Hailing from the streets of New York's Lower East Side, Jonny Lives! birthed from the same scene as bands like the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, and the Mooney Suzuki, combining garage rock elements with musical cues taken from Brit-pop and the '60s and '70s N.Y.C. punk scene to produce their own anthemic soundtrack to the city nightlife. Boasting a love of the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and the Who, vocalist/guitarist Jonny Dubowsky -- who graduated with honors from NYU in literature and philosophy -- also took influence from writers like Walt Whitman and Marcel Proust. Classically trained in piano from a young age and picking up guitar at age 12, Dubowsky began hooking up with various musicians in the burgeoning LES scene by his early twenties. Making connections and playing with bands like Luscious Jackson, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Elwood, he eventually began writing songs that would become Jonny Lives!
Going through various lineup changes, the band ultimately solidified in the mid-2000s with Dubowsky being joined by guitarist/vocalist Christian Langdon, drummer Jon Weber, and bassist Tommy USA, musicians who also owned varied musical connections. Langdon is the younger brother to Spacehog founder Royston Langdon; Weber played in the debut cast of Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Tommy USA was a member of White Light Motorcade and performed on Liz Phair's whitechocolatespaceegg. Like many of their N.Y.C. contemporaries, the quartet found an early following in the U.K., though remained virtually unknown in the U.S. This was fostered in part by considerable support from NME and six subsequent U.K. tours, including stretches with the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and the Killers. Jonny Lives! released the EP Get Steady in June 2005 on Long Live Crime before their full-length debut appeared in 2006. ~ Corey Apar