Punk pranks

The Johnstones joke about their ban from Disney Land

The Johnstones will go on the Yellow Snow Tour 2 by Mean Tangerine, Ghetto Blaster and Hello Beautiful.
The Johnstones will go on the Yellow Snow Tour 2 by Mean Tangerine, Ghetto Blaster and Hello Beautiful.

An Ajax sextet is slotted to play Kingston for the first time in their 10-year history.

“I can’t believe we’ve never played here but for some reason we’ve always passed by it on the way to other cities,” vocalist and guitarist Jarek Hardy of the Johnstones said. “As Kingston-virgins, we’re looking forward to having our cherries popped.”

The stop in Kingston is a part of the Johnstones’ Yellow Snow Tour 2, accompanied by punk bands like Ghetto Blaster, Mean Tangerine and Hello Beautiful.

The band is currently recording their fifth album. It’s been two years since the Johnstones’ last full-length album, Can’t Be Trusted.

“It’s definitely a lot of work getting back into the studio but we’re all so excited to work on new material,” he said. “The thing is you have to be in a totally focused state of mind so we can turn a random collection of songs into a cohesive album.”

The Johnstones are known for their outrageous antics, including blocking intersections to interview and subsequently moon drivers in traffic in 2010. This year the members were given a lifetime ban from Disney Land for running around the amusement park after hours. Their prankster tendencies have led to them exploring other performance outlets, like their YouTube channel Phat Bredrens, a weekly web-series featuring music videos, interviews and parodies.

When asked about the decision to veer away from the typical music package, Hardy said having just videos, tours and albums isn’t enough.

“Just fuck it, it’s boring, it’s monotonous,” he said. “We like having fun and talking to people and we love our music.”

Johnstones frontman Ryan Long is the host of RogersTV’s new program Crown the Town, featuring his favourite places and things in Toronto. But the entire band is involved in the entire editing and production process.

The band’s infectious energy and don’t-give-a-crap attitude is obvious on stage. Hardy said some bands get more conservative over time, but that can’t be said for the Johnstones.

“[We’ve] gone the totally opposite direction and are just more and more ridiculous live every day,” he said. “We just like to have a good time when we play and don’t really care as long as playing and touring will always stay fun.”

Thinking back on past performances, Hardy recalled several memorable outfits the band has worn — including matching plaid short-shorts and an unforgettable diaper ensemble.

“My favourite would have to be the time we all borrowed my dad’s mechanic shirts that all said ‘Don’ on them, and that night we became The Donstones.”

The Johnstones play the Mansion Friday at 9 p.m.

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