By his own admission Duquette Johnston has lived a "wild, incredible life," but even that might be underselling the three-act 25-year journey that's led to the Alabama musician's new album The Social Animals; out February 25 on Single Lock Records. A founding member of the breakout 90s indie band Verbena, Johnston toured with other ascendant acts of the era like The Strokes and Foo Fighters before leaving the band somewhere around their first major label deal (instead joining Juliana Hatfield in a reunited Blake Babies). In the years that followed, remembering "I thought I had to live in misery to create great art," a drug charge began Johnston's treacherous cycle through a prison system more focused on "zero tolerance" than recovery and rehabilitation. Emerging against the odds with a resolute optimism and renewed focus on community, Duquette returned to Birmingham to help bring the arts back to a historic part of town that had seen better days...and he did that so impactfully that the New York Times took note of his clothing store-art gallery-performance venue Club Duquette. Seemingly insurmountable challenges would hit Duquette again, but this time he would be ready.