Senior musician with a knack for the written word
Peter Johnson '11 is the bassist for student band "The Joint Chiefs"
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“I think it would be cool to write the next great American classic, but I don’t know if I could do that—that’s kind of hard to say.”
Peter Johnson ’11, a government major and a creative writing minor, has a passion for writing. Peter, a former English major, hopes to pursue a career in writing following his graduation from the Hill this coming spring, although he has still not decided what form his work will appear in.
“My ambition after I graduate is to be a novelist, so that’s really driven my interest in doing fiction writing here [at Colby],” Peter said. His classes and professors at the College have certainly encouraged his interest in writing, especially Professor of English Jennifer Boylan, Peter’s advisor and “creative writing sensei.”
According to Peter, his stories tend to revolve around “the dumb stuff kids do, [specifically] people our age and how they screw up.” While Peter admits that writing the next great American classic would be an amazing feat, his main goal is simply to write a book that readers can relate to closely.
“When I actually start writing books, I want to write the kind of books that become people’s favorite book, that they like talking about with other people and that they’re proud of representing,” Peter said.
Recently, however, Peter extended his writing repertoire with a newfound interest in journalism—he began writing for insideColby this semester and is in the process of writing his first piece for the publication. “I’ve been interested in doing journalism, doing some reporting; I just got into that this summer so I’m feeling it out,” he said.
When Peter isn’t occupied with his writing, he spends most of his free time playing music. He is currently the bassist for “The Joint Chiefs,” a student band that had its first performance of the semester this past Saturday in the Heights lounge.
“We had a great time playing,” Peter said. “It was great to see Heights packed and people dancing. Loud music and bright lights bring out the best in everyone.” He has also been a member of several other bands on campus during his four years at the College.
Peter, along with “Joint Chiefs” bandmate Zander Koallick ’11, is also an officer of the Musician’s Alliance, a club dedicated to bringing together musicians on campus. “We haven’t done that much in the past, and Zander and I want to make it a lot more prominent on campus,” Peter said.
The group has made several strides this year—they recently replaced the aging drum set and have further plans to put on shows second semester to “increase visibility.”
The group’s biggest concern at the moment is locating a proper practice space for student bands. Peter described how “right now we have to practice in the Mary Low Coffeehouse, which kind of sucks for everybody because people in Mary Low have to hear bass all the time if they live directly above, and there’s also always something else going on in there and we can’t play past 8 p.m.”
Apart from his interests in music and writing, the Seattle native is also a self-proclaimed omnivore, admitting that his food preferences range anywhere from vegan meals in Foss to fresh seafood. “I had a vegan lunch today, kind of by accident,” Peter said. “[But] the best meal I ever had was on a kayaking trip in Southeastern Alaska—we were about 50 miles from the closest town and a fishing boat pulled up next to us and [a fisherman said], ‘Hey I just caught some salmon but I caught too much, do you want some?’ So we got fresh salmon that had just been caught ten minutes before…it was the best thing ever.”
When Peter has time to himself, he gets to go back to one of the most lavish singles on campus. “I do have a fireplace, it’s true,” Peter confessed. While he has yet to actually use the fireplace, he does have plans to use it in the near future.
“I’ve been accused of having a ‘bachelor pad’ by some people; the bearskin rug will be coming in soon.”