He had the dream and now he is living the dream, with all the “romantic” trappings of an artist that goes with it. Still, he loves what he is doing and we were thrilled when Josh Dance signed on for a little Q & A with us.
Hey Josh, it has been about 12 months since we last spoke. What have you been up to?
I’ve had some ups ‘n’ downs; met some good people; done some recording; played some gigs … pretty much the usual!
Tell us about your journey with music so far. When did you start making songs?
I started playing violin at age nine, but I wished it was a guitar. I got my first guitar at age 12, and started writing songs at fifteen. First off I wanted to be Ace Frehley, then Keith Richards. Keith was closely followed by Mr Springsteen, then James Hetfield. The good news is that right now I just wanna be me.
You latest offering to the people has been released titled ‘I Think I Need a Personal Assistant’. Tell us about the title of this one; we are all wondering.
The title was meant to be ironic but ended up coming across as a bit facetious perhaps. Having said that, penniless musicians need personal assistants too, not JUST wanker celebrities. I need someone to sign on for me down at Centrelink because I find it too bloody depressing doing it myself. And on occasions I need someone to scratch me when I get an itch. Maybe a girlfriend would do the trick…Girlfriend/personal assistant … I can see that working. I might have to advertise – a full page advert in Forte, maybe?!
How did you find recording at Basement Sound? And tell us about Jayne Martin, whom you have doing vocals on a lot of the tracks.
Recording at Basement Sound went well. They get a great sound down there and they’re versatile. Live stuff or layered recordings, bands or solo stuff. Fair prices and in the centre of Geelong – what more could you want?! Jayne Martin is pretty cool. Her voice is lovely – it has a unique kind of quirkiness to it. She doesn’t over sing either; just finds a nice groove and steps into it. She’s got a bit of an Emmylou Harris vibe, I guess. People seem to like the blend of our voices on this recording.
You went through a unique process recording this album – it was laid down in a matter of hours. Talk us through that.
I love listening to musicians like John Lee Hooker, Tony Joe White and Ted Hawkins when they’re just playing guitar and singing, with no other instruments or production. Sometimes it’s like they’re sitting right there in the room with you. For some reason I find that comforting. Simple stark sounds can be so effective – the less is more approach. I’m not sure if I achieved that, but I was going for it. My tracks were all recorded live and we overdubbed Jayne. The recording took six hours, then another six hours for mixing and mastering. Yeah, I’m really happy with the basic performance, and also the quality of sound.
You are from Geelong. How do you find being a solo artist from around this area?
Everything has a positive or negative side to it; it just depends on your perspective! There aren’t many venues to play in G-town, with regards to original toons. And the gigs that are on offer are highly sought-after. But Geelong is a beautiful place. That’s why I live here. I love the Waterfront and the Barwon River. I just wish there were more venues to play – it can be frustrating. So you’ve gotta think about other places and other ways.
You have some live dates coming up about the place. Tell us about the Josh Dance live show?
I play solo acoustic, but I also play with a drummer, Nat Depalma. Nat’s great. We are looking for a bass player, so if you’re our bass player please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For these next few gigs I have it’s gonna be solo acoustic. Nat might join me at the Sandbar, we’ll see. I play mostly originals, but I enjoy chucking a few covers into the mix as well.
What is in store over the next 12 months?
The next 12 months are going to be challenging but hopefully interesting and enjoyable as well. I’ve just started getting into a bit of spoken word stuff, so that’s been a different kind of thing for me.
Anything you would like to add?
Josh Dance ‘I Think I Need a Personal Assistant’ is available on iTunes. I will also be appearing on Chanel 31(Pulse TV) in the next few weeks!
When&Where: Sandbar, Ocean Grove – March 14; Zebra Bar, Ocean Grove – March 22; Prince of Wales, Melbourne – April 15.