Shooting John plays a form of Americana , alternative country rock with soulful melodies, straightforward vocals. The band was formed back in 1999 by Tobias Ydestrandh, Martin Björk and Peder Gravlund.
Leaving a one-way street of grunge and rock music they found their way to a more acoustic-based sound through listening to artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Wilco, Whiskeytown and Jayhawks. Their musical direction turned to a highlighting of harmonies instead of screaming guitars, which seem to better fit their song-writing and vocal skills. Including Gustav Haggren and Patrik Andersson (from Gustav & the seasick sailors) on a bass and drums they recorded a few demos, further developing an Americana sound while trying to make their way onto the music scene.
After a few years of constant irregularity concerning rehearsals and gigs - due to travel, studies and creativity crises to name a few - they all finally managed to make enough time to put an entire album together. Peder returned from studies in Canada , and Martin and Tobias came back from a working session in Norway with fresh song material. So, they gathered the band – with the additions of jazz pianist Kristian Rimshult, and Helena Arlock on back vocals and cello – and finished a set of songs to be recorded.
They then rented a studio and a house out in the country and were stacked up there for about ten days, recording the album which was engineered and produced by Carl Granberg. It turned out to be a rougher journey than expected, which apart from music was filled with tears, slamming doors, fierce discussions, long walks and talks of reconciliation, reality escaping banjo-playing in the fields and numbing chess-games. But despite – or thanks to – these conflicts and mishaps (Peder's voice was, for example, overstrained and he had to finish his part later, in Carl's kitchen) and several last minute changes, everybody was happy with the final outcome.
Moodswings was released on Marilyn Records in September last year and was very well received by Swedish press and radio.
The release inspired them to a greater focus on their music. It provided them with a solid ground to start from and helped them to form a clearer idea of what they wanted to do with the band. After a few months of playing and promoting their music in Sweden , they felt that it was time to turn their gaze towards the rest of the world, starting with Germany . By this time Kristian had been replaced by Helena on piano, and Gustav by Jesper Bjellerup (from Achordian) on bass, to form the present setting.
Currently they are working with international promotion of the record, as well as writing new material for the upcoming second record, which hopefully will see the light of day around the beginning of next year.
Before its Swedish Release, influential IFPI newsletter musikindustrin focused on Moodswings and wrote:
“ Urban Country Music is how Shooting John describes the intense, beautiful and devout music that the band creates. Surely, there is a lot of Country in their songs but traces of Jazz, Pure Pop and Traditional Songwriting harmonizes with the rest of the arrangement. Their rich and varied selection of instruments on the different tracks on this debut album gives a broad sound picture and sometime you don't really know in what directions the songs are going. In the singer Peder Gravlund the band has an extraordinary asset, his voice, expression and charisma is of highest class and gives the 11 songs of the album extra depth and meaning.”