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Johnny Dean

Musician — Salisbury

Name?
Johnny Dean

Where are you from?
All over the place. Originally Salisbury. But I've lived in London most of my life.

What do you do?
Procrastinate mostly. Sometimes I make music.

Describe your style in three words?
Shabby Lounge Glam.

If you could make a record with anyone from history?
John Foxx – He is the Daddy of Brisynth-rock rock. Pioneer. He influenced Gary Numan.

Nile Rodgers – He understands how every part of a recording is a tiny bit of a whole that is created with the sole intention of making you dance.

David Bowie – Obvious, no explanation needed.

What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?
When I was a kid I saw Michael Jackson play at the old Wembley Stadium. After that, all other gigs seemed a bit underwhelming performance wise. But in '97 I saw Bowie do a small, intimate fan club gig at the Hanover Grand, nothing can really beat that.

What British music icons inspire your sound today?
Bowie again. Haha! Tubeway Army, Depeche Mode, Roxy Music.

Which British subculture means the most to you?
Glam Rock and New Romantic.

If you could share the bill with any British band in history?
Def Leppard. I actually did an episode of TOTP back in the 90s with them. They were very nice. I think it's good to put yourself in a situation where you're completely out of your comfort zone. I think it would be fun. And that's the whole point as far as I'm concerned. Biker jackets and Hi-Tecs, classic.

What music did you listen to growing up?
All of it. The way music was 'consumed' when I was growing up in the '70s and '80s was very different to now. It was all parts of the same thing to me. Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, House. Back then I would tape the charts on a Sunday using my brothers incredibly massive Ghettoblaster. That was my musical education. I'd hear older stuff through my elder brothers. I had a healthy appetite for most things. And I still do.

You're asking me for a defining record from my childhood? Jesus. I think the first record that made me stop in my tracks and gasp would be 'Are Friends Electric?' By Tubeway Army. Definitely a defining moment in my life. Mindblown.


Johnny Dean is best known for being the frontman of the impeccably dressed Britpop band Menswe@r.

Under the name Fxxk Explosion, Johnny released his debut EP 'In The Beginning' in May 2017.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
'Billie Jean' by Michael Jackson.

One record you would keep forever?
'Life On Mars' by David Bowie.

A song you wish you had written?
'Ghost Town' by The Specials.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Life's What You Make It' by Talk Talk.

A song from your favourite album?
'Station To Station' from 'Station To Station' by David Bowie.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
'Silver Eye' by Goldfrapp. 

A song lyric that inspires you?
“Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

From 'Prince Charming' by Adam Ant. 

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
Ummm. I don't know really. I really like 'Radio Ga Ga' by Queen. But I think people expect me to like things they wouldn't expect me to like? Otherwise, they don't really know me...

Best love song of all time?
I'm not big on love songs. It's all a bit like drowning in treacle. I think I've only written one and it's not a proud moment. But surely the best is 'God Only Knows' by the Beach Boys?

Best song to turn up loud?
'Rebel Without A Pause' by Public Enemy.

Best song to bring people together?
'You Give A Little Love' from the Bugsy Malone soundtrack.

4 songs you can’t stop listening to right now?

'Money' by Leikeli47
I've noticed a lot of really good Hip Hop from the ladies at the moment that it puts the more popular boys to shame. Other notables would be Dai Burger and Junglepussy. This tune is like aural crack though.

'Waiting For The Stars' by Vitalic
This track is so far up my street it's practically in my front room. Perfect.

'Souffle' by Dai Burger
Listen to this. Dai Burger's field is completely barren of f***s. She has not one f*** to offer you. She is turning cliched ideas of black female sexuality upside down and it is very wonderful. And important. I must warn more sensitive types, this is VERY rude.

'Systemagic' by Goldfrapp
They can do no wrong in my eyes. And she's interesting isn't she, Alison Goldfrapp? Apart from having a beautiful voice. She fits perfectly with my ideal of what a star should be. This is a return to the Electro Glam sound we first heard on Black Cherry. It's a stonker.

Name?
Johnny Dean

Where are you from?
All over the place. Originally Salisbury. But I've lived in London most of my life.

