Hello Josh how are you?
I’m doing very well, and grateful to finally have this song out.
Congratulations on the release of “Heatwave” how does it feel?
It feels like I’m a kid again, and it’s Christmas morning. The difference is I get to share this gift with the world.
It took you a year to finish it what’s the story behind the song?
When I wrote Heatwave, it came to me in various pieces over a month period back in January of 2021. Being the massive fan of 70’s and 80’s classic rock that I am, I knew I wanted to write a “dangerous woman” song. This theme was prevalent in songs like Darryl Hall & John Oates “Maneater”, Electric Light Orchestra’s “Evil Woman”, Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”, and so many more classics. The core truth behind the lyrics of Heatwave is that we love to chase things we know we can’t have. Although there isn’t a specific girl that Heatwave was written about, I was able to reflect on the emotions I have felt throughout my experiences dating women to craft the mood and vibe of this song. Maybe there’s an unconscious part of me that is still writing about the rejection I faced in elementary school after writing a girl a love letter, only to be denied. But that’s for my therapist to figure out.
What were the biggest challenges and easiest parts you faced while writing it?
Some songs come easy, and I wouldn’t say that about this one. Heatwave has a massive graveyard of lyrics that didn’t make the cut. The production didn’t come easy either. Getting this record to sound the way I knew it could took a full year to figure out. Making a song is not unlike solving a puzzle. There are so many moving parts, and you have little control over when the right pieces will come to you. You just have to keep giving it time, and eventually you’ll figure it out.
The way you completed the lyric has quite an interesting twist how did that happen?
Most of the lyrics for Heatwave came through writing sessions, and trial & error. One night, however, I got lucky. Completely out of the blue, as I was about to fall asleep, what ended up being the opening lyric on Heatwave (“She takes a tolerance”) popped into my head fully formed, melody and all. So I jumped out of bed, ran to the bathroom, and recorded it in a voice memo. After receiving that lyric from whatever spirits were in my room that night, the rest of the lyrics began to fall in place. Even though it’s a simple one, it’s still my favorite lyric from the song, and does a great job of hooking you from the jump.
You worked with Bradley Denniston on this as a co producer did you pick up any valuable tips from the experience?
Bradley has been incredible to work with. Both as a friend and a mentor, he has helped me to navigate the world of being an independent artist. When you spend so much time on a song, it can be a scary thing to bring someone else in. But Bradley aligned with my vision for Heatwave, and worked his ass off to help me get it across the finish line. I’ve learned so much from him, it wouldn’t be fair to the readers of this article to go into it all. I will say this though. Bradley knows how to provide value, whether it be to his clients, listeners, or followers on social media. If you aren’t rigorously providing value for others, you can’t expect to be successful.
You are currently working with him on forthcoming releases, how does a typical writing session begin for you?
I’ll be working on my next three releases with Bradley. These songs have already been written. Over the next 18 weeks, we’ll be working together on bringing them to life in the studio.
For me, writing is a daily routine. It is by far my favorite part of the process. Most of my writing starts at the piano, but this varies widely. I think it’s important to use different instruments as starting points for songwriting, even instruments you’re not so great at. This breaks you out of your normal habits as a writer, and helps you push the boundaries of what you can do. The journey of the listener is always in my mind as I’m writing. Where am I going to take them, and how am I going to get them there? I have a revision heavy process, as that seems to be where my best writing comes from. This helps me get to the core truth beneath my songs, and to figure out what exactly it is I’m trying to say.
You are a singer songwriter from Arizona how did it all begin for you?
A lot of my early musical experiences came from growing up in the Mormon church, where as kids we had to sing on a weekly basis, sometimes in front of an entire congregation. My first instrument was percussion, then piano, then guitar. I wrote my first song around age 12, and I still remember every word. It was very bad, but I loved it. When I left the Mormon church at around age 17, I began diving further into music and songwriting. It served as the ultimate escape. I hope to provide that same escape for others with my own music.
What were you listening to to begin with?
I grew up on my father’s music. Roxy, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, ELO, The Ramones, Queen, The Beautiful South, Billy Joel. I loved modern rock bands like Switchfoot, Maroon 5, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, Blink-182, The Naked and Famous, Eve 6, Matchbox Twenty, Weezer, and so many more.
COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way what kept you motivated?
I’m kind of a shut-in as it is. For me, quarantine just meant more time for writing and producing. Although, right before the start of COVID, I had formed a band. We had rehearsed for months getting a killer set together. The day we were supposed to play our first show was the day that shit hit the fan. The guitarist and drummer I was working with have both went on to pursue medical degrees, so I need new bandmates. lol. I used the time to focus more on building on online folllowing. What kept me motivated was retaining the ability to create music, and to continue connecting with people.
The last couple of years have been a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
I’ve learned that creating music is the only path forward for me. If I don’t give this pursuit everything I have, I will end up a bitter old man with regrets, yelling at kids to get off my lawn.
Did you pick up any new skills?
In both songwriting, and production, I continue working every day to increase my skillset. Music is a language that requires constant practice to be able to speak fluently.
Living in Hollywood what’s your favourite part of it?
Being surrounded by like minded people, in a place where music is thriving, really sets the tone. I feel I’m in an entirely new place creatively. There’s a healthy competitive aspect to it as well. There’s nothing like seeing others succeed to light a fire under your arse. Also, can’t complain about the weather.
Any recommendations for good music spots?
Not yet. Do you have any for me? Lol
What are you listening to at the moment?
Rex Orange County, Slim & The Beast, The Kooks, Tennyson, Florence + The Machine, Glass Animals, Tame Impala
What are you looking forward to next?
I’m looking forward to bringing my next song “Ship Wreck” to life in the studio. I’m recording the vocals today, actually! Woohoo!!!! I’m also looking forward to start playing shows here in North Hollywood, the season finale of “Better Call Saul”, and the next episodes of Nathan Fielder’s “The Rehearsal” on HBO.
Special thanks to Cian G @ Liberty Music PR