Weehawken resident Peter Johnson has performed Maxwell’s more times than he can remember. A native of Hoboken, Johnson has been involved in various different notable acts, including The Orchids, the outcrowd, godbox and more.
After a 30 year career spanning many different musical realms, Johnson’s latest band, Shyneboxx, will return to Maxwell’s to host a record release party to celebrate their newest album, “Gig,” on Thursday, May 31. The show will feature notable guests from around the area.
“It’s the first time we’re going to be doing this album live from beginning to end,” said Johnson, a guitarist, who later added that his wife’s band, The Pretty Babies, will open the show at 8:30 p.m.; Shyneboxx will perform at 9:30 p.m.
‘The only thing I had going for me was my sheer love of music.’ – Peter Johnson
“Gig,” an album with a cover provided by notable artist Lou Beach, tells the misadventures of a band en route to a routine gig. The album kicks off with tracks such as “Get In The Back Of The Van,” and the instrumental “Cruisin’ To The Gig.” As the story progresses, the tracks become more suggestive, with names like “We’re Gonna Light Your Set List on Fire” and the penultimate “Thank You For Coming.”
“The whole thing is really a concept record,” said Johnson. “[It describes] all the events surrounding a gig.”
“There’s a lot of [tracks featuring] fighting [on the album],” continued Johnson. “There’s a lot of fighting going on in rock n’ roll that people don’t usually talk about.”
The album was recorded and mixed at Hoboken’s own The Pigeon Club, a studio at 358 Newark St. in Hoboken.
Johnson, who wrote the album, said that the album is a reflection of his lengthy career in music.
“This album has all the people I’ve met in rock n’ roll,” said Johnson. “This is the culmination of 30 years of a love for music.”
‘This is where I’ve gotta be’
Johnson’s fruitful beginnings in Hoboken began while in the audience of a Feelies concert at Maxwell’s.
“The first Feelies [show] I ever saw made me want to move to Hoboken,” said Johnson. “I just said, ‘I gotta move here. This is where I gotta be.’ That changed my life. I’ve seen thousands of shows at Maxwell’s [since].”
Johnson said that after moving to Hoboken, he returned to Maxwell’s time and time again to see performances from artists such as Southern Culture on the Skids, poet Jim Carroll, and legendary punk band The Replacements.
Johnson, who currently works as an East Coast sales representative for distribution company Selecto Hits, said he has made a career for himself writing, performing, recording, and distributing music. In fact, Johnson said he has had “phases” writing country music, performing hardcore punk and folk, and serving as a roadie for a local band.
“Music never came easy,” said Johnson. “I forced myself into the music business ‘cause I loved it so much.”
“The only thing I had going for me was my sheer love of music,” added Johnson.
Tickets for the event are $8. For more information, visit maxwellsnj.com or myspace.com.shyneboxx.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at email@example.com.