Johmen, born Joshua Ariel Mendiola, embarked on a musical journey that started with the violin at the age of 9. His passion for music led him to explore various instruments, including cello, viola, and bass. At 16, he fell in love with the bass guitar, expanding to standard guitar and keyboard by 17, composing songs in his bedroom using a looper pedal. This solitary journey gave birth to Johmen’s solo project, occasionally featuring collaborations with talented friends.
Johmen’s musical roots trace back to ’90s alternative rock, influenced by his mother’s love for bands like Nirvana, Sublime, Smashing Pumpkins, and Soundgarden. He also ventured into late 2000s pop-punk and embraced contemporary alternative artists like Grocery Boy, Max Diaz, and The Smiths. Sublime’s mix of upbeat melodies and introspective lyrics left a lasting impact, resonating with Johmen’s own journey of self-discovery through music.
Johmen’s music journey includes opening for Remi Wolf at the University of Texas’ 40 Acres Fest and sharing the stage with Danny Bonilla, a member of a Hispanic-led R&B group. A memorable mishap at the Remi Wolf show involved an announcer reading their evolving Spotify bio, including a humorous snippet about Johmen’s “marriage to a rat.”
Johmen’s EP, “Garbage for Cats,” was a bedroom-crafted masterpiece born from personal struggles with depression in early 2023. The lead track, “Bum,” celebrates imperfection and rejects societal pressure to constantly be productive. Other tracks on the EP explore frustrations with technology, changing views on mental health, and the persistence of negative thoughts, even in solitude.
“I do not advise giving a cat a cigarette unless it really, really wants it.”