What do you do?
Procrastinate mostly. Sometimes I make music.

Describe your style in three words?
Shabby Lounge Glam.

If you could make a record with anyone from history?
John Foxx – He is the Daddy of Brisynth-rock rock. Pioneer. He influenced Gary Numan.

Nile Rodgers – He understands how every part of a recording is a tiny bit of a whole that is created with the sole intention of making you dance.

David Bowie – Obvious, no explanation needed.

What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?
When I was a kid I saw Michael Jackson play at the old Wembley Stadium. After that, all other gigs seemed a bit underwhelming performance wise. But in '97 I saw Bowie do a small, intimate fan club gig at the Hanover Grand, nothing can really beat that.

What British music icons inspire your sound today?
Bowie again. Haha! Tubeway Army, Depeche Mode, Roxy Music.

Which British subculture means the most to you?
Glam Rock and New Romantic.

If you could share the bill with any British band in history?
Def Leppard. I actually did an episode of TOTP back in the 90s with them. They were very nice. I think it's good to put yourself in a situation where you're completely out of your comfort zone. I think it would be fun. And that's the whole point as far as I'm concerned. Biker jackets and Hi-Tecs, classic.

What music did you listen to growing up?
All of it. The way music was 'consumed' when I was growing up in the '70s and '80s was very different to now. It was all parts of the same thing to me. Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, House. Back then I would tape the charts on a Sunday using my brothers incredibly massive Ghettoblaster. That was my musical education. I'd hear older stuff through my elder brothers. I had a healthy appetite for most things. And I still do.

You're asking me for a defining record from my childhood? Jesus. I think the first record that made me stop in my tracks and gasp would be 'Are Friends Electric?' By Tubeway Army. Definitely a defining moment in my life. Mindblown.


Johnny Dean is best known for being the frontman of the impeccably dressed Britpop band Menswe@r.

Under the name Fxxk Explosion, Johnny released his debut EP 'In The Beginning' in May 2017.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
'Billie Jean' by Michael Jackson.

One record you would keep forever?
'Life On Mars' by David Bowie.

A song you wish you had written?
'Ghost Town' by The Specials.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Life's What You Make It' by Talk Talk.

A song from your favourite album?
'Station To Station' from 'Station To Station' by David Bowie.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
'Silver Eye' by Goldfrapp. 

A song lyric that inspires you?
“Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

From 'Prince Charming' by Adam Ant. 

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
Ummm. I don't know really. I really like 'Radio Ga Ga' by Queen. But I think people expect me to like things they wouldn't expect me to like? Otherwise, they don't really know me...

Best love song of all time?
I'm not big on love songs. It's all a bit like drowning in treacle. I think I've only written one and it's not a proud moment. But surely the best is 'God Only Knows' by the Beach Boys?

Best song to turn up loud?
'Rebel Without A Pause' by Public Enemy.

Best song to bring people together?
'You Give A Little Love' from the Bugsy Malone soundtrack.

4 songs you can’t stop listening to right now?

'Money' by Leikeli47
I've noticed a lot of really good Hip Hop from the ladies at the moment that it puts the more popular boys to shame. Other notables would be Dai Burger and Junglepussy. This tune is like aural crack though.

'Waiting For The Stars' by Vitalic
This track is so far up my street it's practically in my front room. Perfect.

'Souffle' by Dai Burger
Listen to this. Dai Burger's field is completely barren of f***s. She has not one f*** to offer you. She is turning cliched ideas of black female sexuality upside down and it is very wonderful. And important. I must warn more sensitive types, this is VERY rude.

'Systemagic' by Goldfrapp
They can do no wrong in my eyes. And she's interesting isn't she, Alison Goldfrapp? Apart from having a beautiful voice. She fits perfectly with my ideal of what a star should be. This is a return to the Electro Glam sound we first heard on Black Cherry. It's a stonker.

Fxxk Explosion | In The Beginning EP (2017)

Menswe@r | Daydreamer (1995)

Menswe@r | Sleeping In (1995)

But to me, as someone who was involved, the thing we now call Britpop was a movement, not a musical style.

Johnny Dean on Britpop