Today’s Feature, August 31-September 1: Joshua Path

January 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm (Today's Feature)

I run into the same dilemma every week – sometimes nearly every day. I’m off work, windows down, volume up. I’m tired of thinking, I’m tried of worrying, I’m tired of control. All I need is that medium, that song to turn up and get lost in – that song that makes 4 minutes pass by in 30 seconds.

Sometimes I’ll argue with my I-Pod for my entire ride home. Fortunately however, artists such as Joshua Path are here to help, here to assist you in your bid to lose yourself at 65mph when it’s just you and a song. Path’s latest album, “Headlight in the Sun,” is full of tunes that will help you do just that. It’s a record of mood swings, “Blistering and edgy one minute, somber and melancholy the next.” ìHeadlight in the Sunî manages to shove out a set of original melodies, swinging and bashing a variety of genres and sounds together.

It isn’t always easy to stand out in a town like Los Angeles, where “everyone is a singer/songwriter, has a CD or is dating someone with one.” Joshua Path however is rising above the bitter soundmen, the uninspiring clubs, and the characterless bands to deliver a message that is as real as his live performances; “At a good show, the band and I are like wild men on the stage. Fingers bleeding, hoarse throats, clothes drenched with sweat.”

In the end, what Path wants out of a performance is exactly what I’m looking for during my stress-free drive home ñ To “completely forget who I am and what my ridiculous little problems are.” Do yourself a favor and give “Headlight in the Sun” a listen, and read Joshua Path’s XXQ’s.

XXQs: Joshua Path

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did you first get started in music?

Joshua Path (JP): When I was born. I can’t remember a time when music wasn’t in my life, or a

song wasn’t in my head. I could hum melodies before I could talk. When I was still in the

crib, my dreams were set to original music. Where all this music came from, I’m not entirely

sure. Maybe my baby food was laced.

PEV: What can people expect from your fifth CD, “Headlight In The Sun”?

JP: All their hopes and dreams will come true. If that doesn’t happen, they can expect to

hear 15 songs of varying genres and moods, all of which share themes of honesty, hope and

heartbreak. And heroin. And headlights.

PEV: How is “Headlight In The Sun” different from your past projects?

JP: It’s the most pro-sounding album I’ve ever done. I have to thank Curt Piar (co-producer

and engineer) for that. He was meticulous with the mixes and getting everything just right.

We even mastered the CD at his studio (Proving Ground Studio). In fact, I had originally

mastered at Capitol Records. Wasn’t happy with the results, so Curt offered to give it a try.

He made it sound incredible. This CD is proof that you don’t need a big label studio to get

that big label sound.

On a darker level, I almost went mad sequencing this CD. Usually before I go into the studio,

I have some idea of what the final line-up of songs will be. On “Headlight In The Sun,” I

had none. Must’ve laid down over thirty different sequences before finally figuring it out.

Made me extremely depressed. I can’t tell you how many times I thought about abandoning the

project simply because of my indecision.

PEV: No stranger to recording studios, what was it like the first time you stepped into a

studio? What was going through your head?

JP: When I first stepped into a studio on my own dime, I thought, “Wow, this is the greatest

day of my life.” When I stepped into a studio on someone else’s dime, I thought, “Oh my God,

they’re gonna hate me. This is a mistake. I suck.”

PEV: Your music was also used in movies like, the indie film “Crutch,” (directed by Rob

Moretti and distributed by Illuminare Entertainment). What was it like to see your songs

used in this media and did you like the way they were used?

JP: I’m a huge movie buff, so it’s always a thrill for me to see my songs used on the big

screen. But for some reason, my songs are always used in films about high school, none of

which are very happy. One film called “Beast” was about a high school kid who murders his

girlfriend. Don’t think it was ever released. “Crutch” is about a homosexual high school

drama teacher who seduces his student and introduces him to drugs. Fun stuff. Anyways, I’m

always flattered when a director chooses to use my songs, no matter what the movie’s about.

As long as it’s not Care Bears.

PEV: Is there someone you haven’t worked/collaborated with that you would like to?

JP: If the stars ever align for me, I’d love to work with Rick Rubin. Or perahps Jeff Lynne.

People have criticized him for over-producing. Yet that’s exactly the kind of album I’d love

to do with him. Something that harkens back to the glory days of E.L.O, with that rich,

excessive sound.

PEV: Who were some of the bands early on that helped shape your sound?

JP: I am constantly listening to new bands and constantly changing my sound. My influences

read like a laundry list. But if you put a gun to my head, I’d say The Beatles, Led Zeppelin,

Nick Drake, The Smiths, Bob Dylan.

