And they loved music. John found himself listening and dancing to all genres of music as a boy. Life was good.
A nomadic life was ahead, though. John found himself following his family to all corners of the U.S., eventually landing in Florida; a far cry from the majestic Alaskan environment he had grown to love. Though it wasn’t easy, John contended with the scars from uprooting his life and constantly leaving friends. After all, wherever he was, his family was his rock; and love and music still abound.
John and his brother were given guitars one Christmas, but it was a temporary muse. They weren’t ready. Then, they experienced the beautiful and romantic Latin culture of Colombia. Everything changed. It seemed that John witnessed a world where people were infused with musicality and a deep love of the guitar. In Colombia, it was a way of life…a way of breathing. John was enrapt, and the fire he possessed was suddenly fueled. Here, he abandoned his “boyish sense of entitlement” and committed himself to a different sense of entitlement...one of expressing his emotions through this resonating, sculpted wood and stringed outlet. While he developed a profound respect for all types of music, from classical and R&B to jazz and rock; John eventually found hard rock/metal as the best outlet for those emotions.
Enter Mr. Koch. Mr. Koch is a “very German” classical guitar teacher in a unique Visual Performaing Arts program in which John was fortunate to be accepted. Mr. Koch’s direction and influence helped John to understand that becoming “intimate” with the music you play, and the instrument you play it with, is the pinnacle of expression. (To this day, Mr. Koch is held in high regard and holds a special place in John’s heart and soul.) 2-1/2 years of studying under this master greatly affected John’s life; but so did other factors. John was again confronted with issues that challenged and scarred him. As a result of the angst, he took a teenaged, self-indulgent detour with his brother, Joe. Not to worry…they both got back on track! John began to take all of his knowledge with this instrument and combine it with the passion his scars had created and turned into a prolific music machine. He needed to play, and PLAY HARD!
Enter the stage of creating bands and contacts! John’s time spent playing music with various friends offered experience, sometimes rewarding and sometimes annoying; and lots of exposure…to fans and other musicians. His band experience also opened up influential contacts. It seems they received some straight up advice and even some straight up opportunities. But, John and his brother had a common conviction of what they should do and become…passing up on offers that seemed to pose extraordinary opportunities. Remarkably, they always seemed to trust their instincts and their convictions. This would become a successful pattern for them; time and time, again.
Eventually, John and Joe found something else that resonated with them as much as performing hard rock and metal music…the talent, energy and cameraderie of Craig Schlotterback and Kirk Shivell. Four musicians, who had danced around each other in the early stages of bands and defining what you want to deliver, eventually stepped across some lines and created music together. It was a great convergence of like-mindedness, respect and a level of hard-hitting music that suited John and his brother perfectly.
Through D15, John has never ceased to harness the fire he was born with. He hears and makes music constantly, even acknowledging that the scars from his past are now presenting themselves as opportunities. This is evidenced in his energetic, passionate and athletic performances that are so appreciated by his audiences.
It might be easy to say “the rest is history.” But, John and D15 are on a path to make more history and take all of their fans with them.
John might call himself “weird”, but to others, he is a bit of a Renaissance man. He loves to fish…anyway possible! Then he will bring it home and cook it up…he loves to cook! (In fact, the entire band loves to cook.) He loves diversity; in cultures and music. After he has written a song or prose, he will repair his car or remodel a home. He is a neat-nick. He believes it is important to stay fit and healthy (which is noticeable on stage!) He is a pilot, and he loves dirt bikes (though they don’t love him). Although he loves all colors, he is partial to purple and blue.
Oh, yes…and he has lots of guitars…
Jackson RR V (Blue) - “Elmo”
Jackson Soloist (Blue) – “Vanessa”
Dean ML (Black) – “Shakira”
Washburn Tele Proto Type (Black) – “Penelopy”
Fender Mexican Strat (Black) – Yet Unnamed
Ibenez Custom Strat Style (Blonde) – “Holly”
Angle Custom (Orange) – Yet Unnamed
More About John...
A Love Affair With Music
John Craciun has a love affair with music, and he is “willing to do anything for a deeper connection.” End of story. But the beginning of his story is much more complex. John, and his twin brother, Joe, are the offspring of a “fiery” Colombian mother and an Italian/Romanian father. Even geneticists couldn’t come up with a more beautiful combination of DNA; and John, being the older of the twins, seemed to embody the fire and spirit he so admired in his mother. As the world would have it, their parents’ relationship did not remain in tact, but John’s passion did.
John and Joe enjoyed their earlier years in a glorious space known as Alaska with their mother (their rock and great influencer) and a man they adopted as their father. When you meet them, it is evident that they embody the pure love that their family has for one another. Bonds, respect, trust, loyalty and love mean everything to them.