JOHAN “J.J.” JONASSON (STARBLIND): “It’s Just Vocals, Guitar, Bass, And Drums. Nothing More, Nothing Less”

Starblind Group Photo

Swedish Heavy Metal band Starblind are ready to release their fourth album Black Bubbling Ooze on July 31, 2020 through Pure Steel Records. Starblind’s sole purpose is to bring Heavy Metal that pierces the heart and sounds like it used to back in the 80s. Comparison’s to Iron Maiden are abound due to the twin guitar attacks, hammering bass lines, and thunderous drums. Half of that twin guitar attack is Johan “J.J.” Jonasson, who took time to answer some questions for Metal Express Radio.

Metal Express Radio: If I knew absolutely nothing about Starblind, how would you describe the band’s music to me?

Johan Jonasson: I would say classic basic Heavy Metal in its true form. It’s just vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Nothing more, nothing less. We’re just very honest in our sound and songwriting. No studio tricks here.

MER: Your latest album Black Bubbling Ooze is set to be released on July 31, 2020. How does it differ (if at all) from your previous release Never Seen Again?

JJ: First of all I think we all play much better than before. And our collaboration with Cederick Forsberg (Producer) has evolved as well. We’re all very comfortable in our roles and it’s just a great flow in everything we do.

MER: What songs are you most proud of and why? You can’t say all of them…

JJ: For me personally I have to say “Here I Am.” It was originally recorded when I played in Danger in 2005. So it’s really cool to dig out something you wrote 15 years ago and give it a whole new life.

MER: Starblind says their sole purpose is to bring Heavy Metal that pierces the heart and sounds like it used to back in the 80’s. What are your favorite bands from that era?

JJ: We all like different bands from that time. But I think the common ones are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Accept….the list goes on.

MER: What bands of today do you think are doing a disservice to the Heavy Metal?

JJ: I can’t point out any particular bands, but I think it has gone a bit bananas with all the studio engineered perfection. It has almost become impossible to tell bands apart. They all have the same guitar and drum sound. And it doesn’t sound alive anymore. It’s just cold and sterile. That’s not what Heavy Metal is about.

MER: Is Starblind going to be able to tour in support of Black Bubbling Ooze?

JJ: We’ll see what’s gonna come out after this global shutdown madness.

MER: Do you have any rituals before you hit the stage?

JJ: Not that I know of. Maybe we should start something? Perhaps turn our underwear inside out…

MER: Back in 2014 Starblind opened for Tim “Ripper” Owens for his European tour. Did you guys get to hang out with him?

JJ: Yes, we did. We stayed on the same bus the whole tour and we had a blast with both him and the guys from Sandstone.

MER: Any experiences on that tour really stand out?

JJ: Apart from the usual Spinal Tap-moments – there was this mankini-incident somewhere in Germany…And another weird thing was when we played in Kosice, Slovakia, the audience didn’t seem to like us at all, but when we came back there in 2018 we were greeted as heroes.

MER: I have to ask… better Judas Priest frontman, Halford or Ripper?

JJ: How can I answer this diplomatically? Halford IS Judas Priest. Tim is an amazing singer and he did an outstanding job in Priest. I saw them in Sweden on the Demolition tour, and he nailed all the classics. It was a great show.

MER: Is music your life or do you have a “day job?”

JJ: We all work with various stuff. Music business is not wise path to choose if you want a wealthy life.

MER: Is there anything I missed that you’d like fans to know about?

JJ: Well, we would like to thank everyone who supports us, and we promise to deliver the best we can.


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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