JACK JOHNSON was born and raised in what many would consider paradise: Oahu, Hawaii. For his sixth studio album, From Here to Now to You, Johnson combines what he learned growing up (lots of surfing), and where he is now (still surfing, but also a husband and father), into another set of smooth jams perfect as a soundtrack to a beach vacation or winter evening spent in front of a fire.
GARAGE BAND: I recorded From Here to Now to You at Mango Tree Studio. It’s a fancy name for my garage basically. It’s a two-car garage where my brother and I put some interior walls up to separate the sound. We built a wall inside of the exterior wall to not bug the neighbors too much.
PUNK MEMORIES: The track “Tape Deck” is like a history of my first band, a punk rock band. We did Minor Threat covers, mostly.
GREAT GIFTS: One of the best gifts I’ve ever received came from Australia. The record company down there gave me this really nice, old wind-up record player. It’s one that you wind up about 30 times, put the vinyl on and put the needle down, and there’s one of those horns that comes out. But it’s a travel [size]; it’s like a little suitcase you can pack it all in. That thing is just amazing.
LISTENING TO VINYL RECORDS: I love the process of getting out the record and pulling the thing out, and holding it in your hand … being able to see the artwork so big. A lot of times, especially if friends are around, we’ll put on our favorite albums and crank them up when we’re having a barbecue or something.
IF YOU GO TO THE ISLANDS: Find restaurants that support local farmers. It’s a really big issue. For one thing, 90 percent of our food is shipped into Hawaii, which sounds pretty absurd when you consider that everything can be grown here. So it’s almost more of a favor I ask the people visiting, to find a restaurant that is supporting local farmers. Visitors will benefit anyway because it tastes so much better.
DINING IN HAWAII: I’d recommend this place called Town [in Honolulu]. It’s on the south side of the island and the guy who is the chef there, Ed Kenney, is kind of the food rock star in Hawaii right now. He buys all of his food from local farmers and all of his meat from local meat producers. Then on the North Shore the two restaurants that I’d recommend are Luibueno’s — they get all local fish and it’s really good Mexican food that supports local farmers — and Café Haleiwa.