Montreal, QC based hard rock/metal band, Special Ops is made up of Akbar Johnson, Waldo Thornhill, Weka BW and Pat Kadaver. The band has released a total of 8 albums, with the most recent being Tangents, which features a remake of their previously released song “Anger Is Creeping”. We were happy to have a chat with AK Johnson in the form of a Five Questions With segment! Enjoy!
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
AK Johnson of Special Ops, Vocals and Guitar.
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
Special Ops is as Canadian as Canadian comes, each one of us is from a different culture from some corner of the globe, and each has his own influences, but we are of one mind.
Our writing is the same, I hate the word “Genre” even worse “Sub Genre,” why would any one want to limit themselves with horse blinds is something I will never understand. We bring in elements from everywhere, metal, rock, reggae, jazz, hip hop, Arabian, opera, you name it. The result is what comes out. We aren’t the first to do this, there are a ton of amazing bands doing this, Fish Bone and Faith No More are perfect examples.
We walk into our studio and start writing, there is no “my way or the highway”, we do it as one, and if there is a difference in opinion we down a beer, take a vote, and move on. At the same time, there are no rules for writing, why should there be? Its about the song in the end, isn’t it? Sometimes a song just pops into my head and its born, Anger is a perfect example of that; then you have something like I would come up with a riff or a vocal tag and then everyone ads their ideas to it, usually its a mix of the two. Lyrically, its a social critique of man and his ways. No egos or drama queens, we cut that stuff out at the root, been at this game too long to let the rot of ego set in. The song is what matters in the end, not who, when, where, and why, that’s all secondary.
Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
Apr 14 – Drummondville, QC
May 06 – Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC
May 12 – Saint-Hyacinthe, QC
Our live shows, are high energy, high intensity that smacks you in the face. We feed of the crowd’s energy, so its only right to rev each other up in an escalating way. Its about enjoying the show and having a fun experience, if you want a duplicate of the recording then you might as well just keep listening to the recording itself. If you’re upfront you might end up with some free swag, or a victim of friendly fire from the occasional water fight.
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
Just one? “Angers Creeping” of course, it symbolizes the day to day angst that we all go through, today’s world, from the daily deceptive pressure that what today’s society has come to. Lies, deception, greed, harming each other for a dollar, you know, day to day life in the mad concrete jungle.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?
You can’t deny The Hip, and Rush. but I do have to give thumbs up to Billy Talent, and a band that’s been around for a while and only recently started getting the attention they deserve is Monster Truck from Hamilton, I saw them open at an arena show recently, and they outshined the headliner!