Adventures of JR./ Pops & Rubber
Deren Johnson and Nik Anastasiadis began writing and performing music in 1992 and have sustained a relationship of life and music. Deren Johnson learned to play the recorder in the third grade and then moved onto the trombone in fifth grade. He studied various brass instruments and music theory under a favorite teacher, Bill Humiston. Deren also learned to play the bass, drums, and piano for writing purposes. He studied one year in the jazz department at Southern Oregon University, playing trombone and bass. Deren and two friends started his first band, The Press Boys, in 1986, which featured 80% original music and 20% covers of such bands as The Police, U2, and Crowded House. These bands also had a heavy influence on both his bass playing and song writing. In 1990, Deren formed The Free Agents, which was an eight piece band featuring horns and a rock/reggae fusion feel with R & B vocals. This band played a 50/50 mix of originals and cover tunes, this time focusing on Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Nik Anastasiadis was born in Greece in 1965. His family moved to Astoria, Oregon in 1972. At age 12, he picked up his first instrument, a trumpet, and then moved onto the guitar at age 15. He began writing his own songs right away. The first band he was in was influenced by The Ramones, Sex Pistols and AC/DC. Nik's musical influences soon grew to include popular music and musicians of the times. In 1988, Nik moved to Portland, Oregon where he built his first studio, recorded local acts, and continued to write music. After building his second studio in 1990, Nik met fellow musicians Deren Johnson and Paul Dellar, with whom he co-wrote and played original music in the local Portland club scene. While continuing to co-write with Deren, Nik built his third studio in 2002, where he continues to record and write music.