Exclusive Interview with Josh (From April 5th, 2015)
Thanks goes out to Josh for letting me interview him. I was able to ask Josh questions about his upcoming release “Visitors”, history of IWNBTS, and other topics.
What can you tell the fans about your upcoming release, “Visitors”?
Hey Chris, I just wanted to say thanks for taking your time and energy into building this fan site. It means a lot.
Well there are a couple of reasons why I called it “Visitors”. One being its a starting point or a basic theme.
I like to start with a title that is the possible apex of the project. Its just how I like to work. As with my first album Standby there was a theme running through most of the album. For instance, if you took the theme of the end of the world song “Worldless” branched it into the travel of “Starfields” into “The Last Goodbye” it would be basically Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”, although I will never get any credit for it. Kidding aside, with Visitors its a basic theme, I wouldn’t say it has anything to do with aliens or UFOS but I always injecting some sort of science fiction aspect. The second reason for naming the album “Visitors” is I am going to invite some people close to me to being a part of the album in which I have never done before. Possibly some background vocals, bass, guitars, drums and ambient noise from guests “visitors” contributing to the album.
What inspired your most recent single, “Skyhunter”?
Well Skyhunter started as a title as well. I then designed the graphic cover of what I wanted it to look like visually, asking myself what is the overall mood. I like to create Acts 1, 2 and 3. First, the setting and what is happening. Second, how I am feeling about it. Third, is there a general message that would attach to how someone is feeling outside of being just a silly story. I wanted a dark survival type story. I hope to someday really make the video in my head.
You posted a video last May, announcing new music was on the way. Will this song make it onto “Visitors”?
Everything I have posted will be a part of the new album. It might change drastically but thats just the growing creative process of an album.
With Visitors switching from being an EP to a full-length album, is there any new challenges you face?
Well I have some big news regarding this which I can’t disclose at this moment but I will let you know soon.
What have you been reading while recording “Visitors”?
I love reading books but I actually am an avid book “listener”, I love listening to audiobooks. My last audiobooks have been Andy Weir’s – The Martian, James Dashner’s- The Maze Runner Series, Ransom Riggs’s – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Pierce Brown – Red Rising and of course Ernest Cline – Ready Player One.
With “Tornadoes” being so well received by fans and reviewers, was there any pressure going into the writing and recording process of “Visitors”?
Well I don’t really have any pressure starting a new album, its actually extremely exciting. To me getting the overall direction I want to go is so exciting. Its about what I want to hear, I do listen and pay attention to new music I try to branch out creatively. I love artists like Banks, The Weeknd, Phantogram, Chvrches and many new artists which subconsciously will inspire Visitors with my own spin of course. Also I have been scoring for TV, Games and Films so the soundtrack/orchestral side of things will be also become big part of the sound.
A while back, you posted a tracklisting for Tornadoes with 2 songs that didn’t make the album, “You” and “End The Broken Hearts”. You later released “You” through Soundcloud but what became of “End The Broken Hearts”?
End the Broken Hearts is a song extremely personal and still a work in progress. It’s not like any other IWNBTS song and only a few people have heard it. Its a very sparse track which the vocal is in the forefront and ultra deep. I just don’t think I’m ready to expose that one yet. I would need to re-record it but I would also have to be in the right headspace.
What influenced you to form IWNBTS and where did the name come from?
I started I Will Never Be The Same in 2009, I was working at a record label doing graphic design and had a shared office. I brought my own studio speakers in to play music while working. After hours when people would leave I used it as my studio space. I had never sung a note, recorded my voice or even wrote lyrics. So I would just stay superlate hours and experiment on what It might sound like. The next day I would show some co-workers and they actually were very supportive. So within a few months I had enough material to release an album which became Standby. The “I Will Never Be The Same” name originally was going to be a band-based website in which I would let other people submit their life-changing stories, of loss, gain, hurt, pain, happiness and I would turn their “ and this is why I will never be the same” stories into lyrics giving them full credit. Because I knew more people had more intense lives and stories than I did.
You have previously uploaded scores you have done for a TV show. What shows have you done scores for?
I just got a in-house composing job in L.A working with Sony/Hans Zimmer and many other composers working on mostly TV and some game/film cues. Some shows I have pieces of music in so far are Survivor, Intervention, Catfish and many many others. Hopefully working my way up to the FILM side with composers like Junkie XL (Batman vs Superman, Divergent) and Lorne Balfe (Assassin Creed, Call of Duty) who work there also.
What artists did you listen to growing up?
Growing up my Dad was a musician and a later became laser show designer and was on tour a lot. He was on tour with Pink Floyd, Motley Crue, Dio, Kiss and many others of what would later become my inspirations. I would go on tour with him every summer and seeing the shows, meeting the bands I just knew that is what I wanted to do. Play big arena shows with massive productions. Then I saw an early Nine Inch Nails show which was just intense and visceral, watching them grow to be a mixture of what I saw as a kid on tour was exactly what I wanted to do. Also I was trying not to mention NIN, but how could I not!
Any ideas on a possible tour?
I have an awesome live band. Josh Fresia (drummer) and Charles Lee Salvaggio (bass) are so into the songs it really helps me overcome my fear of playing live. They work really hard and of course we would all love to tour. And I don’t mind touring if the conditions are right. I program all my own lights to the show and really try to be a step ahead. But I understand new artists need to do the dirt cheap minimum to survive on the road. Although I think I was spoiled as a kid watching those huge bands tour. For me getting out there and performing the music super loud and as intense as I can make it in front of people who really enjoy the music with me would be a dream come true. So yes, hopefully a tour.
What is the hardest song to play live?
All of them. I play guitar, keyboards and of course also sing live. But when I wrote these songs it wasn’t a recording of a performance, so learning to play guitar and sing some of these songs AT THE SAME TIME was a super challenge.
You have played shows with such great acts like Julien-K, Free Dominguez and more. What was your favorite show that you ever performed?
Well we have played some great shows in mostly the LA. based area, one of my favorites was opening for Camp Freddy which was an All-Star group with Dave Navarro, Matt Sorum, Billy Morrison, with guests like Billy Idol, Steve Stevens, Slash, and many others. It was just good to share a stage with those guys who I use to idolize. Also once we had a weekly residency at The Viper Room and a friend of mine requested I got them the front VIP table, while walking by to the stage I stop and say Hi only to see one of my favorite artists, Lana Del Rey, sitting there right upfront. She came up to me after and said she absolutely loved the songs and the show rocked.
Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
For all of you that have been there from the beginning I just want to thank you for coming on this journey and growing with me so far. As to the future and new fans, I hope to fill a missing void in your life with music, where music means something more.