Johnny Mafia

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Vincent Arbelet

The new brats of the French garage scene

Biography

by Noémie Lecoq
17 January 2018

With their quirky sense of humour and their youthful vitality, the four members of Johnny Mafia bring in their wake a long-needed renewal of the French rock scene. Their music does not belong to the tradition of serious poets or protest singers. In fact, the only cause they are committed to is clear: fighting for their right to party, as the Beastie Boys once put it.

Like a lot of bands, the four members of Johnny Mafia met in high school. Théo (vocals, guitar), Fabio (guitar), William (bass) and Nicolas (drums) are based in Sens, a city in north-central France. All of them are in their early twenties, the perfect age to play such a carefree, playful music. Blending brilliant melodies with tight rhythms and fuzzy guitars, their euphoria is utterly infectious.

Their influences come from across the Atlantic: Ty Segall, Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees, Jay Reatard… In a nutshell, the US garage scene and, if we go back further, The Ramones. Just like their heroes, their live performances are efficient remedies against boredom and melancholy. So far, they have supported Parquet Courts, Mando Diao, The Jim Jones Revue, The Daddy Long Legs and The Kyle Gass Band, and they headline their own shows.

Their debut album, Michel-Michel Michel, was released in October 2016. Since then, they have been touring very intensely all over France (including festivals such as Les Eurockéennes de Belfort, the Printemps de Bourges, This Is Not a Love Song, the Eldorado Music Festival…) marking the early stages of their world domination.

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