5 questions with Emmaus front man, Ronan Johnston
Rock band Emmaus’ music has been simultaneously described as optimistic pop and and arresting and thoughtful.
Though the band has been silent for the most part of the past decade, they reminded us just how much we’ve been missing with last year’s release, “Mountaintop” and this year’s release, “Let us not Go Back to Egypt.”
Recently, James Wait caught up with Ronan Johnston, the band’s front man.
Ronan, tell us a little about your musical background.
Well, “professionally,” I am music writer. I’ve actually worked with many of the record companies out there. I have also worked for PBS with its “Over Ireland” program and some Irish television shows.
With Emmaus, I have traveled to lots of places. In the 1990’s we did a 60 day tour of the United States supporting our albums, “All over the World,” “Weight” and “Live at the Temple Bar Theatre in Dublin.”
In the interim, between Emmaus projects, I released a solo album called “Songs of Consolation.”
Growing up, what were some of your music influences and have those music influences changed any?
Growing up I really liked Black Sabbath and Shawn Carl. As far as pop goes, I really appreciated Abba. I still listen to rock and pop. As a musician and songwriter, I enjoy the music more now than I did when I was younger.
Speaking of music, I have heard a lot of Celtic music come out of Ireland, do you mix any Celtic influences into Emmaus’ music?
Our music is mostly rock and pop, but we do mix some Celtic music into our releases.
Can you tell us a little about your conversion experience? What brought you to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?
I grew up as a Catholic. In 1979, I was at a charismatic renewal in Dublin. For me, the event was a powerful, tangible experience of God. Having such a powerful experience at a young age prevented me from doing a lot of things, including back sliding. Now that I’m older, though there have been some rough patches, I feel that my relationship with the Lord has grown.
Check out Ronan perform here:
More info on Ronan and Emmaus is here.
Related: Check out our review of “Let us not Go Back to Egypt.”