A free man on Earth ought to make his life worthwhile, and the music of Argyle Johansen is an attempt at a means to that end.
Argyle Johansen can be a pretty selfish person sometimes, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because he knows what he likes. He typically did not play well with the other kids growing up, but I think that most of us go through that at one time or another; and even though he thinks he knows now that people are just kind of cruel and impossible sometimes (himself included), I think he still takes it a bit too hard when things just don’t work. A free man on Earth ought to make his life worthwhile, and the music of Argyle Johansen is an attempt at a means to that end. To bask in the self-satisfaction of something that you made (whether it be writing a song or building a birdhouse) does not usually come cheap, but that is what makes life worth living. At least, that’s what Argyle Johansen told me. He keeps his eyes open, his ears clean, and writes about what he wants to write about. Life’s little experiences, the segues from the expected, the most profound to the most mundane all provide fodder if you want them to. Waiting in the emergency room at St. Vincent’s Hospital to get stitches on a beautiful spring day, not getting enough sleep, or getting too high before having to go to work were all par for the course. Among his varied past of spiritually unprofitable work, Argyle Johansen has been a waiter and a bartender (quick with a joke and to light up your smoke, but there’s some place that he’d rather be…); he’s quit jobs he didn’t like on the first day and gotten fired from ones that weren’t so bad in retrospect. He resided under the neon hued clouds of Atlantic City, stayed hungover for nearly a year in Philadelphia, roomed with bedbugs in Bushwick, and contemplated the odors in the air of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He’s lived above and below the poverty line; subsisted solely on pasta and coffee (subsequent boosts in income have allowed him to now survive on New York City’s greatest natural resource – pizza); and once drove nearly nonstop from Brooklyn to Toronto, across Canada to Vancouver, north to Fairbanks, Alaska and then up a four hundred mile dirt and gravel road in a rented mini-van just to swim in the Arctic Ocean for five minutes before going numb.
I swear, it’s a true story. It’s all true, even the boring stuff; and he’s loved the task of living it every minute of it and written some music about it that makes him really happy.