Johnson, Rob (Magnitude Nine) (July 1999)

[Sometime around 1998, Rob Wendel interviewed Rob Johnson, guitarist with Magnitude 9 (or Magnitude Nine, as the band has also been known). It was republished at in 1999 -ed.]

RW: Rob, How long have you been playing guitar, and who are your personal influences?

Rob Johnson: I've been playing since I was 12, seriously since I was 14. As far as influences there are so many! Yngwie, Paul Gilbert, Lynch, Demartini, Van Halen, Rhoads, Jason Becker, Al DiMeola, Allan Holdsworth, etc. & I'm still getting inspired!

RW: How would you describe the musical style of Magnitude Nine?

Rob Johnson: I would describe our sound as melodic, technical, progressive metal.

RW: Who are the members of Magnitude Nine, and what are their musical backgrounds?

RJ: Corey Brown, vocalist for Psychodrama; Rob Johnson, instrumental guitarist and guitarist for Saddleback Shark; Kevin Chown, bassist for Edwin Dare, Tony MacAlpine, and Artension; Joseph Anastacio Glean, keyboard / songwriter of his own; and John Homan on drums, drummer for for Saddleback Shark.

RW: Where did you come up with the name Magnitude Nine?

RJ: I came up with it as being a powerful sounding band.

RW: What are the touring plans for Magnitude Nine and would it possibly include the U.S.?

Chaos To Control 1998RJ: If the CD [Chaos To Control] does well we'd love to tour the U.S. But probably Japan & Europe is most likely with proper label support.

RW: Who are the major songwriters in Magnitude Nine?

RJ: As far as songwriting goes, I write all the music, & Corey writes all the vocals.

RW: I know you have used a 7-string guitar in the past. Did you also use it on the Magnitude Nine disc?

RJ: I don't own a 6-string anymore. I only play 7-string. It sounds cool on the Magnitude Nine CD. I own four 7-string guitars - two Ibanez & two custom made Greco models.

RW: Tell me what are the advantages of using a 7-string guitar over a 6-string.

RJ: The advantages to me? More sonic choices, & more notes, & a heavier sound. :-)

RW: Who produced the Magnitude Nine disc?

RJ: Corey, myself, & Rick May

RW: You also have three instrumental discs and play in another band, Saddleback Shark. How do you find time to do all of these projects?

RJ: It's hard! I like to try to keep busy, or else I feel like a slacker, & I love creating music!

RW: What are your feelings about the current metal scene in the U.S.?

RJ: Well, I wish MTV still would support metal like they used to! I miss Headbanger's Ball. That's how I found out about Fates Warning in 1989! In a way, it's kinda cool that metal is underground again. I wish metal & progressive bands other than Metallica would get some airplay & respect.

RW: How well do you think the internet is helping the metal scene?

RJ: Fans from all around the world can find out about bands, that they might not have the chance to in their country. Hell, maybe someone in Nepal is or Mongolia is checking out Dream Theater sites! [laughs] It's really helpful to have the internet, since metal is so "un-hip" these days.

RW: Are there any plans on doing another Magnitude Nine disc in the future, and will it include the same members?

RJ: Yes! We are already discussing starting another album. Probably in 4 or 5 months & probably the same members. I hope everyone digs this album, so we'll have to do another one!

RW: What other projects will we see from Rob Johnson in the near future?

RJ: Well, I'm starting to write new tunes for my next guitar instrumental CD. It should be out in the fall / winter of 98 hopefully, & writing another Magnitude Nine album!

[This solo album seems to have been put on hold while Johnson concentrates on Magnitude 9; their new release is now expected in spring 2000, released by Insideout Music. -ed.]

RW: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

RJ: Yes! If it wasn't for fans that listen to our style of music, we'd probably be real depressed, because we probably won't get airplay. Thanks for all the support. Keep in touch with us, & if you like us tell a friend! :-) Thanks!

Chaos To Control (1998)
Reality In Focus (2001)
Decoding The Soul (2003/2004)

Added: July 9th 1999
Interviewer: Rob Wendel

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Language: english

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