We’re big fans of Alain Johannes. Not only are your heroes bound to feel like comatose couch surfers when measured against his work ethic, but his inimitable signature is all over the sounds of some of our favorite celebrated projects including Queens of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Them Crooked Vultures, Eleven, Spinnerette, PJ Harvey and Mark Lanegan, to name just a few.
In addition to his many projects and collaborations, Johannes has established himself as a remarkably formidable creative and musical force of his own. His rhythmic flurries, production technique and style of instrumental expression contains a depth of haunting warmth and classical flare that’s become an audible signature of the man himself.
After establishing himself as a cofounder of Eleven with his late wife Natasha Shneider and former Pearl Jam drummer Jack Irons, Alain would soon become an integral part of the sound architecture for Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal and more. This kaleidoscope of projects culminated in his own stunning 2010 solo record, Spark.
We recently visited Alain at his 11AD studios, where he performed a set of highlights and favorites from his own catalogue for the second Antiquiet Sessions installment. Mere feet away from where he helped helm Lanegan’s Blues Funeral and Cornell’s Euphoria Morning, we were honored to be on hand for these fantastic performances – and we’re proud to share them with you.
The first performance we’re presenting is Endless Eyes, a soulfully enchanting & breathlessly rhythmic ode to Natasha Shneider, Johannes’ late wife, creative partner and bandmate in Eleven / QOTSA. She’s also the center focus of his Spark album, the creation of which the song would serve as a catalyst for.
“The story started with that song,” Johannes explains. “It’s the most direct ode to Natasha and the wonderful time we had together-it’s specifically about my love and admiration for her. She had a wonderful soul, natural intelligence, humor and internal funkiness, and she’s the most amazing musician I’ve ever met.”
Making A Cross (from Desert Sessions 7/8):
Make God Jealous:
Dig deeper into Alain’s world at his official site, and catch him this Friday at El Cid in Los Angeles, where he’ll be performing alongside Irontom and Blowing Up The Moon. Find out more details right here, and say hi when you see us.
Big thanks to Shane Hirschman for all the help!
Come on back at the end of May for the next installment of Antiquiet Sessions. Follow us on Twitter to find out who the artist is as soon as we’re done filming it.