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About John the Conqueror

Playing a tough, soulful mixture of blues and hard rock, John the Conqueror are a trio formed by guitarist Pierre Moore, who was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Moore began playing guitar when he was a teenager, and claims he took lessons from a homeless man who slept in the back room of a local auto repair shop. By the time Moore was attending college in Oxford, Mississippi, he'd joined forces with his cousin Michael Gardner, who played drums as well as bass, and the two worked together in a handful of bands, including the popular local combo IZM. Eventually, Moore and Gardner left Mississippi for Atlanta, Georgia, where they were members of the Slack Republic, a punk-influenced indie rock band formed in 2005, with Moore on guitar and Gardner on bass. The Slack Republic toured the East Coast, played a few dates on the 2006 Vans Warped Tour, and were featured on the soundtrack of James Spooner's documentary Afro-Punk before calling it quits in 2007.

In 2011, Moore and Gardner relocated to Philadelphia, where they met bassist Ryan Lynn while scouting out musicians for a new band. While Gardner originally intended to play bass in the group, he and Moore were impressed enough with Lynn that Gardner moved to drums to accommodate him. The trio took the name John the Conqueror, which refers to an African-American folk hero (he was said to be an African prince who was kidnapped and taken to America as a slave, but never allowed his masters to break his spirit or his pride) as well as a plant whose root is believed to have magical properties. John the Conqueror debuted in the spring of 2011, and soon began playing on the East Coast as well as recording a pair of EPs they released as digital downloads. John the Conqueror's growing fan base and positive press notices caught the attention of Alive Naturalsound Records, which released the group's self-titled debut album in the fall of 2012. The band hit the road hard in support, and in 2014 returned with their second full-length, The Good Life. ~ Mark Deming


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