Nick Johnston


Nick Johnston is a Canadian guitarist known for his catchy, melody-driven instrumental music. With his guitar, Nick has been able to carve out his own unique style within a crowded landscape of instrumental guitarists. Nick is a firm believer that “you are what you eat” and that by listening to many different styles, a songwriter can be exposed to different harmonies, rhythms, time signatures and tones. This eclectic inspiration is evident in his sound, which ranges from blues to prog, to jazz, to gypsy, spanning anything and everything in-between. Though his style is ever evolving, his music is consistently detailed and technical while managing to be instantly recognizable as Nick Johnston.

Hailed as a modern guitar virtuoso, Nick remains incredibly modest, his success attributed primarily to a strong work ethic and genuine love for his instrument. This energy spans beyond his playing, translating into a sincere respect for the people working around him, be it the neighbour boy who first introduced him to guitar or the legendary musicians he’s developed relationships with throughout his career.

These relationships make up the backbone of Nick Johnston’s music. His music has attracted guest solos from guitar icons Paul Gilbert and Guthrie Govan and has included rhythm sections featuring Marco Minnemann and Bryan Beller, of The Aristocrats. Additionally, Nick has been featured on records for other artists including guest guitar solos for prog-rock bands Periphery and Polyphia respectively.

Similarly, Nick’s playing has attracted sponsorship from massive international brands including Friedman Amps, Seymour Duncan, D’Addario and Schecter Guitars. These brands enthusiastically share new gear, invite Nick to conferences and, in the case of Schecter, has even lead to a signature guitar, released in the fall of 2015.

Surprisingly, Nick’s most influential relationship falls outside of music altogether with visual artist, Mark Rehkopf. When creating music, Nick finds great inspiration in visual content drawing imagery from beloved comic books and cartoons. Mark was originally hired to create the album art for Nick’s first album in 2011 and developed into an ongoing partnership wherein Mark has designed all album art and show posters since. Mark’s detailed artwork both influences and is influenced by Nick’s music, revolving around themes of outer space, a futuristic world, and sentiments of the unknown or unexplored. In addition to illustrating Nick’s musical work, the two artists collaborated on a graphic novel entitled “Nick Johnston and the Tale of the Cosmic Strings” in 2012.

Nick’s musical journey has been captured in the Thinline Films short “Nick Johnston | An Atomic Mind”, released November 24th, 2015. The documentary, created by Grant Cooper and Scott Giffin, was almost two years in the making and showcases Nick’s artistic vision and dynamic guitar playing, including interviews and anecdotes from those that have worked with him over the years, a wonderful introduction to the dynamic universe of Nick Johnston.





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