11 May 2015

My Top 5: Eddie Johnston

8:42 am on 11 May 2015

Throughout NZ Music Month we’ll be hearing stories from young musicians about the local songs they love the most. Today, Eddie Johnston talks about songs from Grayson Gilmour, Liam Finn, The Mint Chicks, Artisan Guns and Crowded House.

Race Banyon.

Race Banyon. Photo: Fraser Chatham

Where to even start? Eddie Johnston, the Wellington-based musician has been not-so-quietly making noise under Lontalius and Race Banyon, two monikers that represent contrasting but somewhat complimentary identities.

With Race Banyon, Eddie’s begun to explore electronic production, while his Lontalius handle showcases a much more introverted side of him, often basing songs around beautifully sleepy and repetitive melodies. Notably, those melancholic and minimalist tendencies have also continued on his much talked about takes of current rap and R&B songs.

Lately though, Eddie’s been keeping active in the live scene and in between shows he took some time to run through five of his favourite New Zealand songs he grew up with.

Grayson Gilmour – ‘I Am A Light!’

When I was 11-12 at intermediate school, Grayson came to tutor our school band of which I was playing bass in. We did a cover of ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads, if I remember correctly. Meeting him then was pretty huge for me. It was the first time I met a super creative person who liked the same bands as me (lol). This is my favourite song from my favourite release of his.

Liam Finn – ‘Second Chance’

Liam was my childhood hero. At first it was probably just because he was Neil Finn's son, but after I discovered I'll Be Lightning I fell in love with him completely. He's such an incredible songwriter, and seeing him play these songs on Letterman etc is still real inspiring. 

The Mint Chicks – ‘Welcome To Nowhere’

I think The Mint Chicks are the most important band for so many people my age. Around 2009, Ruban put a song I wrote with Steven Marr of Doprah on his 'No More Blogs' compilation. That was crazy. I was 12. I only really caught the end of The Mint Chicks, but I'm glad I managed to see them live twice. They're the reason I started going to local shows and listening to local bands.

Artisan Guns – ‘Pulled You In’

The album this is from is so good. It’s effortlessly beautiful. They've all moved on to their own things now, but I miss them so much. I played a show with them on the album release tour and it was one of the most fun shows I've ever played. Seeing this song live was too much.

Crowded House – ‘Fall At Your Feet’