A Chat WIth B.A Johnston



With the release of his new album “Mission Accomplished” B.A Johnston has hit the roads of Canada, I couldn’t have been more excited to hear about this. Not only is the album itself super awesome, but I’d have the chance to see him perform some of those songs live. First off I’ll give this album a review though. Starting with “As I’m In Tim Hortons, I Realize I Hate Tim Hortons”, number one I am so glad someone agrees with me. I hate Tim Hortons too, so I had an immediate connection to the album and from here it only gets better. “GST Cheque” has a fun dance/sing-a-long vibe to it, he played it at the show I attended and I have to say it was a blast to sing with him. The entire album is everything you’d expect from a B.A record, just an average guy singing about being average, AND IT’S THE BEST. I’m sick of hearing the melodramatic bullshit, the overzealous crap “Oh I’m so in love with you, don’t make me sad.” fuck that. I want something I can REALLY connect with, and B.A supplies it. It’s so normal day everything, that you know you’d react the same way he did. In all, I give this album a 10/10.


Now I had a chance to briefly chat with B.A at the concert, and asked him some questions about the new record and just life in general.

J:What was the inspiration for the new album?

B.A: I needed money really badly, so I basically figured I should do a new record. When I write the records, I mean B.A records are all kind of similar; so it’s just trying to think of enough songs. Like I cat sit for somebody and it sucks, so I write a song about cat sitting. So it’s really just crap that happened in my life, I found Monster Squad on VHS in Value Village so I
wrote a song about Monster Squad. It’s a pretty lazy record now that I think about it, but that was my process. Documenting my boring existence.

J: I think that’s what’s so attractive about it though, other bands sing about special moments and you just write about whatever the fuck you want.

B.AIt’s pretty fair, I’ve noticed a lot of reviews for this record saying that I’m documenting really average stuff, but I guess I lead a pretty average life so what else am I supposed to write about? And really, I guess a lot of other people are pretty average so it’s good to cover the bases. To me it’s like, how many songs do we need to hear about getting dumped or love and angst. We also need songs about cat sitting, y’know?

J: What’s the process for your actual song writing, do you just sit down and think “Well I ate a taco today.” and go with it?

B.A: Sometimes it’s as simple as that, usually when I’m on tour it’s hard to write songs cuz I’m driving; but I find when you drive all the time your mind kinda wanders and you get a lot of ideas. Then I get off tour and I find song writing as a bit more like work, like I have to tell myself  “Okay, tonight I’m going to sit down with my guitar and write songs.” so I kind of force myself to do it, but I can drink when I write songs so it doesn’t feel like THAT much work, but I definitely have to make time for it. When I wrote my first albums I was just playing guitar but after you’ve been playing for decades it’s not as fun because you do it a lot. I think it’s good to treat it like “I’m not always going to wait for the mood to strike.” And sometimes I can go a week without anything, but then y’know that next week is just a big flood of gold.

J: For a while in the past, you weren’t doing too well financially. How are you doing now?

B.A: I don’t really spend money on anything, like all I buy that really costs money are like comics and video games. That sort of stuff, so I don’t end up spending much. It doesn’t take a lot for me to go broke,  but I’m fine. I have a lot of friends who are rich now cuz I’m old and I think they are kind of horrified with how little money I have, they all like doing expensive stuff but if I don’t have any money I just don’t go to the comic store. I don’t have a problem with that.

J: You went to Trent University, this is more just personal curiousity now, what did you take there?

B.A: I took philosophy got my B.A there. Ha ha, B.A’s got a B.A. Although I wish I had been dumber and went to college, at least I’d have a job instead of doing this shit. Philosophy was a bit of a silly thing to take, but Cultural Studies is probably the most stupid thing you could take. In reality though any degree you get is fine, you’re getting an education and hopefully you don’t mind paying for it. Nothing is too stupid.

So there you are kids,

until next week

– Jake

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