During livestreams, the band often answers questions from chat between songs. This is a selection of some of the most common questions and their answers, pulled from a larger document compiled by Discord user Kae. For the complete Q&A document (and just a wholesome community experience in general), check out the Longest Johns Discord.
How did they meet/start the band?
They were friends before starting the band. Dave and Robbie knew each other first, and met the others through work. They first started singing together at a backyard barbecue in 2012 after listening to Fisherman's Friends and Stan Rogers. A few days later, they made their first public appearance at an open mic night, and shortly thereafter, uploaded their first videos to YouTube.
How long have they been singing? Do they have any formal musical training?
Andy has been singing his whole life; he participated in school choirs growing up. Dave and Robbie did musical theater in school. JD was afraid of singing in front of people as a child, but started singing around age 16 and was pressured into doing open mics by friends and now loves it.
Do they have day jobs? What did they do before starting the band?
None of the members currently have jobs outside the band. Before taking the band full time, Robbie worked in a brewery and pubs and a Laser Quest; JD taught guitar and played in function bands; Andy was a chef and did IT stuff and also played in function bands; and Dave did sound and lighting for theater productions.
Who else has been in the band? What's with the lineup changes?
The original lineup in 2012 was Josh Bowker, JD Darley, Dave Robinson, and Andy Yates. Robbie Sattin began filling in for some performances in 2015 when Josh was unavailable due to family commitments, and officially joined the band in August 2015. Josh officially left in 2016 to focus more fully on family responsibilities and starting his own business. Anna Cornish, already a member of the Norfolk Broads, joined the band in 2017, but as the bands' popularity increased, she ultimately couldn't juggle both at once and went on indefinite hiatus from TLJ in 2019. The departures have been amicable and they all remain good friends.
What were the band members' gateway shanties?
How did they pick the band name?
They had a list of possible names and it was the one they hated least.
Who’s who and what do they do in the band?
How do they decide who sings what part?
It depends on the song and who's singing lead. Most often, Robbie sings the high parts, JD sings bass, and Dave and Andy take the middle parts. However, there are many songs where this pattern is not followed.
What are their ranges?
It depends on the day. JD has said his lowest note on a recording is an A or A#, but he can sometimes hit a G. For everyone else — you'll have to listen to them sing!
Are there tabs/sheet music/chords available for their songs?
None of the band members use written music much themselves, but they have published songbooks with arrangements of several of their songs, available for purchase on their website. (Sheet music and chords, but no tabs, sorry!)
Who’s the longest John?
Congratulations! You are the 1 millionth person to ask that question! You win......nothing! Well done!
Will they play a show in your country/city/region of the world?
Maybe! Check out the Upcoming Shows page to see what's currently scheduled.
Can you use their songs for background music on Twitch streams?
Yes. Click here for the band's official statement on this issue.
Do they have a Patreon?
No, but you can support them by becoming a member of their YouTube channel.
When’s the next stream?
For the most up-to-date streaming schedule, join the Discord and keep an eye on the #stream-schedule channel.