SCOTTY - Is the lead guitarist and singer...
Scotty was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire and it wasn't until the age of 14 that he picked up his first electric guitar. High school friends prompted Scotty to listen to “Tom Sawyer” by Rush, and since YouTube, Napster and LimeWire weren't even a twinkle in the internet's eye yet, a request had to be put into the local rock radio station. When the DJ said "Now, here's ‘Tom Sawyer’ by request", Scotty hit his cassette player’s record button and was awestruck at what he heard. Already a big fan of AC/DC, Devo and The Kinks, he had toyed with the idea of playing guitar, but it wasn't until that fateful request that he decided he definitely had to get his hands on one. He still blames Alex Lifeson for making him play guitar.
Scotty befriended a kid of the same age in his neighborhood whose sister had messed around with the guitar, but had retired it to the attic. This friend had just begun to play drums, so the two decided to jam. The guitar was a lefty hollowbody Kent which a clueless Scotty played righty and strung upside down. Their first jam session consisted of “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit Of Radio” bass lines all played out on the low E string.
Scotty's mom and dad were very supportive of his newly found interest and picked him up a brand new American made Fender Bullet (thankfully, a right-handed model) and a Yamaha amplifier. Scotty would crank the volume up to eleven and sit for hours playing cassettes and learning his favorite songs.
Scotty took guitar lessons for one month until his teacher took off to the Berkeley School Of Music and, deciding he didn't want another instructor, he stopped taking lessons. Shunning music theory, Scotty continued to learn on his own and by jamming with his guitar-playing friends that he met in high school.
It was only natural that Scotty picked up a bass (that years later he pulled a Pete Townshend on and smashed to smithereens in a drunken stupor, but that's another story…) and began playing bass in The Wilson Street Band in 1986. Neil Young, CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd and other classic rock staples were on the Wilson Street playlist, and Scotty played the bass with them until he decided to head to Musicians' Institute in Hollywood, California in 1989.
Although he studied guitar at MI, Scotty wound up playing bass for The Timeless Mutant Ninja Gurus, a band formed with 3 other fellow students. The Frank Zappa meets Red Hot Chili Peppers mix of The Guru's funk led the band to become a favorite at school performances and at some of the smaller clubs around town. Sadly, The Gurus were turned down for record deals from Disney, Arista, A&M and Capitol Records for vulgar and inappropriate lyrics. At the conclusion of the Musician’s Institute program, The Gurus reluctantly parted as everyone headed back to their hometowns.
In 1992, with his bass destroyed, Scotty put the Fender in the closet and rarely ever played again until meeting up with the guys from AGAINST THE GRAIN in 2011. Talk about a hiatus! Dusting off the ever faithful, although somewhat beat up, 30 year-old Fender Bullet, Scotty excitedly embraced the idea of learning songs within the country music genre with which he was not very familiar. Grateful to have met such great bandmates and to jam again as the guitarist in the band, Scotty looks forward to many good times and hopes you enjoy the AGAINST THE GRAIN brand of country and classic rock.
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SCOOTZ - Is the drummer and singer...
Scott “Scootz” Johnson began his percussive career at the tender age of five, playing the title role in his first grade class production of “The Little Drummer Boy”, and has been banging on things ever since. Over the course of the past thirty-some years he has played country, rock, blues, punk, jazz, reggae, folk, rap, classical, and just about any other genre of music that you’d care to name.
Scootz has played shows all over Southern California, as well as numerous gigs in that capitol of glitz and glamour, Las Vegas. He has performed at fairs, car shows, parades, various civic and corporate events (including a rather “memorable” engagement at a nudist colony), as well as the usual slew of club dates at venues both large and small.
He was in all five of the house bands at Angie’s Saloon And Steakhouse in Hesperia, California (even co-founding two of them) from the time it opened in November of 1998 until its demolition in 2003.
In addition to his rhythmic skills, Scott is also an accomplished songwriter who penned his first tune before he reached his eleventh birthday. Of course, since it’s rather difficult to compose melodies on a drum set or tambourine or whatnot, he also plays a bit of guitar, bass, keyboards, mandolin, banjo, dulcimer, or whatever other instrument he can get his hands on.
Currently, The Scootz bangs the drums and sings with the hottest band in the High Desert, AGAINST THE GRAIN.