Former WWE composer Jim Johnston was recently a guest on the Total Engagement podcast with host Matt Koon for a two-part interview. Among many other things, Johnston talked about his WWE departure, the spiritual nature of his musical gifts, and his interest in joining All Elite Wrestling.
On the subject of Johnston's WWE departure, the longtime WWE staffer shared that he hated the idea of sitting back and collecting royalties without the challenge and joy of creating new music.
"I don't want a job where I don't have to work," Johnston said. "There wasn't ever a millisecond where I thought, 'wow, isn't this great? I'm really not doing that much music, but they're continuing to pay me! Oh my God, what a great deal!' It was awful. I hated that. I hated that feeling. I've got handcuffs on. I can't contribute."
Johnston claimed that he eventually challenged WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to terminate him if he was going to be sidelined by the professional wrestling powerhouse.
"I eventually told Vince that as well," Johnston recalled. "I said, 'this is not right.' I also told him at the time, like, 'hey, if you're unhappy with me, fire me. Fire me right now. You can fire me right now. I'm taking the pressure off. Go ahead, fire me because that's not the way I roll. I don't like that.'"
Despite prompting McMahon to part ways, Johnston's termination nonetheless struck a sour note with the multi-instrumentalist.
"All the usual suspects: sadness, fear," Johnston remembered. "Hey, I felt all of them, and bitterness. Certainly, anger because there [were] just a lot of lies and lying is not a good thing."
With respect to his undeniable musical abilities, Johnston indicated that he does not quite understand the "utterly subconscious" nature of his gift.
"It's magical," Johnston professed. "I don't understand it. I attribute it a lot to sort of a spiritual thing, which maybe works for me, but maybe anyone who's lucky enough to have any sort of a gift like this, maybe to keep your sanity you need some way to explain it to yourself or something. It's like, 'how does that work?'"
Finally, Johnston divulged that he would "absolutely" be interested in composing music for AEW.
"Sure," Johnston confirmed his interest in AEW. "Absolutely, [AEW should] give me a call!"
Check out the interview here of via the embedded player below. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Total Engagement with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Total Engagement