He switched to lead singer/songwriter at the age of 18. In 1992 John moved to Los Angeles to join BADLANDS, replacing vocalist Ray Gillen. During the nineties John wrote, recorded and toured the world with such acts as MICHAEL LEE FIRKINS, MARC FERRARI, COZY POWELL (Black Sabbath, et. al.) LYNCH MOB, JAMES MURPHY, SUN RED SUN, and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. John is currently the lead singer for the Danish progressive rock group ROYAL HUNT, and has been since 1999.
They have recorded 6 albums together, and have played numerous shows all over the world to audiences numbering up to 50,000. A new full-length live concert DVD is slated for a 2006 release from ROYAL HUNT. John has also written and recorded 7 studio albums with prog-rock legends ARTENSION between 1996 and 2003. In 2004, John wrote and sang on the FEINSTEIN album THIRD WISH, which garnered extremely favorable reviews from press and fans alike. Feinstein, with John at the lead vocals, performed in Germany for 55,000 people in 2004 This July (2006), comes the release of John West’s 4th solo album, entitled LONG TIME…NO SING.
Previous solo album titles include Mind Journey (1997), Permanent Mark (1998), Earth Maker (2001). John is also an accomplished lead guitar player, as his playing on his solo albums will attest. He remains busy in the local music scene in N.Y. singing and playing guitar with his bands SHADOWBOX and JOHNNY AND LONNIE. 2006 promises to be another eventful year for John West. He has just returned from Scandanavia recording and touring with Royal Hunt, and more shows are planned for the summer.
John will also be a featured guest performer at the TAYLOR MADE and ADIDAS/MAXFLI pro-am golf tournaments in Puerto Vallarta Mexico in November. 2) John Peter West is an American pop singer. Visit http://www.johnpeterwest.com for biography. With simple honesty about complex emotions, John West creates soul without crooning, and pop without gloss. "In life, it's scary when you've never experienced something before, but if a song can be a guide, or a road map, that's a beautiful thing," says the now L.A.-based Southern boy who cites Otis Redding, Cat Stevens, Jill Scott and Jack Johnson as primary influences. "What I love about people's reaction to my music now is that people tell me it soothes and relaxes them.
It helps them get through hard days easier. And the reason I wrote half of these songs was to get through my own hard days." Much to John's satisfaction, his songs are providing similar relief to his ever-expanding audience. He's seen it for himself while performing at venues as intimate as The Temple Bar and The Hotel Café, or as broad and public as Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. "The idea that I can bring different types of people together seems like a real calling,..
he says. ..And if you can do that, then all of a sudden you can break down a lot of other barriers, because fear is usually the lack of knowledge and a lack of commonality. Music can bring people together so well." In that way, John views his young music career as a way to live a life of public service. That strong sense of community and inclination to help others was instilled in him by his mother, a teacher and social activist.
The youngest of five siblings, he was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, amongst the craw fish and cane fields - a natural source to the bluesy undercurrent of his sound. John's earliest memories of music are singing in the church choir at the age of 6, and he continued that all the way through high school, where he also participated in musical theater. Since nobody in his family was musically inclined, he had to discover things on his own. "Nobody ever handed me boxes with a bunch of records or anything like that," he laments, humorously admitting that it was through a sister's Lenny Kravitz Let Love Rule CD that he got the "condensed version" of legends like Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. He also listened to sounds like alt-rockers 10,000 Maniacs and the singer/songwriter now known as Yusuf Islam.
In middle school, at the age of 13, he traded some computer games for a beat-up guitar and began trying to decipher Nirvana riffs. By high school he was taking classical guitar lessons. During John's first year of college at Louisiana State University, a buddy brought him to a G. Love & Special Sauce concert. "Right after that I wrote my first song," he recalls.
The following summer his sister Anna invited him to come stay with her in Chicago. Living away from his small hometown lead to an intense time of self-discovery and reinvention, especially as she introduced him into the local artistic community in the Windy City. John credits Anna, a spoken word poet, as a major catalyst in his songwriting path. Worried that he had to "dumb it down" for his audience, he was writing clichéd love songs but she told him, "It doesn't have to be trite; you could transcend that and it can still be pop-y by saying it in a way it's never been said. That's what's gonna get people..." After returning home at the end of Summer 2001, John decided to move to Chicago and transfer to Columbia College Chicago.
After meeting a music producer on campus, he was soon recording a demo with some friends and Craigslist ad respondents under the group name Green Street, leading to a performance at Columbia College Chicago's Manifest Urban Arts Festival, which in turn resulted in follow-up gigs at hip local spots like Subterranean. In late '05, John decided to move to Los Angeles (the lovely Echo Park, to be exact) with a few friends to concentrate on his music career, though he's also paid bills as a substitute teacher. "You'd think that you'd move to L.A. and you would lose your soul. Or so they say," he laughs.
"But when I got here my purpose deepened, and when that happens you can't stop that from translating into your work." Just to put his money where his mouth is, he continues to donate a significant percentage of his music earnings to charities, including Hurricane Katrina relief and art programs for displaced youth. At his shows and online, John began selling an 11-track, self-released album, though the track listing constantly changes; as he comes up with new tracks, older ones get bumped. "My songs are like journal entries in some ways," he says, and if so, his diary makes for quite an interesting read. "I want to do something people listen to and walk away a little different." His current signature song "Loved You Tonight" was inspired by a friend "who was always getting into MySpace crushes," while the reflective "Masquerade" offers guidance for those "lost in the circus," "lost in the maze." He ponders if "maybe day jobs pollute us" as he implores dreamers to persist with the anthemic "Gravity". "This world is too fast and it's too hectic and it's super crazy," John says. "People are stressing out all the time about all sorts of things and if I can provide a little bit of relaxation, then that's cool." Check out more at http://www.myspace.com/johnpeterwest Read more on Last.fm.
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