Josh shreds in Outsider & BloodRitual. I had the pleasure of meeting him when Dead Heat rolled through Zurich on the last stop of tour as he was filling in on guitar. A nicer bunch of people you will never meet and no shit, Josh is one of the most talented guitar players I’ve seen live. I used to have long hair and the photo of Josh pretty much sums up how I thought I looked when I played, but I didn’t have the physique, talent or jawline. We use the same Seymour Duncan Invader pickups though, so that’s something..
Oh yeah, buy Outsider’s “When Love Dies” here.
If you had to introduce extraterrestrials to music with only five albums, what albums do you choose?
This one is so hard to answer! But I’ll give it my best shot. Steelheart’s self-titled, Idolatry by Devastation, Pride by White Lion, Ozzy’s Randy Rhoads live tribute record, and Under Lock and Key by Dokken. Some underrated hair metal and some classics in there. Anyone that knows me knows I spin that White Lion record at least once a week, so if I had to place any of those records at #1, it would be that one for sure.
One of the first tapes I ever owned was Poison - Flesh & Blood. Between hearing CC Deville rip pretty unconventional solos, (probably due to excessive drug use) and seeing Bon Jovi live on the New Jersey tour, I knew had to pick up a guitar and shred (or try to). What was that moment for you?
Dude! That’s sick. I had a big Poison phase when I was younger and CC was like a god to me. But for me, I was 8 years old and my mom bought an AC/DC CD for my brother and I. It was Back In Black, and I listened to that record on repeat for probably a few solid years hahah. Angus Young blew my mind with his wild stage antics and his killer bluesy playing style. The following Christmas, I asked for a guitar and the rest is history.
Outsider released i'd say my favourite EP of the year.
a) How hard is it getting together to focus on one band, seeing as you are also in Blood Ritual and tour with Dead Heat?
b) does it burn you out creatively or inspire you? or both?
Bro thank you so much! You have no idea how much that means to me. We really worked our asses off on that EP and tried our hardest to sweat the details. We had a lot of personnel changes and it was definitely a bumpy road until we finally got to release it. We did our best to channel influences from far outside of hardcore. Our vocalist, Joe, has an obsession with the 80’s just like me. We pulled a lot from that era; everything from Prince and Michael Jackson to White Lion and W.A.S.P.! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying it, though. And shout out to you for selling copies of it!
a) Honestly, things work out pretty well for the most part. Outsider is most productive when we’re all together, so I just try to take some weekends and get to Richmond to write with them. Of course, for both BR and Outsider, I do a lot of writing at home and bring it to practice. With BR, there is some weird ass wavelength that we’re all on and the writing is almost too easy. Thankfully, they’re only 45 minutes away from my hometown as opposed to Outsider being 3 hours away, so its easy to squeeze in a practice. We seem to all have a good grasp on what we want with our sound. As far as time management goes between the bands, it can get a little hectic but its never too bad. I love every second of it, so I don’t mind.
b) It’s kinda hard to say. I definitely feel a little burned out if I hit a few months of hard writing mixed with tours, but nothing gets me more stoked to write than playing a good run of shows. Seeing that people appreciate music that I’ve helped to create is an extremely humbling feeling. Touring can be a little tiring sometimes, but it always feels worth it after playing a sick show. I’ve been able to do so much cool stuff and have so many amazing experiences thanks to hardcore, so I don’t see myself getting burned out anytime soon; or ever, honestly.
Just for the fuck of it, who are your top ten shredders (past or present)?
In no particular order: George Lynch, Randy Rhoads, Vito Bratta, Warren DeMartini, Reb Beach, Chris Holmes, Gary Holt, Paul Gilbert, Mick Mars, and Nuno Bettencourt. I study all of these guys and try my best to emulate what I like about each one of them and make it a part of my own style. If I had to pick a favorite out of all of them, it would be George Lynch. His style has always sounded the coolest to me because he’s not always shredding like hell. His solos have a unique exotic sound that I have always been able to distinguish from other players. He’s extremely creative and I try my best to mimic that, even though I still have a lot to learn. I could talk about all of these guitarists for hours, but I’ll shut up and keep it short. Hahaha
You're (kind of) taking a well-earned break. What's 2020 got in store for you?
Yes! It’ll be nice to be chilling at home for the holidays and doing some writing. Honestly, I expect 2020 to be very similar to 2019 for me. I know for a fact that BloodRitual and Outsider will be on the road. It’ll be another really busy year but I have enjoyed being all over the place. Before 2019, I had never left the country, been to the midwest, or been to the west coast for more than like 3 days. It is safe to say that I’ve “lived” more in 2019 than any year of my life. I’m so grateful for all the awesome opportunities and experiences I’ve had this year and I’m hoping there will be more in 2020.