John Robb is a many-faceted creature. Bassist and singer for post-punk dark energy mainstays The Membranes; bestselling author, radio and TV presenter; journalist, DJ, publisher; model (fronted the Doc Martens campaign in 2016); and talking head, he also puts on his own music and books event – Louder Than Words and a new vegan festival – he’s all these things and more.
John grew up in Blackpool before punk rock came along and saved his life.
John formed The Membranes – the highly influential post-punk band who were a big influence on the soon to come Sonic Youth, Mercury Rev and Big Black post-hardcore American scene.
The band recently reformed and their 2016 Dark Matter/Dark Energy is a critically acclaimed “masterpiece” that is their bestselling album yet. The band’s newlatest acclaimed album What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away was released in 2019 and featured a 20-piece choir.
John was one of the leading post-punk fanzine writers in the UK with his fanzine Rox before he went on to write for the rock press with Sounds and was the first person to interview Nirvana and many others like KLF, the Stone Roses, the Manic Street Preachers. He coined the expression ‘Britpop’ and was instrumental in kickstarting and documenting the Madchester scene with his writing.
His website louderthanwar.com is currently one of the biggest music and culture sites in the UK and is now also a nationally distributed magazine. He is a TV and radio regular appearing on BBC Breakfast TV, Sky Arts, ITV Breakfast and many documentaries as well as filming a very popular series of interviews for Lush Cosmetics website – filming exclusive one-hour interviews with people like Green party leader Caroline Lucas, musician Shaun Ryder, comedian Stewart Lee and many others for them.
John has written many books including the bestselling and definitive biog on the Stone Roses – The Stone Roses And The Resurrection Of British Pop and what is considered one of the most important books on punk rock, Punk Rock – An Oral History, as well as an oral history of Manchester music, a biog on the Charlatans and a book about underground music in the UK in the eighties.
He is currently working on a new book The Art Of Darkness about post-punk and goth music, and cowrote a recently released book with the UK’s leading green energy guru Dale Vince called Manifesto and is now working on a collection of his own journalism and an autobiography.
His Louder Than Words music and books and in-conversation event is the biggest in the UK.
He also chairs committees in Parliament and is an in-demand speaker. His spoken-word show spawned from the success of his TEDx talks on punk, zen and the universe mean he is in demand across Europe where he also chairs many panels and competes many events.