CNY Arts, Inc.


Make Music Day: Meet the Musicians - Johnny Richards

Meet the Musicians - Johnny Richards, Super Spicy Pepper with Joe Salazar

See Johnny Richards and his band perform at the 24-hour shot clock in Armory Square on June 21, starting at 8am

Performing at the 24-hour shot clock in Armory Square on June 21

I would just like to say it has been a privilege and an honor to have played with so many talented musicians over the years and a thank you to places like State Craft Tap House, the Blue Tusk, Buried Acorn Brewery, Sterling Stage Kampitheater, and Grace Tyler Winery, who have embraced my music and me as a person from the very beginning. Thank you to all the musicians and persons who have imparted their wisdom to help me grow. Thank you to my muse, who fills me with inspiration and always pushes me to do more and better. And thank you to all who have made a day like this possible, guys like Heagerty who put on our city and strive to make positive change, to bring light to the creatives.

What is your name?

Johnny Richards


What is your band’s name?
Super Spicy Pepper - Johnny Richards, Joe Salazar (duo formed specifically for this event)


Where are you from?
Syracuse NY


What kind of music do you perform/what instruments do you play?
Americana, jam, beach music, on the spot lyrics, Guitar, Cajon fitted with extra percussion 


When did you start performing/playing/singing? What got you into music?
I've been singing my whole life but, I started playing instruments and performing within the last 5 years, my mother is a singer and my father is a sound engineer, so I guess it kind of was destined to be this way, one day I had an epiphany, and just decided that I didn’t want to go through life not playing music, and so I surrounded myself with it. 


Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?
There are too many musicians that inspire me to count, I particularly enjoy the interviews with musicians. I’ve always been a sponge when it comes to that stuff and the little tidbits of knowledge that that can change the way you think are priceless. When it comes to the musician as a person, I generally gravitate towards those who are humble. I feel like every industry could use more of that.


Describe your favorite venue for performing.
There was a place called state craft tap house out in Brewerton a few years back, owners were the nicest people Ive ever met, perfect little atmosphere for my sound especially when I was first starting out. Sadly they are no longer there, but I have very fond memories of playing there and interacting with the crowd, not to mention I met my wife there while playing. A place I will never forget. 


Tell me about your favorite performance in your career.
I was at sterling stage for one of the festivals I cant recall which one. No one even knew I could play or sing, I didn’t put myself out there like that at that time. A group of all star musicians from different bands that also happened to all be sound engineers agreed to play a set with me. I had never been on a bigger stage outside of open mics and doing solo acts. I just remember everyone’s positive reaction and the dancing. Everyone coming up after to say hi and exchange happy thankful words. Ive played much larger stages and with many other musicians since then but the incredible vibe of the audience and the feeling I had that day is something that will never leave me and is something I imagine ill continue chasing until I leave this earth. That or the blue tusk Christmas party when “johnny and the love makers” played , we fit so many people in that place that night. It was certainly one for the books.


If your fans could remember one thing about you/your band, what would it be?
I would hope to be remembered for being a kind person. With my music or without.


What's the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
Be humble,  don’t drink dairy or eat anything spicy before singing Sometimes its better to let the voice shine and play the instrument subtly. Write multiple songs a day, you have to get the bad stuff out before the good stuff can flow. Find your range, find the sweet spot, and use it to your advantage sing to heal others.


See Johnny Richards and his band perform at the 24-hour shot clock in Armory Square on June 21, starting at 8am.