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Josh Radin's Sundrenched World - Part 2

Guest Author - Peggy Eldridge-Love

This is a continuation of the Josh Radin interview. Josh is about to share some insights and insider information with emerging artist that few other artist will! So take note!





Part 2:


J: I was looking at so many musicians, I think, in L.A. and New York

who would look at someone like me and say ‘well, you got this huge

record deal’ then they might be envious and think ‘now that record

deal is not available to me.’ But that’s not the way it is. You know

the record labels have a lot of money; Sony, Universal, they have a

lot of money if they believe that you’re an investment and they are

going to make their money back on you and make more money there’s

a lot of record deals to be had. It’s not like one person signs a record

deal and that means no one else gets a record deal, or – you know when

I start thinking about when my friends would achieve some success

I’d say you know what, I’m not jealous, not only am I happy for them

because they’re my friends, but also what’s good for them is good for

me.




You know, I’m in a community of people, of artist and if I draw

some attention from media, or people like you, and I can talk about

my friends, that’s a community thing, I think. And even anyone who

doesn’t even know me, if they write music that’s similar to mine, a

similar genre, then my success brings more success to them with

labels starting to see they can make money with this type of music…

so I think envy is the worst thing that can possibly happen. I used to

have it, and when I got rid of it everything great happened.


P: There were friends of yours that were instrumental in opening doors

for you. Is that correct?


J: That’s correct. Zach Braff, by far, has been the biggest proponent of my

music. Actually, he was the one who encouraged me when I wrote that

song “Winter”. He said, “you know, you should record that.” And I said,

‘I don’t how to record music, or I’ve never even wrote a song”, or I didn’t

know what I was doing at all, and he said, “see if you can record it and get

it on a CD and I’ll give it to the producers of Scrubs, maybe they’ll want

to use it or something, you never know.” And so, I recorded it and gave it

to Bill Lawrence, who is the executive producer of Scrubs, and within two

weeks or something it was on the show. And I had a career. I mean it was

crazy.


P: I love that. It’s meant to be.


J: I kind of think of it that way now. You know, my girlfriend Schuyler Fisk is

on this tour as well and we talk about it all the time because she has so many –

her mother is Sissy Spack, and her uncle is David Lynch, and I mean she’s

had all these contacts ever since she was a little kid, all these doors that can

be opened for her, and we talk about it all the time that sometimes you feel

guilty, sometimes you feel that people look at me and say ‘ well, his friend is

Zach Braff so that’s why he has a career,’ but I’m thinking to myself,

people can open doors for you, but you’ve got to keep them open.


P: That’s right.


J: And there are a lot of people who have had songs on TV shows, TV shows

and movies use songs all the time, that doesn’t mean that people are going

to explode and do well, you know what I mean? I think it is invaluable to

have the ‘who you know’, there is the age old adage of ‘it’s not what you

know but who you know,” but it’s both. It’s very important to have people open

doors for you, but you have to keep them open yourself.


P: Plus, listening to your music it is message music.


J: I just try to be honest. I just write what I’m going through. I think that may be

what people are responding to is that I never sit down and write a song and say

‘I want to sell this’ or ‘I want people to relate to this’ – I just write what I’m

going through and if people like it, they like it, or if they don’t, change the

radio station or don’t buy the album or whatever it is, but I think honesty is

always relatable. Especially with love, I mean I write about falling in and out

of love basically, for the most part.


P: Fearlessly, I noted.


J: Yeah, and the problems I had with screenwriting was I was dating this girl

and I’d want to put all these things about our relationship in the script and

I’d be so fearful of ‘oh, she’s going to know’ and this is going to affect our

relationship and all that, and then when I started writing songs I said, ‘you

know what, if I’m going to do this I’m going to do it honestly and I’m not

going to worry about anything but being honest.’ And, I think that’s helped

me out a lot.


P: What’s next?


J: I don’t know. You know, I just started this whole thing, so who knows, maybe

I’ll get bored with it, maybe I’ll just find a new media that I want to express

myself in. I know I’ll always be creative, I know I’ll wake up everyday and

want to create, but I could never say – you know, if you’d have told me five

years ago that I’d be riding around on a tour bus playing music that I wrote

to people, I’d say you’re crazy. So, who knows in five years from now where

I’ll be.


P: What’s the title of the album, the CD, that –


J: I like to call it a record.


P: You like to call it a record? Well certainly that’s what it was called in my

earlier days.


J: But I call a movie a ‘picture’ – I’m real old school. (Laughter)


P: Regarding the re-release that Columbia has done, the title of it is:


J: It’s called “We Were Here”.


P: And the initial recording, the title of that was:


J: The EP? That was “First Between 3rd and 4th”. That’s where I

was living in New York. On First Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets.


P: Is that what that meant? I was curious about that. I love that title and

it just evoked all kind of images, but I never would have guessed that

is what it was.


