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Judge for Johnny Punx

Philadelphia, PA
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Johnny Punx™, born John Maiolino, is a Musician & Producer who majors in diverse types of music. He has been playing and singing since he was a very young child. "One of the happiest days of my life and childhood was when my dad came home with my very first keyboard. It was so amazing I was freaking out! I had saved up $200-$2 at a time and the feeling was priceless. I used to pretend the kitchen window platform was an organ, being so inspired by the pianst on Lawrence Welk and the organist from church."

Johnny currently plays piano and guitar mostly, while enjoying and experimenting with the tremolo harmonica, accordion, mandolin and electric sitar as well. He is also interested in bass and drums. However, his love for new instruments constantly grows. "I started with the piano & keyboard and then graduated to guitar. From there I've had a lot of fun with the tremolo harmonica and the accordion that belonged to my father. I love witty instruments like the banjo and mysterious types as the sitar. I would love to own and play all of these instruments one day. Dedication, sacrifice and hard work will get me there. I wish my father could have taught me the accordion before he passed in 2005, but I will keep going in honor of him."

Singing is extremely important to Johnny and he has been working on it hard, especially in the past year. "I have been messing around with so much and enjoying every second. I have been working on my vocal range and practicing falsetto. I am mainly all self-taught and very proud of my hard work. I am interested in widely improving and changing my voice, especially for this wild song that I am working on now. I want to use it in many ways and be creative where I have never been before and just go with it."

Johnny's genre can range anywhere to a gospel-opera-like type, inspired by his favorite album of all time--Green Day's American Idiot-- to a full-blown punk song. He likes to experiment extensively and go with what feels right. "I dislike the idea of a 'genre' and labeling music. I believe that the work that each individual does should be as they know it is in their heart, soul and in their veins. I love playing everything. I even [terribly] rap just for the living hell of it. It's horrible and pathetic but fun and it inspires me. I have received inspiration from every type of music; I listen to just about everything. I have even been inspired by music I generally don't like! I'm very wide-ranged. Everything serves a purpose so always keep that in mind."

Johnny's belief is that music should not be a "set of ground-rules" but rather what makes you happy. Have fun and express yourself honestly. "I dislike the id ea that all songs should be strapped with strict rules of chords, keys and scales. Most of my songs are just written by playing and having fun. I won't specifically go after chords or scales but rather just play open notes that sound so well and 'break the rules' of what is seen as correct. I want to start a different-almost evolution to where we as musicians can feel free to play as we wish and be appreciated. I pick up a guitar or go to the piano and just play. I like mixing everything together and doing whatever I please, not worrying about what will be seen as 'weird' or 'freaky' or 'wrong' because I honestly care less. What matters most is doing what I love and makes me happy and knowing that my music will connect with someone out in this big world."

Johnny turns life issues into something comforting. They have been the basis for many of his songs. "It was very eye-opening hearing James Blunt say 'find comfort in pain' in a song. I always felt I was some sort of masochist for feeling that way and it helped inspire me. Bad experiences are the beginning of success. I believe you should write and say whatever the hell you want. Be blunt, be honest and curse the whole way through--if that's what you are into. Don't tell me what to say and don't judge me based on words comprised of letters the same way the entire language is written. It's HOW you use the words that matters, not using the words themselves. We are to stand up for ourselves and say what we feel. Whether it is heartache, feeling lost and sad or blasting Corporate America, you will hear me, trust me. I am inspired by everything that happens in life, especially the negative and the controverisal. I love piercing and tattoos and extraordinary hair cuts and clothing. You have to roll with what makes you spin. I have the artwork [heart grenade] from American Idiot tattooed on my arm as a constant reminder of the album that has inspired me most, changed my life drastically and marks the era of growing up as an adult with many changes. It also brightly marks when I finally started to truly stand up for myself, not knowing what was to come and how I would need it and amazingly use it so beautifully. I've listened to it at least a million times. I also have my father's name tattooed on my forearm where I can always see it; I feel close to him and I feel safe and inspired. I plan on getting many more tattoos; it's not just the style or the hype, it's the art and how it transforms your life into a permenant visual canvas for the world to see. It says that you are here as yourself and you won't change for anything or anyone. True rebellion and self-worth are in contact."

Besides being fluent in English, he also knows some Italian, German and Spanish. "With my strong Italian heritage it is a goal of mine to be fluent in Italian one day. I love learning new languages and I enjoy using them in songs. The big project I am currently working on will contain German lyrics. I love it's rich and bold feeling. I was inspired after hearing lyrics in Lady Gaga's Scheiße from her Born This Way Album, which is like a changing era for musicians who want to be themselves, entirely. I was also very inspired from other songs in that album and her French aspirations in Bad Romance.”

When not working in his home studio, Punx Studio™, Johnny loves cooking, poetry, traveling, exercising, art, spending time with family and friends and just simply relaxing. "When some work, whether complete shit or awesome as fuck, is plugged into Pro Tools at the studio, its nice to just sit back and relax. I love spending time with my family and friends and chilling with the cats. Sometimes it's nice to enjoy some great TV, my phone and some good grub. Like Doctor Phil said, it's not a sin to relax for all the hard work put in. I absolutely love cooking, having fun on Wii Fit and exercising. It's important to get myself into shape and stay that way because if I am to fulfill my dreams, I need to be healthy and able. I've considered furthering my interest in cooking and health, so who knows what else may happen! I also want to get back to my art roots in some way someday. It has been put on the back burner for music--my largest passion and being--but I'll never forget what my father taught me and it will always stay with me. I'm very grateful. I've come a long way."

Johnny is currently in the studio for major work, furnishing and recording. "I've been working on so many unexpected songs; they just happen, like life. There is so much to sort through; new video ideas and crazy sound samples are happening every day, and I am in hell of a full-drive. It's musician's natural crack and speed, so to speak."

 

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