Known for his visceral, melodic dirges, and off-kilter production style, Johnny Dynamite is the solo alias of synth-centric singer/songwriter and producer John Morisi. Inspired by the illustrative work of his grandfather, acclaimed comic book artist Pete Morisi, Johnny Dynamite took on the name of one of his most iconic characters: an anti-hero detective from the underworld.
Dynamite’s debut solo album, 2020’s Heartbroken, landed much positive reception and buzz in the NYC scene.
Now, his latest single with his band The Bloodsuckers, Triflin Kids (Born Losers Records), is a delicious romp into the world of lush late-80s synth. He reflects on the track, calling it “a sarcastic take on a trite pop song set in a Brooklyn dive bar that touches on themes of lust and infidelity.” Evoking the vocal sensuality of INXS and The Cure, with the synth stylings of Pet Shop Boys, and the passion of Simple Minds, one can also hear similarities with more contemporary acts like M83 and MGMT.
Watch the video for “Triflin’ Kids” below:
Johnny Dynamite carved out a niche for himself in the darker corners of the world of guitar rock. His sound has evolved over the years from a heavier Pixies-meets-Modest Mouse indie/alt-rock sound, to more synth-driven and electronic leaning pop music. Dynamite shines as a storyteller as a frontman, lyricist, and vocalist; his moody and angst-filled vocal delivery and lyricism showcase a complex, introspective observer caught in the afterglow of it all.
A multi-instrumentalist, and frequent breaker of snare drums, Johnny Dynamite is also fluent in the language of the Akai MPC, and Prophet synthesizer. Emerging in the mid-2010s as a staple of the Greater New York DIY basement scene, Dynamite eventually settled in Brooklyn to lay down roots after years of touring. He has since taken time to develop his mostly self-recorded craft through setting up small bedroom studios across the city (wherever he resides) as well as making a name for himself playing out with his band, establishing his love of rock n’ roll.
Listen to Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers “Triflin’ Kids” via your favorite streaming service here.
*Photos by Ada Chen