J-Birds: Kris Watkins (drums), Aaron Zecchini (guitars/sax) Ryan "Tater" Johnson (guitars/vocals), Cody Hensley (keys, trumpet) and Steve J. Young (guitars/vocals).

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Don’t try to call Ryan “Tater” Johnson the God no real.

It’s serendipitous, almost, the the same grandmother at whose church he got saved also noted Johnson’s very first introduction come music. Initially from Nashville, Johnson found an acoustic etc at his grandmother’s house, and also as he spent more time through her after his parents’ divorce when he was a child, he began experimenting v it.

“I remember hitting my an initial chord on it and also thinking, ‘There’s no way people actually carry out this!’” Johnson said. “I remember mine Aunt Glenda — she to be amazing and talented and played in church and also stuff — looked in ~ me and also said, ‘Don’t worry. You’ll acquire used come it.’ that was really where it started.”

By the time he to be a teenager, the family had moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, and also Johnson was partial come the heavier sounds of absent ‘n’ roll, specifically the thrash-pop sound of contemporary punk bands favor The Offspring and also Rancid. A dual bill of both groups at a long-gone Knoxville venue, the electrical Ballroom, adjusted everything, that said.

“It floored me, and it was the biggest night of mine life,” Johnson said. “They to be so loud! I had never heard anything so according to in my whole life, and also I think I can have also crowd surfed. It to be a society shock for a kid who had actually never yes, really been the end of the home much.”

The various other memory of that night to be lurking approximately the club after the show and also discovering some of the members the Rancid just hanging out. In ~ 14 and fearless, he walked best up to them and was effusive in his praise about the show and their music.

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“They simply kind that laughed and also said, ‘Rock ~ above kid,’” the said. “I psychic the method they looked at me, due to the fact that when you start touring enough and also get come a certain level, you start seeing youngsters do that same thing. I remember being on tour through 10 Years, and some pan would begin crying and also shaking and also wanting come hug us. Music helps a lot of people, man.”

Around the exact same time, he earned the nickname that’s still a much more familiar moniker 보다 his offered name. As a ninth-grader in a Christian school, his bible teacher’s brothers was additionally named Ryan.

“But the said, ‘Everybody supplied to speak to him Tater,’ and as shortly as i said, ‘That’s stupid,’ that’s what everybody started to contact me,” the said. “The teacher was yes, really cool, and when he saw I didn’t favor it, he told everybody that if they referred to as me that, they would get detention. But they ended up phone call me that anyway.”