18 Sep 2016

Matt Johnson - The The

From Sunday Morning, 10:06 am on 18 September 2016

Matt Johnson has being playing music since he was 11 years old. Best known for his band The The he's shunned the spotlight in recent times to concentrating on writing music for films.

Matt Johnson joins Wallace Chapman to talk about the great, post-punk days of the 80s, UK/USA politics and Brexit, the demise of the old English pub, and what he's been doing in the 30 years since the album 'Infected' was released.

Matt Johnson grew up above the East London pub his family owned. It was an unusual, magical upbringing featuring larger-than-life characters from the worlds of football, gangland and music, such as Jackie Charlton, the Kray Twins, Van Morrison, and The Who. Johnson set up Fifty First State Publishing and released his father Eddie's memoires of those times Tales From The Two Puddings, in 2002 – the same year he put all his instruments into storage and turned his back on the stage, not picking up a guitar again for over seven years.

Matt Johnson enjoys working with people he's close to. He has contributed sound tracks to films and documentaries made by his brother Gerard Johnson and his former partner, the Swedish photographer and filmmaker Johanna St Michaels. He set up the recording label Cinéola to release them, and there's also a Radio Cinéola podcast.

Matt’s brother, artist Andy ‘Dog’ Johnson designed and illustrated many of The The’s album covers, and contributed to the visual aesthetic of influential indie label Some Bizzare Records. Andy died in January 2016.