NAME: Johnny Salka
BAND AFFILIATION: Hard Soul
INSTRUMENT: Guitar & vocals
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … When I was in my early teens I was absolutely hooked on the Beatles. My dad bought me their “One” CD, which was a collection of all their number one hits, and I would lay in bed for hours with headphones on learning all the vocal harmonies and melodies. To this day, whenever I sing there is almost a reflex to sing the harmony rather than the melody vocal line. (Hard Soul does a pretty mean version of the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love.”) I credit a lot of my singing ability to those nights immersed in that collection of songs.
The first album I ever purchased for myself, however, was Metallica’s self-titled “Black Album.” My friends and I would get together and drive around our hometown listening to classic rock and guitar-oriented music, and “Enter Sandman” became a staple in our mix of tunes. It was one of the main reasons why I decided to pick up the guitar, strike those power chords and play that main riff over and over again. That was the start of my total immersion into heavy metal and the eventual formation of Amalgama from 2005-2011. However, I never lost my connection to those early influences which led me back even further to bands like Thin Lizzy that ended up flavoring what Hard Soul now is.