I got the chance to interview Josh from Four Year Strong, and he is rad as hell. Check out the interview below!
Lets start things off here by asking, how are you?
I’m doing fucking great. I just got home from a family gathering up in New Hampshire, got home from tour yesterday and rode trails all day as soon as I got home.
What got you into music?
When I was a super little kid I would just listen to whatever the other kids were listening to at the time, when I was in the sixth grade I got my first bmx bike and me and my friends would just cruise all day and watch videos all night, we would try and dig the shittiest trails, we had like the worst six pack ever, and I remember listening to a tape we recorded off the tv from expendable youth. Originally just whatever was in the bike and skate videos, and then when I was in high school my friends got me more and more into going to shows and kind of just got way into it from there.
Since you play keyboard, what got you into playing that instrument?
This band specifically got me into synth. I grew up and have always played music, I tried to play the flute unsuccessfully when I was super young, and got a bass when I was older and played like the school dances with some of my friends. From there I sort have inherited my moms acoustic, that my uncle gave her when she was young. I met Joe (bass player) and we were guzzling brews and he said they needed a keyboard player and I thought that sounded fucking hilarious so I got into it.
How did you get into playing with Four Year Strong?
Basically just Joe bringing it up, then I met the other dudes and it was like love at first sight. Everything else was just organic, we all had a love of music and acting like shit heads. It’s been almost four years and I haven’t looked back.
If you didn’t play music, what would you be doing instead?
My last job before we were touring full time was a commercial truck driver for a carnival company. I would deliver moonwalks and random stuff like, virtual golf, dunk tanks, tents for weddings. I guess I’d just probably be driving trucks and riding my bike. I like simple stuff, a house, a dog, my bike. That would be awesome.
What are your musical influences?
I love hot water music, suicide file, reach the sky, American nightmare, a lot of hardcore. Anything from old videos, classic rock, I find something to appreciate in most music I guess.
Since you guys just finished the Taste of Chaos tour, how was that?
Taste of Chaos was a ton of fun, hung out with a lot of old friends, made some new ones. Three quarters of it was nice enough to ride street most days. We got to play for a bunch of kids that we probably wouldn’t normally get to play for, so that was cool. We just got home and I’m pretty stoked to get to just hang at home with m friends and family for a minute.
What was the best city on that tour?
I have to answer our home town of Worcester, Massachusetts, but there were a lot of really good ones. Canada came through, Florida rules, out west, east coast. Most places have something to offer.
What is your current BMX set-up?
I ride a Mutiny Burlish frame, no brakes, no pegs, lumberjack bars, Odyssey wheels, Odyssey plastic pedals, some hand me down cranks that love to dig into my ankles. The thing fucking rules. I had a Terrible-1 for years, but I finally got a crack in the rear end and my friend had the Burlish for cheap.
What is your favourite Four Year Strong song to play?
Tough to say, but I get to just run around during maniac so I’m into playing that.
If you could tour with any band, who would it be and why?
Any band I listen to I like to play with, any band I could get pumped to stage dive to I’m down with.
What do you prefer to play at; an indoor venue or outdoor venue?
Indoor, but if you get a day with good greenery an outdoor show is nice with the breeze in your hair. Wow that sounded pretty absurd.
What do you enjoy doing outside of music?
Riding bikes, playing poker, watching horror movies, tattoos, and writing.
What do you hope people will take away with them when they hear your music or see your live show?
I hope they have fun, you can say whatever you want about our band, but it’s genuine which I think is rare these days, and we pride ourselves on our live show, so come out!
Folder or Scruncher?
What do you guys to prepare for a show?
Nothing special, we stretch and make fun of each other. Maybe a pre-emptive beer or sip of the old goblin’s milk.
When you played your first ever show, were you nervous and what kind of fears came with playing your first show and how did you overcome them?
Not really honestly, I don’t take all that much very seriously, and this was no exception. I was a little weirded out I guess, but I had no expectations, I saw Dragonforce once, and they were the only band I had ever seen live that had a keyboard player. So I didn’t really have any rules to abide by I guess, I was just like “alright I’ll play the keyboard and the parts I don’t play I’ll just get into it and see what happens” and after that it seemed to work out. I must sound like a fucking idiot in this.
What are some bands you think people should check out?
Last Lights. They’re our really good friend’s hardcore band from Worcester, they are amazing. Dom, who sang for them unfortunately passed away recently, but he left behind some of the best music I’ve ever heard. Everyone go check them out, Rest in Peace Dominic Owen Mallory.
Anyone you want to thank?
My family for ruling, my friends for hanging out, my bike for being awesome, my cats for their whiskers, and my band for being a little of all of those things.
Any last words?