Not doing what others are

BY NICK FETTY | MARCH 13, 2009 7:30 AM

mp3 sample: Johnny on Point

"912 PM"

Playing tons of music festivals and performing all over the Midwest wasn’t enough for former Hunab bassist Derek Pulliam. He was also interested in the composition side of music, so he decided to start working on a one-man band he calls Johnny on Point.

On Saturday, Johnny on Point will open for Minneapolis’ the Histronic at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St. Johnny on Point will take stage at 9 p.m., and admission is $5.

While attending Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City with the goal of being an auto mechanic, a history of music course caused Pulliam to rethink his career plans.

Shortly after switching his major to music, he met one of the founding members of Hunab.
During his four-year stint with Hunab, the group played 125 shows, including an appearance at Minnesota’s 10,000 Lakes Festival.

Pulliam called last summer’s performance with Hunab at Camp Euforia in Lone Tree his most memorable.

He played his final show with Hunab last July and began the Johnny on Point project shortly thereafter. For the solo project, he does everything from guitar and bass to keyboards and vocals.
“[The solo project] has been one of my dreams for about seven years now,” Pulliam said. “With Hunab, I felt like just a bass player, and I was ready to do more than just play bass. I got so many opportunities in that group, and I loved every minute of it — I was just ready to do something totally different.”

For the show at the Yacht Club, Ryan Persinger of Iowa City band Five in a Hand will play acoustic guitar with Johnny on Point for one song.

“[Pulliam]’s very multitalented,” Persinger said. “He definitely knows what he’s doing.”
Pulliam considers the Yacht Club’s atmosphere to be “chill” and “relaxed” compared with other venues. He also appreciates all of the help and support that Yacht Club owner Scott Kading has offered for Johnny on Point as well as Hunab.

For Johnny on Point’s first show, Pulliam performed at a friend’s house party last November.
“It was pretty huge for me,” he said. “Getting up and being in front of people by myself and just doing it.”

Though Johnny on Point has only played five shows, Pulliam has traveled outside Iowa City. In February, Johnny on Point performed at the Hub in Cedar Falls, and in June, Pulliam will perform in St. Louis.

He is looking to book a week-long tour to Minneapolis, and he eventually wants to add more members to Johnny on Point’s lineup.

“[Pulliam]’s the only one of his kind in Iowa City right now,” Persinger said. “Nobody else is doing what he’s doing.”

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