"John treats his leads as acts of emotion and courage and it shows." -- Matthew Sweet
Born in LA, raised in DC, and now based in San Francisco, guitarist, drummer, and songwriter John Moremen grew up immersed in the East Coast sounds of Telecaster-wielding giants Roy Buchanan, Evan Johns and Danny Gatton. He took those influences into his DC band, The Neighbors, with whom he recorded two albums, toured the country and opened for the likes of NRBQ, Marshall Crenshaw, Roy Orbison and Alex Chilton.
But after moving to San Francisco, John found himself in a city full of guitarists. He joined songwriter Jimmy Silva's band, The Goats, on drums (via an introduction from their mutual pal, Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey). The McCaughey connection would also lead to a longtime drumming gig with the Flamin' Groovies former frontman, Roy Loney. While playing sideman, John continued to play guitar, sing and write songs of his own.
Drums would also bring John into the Bay Area band The Orange Peels. In 2013, he became their lead guitarist on the breakout Sun Moon (Minty Fresh). The album was a departure for the band, a highly collaborative and improvised project recorded over a three-day weekend. Sun Moon had spacey soundscapes influenced by the band's love of prog, and featured John's soaring lead guitar solos.
It was one of those solos that caught the ear of power pop master, Matthew Sweet. The Orange Peels were doing a short Midwest run opening for Sweet in 2015, when backstage, John introduced himself after soundcheck the first night. Sweet asked a shocked John if he might be interested in playing on his new album, the Kickstarter-funded Tomorrow Forever (Honeycomb Hideout via Sony/RED).
In an update to his backers, Sweet explained, "John treats his leads as acts of emotion and courage and it shows. John's group, The Orange Peels, opened some shows for us in the midwest last year. The first night, Ric Menck and I were standing backstage and heard a lead guitar passage go by that caught us both---we looked at each other and without speaking said "Hey, did you hear that?"
After contributing to several songs via email, John spent a week at Sweet's studio in Omaha, Black Squirrel Submarine. In the end, John played guitar on over two dozen songs for the Tomorrow Forever project, and appears on 12 of the 17 songs on the official release and on an additional 9 tracks on the follow-up, Tomorrow's Daughter.
John spent the remainder of 2016 and the summer of 2018 playing lead guitar in Sweet's live band alongside the Velvet Crush's Paul Chastain and Ric Menck.
Steeped in a lifelong love of jazz and improvisational music, John continues to produce music of his own. His compositions can be heard on John Moremen's Flotation Device (an instrumental record that he wrote, played and recorded himself), and the full band follow-up, Play It! On Inner Sunset, John returned to his pop roots, teaming with author/musician Paul Myers as The Paul and John.
You can hear John on The Orange Peels' recently released album, Trespassing, and he's finishing up a new instrumental project in Los Angeles with his longtime friend, drummer/vibraphonist DJ Bonebrake of L.A. punk legends, X. They're joined by Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven) on bass and multi-instrumentalist Willie Aron on keys. Coming soon!