Johnny grew up playing in bands for half of his life. He started playing in a band when he was 15 years old. In his first band, Johnny shared the stage with the likes of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Fitz and the Tantrums, Black 47, and countless others. He has performed across the country from NYC to Cleveland, to all over Western New York and even as far as Galway, Ireland. After ten years with that band and dozens of shows under his belt both locally and nationally, Johnny wanted to explore some new ideas and sounds. In 2013 he released an album called “Makes No Sense” under the band name Johnny Hart and the Mess. For the first time, he did everything on the album by himself. He wanted to branch out and explore different styles of music to see what he really fell in love with. It turns out, rock n roll was his love. His concept of the Mess was his experience of making an entire album by himself. He didn’t play drums, really didn’t do much bass either, so after mixing a song he leaned back and said to himself, “this thing is a mess”. Then the name was born. Soon Johnny would realize the Mess would be a living, breathing thing. Enter Tyler.
After exploring a variety of sounds and styles Johnny deeply missed the authenticity of humans in the music creation process. While drum tracks and synthesized instruments have their advantages at times, he missed the connection of having band mates and performing live with a group. The natural phenomenon of humans assembling and performing together was something Johnny needed back in his life. After searching for some time, Johnny took to Craigslist and put up an ad mentioning some musical interests and bands he admired. Tyler wrote back to Johnny. After some back and forth, they met up and began writing together. Over the course of 6-8 months, Johnny and Tyler had an immediate musical connection, became very close and had some original material they really wanted to run with. They began their quest of finding additional band mates. After a handful of auditions, they just couldn’t seem to find a drummer who fit the mix or a bass player. Until one day, Tyler ran into an old friend. Enter Kooks.
Tyler talked about what he had been working on with Johnny to James Kooken after bumping into him. Kooks liked what he heard and agreed to come over to meet Johnny and hear what they had been doing. Kooks' thunderous drumming style brought everything to a new level and was the drummer the guys had been dreaming of. Fast forward and the band seemed to be on their way. Johnny on vocals and rhythm guitar, Tyler on lead guitar and Kooks on the drums. All they needed now was bass. With a show quickly approaching that the band agreed to, they needed someone who could play bass for them, at least for this first show. Tyler managed to talk Mike Tomasulo into rehearsing with the group on bass and playing the show with them, even though Mike is a drummer. It worked out great. But with Mike playing drums in his own band, he just didn’t have the time to stay on permanently. So over the next 8 months, the band would rotate and work with a variety of bassists. Joey Lewis began filling in for shows when his schedule permitted. The band soon fell in love with this. The idea of not having a permanent bass player would normally be very concerning for a variety of reasons. But the band soon learned that each time they did a show, it would be different because of how that particular bass player interpreted and performed the songs. It made the shows constantly evolving and always fresh.
When it came to the studio, the band had been working pretty closely with Joey Lewis and asked him if he would record the album with them. Over the course of four days and 10+ hours each day, the album “Something Like This” was made. 11 tracks in total spanning across many styles of music. It was a dream come true for the guys. They brought in a variety of friends to add their incredible talents to really make this album full. On June 10th, 2017 the band released their baby to the world.
After having Courtney Wofford on supporting vocals for the song "Waking Up Next to You", the band knew they couldn't go back. With her addition to performances, the live show has been taken to a new level.
After years of playing with various bass players, Nick Myers has officially joined the band permanently. Now tighter than ever, the band is rapidly expanding their live shows and bulking up their catalogue of original material. There is no slowing down in sight. Sky is the limit.