22-year-old songwriter and music producer Johnny Vitale started a solo project Loneshark and after finishing his work with his band Monkey Trap, Vitale grew tired of making true-to-form hard rock. He was musically defeated, battling himself to write more guitar-driven tunes and stay true to an “analogue” sound.
This was understandable; he grew up off of a steady diet of guitar rock from bands like FIDLAR, Wavves, Beach Fossils, and The Drums. Loneshark has a keen eye for finding spectacle in the humdrum of our modern world.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
I started making really mediocre songs in Garageband when I was about 8 years old. After that, I picked up the guitar for the first time around 9. My whole life has been plugging a guitar into a computer ever since.
If you could paint a picture of your unique sound, what would it look like?
Like if you took the Mona Lisa and set it on fire.
What are some of your key musical influences?
A lot of my influences have been all over the place, but I’ve been playing a lot of David Bowie, David Byrne, Lou Reed, and Prince. I enjoy how performative a lot of their work is. The kind of characters they developed over the years is inspiring.
What’s on your current playlist?
I’ve been really into early house music lately. Mostly the stuff that was coming out of Chicago in the 80’s like Mr. Fingers, Frankie Knuckles, and Larry Heard.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
A lot of my songs start on guitar. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 9 years old so it’s the instrument I can navigate most easily. Other than that, I don’t have a defined creative process.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
I really enjoy writing songs in the shower. I wrote the chorus for “Bringing Me Down” in the shower, actually.
As an artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
I wish that people would listen to music for music’s sake, and not just listen to songs and artists that they think will make them look cool when they tell their friends about it. I think it’s great that playlists becoming the dominant way that people discover new artists, but I just hope that people will continue to branch out and find new stuff that’s unlike anything they’ve heard before.
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
Success to me would mean being able to create music every single day without having to worry about providing for myself. That’s the ultimate goal. Otherwise, I want to be original. I want to make music that’s unlike what you’ve heard before.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
I’m currently working on a few more singles and am hoping to have my first EP out sometime next year.
Famous last words?
Never too serious. Not to be taken lightly.
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