J:“We Were Here” is my first record. That EP I did in late 2004 right as I started

writing songs. The song went on Scrubs and I said, ‘okay, I’ve got to have

something out there for people to buy’ at shows, or whatever. So I made that

and it wasn’t really ‘me’. You know, there are a couple of songs on there that

producers pushed me in such a way by saying ‘oh, you’re going to want a

record deal’ or ‘you’re going to want this’, so when I made “We Were Here” as

my first full record said I don’t need drums on it, I don’t play with drums, you

know, I just want it to be me; a consistent album that someone can throw on

and say ‘I love the way this sounds’, rather than a bunch of different kinds of

things showing a record company that I can do this or I can do that – I wanted a

cohesive project, so that’s what “We Were Here” is, and, I still like it, which is

weird.


P: That’s important! I just have a couple of other questions. Tell me about the tour

J: This tour?

P: Yes.

J: Well, the Hotel Café is this venue, this tiny little venue in Los Angeles, that

when I moved there I found, and I said ‘ah, this is what I always wanted.”

It’s like a little Tin Pan Alley in New York kind of, its like Dylanisk; a bunch

of song writers with guitars strapped to their back, talking about poetry and

smoking cigarettes in the alley, and just kind of what I always read about and

always wanted to be a part of. In New York I couldn’t really find that. So I just

sort of made it my home. It’s like Cheers with guitars. You know, I walk in

there four or five nights a week when I’m not on the road. I know everyone

and everyone knows me and it’s just a great sense of community and we

wanted to bring that -- on any given night it’s (i.e., the Hotel Café) not like

your typical venue. Even if they get national touring act, the place only

holds 200 people…


P: Where is it?


J: It’s in Hollywood. On Cahuenga, just below Hollywood Boulevard, and there’s

no sign out front or anything, but it’s quickly become this really cool

singer/songwriter haunt, and even if national touring acts come through they

might do a secret show there and not tell anyone because it’s so small. It’s

just one of those cool, viby places, which sounds great, people are cool, and

you’re going to get into a cool conversation, you know, when you go there.

So, every night there are six or seven different artist on the bill, and we wanted

to bring that vibe around the country. So that people who live all over the

place and not in L.A. can get that experience of what it’s like to go into The

Hotel Café one night and hear a bunch of musicians you’ve never heard before.

Maybe you’ve heard one, and that person got you into the room, but it’s not

like a club where you’ve got a headliner who plays for an hour and a half

and an opener and that’s it, and the room’s dark. Like from 6:30 sometimes

til 1 or 2 in the morning you might hear great music. So, that’s what we’re

trying to do.


It’s sort of Lapolooza with acoustic guitars.


P: That’s great! Is there anything else that you’d like for the Emerging

Music audience to know?


J: I’m terrible at promoting myself. I can answer questions …


P: Well, you’ve been great, you have answered a lot of questions! I had

some questions, for example that I was going to ask, such as ‘while in New

York it seemed that you developed a strong, loyal following of fans and

TV/Film industry personnel who believed in you and your music’, and

my questions was going to be did you find that type of grassroots support

in Los Angeles, but you just answered that.


J: Yeah, I did. I found more of it in L.A. It’s interesting, I think, a lot of times

people ask me when I’m interviewed do I have any advise for other struggling

singer/songwriters or artist, and I would say in terms of music, the best

advise I could give is ‘do it yourself, at first.’ I had a lot of friends who

signed on to major labels with like a development deal or something and

it’s been three years and they haven’t had a record, their own record, because

at major labels the turn over rate is like a restaurant. One day someone at the

company loves you and then they are fired, they are gone the next week, and

there is someone new who thinks ‘well, we’ve got to take the company in

an entirely different direction,’ and you’ve been waited out. That’s your

career, you get one career, and I think the best thing I did was make this

record myself, with my friend, in his bedroom, and then built my own

foundation and then what happened was, I put the album, “We Were Here”,

oniTunes myself and it hit the Top 25 Albums in the whole country and

that’s when the label started to take note, but before that they don’t listen

to something and say this could be big. You’ve got to do it yourself, you’ve

got to show them that you can make them money, and then you bring the

machine on to be behind you.

They’re not developers anymore. You can do it yourself; you can pull out

your computer, Protocols, Logic, and record your own music, you know,

and L.A. was very helpful for me because that’s where all the music

supervisors are. That’s where all the TV shows and movies are made, so

at the Hotel Café, on any given night, you might have four different music

supervisors from these big shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs or anything

like that and they are just hanging out trying to find someone new because

they are always looking for new music. So they walk in there, and one day

I was playing a show and a music supervisor from Grey’s Anatomy was

there and said ‘do you have a demo’ and I said ‘I do.’ I had the album “We Are

Here”, I hadn’t even printed it yet, I had a demo of it on a blank CD and I

said ‘here you go,’ and I autographed it for him, and, you know, within a

month I had two songs on the show.


P: That is encouraging.


J: Yeah, that would be my advise for young singer/songwriters who are trying

to make it, who are trying to do what I’m doing. Go out to L.A., play at

the Hotel Café, and just talk to everyone you can, just find a community

because there is strength in numbers.


P: That’s wonderful. You have been so kind, and I appreciate it so much.


J: Ah, thank you so much. Great questions!



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