Costa Mesa CA
Alt CountryPopPunk
Plays: 2,026
Downloads: 73
Profile Views: 474


Track Title Length Content Favorites Download
"stir it up" 3:54 Clean Add to Playlist Free
"paid for" 3:08 Clean Add to Playlist Free
"back home" 3:10 Clean Add to Playlist Free
"workn' man" 2:45 Clean Add to Playlist Free

To say punk is in-grained in John Maurer’s soul is an understatement. Having spent 22 years of his life playing bass for one of Southern California’s most celebrated and seminal rock bands Social Distortion, recording seven groundbreaking, critically acclaimed classics including Prison Bound, Social Distortion, Somewhere Beetween Heaven and Hell, White Light White Heat, Live at the Roxy, Live in Orange County (DVD) and Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll, relentless touring around the world and major label success, Maurer lived and breathed punk rock to its very core. And to walk away from it all was the hardest decision of his life.

“I love Social Distortion,” explains Maurer. “Mike Ness is like a brother to me. The music, times and places we've shared are priceless and near to my heart. Mike is a beautiful soul. But I was emotionally spent. I missed the first three years of my son Jack’s life on white light tour cycle. Then my daughter was born and I didn’t want to miss her first three years touring for Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll so I just walked away from the whole lot, the band, Slip, the big house, hell with it... didn't feel right.”

Emotionally drained from non-stop touring, internal line-up changes, management conflict, missing the out of his newborn’s first years and the death of long-time friend and Social D guitarist Dennis Danell, Maurer split from the band and left the label he started, Slip Records, in hiatus in 2004 and moved to Kauai, HI where he spent the next year with his family living the simple life.

However, the thing about musicians like Maurer though is that you can take them out of music, but you can never take the music out of them. Four years after Maurer’s departure from the band, he felt the calling again and picked up his signature bass, Blondie. At the prompting of good friend John Virtue, Maurer returned to playing local LA gigs here and there, before assembling a crew of friends and musicians to form a new project, and with the assistance of friend Billy Joe, he settled on the name Five Alarm Fire.

“It was where I was really standing in life,” says Maurer. “I needed a five alarm crew to rescue me from myself. The quick little phrase has had a big impact on me. I need help and I need to ask for it.”

And ask for it he did. Maurer, who is handling guitars, bass and vocals, found rescue with friends Sean Katlen (bass, guitars, vocals) and Joel Newcomer (drums) who formed the punk rock trio known as Five Alarm Fire.

In early 2010, FAF entered the studio with friend and producer Cameron Webb, who also produced/engineered/mixed Social D’s Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll, where the newly formed band recorded their first EP.

“I was fortunate to work with some great producers and engineers in my career; one being Cameron Webb,” Maurer adds. “He was gracious enough to help me out and put us up for a session or two. He's incredible and gets where I'm comin' from.”

It’s no surprise the raw, fiery direction Maurer is taking FAF after years playing in Social D. While fans of his former band will find the FAF’s sound has a familiar ring to it, they’ll also find it’s got a fresh, revived edge that’s full of hard-rocking riffs and hard-living lyrics.

“Punk almost falls under roots based music nowadays. We're not tryn' to reinvent the wheel here. Five Alarm Fire is just good ol cowpunk, rock-n-rolla, she left me for a bottle of whiskey, urban blues let’s have a flipn' beach party and a pop.”

After taking time off to collect his thoughts and recharge, Maurer is living life on his own terms now, and as he starts a new chapter with FAF he is taking lessons learned from the past along with a new, or rather old, take on releasing music.

“We want to resurrect the Slip recordings label for the release. The batches of songs will look like a split EP, with my material on side A and covers of bands and artist I have worked with in the past on side B. A concept used in the late 60's and 70's. I like the idea of releasing singles too. The age of internet distribution lends itself to that. Social networking and digital distribution is the future for FAF. It really is an incredible way to share, market and maybe even sell a download single or two. It’s a new music world out there, the days of the controlling record company suits are OVER.”

Re-inspired and back to doing what he loves, Maurer and Five Alarm Fire embark on a punk rock journey into the next decade with no regrets, only the necessity to create music the only way he knows how. Loud and Fast!

“I’m looking forward to reconnecting and visiting all the places and people that make and have made the music scene what it is today…could get a little wild...”

whatever's playn' at the time...

Nov 20, 2010


Q & A with Johnny by Thomas Samoline
Mar 20, 2010
Interview: by Thomas Samoline Social Distortion's bass player for 20 years, Johnny Maurer, quit the band and all things music for four years to live in the Kauai countryside to "slow things down a bit". He's picked up the ranges and is back in the saddle with his new project "Five Alarm Fire". We caught up with Maurer earlier this week at Alta coffee house in the old fishermen's village in...
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