Life as an artist..
Johnno "Count" Zee
Johnno "Count" Zee is my creative name. I am, or have been considered, a filmmaker, author, documentarian, cultural conservationist and musician. I currently reside in the mid-west and have traveled extensively for research, work and leisure.
I started pursuing my interest in the fine arts as a pre-teen and later picked up the guitar and began publishing an "internationally recognized" fanzine. I began work as a professional driver and gained a position as a "roadie" for numerous musical entities in the 90's including The Smashing Pumpkins, Janet Jackson, Beastie Boys, KISS, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, U2 and others. In 2000 I began work on my first public access TV program which gave way to opportunities in the field of moving media, and most recently, into the directions of documentary and feature filmmaking.
I took up the guitar at age 15 and began to produce home demos at age 17. At 19 I formed the band BASE APES
with brother, Sam, and best friend, Adam. After the group disbanded a few years later, I traveled to Tampa, Florida to produce two studio albums: Acid Orangutan - "The He-Man Woman Hater's Club
" and Vampire Circus
at age 24. The latter caught the attention of a band from Tampa, Florida. I joined them for two albums, during which time Anton LaVey cited the act as being ranked alongside bands such as King Diamond, Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, just before his death in 1997. Acid Orangutan, on the other hand, caught the ear of Howard Stern show celebrity, Richard Christy
, who asked me for permission to score his movie, Leaving Grunion County, with the music from the CD. I said yes and the rest is history. In 2004 I re-joined forces with former band-mate and brother, Sam, for the two song doom metal project, FROST & FURY
. I was founder of and guitarist for BOMB SQUAD in 2005 and was instrumentalist and producer for THE TORTURED for a short time between 2000 and 2005. I continued to dabble in home recording, focusing mostly on electronic music and metal. My Acid Orangutan CD became the soundtrack for the movie "Leaving Grunion County" and in 2006, the Frost & Fury demo music was featured as bumper music on the very popular comedy radio talk show, THE PHIL HENDRIE SHOW, until Hendrie retired from radio that same year. Phil returned to radio the following year.
I was first published in Crazy magazine in the 1980's. In the early '90's I entered the world of self-publishing with the infamous 'zine, DIE FAT PIGGY DIE!!
The 'zine name was contributed by friend and artist Billy Spicer. Other contributors also included contemporary 'zinesters Randy Crawford, D.B. Velveeda, Tom Crites and Mike Diana
, who went on to become the first American comic artist to serve jail time for drawing a comic. I credit Mike Diana for the creation of the moniker, "Count Zee".
My life took a turn at age 37 when my best friend passed away. It was at this time I took time to develop and explore my talent in the field of journalism by writing a book about the paranormal (which I turned into a popular top-selling DVD. Paranorm: Volume 1
is available.) I later completed a guide for the independent filmmaker called "Make Your Movie Right Now! The First Resource For the Beginner Movie Maker
" (also now a YouTube video). "The Best of the Die Fat Piggy Die"
compendium is also now available. "Road Work
" (tentative), a book with insights into my traveling experiences over the period of 20 years may some day come to pass..
I produced numerous episodes of the local public access phenomenon, The Johnno Show
until 2006 and produced content which aired on Howard Stern's iN Demand channel that same year. Previously, I co-edited, starred in and contributed a soundtrack for Richard Christy's (of The Howard Stern Show) early productions. In 2007 I released The Feud
, a parody of the infamous Hatfield/McCoy long-standing feud. In 2008 I wrote and produced my first feature, Redneck Carnage.
The follow-up production, Momo
(a Bigfoot comedy) made it to 85 percent completion before it was shelved. The apocalyptic feature, Dystopia: 2013
failed to secure traditional distribution but enjoys increasing popularity on YouTube. The Best of the Johnno Show
, Redneck Carnage
are all available. Redneck Carnage
won for Best FX and Best Feature Film at the Hollywood Asylum 13 Film Festival in New York City in 2011.
I concieved an endeavor in which I collaberate with fellow indie filmmakers - The Vignette Project