Lontalius

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Lontalius is one of the stage names of 18 year old underground Wellington sensation Eddie Johnston, who also records under the moniker ‘Race Banyon’, and has been an active participant in the local live scene since his early teens…

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The Mixtape: Eddie Johnston AKA Lontalius/Race Banyon

02072015150118.CROP-0001“Over the last four years, Eddie Johnston has become one of the more recognisable young musical talents within Wellington’s DIY underground, both online and offline. A singer, guitarist, keyboardist, beatmaker and bandleader, he expresses himself through two key musical projects: the guitar/Casiotone drone-rock of Lontalius, and the astral laptop electronica of Race Banyon. “With Race Banyon I feel like I have an empty canvas,” he says. “If I feel an emotion, I can put it into music in any way that I choose. With Lontalius my own taste with that kind of music conflicts with me trying to put feelings into music. I will stay away from chord progressions that feel cheesy to me, or even guitar sounds that sound overused.” While his electronic music as Race Banyon has given him a sense of emotional freedom, it was his early releases and performances as Lontalius that got him noticed. Opening spots for Glass Vaults, Dear Times Waste, Liam Finn and The Eversons soon followed. One thing that has stayed off the radar is the fact that, even though Johnston has been on the live scene for nearly five years, he’s a sixteen year—old high school student. “When I first started releasing music, Blink from A Low Hum told me to not push the age thing too far,” he explains. “I’ve tried to stick with that. I think another thing that has kept my age from becoming a gimmick is that I’ve always associated myself with people four or five years older than me.” Raised in a musically fluent household, Johnston started playing guitar at age eight, discovering the music of The Beatles, Crowded House, Liam Finn and The Mint Chicks. In turn this lead him to more experimental rock landscapes. In recent months however, his ears have shifted more towards pop, R&B, hip—hop, house and footwork. In particular he praises Drake and The-Dream. “I feel like I‘m singing The-Dream songs in my head 24 hours a day,” he admits. “He has an incredible ear for melody.” A member of nationwide beat collective Keroscene Comic Book, in 2013 his focus has been Race Banyon. Through a series of EPs and remixes, he’s been catching ears nationwide and finding a deeper sense of music, “I’ve never been this happy about my music before,” he enthuses.”

Lontalius live in session, 8 Oct. 2015
Before heading to New York’s CMJ and Red Bull Music Academy in Paris Eddie spoke to RNZs Emma Smith about the songs and impending adventures…

Cover sourced from Bandcamp.
The Audience profile sourced from Rip It Up, No.354, Aug-Sep 2013. Used with permission.

Last edited: 14.07.16

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