Lead singer/songwriter Jaren Johnston of rock band American Bang is Nashville royalty. He grew up in the Grand Ole Opry watching his dad, one of the main drummers, perform.

"I would go (to the Opry) on Friday and Saturday nights because we didn't have a babysitter," he recalls. "I would just sit, hang out and watch. That's what I came up in, which is pretty cool. I guess not many kids can say that."

Jaren too started out as a drummer, and opted to pursue music rather than stay in college. "My dad would always say, 'What the hell are you going to do?' and I would say, 'Well, I hope music, because I'm damn sure not good at anything else.'" Jaren played in a number of bands. "I was kind of like a drummer-for-hire. I saw so many damn rock and roll bands make so many bad decisions."

So he decided to take his destiny in his own hands and "be upfront and in charge" rather than behind the scenes. "I'm one of those characters who wants to be upfront. I'm usually the loudest guy in the room; that's how I like it."


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