Nick Johnston: "I didn’t have a lot of money growing up - you learn to make gear sound good with what you have"

Nick Johnston
(Image credit: Kyle Murphy)

Nick Johnston has always occupied two worlds simultaneously - a Schrödinger’s Cat of Shred, if you will. Is he a highly capable, achingly melodic and sometimes blazingly fast guitar hero for the modern age? Or is he a composer exploring new levels of melody, harmony and orchestration? 

With Johnston, you never know until you hit play. On his latest album, Wide Eyes in the Dark, we find more of the compositional, fusion-esque Johnston rather than the ‘How does he do that?’ shred lord, and yet there are still plenty of licks and tricks, as on previous albums like Remarkably Human and Atomic Mind. It’s just that they’re couched in music that is almost cinematic in its scope and ambition.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Peter Hodgson is a journalist, an award-winning shredder, an instructional columnist, a guitar teacher, a guitar repair guy, a dad and an extremely amateur barista. He runs a blog, I Heart Guitar, which allows him to publicly geek out over his obsessions. Peter is from Melbourne, Australia, where he writes for various magazines, including Guitar World.