Reading, Pennsylvania's Johnny Action Figure was formed when two guitar-playing singers, Chris Sheehan (born April 8, 1985) and Brendan Fullam (born December 4, 1984), created the band in 1999, the summer before their freshman year of high school. The duo began writing original songs together, influenced from the outset by the music of Elliott SmithElvis Costello, the Beatles, Tom Petty and others, the songwriters both favoring the lighter pop sounds of Paul McCartney over the experimentation and darker sounds of a John Lennon. Brendan's brother, (Christopher Fullam, born August 24, 1987) -- also known as CF -- plays bass for JAF while drummer Brad Rittle (born July 3, 1987) completes the quartet. Johnny Action Figure began playing local shows soon after their emergence -- during their junior/senior years of high school -- recorded their first full-length record.
(Music journalist Alex Henderson noted in a review of their self-titled debut from 2004 that another band from Canada went by the same name in the '90s until the Canadian ensemble changed their moniker to Ghost of Science.) Directly after high school, they started landing opening slots for national touring bands like Something Corporate, the Get Up Kids, Midtown, Allister, Wilco and others in their home state of Pennsylvania. They became full-time college students while continuing to play weekly shows and recording new material appearing on 2004's Warped Tour. Their second CD, Asks the Room to Please Stop Spinning, was released worldwide on DRP Records in July of 2006 with a full tour to support it beginning in June 2007. With musical influences ranging from the Beach Boys and Steely Dan to My Morning Jacket along with other artists who are "pushing the envelope of pop music," Johnny Action Figure has set out to "challenge" themselves while developing the sounds they choose to create.
Their significant fan base is expanding beyond Pennsylvania into New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and wherever the internet brings them that touring does not. With the songs "Lose Our Face" and "Fortune" entrenched on YouTube; the band was the featured musical guest on CN8's Backstage with Barry Nolan and has appeared on Havoc (on demand) and on ManiaTV! Network's RnR TV. ~ Joe Viglione