Inspirational Quotes from Johnny Flynn

We all have these shades in our nature: it’s a spectrum within all of us.

Johnny Flynn

Not listening is the reason for so many misunderstandings and conflicts.

Johnny Flynn

It’s not in the mainstream media, but across towns, it is amazing how there are small groups of people getting together and forming artistic collectives – they may not be being overtly political, but I’d say by channelling their energy into community projects, that’s a valid political statement.

Johnny Flynn

I’m not a fan of taking too long in the studio. I always do one vocal take and jump out of the control room, and people push me back in… It’s a real turn-off to hear things that are too polished. I feel like I’ve almost fought for the right to be that kind of musician – we used to be on a major label, and now we’re on an indie.

Johnny Flynn

There’s something amazing about ‘Fawlty Towers’ and ‘The Office’ only being two series. I think, when you really nail it, you don’t need to do more than two or three.

Johnny Flynn

If you’re in a garage band, it’s about being better than the band in the next-door garage. But in the folk tradition, it’s more a vibe of sharing.

Johnny Flynn

I definitely asked too many questions of my teachers and was probably a bit facetious at times.

Johnny Flynn

I think the two are kind of synonymous for me; songwriting is like my form of diary making. It’s how I process the world. Without doing that, I feel kind of lost. The characters that I play often come out in the songs and the challenges that they face, albeit in an abstract way.

Johnny Flynn

I’m a big Bob Dylan fan. I’m also a blues geek.

Johnny Flynn

My guitar is a 1934 National Trojan. They call it a resonator, which is the guitar guys played in the honky-tonks before amplification. It’s very loud. It’s the type of guitar that Son House and Robert Johnson played.

Johnny Flynn

I have a classical music background. I studied violin and trumpet.

Johnny Flynn

I’m obsessed with pilgrimages. I love following old routes, imagining the consciousness of those who walked them.

Johnny Flynn

My dad was working class.

Johnny Flynn

I’m not really interested in myself in my writing. I can’t see myself in the songs, even though I know different parts of me are there.

Johnny Flynn

I’m not a funny person.

Johnny Flynn

I grew up playing classical violin and a lot of Bach and Mozart and the things that Einstein loved.

Johnny Flynn

I imagine that, for most people, acting isn’t something they think is a viable option, whereas for me, it was the most viable option. No adults around me knew how to do anything else.

Johnny Flynn

Music always gets bumped until I have some time to get around to it.

Johnny Flynn

I think Bob Odenkirk is phenomenal.

Johnny Flynn

I’ve been cast in a lot of comedies. I’ve done things like multi-cam sitcoms: you know, ‘Seinfeld’ type… not as good as ‘Seinfeld,’ but that kind of thing. I love that stuff.

Johnny Flynn

Certain films should only be watched at 40,000 feet. Like, certain comedies and certain, uh, emotionally charged movies.

Johnny Flynn

Bob Dylan has and Einstein had their own way of perceiving the universe and translating it for us.

Johnny Flynn

The world that I know and the world that I come from is from the arts, and my wife’s an artist, and I’ve been a musician since I left college, and there’s tons of musicians I’d love to play.

Johnny Flynn

I’m a huge David Hockney fan.

Johnny Flynn

I try and stay in my right brain as much as I can, but my left takes over.

Johnny Flynn

We had no money, my dad was out of work a lot, and we never owned a house. It was very hand-to-mouth.

Johnny Flynn

The moment you have children, it’s like your heart gets out of your body, puts on clothes, and walks away.

Johnny Flynn

I like getting older. I always looked younger than I was, and I found that people wouldn’t give me the room to speak. The older I get, it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m still talking, and they’re still listening.’

Johnny Flynn

I sometimes self-edit when it comes to auditions and go, ‘They’re not going to cast me, so I’m not going to do it.’

Johnny Flynn

It’s great being an actor and being part of a play or a film where there’s usually quite a big group of people who are collaborating, and your job is really to fit in and share that energy. With music, because I write the songs, it’s a broader, more abstract process.

Johnny Flynn

I’ve always identified as an actor. That’s what I set out to do.

Johnny Flynn

My father was an actor. Both of my older brothers are actors. My younger sister is an actress. For me, that’s my job; that’s my craft. But then all through school and through drama school, I was gigging and running nights and playing in bands, and I just didn’t want to let that go.

Johnny Flynn

The pop industry is so well-practised at channelling young people’s creative energy that I think it gets abused.

Johnny Flynn

I’m not that politically educated.

Johnny Flynn

Westminster politics is very unattractive, and people are channelling political energy into more inward questioning – there are a lot of musicians whose songs are all about feeling, and it’s almost like that’s the only safe place to express yourself.

Johnny Flynn

The truth is there’s always a hum of people playing folk music in cities.

Johnny Flynn

When I first moved to London, there was talk of a folk revival, with annoying names like nu-folk that made me feel slightly ill.

Johnny Flynn

All the adults in my family were actors, so there wasn’t much else in terms of role models. I fell in love with that world, being backstage at the theatre.

Johnny Flynn

It’s interesting to marry American musical traditions with the subtlety of English-style storytelling and folk singer-songwriters like Martin Carthy and Bert Jansch – they’re two heritages that are distinct but also cross over on so many levels.

Johnny Flynn

Taking someone else’s language and fitting it into your own speech – you learn a lot about other people’s brains, doing that.

Johnny Flynn

I like the idea of letting the music do its own work and the stories being more expressionful – if that’s a word – in people’s imagination. I’ve just got a thing about people and songs telling you how you should feel.

Johnny Flynn

Loads of verses don’t make it into the finished song.

Johnny Flynn

Our job as actors is to invent the things that bridge ourselves with the characters, so you have to build something if it’s not there – you try and learn what makes people behave in a certain way.

Johnny Flynn

I like really bad puns – proper, red-top, nasty puns – I find them funny.

Johnny Flynn

I fell in love with the legend of Paul Robeson as a kid. My dad would tell me all these amazing stories about his life and, bizarrely, ended up singing to Robeson on his deathbed.

Johnny Flynn

Diane Cluck is part of the anti-folk movement in New York. She’s got a really haunting voice, and she usually sings in the pentatonic scale.

Johnny Flynn

The Band mean a lot to me in terms of what I aspire to achieve with my group, as the music they made went against the fashion of the time.

Johnny Flynn

I first came across Langhorne Slim when I saw him play live, and he’s an incredibly infectious performer. The way he works the crowd is mind-blowing. You can listen to his music without really listening to his lyrics, but it pays off if you do.

Johnny Flynn

Folk music – and what people are now perceiving as being folk music – is music that’s quite close to the ground. The songs sound quite old, even if they’re new. They sound like they’ve been sung by different people for years.

Johnny Flynn

I played trumpet for Noah and the Whale a couple of times.

Johnny Flynn

I’m married to the girl that I first went out with when I was 16. We were on and off for years; now we’re married with a kid, so I don’t have that many exes.

Johnny Flynn

I just said, casually, ‘You know, I passed up on auditioning for Einstein.’ And my friend was like, ‘You idiot, you have to do it!’ She made me do it. I sent the tapes off assuming that somebody would say, ‘Ha ha, very funny.’

Johnny Flynn