Johannes Zetterberg (a native of Stockholm, Sweden) was born on November 17, 1985. Growing up in a musical family, he was exposed to a lot of different music at an early age.
"Well, being that my father's a countertenor with a soft spot for Oscar Peterson, I guess I quickly learned to appreciate classical music & jazz. On the other hand, there were groups & artists like Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Toto, Chicago & lots of others, all of which I found on my mother's mixtapes. It was like discovering a gold mine with all kinds of cool music, ranging from the hits of the 60's to the boy bands of the 90's! So yeah, it got pretty diverse right from the get-go."
He started playing the bass at twelve, and fell in love with the instrument right away. Around the same time he was introduced to the music of Metallica & Yngwie Malmsteen by a friend, and that would turn out to widen his already eclectic taste, adding to the mix groups like Testament, Slayer, At the Gates, Opeth, Anthrax, Pantera, In Flames, Meshuggah, Dark Tranquillity & The Haunted, to name a few. Johannes would later go on to attend Södra Latins Gymnasium's prestigious music program, where he studied with Hjörleifur "Höddi" Björnsson & Robert Sundin. It was during this time that his interest for the fusion genre grew increasingly stronger & began to take up more of his time. Says Johannes:
"I had this friend in junior high who was into Weather Report, so I was kind of familiar with the genre already. But it wasn't until high school - when I discovered Dave Weckl, Allan Holdsworth, Chick Corea, The Brecker Brothers, Spyro Gyra, Tribal Tech, Yellowjackets & Pat Metheny Group - that I really got hooked on it. Hearing all that amazing music made me realize how endless the rhythmic and harmonic possibilities are, and that really excited me. I definitely connected with it in a way that I hadn't with any of the other genres."
Based on a mutual love for fusion, and instrumental music overall, Johannes and fellow classmates Aron Mellergårdh, Jonah Nilsson (both of Dirty Loops-fame), Erik Linder (Linder Bros) & Arvid Svenungsson started the group Magnolia.
"We wrote some songs, but only managed to complete & record one, really. It was titled "Seven Peaces" - and yes, it was misspelled intentionally! - but that track was actually influenced more by Emerson, Lake & Palmer & other progressive rock groups that we were listening to at the time."