Hailing from Austin, TX is intergalactic space cowboy Johnny Dioxide, chemical formula JO2 -- the disembodied voice of a lovelorn ghost. He refers to his music as Ghost Rock, and it has been described as intricate yet breezy, haunting yet playful, and all with a sweet western flair to leisurely mosey along to.
When you pull back the red curtain, behind Johnny Dioxide you’ll find Chase Risinger. Born in Grayslake, IL, he has been playing guitar and writing songs since he was 13 (a catalogue that includes a love song to Elizabeth Swan, aka Keira Knightley, which can likely be found on a worn-out cassette tape in his parents’ basement). In 2013, Johnny packed up his truck and tried his luck in Austin, Texas, to be among his own kind. Once there, he quickly fell in with the local musicians, playing in a number of bands, including the Pendulum Hearts, a Texas swing band, frequently on-call for honky-tonks, weddings, and tribute events. However, real gold was struck when he met musicians Roberto Fabre, Caitlin Callas, and Conner Strickland, who quickly joined the cosmic journey of bringing Johnny Dioxide’s original music to life. Thus, Johnny Dioxide & the Ghost Rock Radio found their match in each other, playing around the Texas circuit.
"Red Turtle is a perfect opportunity to poke your head out of your shell and take a breath of fresh air (with your mask on, please)!"
Austin KUTX 98.9 "Song of the Day" | July 15th 2020
"I fell in love with his voice and the way he creates different textures and instrumental layers in his songs, making them unique.
Johnny Dioxide knows very well what he's doing, and how he does it. And I became a fan.
Phonograph Me | July 18th 2020
“I cannot stop listening to Moontower I f*cking love it. It’s one of those weird instances where it grows over time to be even better than it was for the past year you’ve been listening to it. I love it so much I cut my heart out of paper and I’m painting it red.”
Alex Khoury (Fouled Out) | July 3rd 2019
"Moontower is a pleasant listen that you can dive into and enjoy the soundscapes. I love the way the band was put together. The drummer was great, the guitar work was phenomenal, and the melodies were very interesting and creative, and I love the close up vocals. I really enjoyed this record and I will be listening again."
Daily Austin Music | Oct 15th 2019
“Red Turtle” is Johnny Dioxide’s latest release. Inspired by viewing the Toshio Suzuki film Red Turtle, wherein Johnny cried several times throughout the beautiful film and, in the late night hours, found himself moved to write a simple love song in response.
The song features a straightforward delivery of clear and magnetic vocals, a shimmery hook to latch onto, and a guitar solo that secretly harkens back to his greatest musical love, Django Reinhardt. The lyrics are simple but honest, and during live performances, it’s the song that audience members sing along to, as if they knew it in their bones. Recorded entirely in Johnny’s home studio, with Jeremy Carlson on drums, and the remainder of the instruments played by Johnny, the song does not rely on any synthesizers, sampling, or digital instrumentation -- just the real vibrations of the instruments themselves; a song as pure as its meaning. The accompanying music video is much the same concept, homemade and raw, where all of the collages were cut by hand from old Life magazines from the 1940s and National Geographics from the past 20 years.
With “Red Turtle”, Johnny takes no shame in having written a simple, heartfelt love song for was it not Sir Paul McCartney who stated, “Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, and what’s wrong with that? I’d like to know.”
Johnny Dioxide released his first concept album Moontower in 2017. The album follows the story of a man lost in combat and thought to be dead, only to return to find that his wife had moved on and remarried. Sad and lonely, the cowboy rambled on, eventually discovering love in the quirky and celestial backdrop of piñatas, Japanese game shows, and washed-out guitar riffs, as he made his trek to California to be with his beacon and muse, “Kelly Danielly, peanut butter and jelly”. The album is dedicated to his loving partner, highly-esteemed Austin filmmaker Kelly Daniela Norris. Song to check out: “Manny Mannuz” -- it has a splendid music video to go along with it (made, of course, by the talented and lovely Kelly Daniela Norris).
Check out Moontower on Spotify