Houston Music

John Janatsch Local Music Promoter Is a Busy Guy

L-R Sui Gordon and John Janatsch are at the helm of a new production company, Second Chance Productions.
L-R Sui Gordon and John Janatsch are at the helm of a new production company, Second Chance Productions. Victor Escalante
Any Houston music fan who has frequented local metal shows has undoubtedly witnessed a John Janatsch production. The organizer of countless shows across the city, many have attended his events without possibly knowing the man behind the curtain. But he wasn’t always at the helm of local music promotion. He started out like everyone else, just as a fan. Now Janatsch has a new venture, well actually, quite a few.

“I’ve always been a fan of music. I listen to music all the time.” Janatsch said, explaining his early days in the Houston local music scene. “I DJed for Ampz Radio and several other stations.” Then, he made the transition from fan to promoter. “I was asked several times to attend shows by local bands such as Five Eyes Wide, Inner Image, Saturate and Hindsight.”

“The more I attended the more I liked what I heard," he said. “[This] led to George Uscanga and myself starting Gsptv Houston which was when digital tv started several years ago, then, we branched off with Scott Coleman and created The One Magazine which is still online and active today.”

No stranger to music scene, Janatsch has hosted shows at clubs like, Numbers, Warehouse Live, House of Blues, Acadia, Concert Pub North, 18th St. Pier and of course, BFE Rock Club which is the club he calls his home venue.

Hosting everything from midget wrestling to internet radio shows, Janatsch has had his hand in all kinds of local media productions. He’s also had plenty of help, too. “Joseph Cauthron of Reach Down Radio and Khris Harding of PunkStar Full Throttle have been enormously supportive along the way.”

Janatsch is obviously a man of many musical hats. He recently started Second Chance Productions with three close friends who have long had media production and local music experience. Janatsch believes the entire team brings something unique to the overall production package.

Partners Sui Gordon of Animal Planet’s Pitbulls And Parolees and James Lawler, owner of Enduring Tattoo and American Tattoo, and George Uscanga of Gsptv Houston are working alongside Janatch to get the company off the ground.

If that’s not enough, Janastch is now promoting shows at Scout Bar. A first for him — he has never before worked with Scout Bar owner Thomas Wilson — Janatsch feels privileged to work with one of Houston’s most notorious metal stages.

In addition to Scout Bar, his company has acquired Tumbleweeds, a music venue at Kuykendall near Interstate 45 North that will host all kinds of music and benefits. “We are turning [the building] into a concert venue for all types of music not only country," he says. “Plus we will try to run a lot of nonprofit benefits for things like cancer, domestic violence, autism and other ways to help Houston's [community] needs.”

What makes Janatsch such a good fit? “I feel the promotion company is a good fit for the music scene because anyone that has worked with me as far as bands to venues will tell you I wouldn’t do anything that I would ask a band or venue to do.”

That means he’s willing to do the footwork alongside the acts he books for shows. “[I] get out to shows and sell tickets, pass out flyers, support local shows even when I don’t have a show on my schedule," Janatsch says. “If I’m going to talk promotions, I’ve got to be about doing the same work as all others involved.”

“We are lucky that our music scene is one of the best out there.” Janatsch continues, “The vision for our team is to help give a platform of spreading the incredible music in Houston.”

Upcoming Events:

July 6th- Thriller Thursdays - Scout Bar (Hosted by Sui Gordon of Pitbulls And Parolees and John Janatch)
Shy Foxx, A Vow Unbroken, Inner Image, and Tera Band
July 7th- Jason Cassidy at Tumbleweeds Music Venue
July 15th- La Tropa F With Special Guest NEGAMI at Tumbleweeds
July 22nd- La Sombra The Reunion at Tumbleweeds
July 28th- Dr. Feel Good 3rd annual dance with Leon Chavis and The Zydeco Flames
July 29th- Doug Stone with special guest David Joel at Tumbleweeds
August 18th- Stephen Pearcy Of Ratt with the BULLETBOYS at Tumbleweeds
August 25th- Parabelle (Acoustics Show) at Tumbleweeds
September 15th Austin Winkler (former lead vocalist of Hinder) at BFE Rock Club
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Kristy Loye is a writer living in Houston and has been writing for the Houston Press since July 2015. A recent Rice University graduate, when not teaching writing craft or reciting poetry, she's upsetting alt-rights on Reddit.