Danny Johnson is a wise dude. He’d be the first to deny it, but that’s because he’s also extremely humble. His time is spent roaming the globe and meeting interesting characters who I’m sure walk away from their Danny time with a smile on their dial. While juggling his role as editor at Waves Magazine he also managed to bring our Goodcheer website to life with his wonderful designs, and for this we are ever so thankful. I sat down with Danny last Friday night for my first face-to-face interview. Enjoy.
Best day of the week for you and why?
Uhh, Friday. You know there’s anticipation for the weekend that comes with that day… Actually no I’m lying in saying that. I just wanted to have an answer. I think the best days are when you wake up and you just feel good, it doesn’t matter what day it is. Even if you’re at work with lots to do sometimes you just wake up feeling good, they’re the best days.
Do you have a historical crush? I reckon you’re a Frida Karlo kinda guy…
That’s a tough one. At what point is someone historical? Maybe Marilyn Monroe. She was immortalised in her young death. She didn’t grow old and leave behind an unattractive corpse when she died so her beauty is frozen. She will always portray that eternal image of beauty. But I don’t know I’ll have to get back to you on that one. There’d be someone…
Yeah I could totally see you dating someone from history.
[laughs] I like that you say that.
Describe what joy feels like.
I think joy has a comfort about it. It’s not a fleeting feeling like happiness or sadness can be you know, there is this underlying comfort in joy. I think it’s one of the best feelings, real wholesome.
Have you got a doppelganger? I feel like you’d be a good bush ranger…
[laughs] I don’t know if I ever told you this but my dad loves Ned Kelly. As a kid he told me I was named after Ned Kellys brother Dan Kelly, which was odd when you think about it because why wouldn’t he have just called me Ned? But then I mentioned it to my Mum one day and she was like “No you’re not, I chose your name because I liked it”. My dad lies a lot. But yeah, I get Ned Kelly a lot from people lately.
It’s the beard yeah?
100% the beard, I don’t walk around with a metal tin on my head
Man too funny. You make me laugh Danny. Do you know you’re saved as Danny Laughs in my phone?
Yeah man I’m always laughing around you!
This is beginning to feel more and more like a date…
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
It’s a great thing.
How do you fit into the Goodcheer family?
I feel like I’m the cousin who wishes his parents weren’t his parents because I wish that your parents were my parents and that would make me official Goodcheer DNA.
Can we adopt you?
Yeah man I’d love to be a Goodcheer child.
You are Danny! I guess you’re also part of the Waves Mag family where you’re the editor. What do you enjoy most about working there?
First and foremost I’d say just being able to talk to people for a living. You know I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing characters and really creative people but travel is equally up there too. There’s nothing like being able to travel overseas for work, and its something I’ve always wanted to do
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I really loved the NBA. I really liked basketball, you know I idolised those NBA players and I used to fantasize over that as a kid. I would do fake countdowns to the buzzer and try to make half-court shots to win the imaginary game.
It’s so easy to imagine mini Danny doing that. Last year we hatched the genius idea of beating the Sydney rent cycle. You bought a caravan, I bought a van and we found some million dollar kerbside property… Sounds like the beginning to a great story, what happened man?
I ditched you [laughs] Nah I didn’t ditch you exactly. I was offered to park the caravan in a mates backyard like a white trash weirdo and live there really cheaply, and it was just too hard to tow around Sydney. You had the advantage of a van so you could park anywhere. Are you hurting over this?
Nah Im sweet, you know, I just thought it would have been cool to wake up and have cups of tea and be neighbours in a bunch of suburbs…
We were going to revolutionise things! Now we’ll never know.
You interview people for a living, is this going okay?
I have that thought of self-doubt all the time when I’m not interviewing people because I’m actually a graphic designer [laughs]
Who inspires you man?
I’m most inspired by stand-up comedians. I’m obsessed with listening to comedy specials and interviews with them. I’m fully convinced it’s the most pure art form and the hardest possible thing to do. You know there are not many people that can get up on stage and entertain with nothing more than a microphone. They're just telling stories and they can literally say whatever they want without getting in trouble. Good comedians share their honest emotions and unfiltered perspectives, which you don’t hear that often. It can be pretty confronting but they get away with it because it’s framed in a humorous light.
Is there a part of Danny Johnson that wants to hit the road as a stand up comedian?
I definitely envy their life and feel like being a good comedian is an amazing existence but it’s not something I have any desire to try. I don’t have the skills plus I feel really comfortable just enjoying other people’s jokes.
Is there a Danny ethos? Some attitude you live your life by?
Even though I don’t really do this, I think the thing we should live by is not talking jive on people, even if it’s only in your head, because generally once you know someone’s personal story you’ll always find some compassion and understanding for them and regret your jiving. If everyone took the time to truly understand one another there’d be a lot less jive talkin’ but there isn’t the time to do that so just don’t talk jive.
Man awesome answer, such a great way to end this interview.
Yeah unless you go and write me off in brackets once this interview is done.