The bold and burgeoning US artist talks the future of rock ‘n roll and the power of TikTok.

Jeris Johnson, TikTok sensation, rock pop singer, press photo for
Jeris Johnson, TikTok sensation, rock pop singer, press photo for

There’s no question about it – TikTok is reshaping the music industry. From 24kGoldn’s “Valentino” to Fousheé’s “Deep End”, the app’s ability to transform songs into viral hits and breakthrough artists into world stars has been proven time and time again.

One notable newcomer who embraced the power of the platform from the get-go and used it to expedite the process of getting noticed is pop rock singer Jeris Johnson. Known on TikTok for revamping classic hits, Johnson has amassed a devout cult following of 1 million online fans. He even caught the attention of nu-metal band Papa Roach on the app in October last year, after posting a re-worked version of their angsty classic “Last Resort”.

Fast forward to now, and the rising star has just released a remix of the anthem in collaboration with none other than Papa Roach themselves. Recorded in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the triple platinum hit, “Last Resort (Reloaded)” breathes new life into the track. Its whirlwind visuals transport us into a post-Covid mosh pit, overflowing with the kind of palpable energy our bodies and souls have been craving.

“’Last Resort (Reloaded)’ is a song surrounded by magic. The original ‘Last Resort’ is one of the most impactful and loved songs from an entire generation of music (and my childhood). There is an energy to that song that has just made it a living breathing art form at this point,” Johnson divulged. “The reaction and reception was so overwhelming that me (a random kid on tiktok) got the attention of a legacy band and the invitation to team up and remake last resort for an entirely new generation. I don’t give a fuck what anyone says, that’s magic.”

And the track was just a small taster of what he had to come. Out today, Johnson’s debut EP “My Sword” demonstrates the rising artist’s musical prowess through a collection of six genre-busting tracks. Effortlessly melding hooky pop melodies with a gritty rock sound, Johnson showcases his very own genre – a sound he has coined “Future Grunge”.

We caught up with the emerging artist below, talking bringing rock ‘n roll into the future, unusual medieval inspirations and how he’s about to take over the internet.

Check out the interview below…

Hi Jeris – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
This shit has opened my third eye and unlocked a new dimension of reality. I’ve locked myself in my room, glued myself to the computer and set on my quest to bring rock and roll into the future. I think a lot of people have used this past year as a chance to create their own world separate from the one we see on the news or whatever. That’s what I’ve done and it’s taken me to new places I never thought my art would go. Imma carry this world building attitude into the future and keep making music and art that’s an escape from all the stupid bullshit in the world.

Where are you from and how has it influenced you sonically? And who were your musical heroes?
I’m from Eugene, Oregon and if I’m being honest that’s probably had zero impact on my sound. There’s just no real music scene or culture there. Or maybe the LACK of impact is what shaped me to be kind of outside the box because I never really belonged to a “scene” of any kind. On other hand I definitely have a strong musical influence from metal and rock music because for whatever reason that’s what I gravitated towards. My hero’s were bands like Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Lamb of God, Nickelback, Papa Roach (hehe), etc.

How would you describe your genre?
Idk websters gonna have to put a new fucking word in the dictionary for what I’m bout to create.

Congratulations on our new track – “‘Last Resort” reloaded with Papa Roach – it’s amazing that you’ve reworked such an iconic song – how did this come about?
Last Resort Reloaded came about as randomly and organically as it looks. It STILL blows my mind that it’s even a thing. I remixed it, made a new beat and some new verses, and put it on tiktok and just watched it take off. 2 weeks later I’m in the studio with Papa Roach and they’re like “yo we should release this thing”. A month after that I’m sharing the stage with them on set the music video. And now we’re here. Feels like I teleported from my bedroom to standing alongside one of the most legendary bands from my childhood. And that’s basically exactly what happened.

The way TikTok is now shaping and steering the music industry is amazing – what are your thoughts on this?
Embrace it. I view it as another stage to perform on. Either you rise to the occasion and perform, or you fucking choke.

And the song is taken from your forthcoming EP “My Sword” – why that name and what ties it together as a body of work?
Anyone that knows me knows that swords are my fucking thing. My name means “holder of the mighty sword” and I guess I’ve just always fucked with that medieval conquest energy. And the name “My Sword” just comes from my fav song on the EP.

How does it feel releasing new music when most of the world is in lockdown/everything feels so uncertain – what do you hope your music will bring?
Like I said earlier. I’m just tryna create my own for my fans and I live in and have fun with. Music has always been an escape and I’m just gonna take that to a whole new level. You’ll never catch me talking about the news or whatever bullshit is happening in the world. Whole reason I started doing music was to have fun and be free without any rules and that’s always gonna be my attitude.

What’s the most unusual place you pull inspiration from?
I wouldn’t say it’s unusual but lately I’ve just been bingeing Game of Thrones and playing Skyrim and I get hella ideas from that. Idek why.

What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
This year I will take over the internet, drop an album, build up my sword gang army to unstoppable numbers. And then start thinking about touring and turning this shit into a real life movement once the world is ready for it.

Anya Cooper

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