We’re less than two weeks away from Johnson’s Motorcar‘s first ever trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And it seems like we’re not the only ones who are super excited about their energetic, cross-cultural rendering Celtic rock performances in conjunction with the St. Patrick’s Day at Malones Irish Restaurant and Bar! We know this because we spoke to them recently via e-mail and they simply couldn’t stop gushing about coming here.

Quite honestly, we can’t wait either.

Check out what else went on in our exclusive interview with the Celtic rockers:


Hi there! Thank you for taking time off to speak to us. Where are  you guys now and what are you currently up to?

“Thanks very much Hype, it is most certainly our pleasure. We are all based in Tokyo and as well as our Johnsons Motorcar shows we are all working on various other musical projects as well as rehearsing some new material for our shows in Malaysia. “

As a band, why did you guys choose to play Irish music, which is quite a unique choice, when there are so many other genres out there? What inspired that and how did it all begin?

“Martin was inspired to play Celtic music on the violin since, as a young child, he first heard Irish band ‘The Chieftans’ as a young child. He formed Johnson’s Motorcar when he moved to Japan and though other members came and went he recruited Irish native Blacko to play guitar. In the summer of 2008 the pair decided to take their music to the streets of Tokyo. One day while busking outside a train station, Rinamame heard the music from a distance and had such a strong nostalgic feeling that she approached them and asked if they would consider her as a drummer. We all got into a studio and literally only half way through the first tune we played, we’d all decided to work as a 3 piece acoustic unit. We carried on like this for 2 years gradually gaining notoriety for our energetic shows until we were approached by an independent label to put out a record. It was at this point that we decided to recruit a bass player and electrify our sound and we haven’t looked back since.”

Johnson's Motorcar Live

If you could describe your music in the form of a story, how would you best describe it?

“Once upon a time music was pure. They were the tunes and songs of the old days. The stories of the ancients told through music and song. Some feared that the stories would be lost and would fade away into a blur of technological trickology, but others still believed they could be saved. Then one day in Japan, a group of friends from all over the world got together and decided to re-tell those same stories in a new way. In a way they knew that people would enjoy. They decided to use old time rock’n’roll as a way to express those old songs and to get people to listen to and remember them. That group of friends formed a band, they called it Johnson’s Motorcar. They brought their rockin’ folk and music to the people who drank and laughed and drank and danced all night long. After a few years of rocking all over Japan, they decided that people across the world would enjoy their new versions of the old tunes. ‘But where should we go first?’, they wondered. ‘What country would best appreciate and enjoy our differing cultures? Where can we find kind, decent and fun people who want to have a good time with you no matter where you come from?’, they asked themselves. The more they thought about it the more the answer seemed obvious. So they’re coming to Malaysia.”

Are your upcoming Kuala Lumpur gigs going to be your first time in Malaysia? If so, what have you heard about Malaysia that you are most looking forward to?


“For all members this will be the first time in Malaysia and we’re really HYPED about going. We’re keen to experience the mix of cultures and the friendliness for which Malaysians are renowned. We are also extremely happy that the Guinness in KL is a lot cheaper than it is in Tokyo.”

Share with us what was your most memorable St. Patrick’s Day celebration and why.

“For the last number of years we have been putting on our own event in Tokyo, ‘The Mother of all Paddy’s Nights’. They were all pretty memorable…as far as we can remember.”

What can Malaysians expect from your St. Patrick’s Day gigs in Malaysia?

“They can expect up tempo, rocking versions of traditional tunes and songs from Ireland, plenty of what we call in Irish ‘Ceol agus craic’ (music and fun while drinking).”

Johnson's Motorcar Band

Leave a shoutout to our readers!

“Greetings from Japan! Johnson’s Motorcar is super hyped about our upcoming visit to Malaysia and can’t wait to visit your beautiful country. We’re working on a whole bunch of new material which we’ll be debuting in KL and look forward to seeing you at one of our shows in Malones KL. PEACE!”

Peace, indeed! Don’t forget to catch Johnson’s Motorcar live at Malones Irish Restaurant and Bar. The band will be performing for three nights in March. Deets are as follows:

1. Date: 15th March 2013

    Time: 9pm onwards

    Venue: Malones Irish Restaurant & Bar, KLCC 

2. Date: 16th March 2013

    Time: 9pm onwards

    Venue: Malones Irish Restaurant & Bar, Jayaone, Petaling Jaya

3. Date: 17th March 2013

    Time: 9pm onwards

    Venue: Malones Irish Restaurant & Bar Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.