For some musicians, finding their flavor of “writing ice cream” can be built through the mantra of “instead of rushing, let it happen.” Joshua Powell happens to be one of those pupils and it all started in grade 8 when he had the idea of music being his pursuit of happiness.
“When I was younger, creating a band, I sort of caught on that I had to pick a lane and genre.” stated Joshua “Humans are so desperate to hierarchize and categorize, so for years I was saying we are an indie folk band. The older I became and got to know myself as well art I have been exposed to, I figured the most authentic brand I can give is an amalgamation of things that I like. Everybody has their own strange concoction”.
Through growth, you find your home away from home, which can be a mental state or physical place that takes part in our creative route. Sometimes bumpy roads and a new place to start afresh place might not always be the easiest. “I normally don’t write on the road because it’s such a different channel, it’s all about networking and creating experiences for people” continued Joshua. For me to get into a writing phase, there is a lot more intentional planning to create the mental real estate needed to explore the subconscious. Home away from home feels like when you are in the car, which is the only place you are allowed to have privacy on tour. When I put my headphones on and listening to podcasts, you can get in your head a little bit and get away from it all.”
In terms of having a closer look into Joshua’s writing process, his safety pack or tools contain:
- A notebook (mostly containing poems)
- A writing note on his phone with a gigantic free associated list of words and ideas he loves.
- Next, he will start drawing from those main sources and see how they manifest the rest of the draft.
Typically when we follow up with an artist, they continue with talking about how music writing is like a remedy to any toxic emotions that have been placed out into the world. In this case, Joshua happens to be the chief of popping this bubble, in an insightful way of course. “Music is not therapeutic for me. It’s my work. This year I spent a lot of time learning paper mache and building a bunch of over the top sized monster masks. I really embrace the totality of being an artist. I even try to skateboard sometimes” laughed Joshua.
Let’s say we embrace the vision of Joshua’s idea of bringing together things he enjoys. What would a room, or stage step up look like, if you brought all the little quirks about you outside of your head? “I am a big fan of surrealism. There are a couple of rooms that exist such as House of Eternal Return in New Mexico and a venue here in Indianapolis called Healer, which is an immersive psychedelic art installation where you can interact. It’s crazy to book shows in there, you feel like you are in a different world.”
When you are humbly creative like Joshua, sometimes success lies in each art piece you finish or having the opportunity to release your words into the open, but when he thinks of triumph as a whole, there is one person he does have in mind. “I love the career template of David Bazan because he’s not considered a household name but he’s an indie cult legend. He has crafted a lifestyle around his artwork where he can have a studio in his home, make enough money, and be able to support his family. I won’t say no to any success that comes our way, I am willing to grow this as big as the world wants to grow it. I will really feel like I have made it when I don’t have to worry about how else to survive in America. I just need enough people ready to go on this journey with me and be prepared for left turns.”
Speaking of turns, as we flip the next page into knowing the past will be today and tomorrow is the future, we couldn’t wait to hear where Joshua has in mind for a new departure gate, leaving to perform. Luckily the cards are in our favor. “Toronto!” – Joshua quickly piped in as we all laughed. “We used to do the whole United States thing every year and I just have got to the point where I don’t think it’s pliable business wise. I am open to getting back out to the West Coast and through Canada. We just signed a distribution deal out in Madrid, I love Spain so it would be cool to take the band out there soon.”
To end with what we call an excerpt from Joshua’s book of wisdom. He said simply “Take care of each other.”