and decide at that moment that they either like you or don't. And even if they do, they won't just go to the show. The show has to offer something more for them. It needs to be a social gathering. The band isn't enough. Listening to live music doesn't hold enough value anymore to give up your Friday or Saturday. People need to know that others will be there worth being seen by. It's the way it is now. And good luck getting them to stop talking while you are playing. They do it at concerts for major acts, so rest assured it will happen at the local venue while your favorite student-alt rock band is playing. Lately when I hear of a new band (and I mean on a national level, gaining fans and selling records) I might do some investigating. Typically I find that they were from some wealthy, affluent area who's parents probably shelled out tons of money to get them heard. And good for them I guess. But it's all fleeting. Will anyone on earth be listening to Passion Pit in 5 years? God, I hope not. Yuppy, yacht-synth-pop schlock. Oh well, I'm rambling. My point is it's tough out here. I'm still trying to do this, and without a band now. No one backing me up, or to share in the misery of being a completely independent musician. But it's all good. If I play a show and sell a few records then it was a success. If I spend the rest of my life toiling in obscurity at least I'll know I did it with some integrity and the least amount of pretentious bullshit as possible. I didn't jump on any fads or pretend to be someone I'm not. I don't harp to any person within earshot about my "music" and "passion for creating". I actually hate talking about anymore. It exists and it's out there and from time to time I go out and promote it as I see fit. Every now and again I will release something else and see if a few more people will catch on. So, who knows, maybe someday...

Until next time....

John Hlumyk
John Hlumyk  (over 3 years ago)

Damn Johnny! Yeah, I miss the days when there was only vinyl and tape and going into the studio was without a doubt, the best day of your life. It took commitment, work and every penny your could scrounge. Only those with the drive to endure put out albums, so there wasn't such a glut as there is today. I wish there was a magic antidote I could impart to you from all my years of doing this, but there really isn't any. Well, except this, do it for yourself, do it because you love it and fuck everything and everyone else.

Shows/record

I've got some shows coming up... Friday October 26 I'll be in Niles playing The Havana House's Halloween party. I will keep things lighthearted and shelve the majorly depressing tunes for another time... Come out and drink and hang out! I have a couple other things booked... Friday November 16th at Hambone's in Pittsburgh with Hoseff (an acoustic/blues guy from Akron) and then Saturday December 8th at Kafe Kerouac in Columbus. Both are cool, small places with beers and everything. Come out and support my ass! Also, my newest record, The Past Echoes, is available on iTunes, CD-baby, amazon.com, and pretty much everywhere else you can buy digital music. I have hardcopies and I sell those at shows.

Later...

New Songs, Etc...

To the dozens of you that are interested, the first ten songs in the player now are the ten songs from my upcoming second record titled 'The Past Echoes'. They are in the order they'll appear on the record. They will be for sale soon...

~Johnny

New Information Has Come To Light

Well, things have changed... I'll be releasing new music under my own name and not my old band, for the literally dozens of you that care. New songs were recorded, and finished, then since there is no "band", there really couldn't be a record, right? I mean, we're not Steely Dan...

So, I took the songs I wrote and had my esteemed colleague, Josh Roman (Mind Rocket Recording) mix and master them. And since I'll be playing all the scheduled shows as a solo acoustic act I recorded some songs acoustic in his studio. That way some of the new music I'm putting out will be more representative of what I do live.

Yes, I know it would be cooler to have the big full band sound live, but financially and socially, I'm only able to be a one man show for now. I am looking forward to playing though, and releasing these new songs, which I'm going to present as a sort of 'Side A/Side B' kinda thing. Not sure if 'Side A' will be the full rock and roll band songs yet or if I'll save it for 'Side B'. Only time will tell. I'll be titling it "The Past Echoes Parts 1 & 2". What that means, I don't know. It sounds pretentious, so I'm into it.

I'll be pressing a small amount, because I'm so obscure that even I won't read this blog. I'll also release it via iTunes, amazon.com, CD-baby digital, Rhapsody and all the other places online that sell digital media.

So be on the lookout and spread the word and come and see me play live sometime soon...

Your friend, Johnny

Current State of Affairs...

Well, here's how things are going on my small, mostly uninhabitable planet. Back in February my friend, and fellow First In Spacer, Dolus started recording new songs for our third album. Those songs came out sounding like instand classics. We are currently in the mixing and editing process. Once we're done with that, we'll master them and put this record out into the vacuous void that is the general public. It will be largely ignored. We'll probably only press a small run and we are considering doing it on vinyl. We'll see. We are obscure enough to be considered a collector's item, right? Anyway, as for live shows go. We had a few false starts. As it stands now, the shows scheduled will just be me (Johnny) playing solo acoustic. It's what it is. We don't have a solid lineup and time is running out. Unless I run into some people who are enthusiastic about playing in this band in the next few weeks (and judging by the lack of response, I won't), I will be the lone ambassador of our songs. I am in the process of booking a bunch of shows though, and I will hopefully be bringing my troubadour stylings to cities across the midwest and east coast. As for a solid release date on this new album? All I can say is sometime this Fall. So, all 6 of our fans will have to wait it out a few more months. Perfection takes time. Well, that's all for now...

~Johnny (aka Starchild)

BJ Omalley
BJ Omalley  (about 4 years ago)

I feel ya on ALL that! I also end up a one man (woman) show more often than not. and I also am going to release my new one on vinyl so instead of having CDs collect dust I can have cool vinyl records doing so. btw... I'll buy your record Johnnie. Since the songs are already classics and all ;)

love bj

New Music

For those of you that are breathlessly awaiting our third, soon to be titled record, here's some new news...

We are getting close to finishing up tracking on the songs. The record will consist of ten songs, all equally as awesome as the one before it. No indie-rock whining or avant-garde posturing. It's a catchy, melodic, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes mid-tempo rock 'n' roll record. And by rock and roll we don't mean nasty, overly distorted butt-rock like today's 5th rate grunge leftovers. And we don't mean rock and roll in the sense that we used to not use bass guitar and now we do so everyone should make a big deal about us now. No, just unpretentious (well, sometimes it's pretentious) songwriting with lots of hooks. That's all. We plan on having this record out in the late Summer/early Fall. Yes, things are looking up. Plus we will make our live return at The Utica Music & Arts Fest in Utica, NY. The festival takes place September 13-15. We'll have more details on that as it gets closer. Until next time, and as always, stay golden.

~J

First In Space

This used to be the Reverb page for Johnny Stanec's solo music, now it is for First In Space. First In Space was and is a rock and roll band from Youngstown, OH. Founded in 2006 by Johnny Stanec and Dolus McCormick, the band released two full length records until taking a hiatus at the beginning of 2011. After some time off they have decided to release a third album due later this year. They are already well into the recording process. More details will emerge in the coming months. For now you can check out their first two records; 2007's 'This Is Not Here' and 2009's 'Geronimo'. Both are available at iTunes, Amazon and wherever downloadable music is available. You can also purchase copies from Kool Kat Musik (koolkatmusik.com). Rock!