PEV: What is it like trying to break into the music scene? What is your take on the LA music

scene (Joshua lives in LA)?

JP: Oh man. OK, here we go… These days, Los Angeles isn’t a “music scene.” It’s a “music

clusterfuck.” Everyone in this town believes they are some sort of musician or singer/

songwriter. Everyone has a CD, or is dating someone with one. And 99% of it is really, really

bad. Or it’s so homogenized, you can practically see the titles to “Grey’s Anatomy” playing.

What’s worse, hardly any of these so-called singer/songwriters knows how to write a decent

song. They’re much better at marketing themselves than they are at songwriting. (I call

these people “shmoozicians.”)

All in all, as an unsigned musician, L.A. is a miserable place to shop your music, and a

miserable place to play. The soundmen hate you, the clubs hate you, the other bands hate you,

the other bands’ FANS hate you. Besides that, it’s great.Don’t get me wrong. There are a few

talented folks here. But you have to wade through a lot of crap to find them.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a

career for you?

JP: When I was 18, I landed a gig as a song leader at a sleep-away summer camp. Part of my

job was to sing at nightly campfires and inside bunks. Stuff like James Taylor, Cat Stevens.

Sometimes I’d sneak in my own songs. Much to my surprise, the kids really took them. I would

walk around camp during the day and hear campers singing my songs to each other. Kind of

blew me away. After that summer, I decided to I take my songwriting a little more seriously.

PEV: Is there a band on the scene right now that you think is “on the rise” and we should

be looking out for?

JP: Yes, and if you spot him, please let me know. A guy named Travis McIntosh. He released

one CD a few years ago called “Rain.” I don’t know what’s happened to him, where he is, or

what he’s doing, but it’s one of the best CDs in my record collection. Every song is

absolutely beautiful.

PEV: What can people expect from a live Joshua Path show?

JP: Besides the flying pigs, I’d say a lot of energy and passion. At a good show, the band

and I are like wild men on the stage. Fingers bleeding, hoarse throats, clothes drenched with

sweat. Makes me sorry I don’t play live more often.

PEV: What is the best part about playing live?

JP: Transcending myself. Completely forgetting about who I am and what my ridiculous little

problems are. It’s funny, but sometimes I feel more relaxed on stage than I do in every day

life.

PEV: How has life on the road been for you? What is the best and worst part?

JP: I absolutely love getting out of Los Angeles for reasons I think I’ve made clear. For me,

the best part is visiting parts of this country I usually only see on the Travel Channel.

The worst part is MapQuest. That site is run by gremlins.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Joshua Path?

JP: I’m answering these questions wearing a bunny suit.

PEV: When you get to relax or have some down time, what can we find you doing?

JP: I love the movies. Spending time with my girlfriend. Working out. Skiing. Hiking.

Traveling. Trying to shave my cat. And I absolutely love board games. That’s my guilty

pleasure. I’m a closet dork.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to your musical career?

JP: Most of them are very supportive and enthusiastic. There are a few, however, who would

rather I found a different line of work. Just to make themselves more comfortable. I won’t

name names, but I’ve had certain people tell me, “Give it up. You’re not going to make any

money at that.” Forget happiness and satisfaction, money is the bottom line in their eyes.

Then again, they’re Republicans so I don’t really pay much attention to them anyway.

PEV: In all your travels, which city has been your favorite to play? Why?

JP: So far, it’s been Phoenix. They were so responsive. And attentive! Played ballads and I

swear you could hear a pin drop. Can’t wait to go back.

PEV: If I was to walk into your studio today what would I find?

JP: Att Proving Ground Studio, where I record, you’d find ProTools HD2, a Martin DC-16GTE,

a Fender Strat with Humbucker pickups, a Fender Telecaster, drum kit, a lot of hardware that

I don’t understand but damn it looks cool, and a Yoda doll that says, “Do, or Do Not. There

is no Try.”

PEV: When you write music, what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

JP: Honestly, I feel like I’m always writing. Driving, watching TV, doing the dishes…I’m

hearing ideas for songs at all times. Even when I’m dreaming. (That’s really annoying, too.

Waking up at 2 in the morning to get a melody down.)

PEV: So, what is next for Joshua Path?

JP: Gearing up to play these songs live. Might release a CD of all my “B-sides.” Or record a

CD that’s synth-driven nonsense. Who knows, maybe I’ll break down and try to write a new

theme song for “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Check out Joshua Path at http://www.JoshuaPath.com

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