- Rob Solly - vocals, guitar
- Matt James - guitar
- Sean Mannion - bass
- Jonny Shock - drums
In 2005 Johnny Panic released their debut 'The Violent Dazzling', an album of stadium sized hooks and melodies wrapped around concerns of mental health, prostitution, drugs and prisoners of conscience. A typical quote from Rob at the time went thus, "There's an ethic missing from a lot of bands" he explains. "We live in a society that refuses to question. That's where rock 'n' roll comes in. We're not here to shove them down people's throats, but every single one of our songs is trying to get something across."
It ís the sort of record that makes much more sense in a post-'American Idiot' and 'Welcome To The Black Parade' world. Of those that heard it, many fell for the passion and scope of the likes of 'Burn Your Youth' (subject: young male suicide) and 'Automatic Healer' (prostitution), however the record labels inability to get their head around what the band had delivered coupled with some dark financial shit meant that the album never really stood a chance. They managed to extricate themselves from their record label but it was a blow that would have KO'd lesser bands. Many will be surprised to hear Johnny Panic are about to come out fighting again.
Its being able to maintain a sense of humour about things and this fighting spirit that found the band not giving up. Scoring a British Arts Council grant to travel and play at this years South By South West festival, winning ten grand from the Windows Live Spaces competition and covering The Turtles 'Happy Together' for NPower's 2006 cricket sponsorship. All of this helped keep the band afloat and enabled them to self finance the recording of their second album, inevitably and appropriately called The Good Fight. Rob even collared Biffy Clyro and Therapy? producer Chris Sheldon in the street and talked him into producing and mixing the record.
Head and shoulders above their debut 'The Good Fight' is the sound of a band hitting the ground running. Musically the album is broader that its predecessor and along with the aforementioned influences The Stooges ('Gone'), Green Day ('Never Me') and Morrissey ('Heroes Of Villains') get at least a nod. Rob's lyrics are once again a mixture of the personal and the political, but whether it's a Colombian guerrilla movement or a dig at those that turn thugs into folk heroes it's never forced down your throat. "I like to think of it as amazing songs, with depth if you want it" says the front man. After everything the band has been through to get to this point they've got an album that sounds amazing, their goal now is to get the music out there to as many people as possible, to keep writing and playing the music that matters to them - basically, to keep fighting The Good Fight...