Jens Johansson

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Jens Johansson
Stratovarius (PK) - Wacken Open Air 2015 05.jpg
Johansson at Wacken Open Air 2016
Background information
Born (1963-11-02) 2 November 1963 (age 57)
Stockholm, Sweden
Genres Power metal, symphonic metal, neoclassical metal, heavy metal, jazz fusion
InstrumentsKeyboards, synthesizers, piano
Years active1982–present
Associated acts Stratovarius, Cain's Offering, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio, Rainbow, Johansson (The Johansson Brothers)

Jens Ola Johansson [1] (born 2 November 1963 in Stockholm) is a Swedish keyboardist and pianist who currently plays in the Finnish power metal band Stratovarius and Ritchie Blackmore's rock project Rainbow. He is notable for his high-speed neoclassical and fusion style.



Johansson is son of Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson and brother of Ex-HammerFall drummer Anders Johansson. He is highly influenced by classic rock keyboardists like Don Airey, Eddie Jobson and Jon Lord. [2] In 1982, the classically trained Johansson left the jazz fusion band Slem and joined the Swedish metal band Silver Mountain, which also included Anders. In 1983 he left Sweden for California and joined guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen as a member of his band, Rising Force. Numerous records and world tours ensued and he stayed with Yngwie until 1989.[ citation needed ] Johansson also played with the band Dio between 1989 and 1990. Like Anders, he began an ongoing collaboration with Jonas Hellborg in 1989 which has resulted in several progressive and avant-garde recordings, including Dissident, Unseen Rain (an acoustic piano trio record with Ginger Baker on drums) and the hard core progressive fusion record, E.

In 1993, Johansson co-founded a progressive blues metal project, The Johansson Brothers, and recorded a self-titled record. In 1996, with a different line-up, they recorded another album, Sonic Winter, this time under the name "Johansson", with Yngwie Malmsteen guesting on guitar. The last Johansson record, The Last Viking , a more "European metal" oriented album, was released in 1999 with special guests Michael Romeo and Göran Edman.

Johansson has released several instrumental solo records such as Fjäderlösa Tvåfotingar , Ten Seasons (a piano solo album improvised in the Mark Kostabi gallery, New York), Heavy Machinery (with Anders and Allan Holdsworth) and Fission (with Anders, Shawn Lane and Mike Stern) and many collaborations with other artists, metal compilations and Berends Brothers' band Mastermind.

He co-founded Heptagon Records to distribute his own recordings and that of other musicians, such as guitarist Benny Jansson and bassist Magnus Rosén. Johansson auditioned for Dream Theater after Kevin Moore left the band in 1994 [3] but due to many delays by the band in making a decision he instead joined Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. Since 1995 he has remained in Stratovarius, and still releasing solo albums and appearing as a guest or session musician in other projects.

Johansson is a self-confessed computer nerd, admitting to have started on an Atari ST (which he still owns), and having coded software in C, as well as his own website in Perl. [4] He rejects being considered one of the best keyboardists in the world, as he believes there are many people that are far better than him. [5]


Johansson has used many types of keyboards and synthesizers throughout his career. Amongst his favourites are the Korg Polysix, Yamaha DX7 as a midi controller, (from the Rising Force times to present), the Oberheim Matrix Series and the Roland JV-1080 sound module. He is also fond of the Hammond Organ. Johansson is a computer fan and long-time Steinberg programs user (like Cubase). An example of his interest in computers is his record Fission, which is replete with special effects and sound experimentation. His signature lead is emulation of Polysix on JV1080, going thru early Amp simulation / distortion pedal JD-10 by Morley.

Recently, he has been using PC-base system with Lenovo Laptop Computer both recording and live. And he uses JV1080 as backup on live.

Band Membership


Jens Johansson

Studio albums

Silver Mountain: Shakin' Brains 1983
Yngwie Malmsteen: Rising Force Polydor 1984
Yngwie Malmsteen: Marching Out Polydor 1985
Yngwie Malmsteen: Trilogy Polydor 1986
Erik Borelius: Fantasy1988
Yngwie Malmsteen: Odyssey Polydor 1988
Yngwie Malmsteen: Trial by Fire Polydor 1989
Dio: Lock Up the Wolves Warner Bros. Records 1990
Deadline: Dissident1991
Stephen Ross: Midnight Drive Shrapnel Records 1991
Anders Johansson: Shu-Tka 1992
Ginger Baker: Unseen Rain 1992
RAF: Ode to a Tractor1992
Shining Path: No Other World1992
Jonas Hellborg Group: E1993
Snake Charmer: Smoke and Mirrors1993
Dave Nerge's Bulldog: The Return of Mr. Nasty1994
Robert Blennerhed: Seven1994
Smoke on the Water – A Tribute1994
Tony MacAlpine: Premonition 1994
Anders Johansson, Jens Johansson and Allan Holdsworth: Heavy Machinery 1996
Stratovarius: Episode Noise Records 1996
Yngwie Malmsteen: Inspiration 1996
Anders Johansson: Red Shift 1997
Stratovarius: Visions Noise Records 1997
The Johansson Brothers: Sonic Winter 1997
Itä-Saksa: Let's Kompromise1998
Snake Charmer: Backyard Boogaloo1998
Stratovarius: Destiny Noise Records 1998
Mastermind: Excelsior InsideOut Records 1998
Jens Johansson: Fission 1998
Benny Jansson: Flume Ride 1999
The Johansson Brothers: The Last Viking 1999
Mastermind: Angels of the Apocalypse InsideOut Records 2000
Stratovarius: Infinite Nuclear Blast 2000
Einstein: Einstein Too2001
La Leyenda Continua – Tributo A Rata Blanca2001
Stratovarius: Intermission Edel Music 2001
Silver Mountain: Breakin' Chains 2001
Andy West With Rama: Rama 1 Magna Carta Records 2002
Space Metal (Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One) Inside Out Music 2002
Benny Jansson: Save the World2002
Aina: Days of Rising Doom 2003
Barilari 2003
Stratovarius: Elements Pt. 1 Nuclear Blast 2003
Stratovarius: Elements Pt. 2 Nuclear Blast 2003
Sonata Arctica: Winterheart's Guild Spinefarm Records 2003
Mastermind (Japanese band): To the World BeyondBlack Listed Records2004
Spastic Ink: Ink Compatible 2004
Kamelot: The Black Halo Steamhammer Records 2005
Stratovarius: Stratovarius Sanctuary 2005
HammerFall: No Sacrifice, No Victory Nuclear Blast 2009
Stratovarius: Polaris Edel Music 2009
Avantasia: Angel of Babylon 2010
Amberian Dawn: End of Eden 2010
Stratovarius: Elysium Edel Music 2011
Amberian Dawn: Circus Black 2012
Stratovarius: Nemesis Edel Music 2013
Avalon: The Land of New Hope Frontiers Records 2013
Cain's Offering: Stormcrow Frontiers Records 2015
Stratovarius: Eternal Edel Music 2015
Stratovarius: Best Of Edel Music 2016
Stratovarius: Enigma: Intermission 2 Edel Music 2018
Gloryhammer: Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex Napalm Records 2019

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  1. Archived October 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Interview with JENS JOHANSSON (STRATOVARIUS)". January 24, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  3. "♫Jens Johansson ˇ Interviews". Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  4. "♫Jens Johansson ˇ Programming". November 23, 2002. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  5. "Stratovarius: New Video Interview With JENS JOHANSSON". February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.

Further reading