In 2001, it was time to return. Johannes moved back to Norway, and with his friend Torfinn Sirnes he started a band called P:O:B, or earlier PEDESTRIANS OF BLUE. The two had been in contact while Johannes had been overseas, so they could hit the ground running. Two demos with excellent reviews and a self produced album called "Crossing Over" was released. Later, they renamed the band SLAVES TO FASHION when they had formed a stable four-piece line-up and are on their way to conquer the world, melodic style, by the way of the new album "Artistic Differences" which they were signed for by German label Hands Of Blue Records.

He also had met Swedish guitarist Daniel Palmqvist in the US which resulted in a long term friendship and the birth of XorigiN, a classic AOR act that got signed to Frontiers Records in 2010. Their first album called "State Of The Art" was released worldwide in August 2011 and is produced by Daniel Flores.

Currently, Johannes focuses on studio work, songwriting, producing, gigging as both a singer and keyboardist and the writing for the XorigiN follow-up album. in late 2014 he also played a bunch of sold out shows both as a solo artist and bandmember with heavyweight artists like Hanne Sørvaag, Vidar Johnsen, Rita Eriksen, Thom Hell and Helge Toft. But this is only the current state of affairs: His versatility and old fashioned sunglasses make sure that you can never be too sure what to expect next!

- Frank Jaeger,
Hands Of Blue Records


It is not the worst influence when a performance of Norwegian superstars A-HA drives you to dedicate your life to music. That has happened to Johannes Stole, when he was nine years old and witnessed "Take On Me" being played on TV. It also shaped his musical direction somewhat, so when in his teenage years he formed his first serious band GAUS, it sounded like melodic rock, a musical style he has been true to this day, although occasional expeditions into the outskirts of rock has been recorded. Even the fact that this was 1992 when he and his friends played a TOTO influenced AOR and this style was totally out of fashion did not discourage him at all.

Johannes was born in Haugesund, close to the fjord, as the youngest of five kids to a fish farmer. Maybe that is why he is so fond of nature, the countryside and tropical fish. Not the easiest problem to solve is how to take care of the fish when touring. Maybe it also gave him the strength and stubbornness to not be discouraged by the early failures. Anyway, music was stronger than nature and his father's profession, so he moved to Stavanger and graduated as a bachelor in pipe organ and church music. A nice foundation, but not the real thing. Rock'n'Roll called, so he moved to the very heart of rock: Los Angeles and became familiar with the scene.

When he reached the hallowed land of rock, glamour and stardom, he studied rock vocals at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, on the side teaching a bit as a teacher's assistant at the school, playing keyboards in various bands, hanging out with the stars. One of his funniest memories is when he met Lemmy, who he did not know but recognized as being important, because two strippers were leaning against him. One of the more important acquaintances he made at that time was Rick Monroe, a country rock artist, who he accompanied on his following US and European tour as keyboard player.