Hello and welcome to a new segment here at The Torch that we call “Where did they go?”. Here we will try to follow up on some artists that for various reasons have been unseen for some time, be it from bands disbanding, decreased popularity or just a deep dive bellow the radar.
In this first article in the series we are taking a look at Your Favorite Martian, the band formed and fronted by Ray William Johnson. As you might remember, YFM disbanded about a year ago, but does that mean the members have left the music scene behind?
First off, let’s look at who they were!
You can clearly see in the videos that the band consists of four members, but three of these are played by Johnson. PuffPuff Humbert, the lead singer, as well as DeeJay on the turntables and Axel Chains on the drums are all three played by him, while Johnson’s long-time friend Jesse Cale plays the multi-talented Benatar.
The characters haven’t been seen since the retirement of Your Favorite Martian, but what about the people behind them?
Ray William Johnson still runs his ever-so-popular and Guinness World Record holding Youtube channel Equals Three as well as some other side projects, but he haven’t left the music behind. In a recent release by DeStorm, Johnson can be seen and heard as one of the featured artists. The song, Invincible, takes a much darker path than most things Johnson has been associated with and thou he does still hold a certain aura of humour in his performance, the blend-in with DeStorm and Chester See along with the dark visuals gives you the impression that the only humour you might perceive is your own prejudice based on how you usually see the man.
The song is about what would happen if you don’t think before you act and if you take directions from the wrong people because it sounds like the more fun way, something most people on this planet is guilty of. It is portrayed in a very realistic way and it is hard even for those of us that doesn’t usually listen to hip hop to not feel moved by the lyrics.
Johnsons part of the song is about how he crawled out of a very bad place with the help of his friends and how he now can say with confidence to all the people who bullied him before that he has risen above them, both from a moral standpoint and in measured success.
How about Jesse Cale then? Well, YFM wasn’t his début on the musical arena, nor was it’s downfall his. Before, during and after YFM he has been a one-man-band, mostly dealing with acoustic original songs, but he dips into several genres at times. A little over a year ago he also started making songs about games, such as Halo 4 in a more electro-pop inspired format. Cale is still attached to Make Studio, a consortium for Youtube creators that currently holds the rights to Your Favorite Martian. When Johnson left Make, Cale continued to produce his music solo.
He still mainly deal with comedy, but occasionally he releases a surprisingly thoughtful and deep song, such as his biggest hit yet, Shooting Star.
Cale’s current project is his first studio album that will be released under Make Studio’s label, as well as a cross-US tour where he will perform his greatest hits live.