Jack Johnson on music, longevity and channeling Led Zeppelin by blowing in beer bottles

George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

SAN DIEGO — Many of Jack Johnson's songs are soft and lilting, but he credits being periodically fatalistic as a key to his now 21-year-long music career.

"I have to trick myself into thinking every album is my last one," said the professional surfer-turned-singer-songwriter.

"I find I write better when I'm not thinking about performing — or when I'm thinking that people may not ever hear the songs I'm writing."

Achieving such a state of mind may be a challenge for this Hawaii native.

Since the release of his 2001 debut, "Brushfire Fairytales," Johnson's worldwide album sales have topped the 25 million mark.

He has headlined such major festivals as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ohana, and San Diego's now apparently defunct KAABOO.


His concert tours see him performing in outdoor venues with capacities of 15,000 to 20,000, such as Chula Vista's North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, where Johnson performs with his band next Friday.

First tour in 5 years

"Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I can take it for granted," said the 47-year-old troubadour and happily married father of three.

"Going on tour now, for the first time in five years, is a reminder that it's a pretty special thing to sing songs — with my friends in my band — and present them to an audience that appreciates hearing them."


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