Johnny Bonnel never stops working.
Whether it’s working on music or running his T-shirt printing company, the musician has his hands full.
“This time around, I have to finish the shirts for a couple of tours lined up,” he says. “It’s a little over 1,000 of them. Its a good distraction, because I get nervous thinking about tour.”
Bonnel is the lead singer of the punk rock band Swingin’ Utters. The band formed in the late 1980s and took a seven-year hiatus in the 2000s before re-forming in 2010.
The band is rounded out by Darius Koski, Jack Dalrymple, Luke Ray and Tony Teixeira.
Swingin’ Utters is gearing up to release its new album, “Peace and Love,” which is due out on Aug. 31.
It took four years for the band to complete the album.
“We spent a lot of time working on the album,” he says. “We also had an abundance of songs because three of us are writers. We have enough material for a couple more albums. We just stockpiled all of songs and when we started recording, the best songs rose to the top. They all go together really well.”
Bonnell has taken a more active role in the band in the past five years.
He is more comfortable with picking up a guitar and letting everything flow out of him.
“I play what I thought sounded cool, and that became my own style,” he says. “I pick up the guitar, and I don’t want to do the theory behind it all. I want to remain primitive and just play out. When I realized that this was my style, I kept pushing myself.”
Bonnel has spent years on the road.
The 51-year-old has learned how to manage the many obstacles of life on the road – especially his own self-care.
“I do a lot of mediation,” he says. “I also take breaks for 15 minutes and just get outdoors. That helps me big time. I feel like I’m re-energized and then I’m able to knock things off my list. It also seems to make my life a lot easier.”
One aspect that doesn’t get easier is leaving his family at home.
“I do miss them terribly when I’m out on the road,” he says. “Then I think about it. Maybe they need a break from me. We’ve learned to balance it all.”