Johnny Chops

You might call Johnny Chops, an alter ego of sorts for Austin based singer-songwriter Johnny Richardson. His band, Johnny Chops & The Razors serves as the outlet for everything that he doesn’t get to do when he’s out on the road with his “day job,” playing bass guitar for the Randy Rogers Band. Their latest self titled CD is filled with self-penned tunes that Johnny has been collecting over the past year or so.

Johnny’s dad was a choir teacher for nearly 40 years, and his granddad was a talented, self taught guitar and fiddle player. But Johnny says it was an uncle who gifted him a guitar that really sparked his musical journey. “I never really had enough money saved to purchase my own guitar. I couldn’t mow enough lawns,” he laughed. “When I was about 15 or 16, my uncle took pity on me and gave me this battered old acoustic guitar. I think it was a Martin copy, or something like that. But it had this great case that went with it. His brother had created all of this weird, crazy artwork all over it, and I thought it was like the coolest gift in the world.”

“When I finally figured out how to pull a couple chords together, everything else I was doing sort of took a back seat to the guitar. I just wanted to spend hours and hours a day on it.”

When Johnny was in college he noticed that there were a lot of guys playing country music and being able to gig a lot. “I knew I was a passable guitar player, but most of the bands seemed to always be looking for a bass guitarist. There was a guy I was friends with who said, ‘we’re looking for a bass player,’ and I said, ‘I’ll be your bass player.’

Johnny bought a bass and got up to speed really fast, gigged around as a bassist, and a position with the Randy Rogers Band where he’s been for 18 years. Not a bad day job, indeed.

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