The SL Enquirer has reported on Johnathan Hiess last in 2012 in the story ‘When Second Life Impacts Real Life’. The Hiess Experience is moving strongly as we check back with the founder, Johnathan, to see what they are doing now. We started his interview while he was having his hair cut by a very patient stylist, Elizabeth, at Lady Jane’s in Peoria Arizona. Moving to his exotic beach themed SIM Johnathan answers my questions to catch us up on the Johnathan Hiess Experience.
Seersha Heart: Remind me what brought you to Second Life to pursue your love of music.
Johnathan Hiess: What brought me to SL was my company CIGNA. I was watching medical and news reports on internet addiction. I saw how heavy Second Life during that era was being trafficked so I wrote a proposal which got approved and CIGNA set up shop in Teen SL. That's when I created Johnathan Hiess. I didn't really know what to do with myself in SL until I heard the music scene. I was a DJ in my teens in the 1980s so I felt a lot of in world DJs were doing it wrong. I had been around music and live performances since I was 6 years old. So I had a good understanding of the music scene.
Seersha Heart: In some ways it seems that SL saved your life at one point, correct me if I am wrong....what would you tell others looking for a creative outlet?
Johnathan Hiess: SL gave to me an outlet with the music to create. Most veterans like me Diagnosed with PTSD sometimes depend on being medicated. Music for me is my stress reliever. When it comes to the Tributes I actually let others take the stage and I just do the music. I like giving a person who's healthy or with a Terminal Illness a chance at being that one fantasy of being that artist on stage. I even had one pass away after her performance. But she lived her fantasy.
Seersha Heart: You suffered through some very traumatic life events and have PTSD from them...how has pursuing your music changed or not the way you deal with PTSD?
Johnathan Hiess: As I mentioned about putting people on stage this is what brings me happiness. If I can put you in a good mood from my Djing, Tributes or Singing and you feel good then I feel good. SL is what you make of it. But it doesn't always have to be you at the center of your Universe. Share it with others and they will do more than put their faith in you.
Seersha Heart: In 2012, SL Enquirer did an article on you and at the time you had a regular presence in SL and your career IRL with music was taking off. What projects do you have on the horizon IRL?
Johnathan Hiess: Since the 2012 article I had the pleasure of working with Freddie Cruz. That led to three RL gigs and several other events. Eventually I partnered with Gaby Rivera of Lola Entertainment. I also moved on to State Farm and been very happy. I have a balance of SL, Music and RL
Note to reader: Some of the RL groups he has worked with include: Cheap Trick, Poison and Def Leppard, Slash, Myles Kennedy, Ozzy Osbourne. See ‘When Second Life Impacts Real Life’ for the complete story of his work with these artists.
Seersha Heart: What presence does the Hiess Project have currently in SL? Are you collaborating with Kittie Blessed to bring it to a more regular presence again?
Johnathan Hiess: The Johnathan Hiess Experience has maintained a steady Presence at Franks Jazz and Franks Elite Jazz. Often at times branching out to other venues like Playboy SL, Roissy, T&S Speedway/Finish Line, Club Hatsune and OD Designs for concerts that cannot be done at Franks. And yes there is now a permanent presence of Kittie Blessed with The Hiess Experience. With Kittie I have launched a new Division called Rusty Violence. She will handle all the Rock/Metal/Alternative concerts. Carmen Cardone has taken on the other division now called Center Stage were musicals like Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. From this a new Experimental division has also been launched named City Park. That part has already acquired music from Artists like Keith Sweat, RUN-DMC, EMINEM
Seersha Heart: Your tribute band is outstanding and even has an endorsement as well, true? Which bands do you do the music from? I heard Chris Issak and HIM when I attended the Thursday October 27, 2016 event.
Johnathan Hiess: What you heard was the band HIM doing their cover of Chris Isaac. Yes the Johnathan Hiess Experience does acquire music from major labels. That's why the music sounds so good. Plus I get full concerts. I do not like that pieced together concerts my competition does. Plus they use the same music over and over. There is only so many AC/DC & Nickelback concerts a persons senses can take.
Seersha Heart: You are extremely dedicated to your music and your children are also very musically oriented. You work at State Farm and didn't you do something for State Farm too?
Johnathan Hiess: Yes I did. Twice State Farm had me DJ in the work place for Cinco De Mayo events. Many of my coworkers do enjoy listening to me DJ from Franks Jazz. Ladies say my voice in seductive lol
Seersha Heart: I can say that you do have a very seductive voice. *fans self* Tell me what your children are doing now?
Johnathan Hiess: Four daughters and one son:
daughters; Amber (Resides in Utah and works for a Software Company); Rosaliz (Resides in Massachusetts and has completed both Medical School and Residency. She is engaged and already planning a family of her own); Michelle (Resides in California and recently resigned from Disney. She is in the process of moving back to Arizona.) ,Justine (Just moved to Texas and is looking to restart her DJ Career there in both worlds)
son: Hiro - Currently on Tour in Japan. He will not pursue music after he returns. Hiro plans on going to the Air Force Academy to become a Doctor.
Seersha Heart: Your group, The Hiess Experience, is open to anyone to join so they may be alerted to upcoming events. Are there any special events I should tell our readers about now?
Johnathan Hiess: Yes, Les Miserables on Black Friday [November 25, 2016]. I figured after a day of crazy shopping and visiting relatives, and kitchen cleaning. You will be looking forward to a break.
By joining The Hiess Experience group, you will be alerted to the tribute band productions and any other musical event he organizes in world. Johnathan is living the dream of success in both worlds finding that perfect RL to SL balance. I hope you each have the opportunity to see and to listen to one of his productions. The sound is exceptional and the quality is top notch.
Contact: In world N.C.; email: firstname.lastname@example.org