John Knight

Introduction to Noah Ohne!

Presently, Noah Ohne is a 'studio band '. Although there have been discussions related to live performances, due to constraints it is not foreseeable in the near future. However, as long as it's being discussed there is a possibility. Noah Ohne Music (the publishing company) was created for the sole purpose of publishing the music of Noah Ohne. The impetus for Noah Ohne actually began many years ago, as the result of what might be called a series of unfortunate events. John has worked over the years with a number of bands in the Chicagoland area. Unfortunately however, at that point in time it was very difficult to find local musicians (at the same time of course....) that were adventurous enough to engage in doing something "different". Everyone wanted to follow the prescribed formula of the day which seemed to be; 1) Do cover material (which I never enjoyed) 2) Get cheesy gigs in the local bars/clubs and any venues where one might gain some recognition 3) Hope for the best That plan/line of thinking never really set well with me as my aspirations were a bit higher than that. As far as cover material; why should I (other than for academic purposes) want to do the material of others when I was quite capable of producing my own. I have never believed that garnering interest would prove fruitful by playing the music of others (although I love to listen). The second issue was equipment. In the 70's and 80's synth's were very expensive, and the number of players that had them and knew how to use them were few and far between. This lead to a great number of guitar bands, or bands with a keyboard player that had either a piano or organ, but rarely both. So if an arrangement required much more than that, you were hosed or someone in the band was attempting to fake strings, horns and other instrument lines, on guitar. Shortly after getting out of high school and the advent of the Apple II, Soundchaser (I believe it was) keyboard and Mountain Music System, I started playing with what was then called "computer music". Not necessarily all that descriptive, but that's what it was called. The sounds weren't great or very realistic by any means compared to todays standards, but it provided a pathway to do some minor work/experimentation towards working on ideas that were stuck in my head and impossible to do with just guitar, bass and drums. Armed with a Tascam multi-track recorder, I was having fun and making progress towards getting the clutter out of my head and onto tape... yeah, I said tape..... where it belonged. It was an avenue that at least was a step towards getting some musical satisfaction (at least at home), and since I always had time to learn new things the process began. I still continued to play with local cover bands, doing cover crap...... however when at home I was perfecting techniques that would stay with me to this day, and allow me to create music without employing the help of uncooperative musicians; and those who otherwise thought my ideas just plain sucked!







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music to me is peace. It's a place an artist can delve into, explore and relay things that may not be so well accepted thru other forms of communication. It allows one to express musically the soundtrack that some of us may carry around that no one can hear but us... unless you're a musician of course :-) and have translated/transcribed your thoughts. Most of the time I've got music in my head and it's usually something fairly interesting but the problem is that I am not always near an instrument or other device that may allow me to capture all of those spur-of-the-moment ideas.

What is your music dream?

In short, my music dream is to attain a level of proficiency which allows me to get the music that I carry around in my head.... out; with reasonable ease! To that end I have learned to approach what I do not only from the theory/performance perspective, but also from the engineering side. Realizing that a band can be as good as anyone but on your recordings it's the engineer that makes you sound good; I embarked on a personal quest to learn the engineering side of things. I would never expect any engineer to tolerate my "input" until their finished product matched what I hear in my head. Since I have always loved learning new things, the challenge of approaching the engineering side of things was particularly inviting. I have received tips and advice from people who's skills are unquestionable and coupled with my own research leaves me with a feeling of confidence when doing my own music. I have realized one things about the engineering and engineers that I never really gave much thought to before. I used to wonder why artist's would choose one engineer over another, for instance Eddie Offord over Tony Visconti or any other. I now realize that every engineer has a different style, much in the same way as musicians. And therefore, their output will all sound different. So, with that in mind, like music.,,,, there is no right or wrong way. There are standards that can and will help make a mix sound better, but the definition of "better" rest's on shifting sand and is therefore a very subjective thing.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

If I could change the would I would start by eliminating politics and religion. It is my belief that most if not all politicians are liars, thieves and crooks. They kiss voters butts to get a vote; promising things they never intend on doing; until they get in office at which point they stop listening and start playing god (note the lower case 'g'). No, I am not an atheist but as far as religion goes, I simply do not believe the traditional teachings of the church have the people or God in mind. It's all about the control of man... the population. I mean after all, someone has to dictate what is morally correct, right? lolol! :-) People, the world would be better off without government and religion. Governments start wars, create class divisions, race divisions, divisions due to tradition.... Left alone, people do not!

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

One of the most memorable songs from my childhood is Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick album. I thought it was one of the most creative pieces of music I had ever heard in a rock context. It still impresses me that it achieved the commercial success that it did. It came along in a time when "the industry" dictated that songs had to be a certain length and follow a certain format. Thick As A Brick blew all of that out of the water. Industry standards meant a lot less to me at that point, not that they ever meant a lot anyway. Later came Yes, Van Der Graf Generator, Aphrodities Child and a ton of other European bands that broke all the industry rules.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Some of my favorite bands are the most progressive bands like King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant, Van Der Graff Generator, Jethro Tull, Dream theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Steve Hacket, David Sancious, etc. That style of music is always more picturesque in my opinion and although more challenging to play, it is infinitely more pleasing to me.

What inspires you to make music?

In a nutshell, life! I take inspiration from everything, everyone and all situations weather they appeal to me personally or not. I am hardly ever at a lack of inspiration because there is always something going on that sparks an idea.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Truth. I think that many things in all aspects of life tend to escape us. I believe that music is a vehicle that can be used to redirect the attention of the listener to things they may have never thought of or considered before.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Anticipation! I was always eager to see how an audience will react to original material. Live performances for me are more of an analytical event than it might be for some. I want to play the best I can because I want the best response I can get. I haven't performed any live shows in quite some time now because I wanted to concentrate more on developing a style and sound that was rather unique... as well as material that would fit conceptually. I believe I am getting there.

What do you think of Drooble?

I've been a Drooble member for about two weeks now and I can honestly say that it seems to be a very beneficial site where musicians can meet, collaborate and share ideas and thoughts without the cost's associated with many of the others. This I find refreshing and even more it makes it seem as thought the other buys are only in it for the money they collect in subscription fees or limited access if you don't pay.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

The biggest thing that frustrates me as a musician/songwriter is acquiring copyrights before releasing my music. I realize it's a necessity due to the unscrupulous nature of some, but it is time consuming and can be costly depending on how you do it. I generally wait until I can do a "book" of material at one time and that makes it more cost effective.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I support the local music scene by going to the live shows of bands that interest me, and if they have recorded material available I might buy some.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

I think that an open mind is useful in the creative process as well as marketing. Expand the boundaries of your craft. Music isn't just the stuff you normally "like" to listen to and sometimes listening to other styles can provide inspiration that may broaden your appeal to an audience and increase your following in much in the same way the Aerosmith/Run DMC version of "Walk This Way" did for both bands. I also think that providing something different and unique are important. I believe that the listening audience gets a bit bored of the "same ol thing" repeated/reinterpreted by a different band.