Blesok no. 32, May-June, 2003
Interview with Johnny Winter
VI: Do you recall your musical beginnings and how did it all happen?
JW: I started playing ukulele first for 2 years from age 9 to 11 and got my first guitar and got inspired by blues I heard on the radio that turned me on and I started learning myself. When I got old enough to go to night clubs to hear that music at the age of 15.
VI: Was there any family music tradition in your house?
JW: My dad played banjo, sax and sang. My mother played piano so we always had music around the house.
VI: Beside Edgar, do you have any other brothers and sisters and if so, are Edgar and you the only ones involved in music?
JW: No other brothers and sisters, just Edgar and I.
VI: When did you become aware that music would be your future?
JW: I always wanted to play music and have it be my career and knew this by the age of 12.
VI: As far as I know your first recordings are more in rock vein than blues, correct?
JW: Yes, that’s true.
VI: You have managed to bring exposure of old blues masters to wide audiences by performing their usic, were you aware of that fact then?
JW: That was my intention and was aware that it was happening.
VI: Do you remember your first band and when was that?
JW: 1959 and it was called Johnny And The Jamers.
VI: Who were your earliest influences in music?
JW: There were a whole lot, I bought every blues record I could find, it wasn’t just one or two people. My vocal influences were Ray Charles and Bobby Blue Bland.
VI: Who influenced your guitar style and why?
JW: T-Bone Walker was one that stood out and got me off.
VI: What’s your opinion on the current state of the blues and what can be expected in the future?
JW: I think it will always be around it just takes one person to make people aware of the blues.
VI: You have played all over the world, how do blues fans in various parts of our planet react to your music?
JW: Everyone seems to like it.
VI: You have worked with many well known blues people, could you point out some interesting experiences?
JW: Working with Muddy Waters really wiped me out it was something I always wanted to do. It was a personal accomplishement I’m very proud of.
JW: I have a new record on Virgin coming out and plan to continue touring.
VI: Your fans in Macedonia would like to see you perform here at our blues festival, would you like to come and play?
JW: Yeah sure I hope to be there one day.
VI: And finally, what would be your message to our blues fans?
JW: Keep enjoying the blues, listen to my records and keep the blues alive!