The path to rock drumming superstardom is littered with sticksmen whose careers have succumbed to setbacks, dashed hopes and near-misses.
But then there are those who by sheer bloody-minded determination are fated to achieve their goals. Such a drummer is Luke Johnson, aka ‘Jocko’, the man now powering Welsh nu-metallers and anthemic pop-punks Lostprophets.
When Ilan Rubin, the talented US sticksman who had joined the ’Prophets for a stint following the departure of original drummer Mike Chiplin, announced he was joining Nine Inch Nails, Luke was determined he would take his throne. Having already proved himself with Californian punks Amen and his own band Beat Union, the West Midlands drummer literally went and camped on the ’Prophets LA doorstep until they let him in. That’s tenacity.
Now, with the release of the band’s excellent fifth album Weapons and the first tracked by Luke, he has now well and truly made Lostprophets’ drumstool his own.
“It’s nice to be sat here doing this interview three years down the line,” Luke told Rhythm when they caught up with him at Cardiff’s Music Box rehearsal space ahead of the new album’s release.
“Writing on the new record and having a band of brothers again. It’s nice to belong, even though I’m a Brummie in a Welsh band!”
Here we bring you pictures of the drum setup Luke is using with the ‘Prophets, plus snippets from that interview, which you can read in full in Rhythm issue 203. Alternatively, you can subscribe to Rhythm Magazine to read interviews with the world’s top drummers each month.