Alain Johannes: Life, Loss and the Power of Music        

Singer, songwriter, revered guitarist, producer and engineer on his journey to help the world and himself through his love of music

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

March 3, 2021

The multi-talented---Alain Johannes is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer and the list goes on. One of the most revered musicians among his peers, there is not much he can't do or hasn't already accomplished in the music industry. 

We were fortunate to catch up with him at his home studio in LA recently, surrounded by 400 (yes, you read that right, 400) of his closest instruments, where he recorded his latest masterpiece, HUM

His talents run deep. A spiritual poet, a man of staggering intellect, he's lived all over the world, speaks several languages and creates his (self-taught) art at the highest of levels.  

He is something of an octopus with far reaching tentacles working with a myriad of different artists in different genres. Just the tip of his resume beyond his own eclectic body of work, includes writing, producing, engineering and performing with Queens of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, No Doubt, PJ Harvey, Kelly Clarkson, Hilary Duff, LIVE and Mark Lanegan, to name a few. 

Born into a musical family in Chile in 1962, both his parents were singers and his uncle Peter Rock, was a nueva ola entertainer of note in South America. His family immigrated to Los Angeles when he was just 12 and it was there in junior high that he made life-altering musical connections with classmates Hillel Slovak, Jack Irons and Michael Balzary (otherwise known as Flea) and the three would later go on to become three-fourths of the Red Hot Chili Peppers original lineup. 

It was this group of talented musicians along with Alain that would take on several names before settling on What Is This? in 1985. But the real turning point in Johannes’s life and career came upon physically meeting his soulmate in life and music Natasha Shneider, literally one day after meeting her in a dream.

They were married in 1987 and together became the band Walk The Moon, recording one album for MCA records that same year. The two create words and sound so unique, so powerful, so soulful they are often asked to collaborate and act as a sounding board for their peers—including the likes of Frank Zappa and Chris Cornell, with whom they formed a close bond, so close that the duos fingerprints can be heard throughout Cornell’s first solo debut “Euphoria Morning,” where they were responsible for co-writing and arranging 6 of the 12 songs as well as its overall production, recorded in their own home studio.

In 1990, the band Eleven was born, a trio made up of Johannes, Shneider and Jack Irons. They released five records through 2003. Eleven would go on to gain much deserved respect from their peers and the Alternative music audience while touring extensively as an opening act for bands such as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, both part of the exploding Seattle Grunge scene.  

Perhaps an unfortunate misstep by record execs, was to overlook the value of Eleven or Johannes and Shneider respectively, arguably, as most will agree, among the most underrated musicians to ever exist. However---for Johannes it never was or has been about fame or money, it's about "making music that would help the world, help himself... the love of music."   

In 2008 the untimely and unthinkable death of Shneider put a halt to Eleven, followed by the death of his mother six years later, his father, and Uncle Peter shortly thereafter.   

Johannes has soldiered on, unleashing his pain, healing and channeling Natasha through three beautiful releases, Spark, a special tribute to her, Fragments and Wholes, Vol. 1 and the latest Hum

We eagerly await more outpourings of greatness from this great man.

See more at AlainJohannes.com.

Facebook Twitter Feed Instagram Email