Johnny Likes Noize

An interview with the boys from Johnny Likes Noize
by Mike Huberty
December 2018

Johnny Likes Noize at the Wisco

Johnny Likes Noize at the Wisco

If you’re looking to rock hard and have a great time, then look no further than Madison’s JOHNNY LIKES NOIZE. With an unapologetic classic rock style, they play original music that keeps the flame of catchy songs, blazing guitar solos, and pounding drums burning. Consisting of Madison music scene veteran Jason “Clownboy” Freel on drums, Jeremy “JJ” Sipos on lead vocals, and Ryan LeSage on electric guitar, they put the “Pow!” in “power trio”. Since forming a few years back, they’ve been developing steadily as a rock force by playing all over Wisconsin and taking every gig they can.They released their first recording Shhhh… earlier this year and will be performing at the Brink Lounge December 20th. I talked with the band in anticipation of the performance.

MI: What inspired each of you to start performing in the first place?
I started playing guitar around the age of 14 and didn’t change to bass until I was 26 or so. I always enjoyed playing in front of a crowd and getting a positive response. I switched (from cover bands) to Johnny Likes Noize because I wanted to play my own music and learn to write and record original music like my inspirations.

RLS: It initially started in middle school. Some friends and I used to stay up every Saturday night and watch Headbanger’s Ball. We used to hang out in one guy’s basement and stare at his brother’s guitar. We weren’t allowed to touch his gear, and we were kinda scared of him, so we never did. But we still dreamed of doing what we saw on TV…. My brother, some friends and I started going to a ton of concerts: Tesla, Bush, Live, Veruca Salt, Blink 182. The more we went, the more I wanted to be the person everyone else was going to see.

CB: I grew up in the MTV era, watching all the big hair arena rock bands like Def Leppard and Motley Crue. It looked like a pretty sweet thing to get into. I never really made an effort to get into a band until is saw the band ROAD TRIP. They were from Oshkosh WI. and still play today.  They were playing some pretty crazy covers and some fantastic originals. I became friends with them and realized that all you needed to do to be in a band is find the right people and get out and do it. So I did.

MI: What are the bands that brought you together?
In short, a lot of different classic rock bands. I’m not sure if we could pinpoint a few different artists that we all tend to gravitate to, which I think is a good thing. But rather different sounds and gut feelings. We either like it or we don’t, and we’re honest to let eachother know.

MI: What inspired the name, JOHNNY LIKES NOIZE?
Funny story.  When I started playing Ryan I suggested a band name that I had in my head for years, Jet Fire Circus.  Ryan liked it but thought that three words was too long of a name and suggested I drop one of the words.  The following week I asked him what he thought of the name Johnny Likes Noize. He said “I love it”. Go figure…….

MI: What do you think is the perfect song for people to listen to JLN or the first time?
Even though it’s not on our latest album, “Johnny Likes Noize”. The song is recorded very well and is a great presentation. And…duh, it’s the name of our band. I wanted to tell a brief story of the character Johnny and give him a background. I’ve thought of maybe writing other tracks with a continuing story of Johnny and his adventures. Kind of a continuing saga that comes up every once in a while. I think it could be a fun concept.

MI: What can we expect on December 20th at The Brink for Clownboy’s Birthday?
  As far as the music goes? The Sunspot duo of Mike & Wendy is always a trip.  You never really know what they will do. Aaron Williams & The Hoodoo are fantastic!! Some serious roadhouse blues to kick your a**. Throw in some “noize” and you have yourself a par-ty! As for the party, I have no idea what to expect. You will have to ask Sarah “Live Music Fan Of The Decade” Warmke, she’s in charge of it!

MI: What’s been your favorite show so far?
Tough call here.  I have to name two.  The Steel Bridge Festival in Sturgeon Bay in 2017 was a trip.  We were lucky enough to get two time slot on different nights. Playing with other original acts from L.A. to New York was fantastic!!  I felt like we were on tour. Staying in a motel, wearing the all access badges and mingling with some of the best acts around. We felt like rockstars.  The other gig would be our CD release party at the Frequency. I thinks it’s pretty special when you release your first album. A huge milestone in our lives, and to do it at The Frequency made it more special.  R.I.P. Frequency. We all miss you.

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