Tennessee-based songwriter debuts wondrous animated video for EP highlight
Johny Fisher, aka Local Opener, gets by with a little help from his friends on his debut EP Friends. The talent-studded EP features collaborations with Welles, Breakup Shoes, Leponds, and Summer Salt with a summer anthem, “I’ve Got You”. The single is paired with an animated video directed by Joseph Morel and animated by Ana Mykhaylova from Neon Picturehouse. The animation depicts a trip through an alternate universe as the band members are captivated by a love-seeking alien.
“This song started so simple and sweet with my friend Gavin Shea and I writing at his house, then added my friends Summer Salt, then added another friend on pedal steel, and another friend to help mix and then another to master, and finally multiple new friends from overseas to make the visuals. That’s so many friends. But without each and every one of them, it wouldn’t be the same.”
Known for his previous work as one-half of Okey Dokey, Johny Fisher has embarked on his own solo work without collaboration for his upcoming record. Local Opener’s first full-length album Never Play Last is set to release in late 2021. The two debut singles “A Frown” and “Heartbreaker” are out now.
Your debut album “Friends” was released this past May. On this project, you worked with a diverse selection of musicians from Welles to Summer Salt to Breakup Shoes. What was your favorite part of the collaborative process making this record?
I enjoyed hearing and seeing the other bands’ reactions when hearing the finished songs. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the potential or big picture until it’s already done. Having other bands trust me and likewise me trusting others to do their best and have the focus remain fixed upon creating the best songs possible. I love a good surprise.
I’ve Got You” sounds like the perfect song for a warm summer day. Explain the process of making this song with Summer Salt and what led you to the sound you ended up with.
I was sitting with my friend Gavin Shea and we just started strumming that progression and humming the chorus melody. We didn’t have lyrics or any ideas at all other than that the vibe was completely there with something as simple as a single acoustic and melody. Within about an hour our humming turned into us saying “I’ve got you” over and over again. Once we tracked out the demo and I sang the choruses, we sent everything over to Matt and Euji and they absolutely nailed it. Matt brought a narrative to the story that I wasn’t expecting and Euji brought in such a fun beat that instantly gave the song this Summer a happy feeling. I think what led us there was just knowing what we wanted to go for and also equal parts luck and having fun.
You recently released two new tunes, “Heartbreaker” and “A Frown”, neither of which features a collaboration in comparison to your latest album. How was it working on these tracks primarily by yourself? Are these songs an extension from “Friends” or the start of something new?
I wanted to also be able to show people what I can come up with myself. I enjoyed the process, and feel like it’s a bit more cohesive seeing as it’s not done with multiple artists over multiple genres. These two songs are a part of a new album I’ll be releasing this year called Never Play Last. I think it’s a wonderfully sad yet hopeful album about overcoming the fear of loss and change. I hope everyone enjoys it and hope that it can help people cope with anxiety and depression.