Emery – Words With Josh
AARON ROBERTSON: Alright so first off, I know the tour is just a few shows deep, how would you say it’s going so far?
JOSH HEAD: I think it’s been going good. It’s been a lot of fun, all the bands on the tour are really good. We got all the bands we wanted to be on the tour. The crowds have been good, the kids have been awesome, really into the shows. Like, it’s pretty rare that kids stay all the way through a show. Some of them filter out on different tours for different bands but it seems like all the kids are cool and stay for all the bands. So that’s rad.
A: With this being your first headlining tour, are you a little more nervous?
J: Yeah definitely. Especially starting out cause we just didn’t know what was going to happen… Like, if people were even going to show up or whatever. So we’ll see how it goes, we haven’t done well in the Midwest on previous tours and stuff like that. We’ve been on like four or five cross country tours now so we’re sure hoping that all that helps out with all that stuff… But we’ll see what it’s really like. Definitely stressful, it’s just like making sure all the bands show up and you have to worry about set times so you don’t play at midnight and people aren’t tired. So it’s a lot more stressful and stuff but it’s cool.
A: You kind of answered this question, but, how do you feel the fan response has been?
J: Yeah, it’s been really good. Definitely.
A: Now Seth has chosen to leave the band, I’ve heard that you have taken over on drums. What’s the whole situation with that?
J: Yeah. Well he got married about two months ago and decided he just didn’t want to tour anymore, like he wanted to be with his wife, go back to school, grad school, and stuff like that. So we support him in that, I thought that was cool, that’s what he wants to do. I played drums four or five years ago in different bands. I haven’t played since then. So they were like… Well… So I just kinda took that over.
A: Do you like the drums more than the keyboard?
J: I’m a better drummer than I am a keyboard player. So…
A: Really?! I’d have to say that you were the craziest keyboardists that I have ever seen in my life!
J: I’ve grown to play a lot. I’m very limited in my knowledge of playing.
A: Do you miss not being in the front?
J: A little bit yeah… Yeah a little… But it’s fun to be able to just freak out on the drums.
A: Cause you were always the one getting the hand clap, and just going crazy out there…
J: Yeah it was fun, really fun…
A: Let’s get into the history of the band. How did you guys form? And what made you want to do music full-time?
J: Basically our two bands came together, the five members we’ve got now. We started playing a lot and working jobs. I worked with Matt and Joel at this Guitar Center. About a year after we lived there and were playing a lot of local shows we decided to try and see what we could do. So we just booked our own tour, went to labels and dropped of this demo we recorded in my basement, and just did whatever we could to find out if a band is going to make it, what they needed to do. We got some advice from different guys at labels, this guy Sean at Nitro Records in California gave us a lot of advice. He’s the one that recommended us saving money and going to a good producer to record a record, so that’s what we did, and pretty much since then our focus has been to try and make it full-time and hopefully make somewhat of a living out of it for a little while.
A: I read somewhere that you recorded The Weak’s End in what is it… Eudora, Kansas? How was that experience?
J: It was cool. It’s a studio there called Black Lodge run by Ed Rose, who did like Get Up Kids and Appleseed Cast, like all the Deep Elm bands. It was cool, it’s right next to Lawrence, Kansas. So it was fun. It was in the middle of winter, it was freezing, it was like March, so cold, like twenty degrees, fifteen degrees, icy everywhere. But it was cool, he’s an amazing producer, total business, like, kick the crap out of our band and made us way better than we were when we went in there so it was awesome.
A: How hard was it self-funding the record?
J: Really hard. Basically up until this year we’ve all lived together in the same apartment or very small house or basement just to be able to survive. We’ve all just lived together, like, we lived in the basement of a friend’s house all of this year up until last month. Basically what we did was we all had part-time jobs and we’d pitch in seventy-five percent of our paychecks to the fund to go record and we got six grand together and drove to Kansas, recorded for ten days, and then left.
A: That’s dedication right there!
A: By All Accounts and Fractions seem to be similarly themed, what is the meaning behind these two songs?
J: By All Accounts was written by Devin and Fractions was written by Toby; They’re both relationship based, just written about relationships in both their lives. Devin’s, By All Accounts, was written about sin in his life with his girlfriend and their relationship. Doing things that he didn’t feel God wanted him to do in that relationship and his struggle with that. Fractions is kind of about the same thing. It was about Toby’s struggle with whether or not to date this girl who wasn’t a Christian at the time. Just the struggle of liking her so much but knowing that she didn’t have the same beliefs he did. Knowing that there may not be any future in that relationship so maybe he shouldn’t be in it at that time. So both of them were kind of out of relationship issues.
A: You guys are obviously a Christian band, you’re on a Christian label… What is your view on church and religion?
J: It depends. I definitely like church, I don’t necessarily like the mainstream Christian Church in this country and how it portrays Christ’s message and stuff like that. I’m not saying that all churches are that way or anything, there are certainly churches around the country that are very… Umm… Like I feel that church is meant to be a community of people to be there for each other and stuff like that, and can go to each other with problems openly and not have any problems, whether that be with their lifestyle choice, or how they dress, or what music they like or whatever. An open accepting environment where the whole group together grows to learn truth opposed to just, like… I think a lot of churches are one or two or ten peoples agenda and they use the Bible to kind of push their own personal views. I think there are so many different denominations of Christian Churches; there’s twenty, or thirty, or fifty, or hundred different denominations in a single town that don’t work together, that don’t have anything to do with each other, that don’t necessarily even like each other. So that’s not what I feel, or our band feels, what Christ’s message was. It was love, first and foremost. Love God, love people, and believe God can take care of any small issues. That’s the reason we’re a band and that’s the reason why we play venues like this. We’ve been asked a lot, “Why, if we’re a Christian band, we don’t play churches?” We don’t feel that we’re in this world to preach to the people who know the truth. We feel that we’re here to spread his love and show people how accepting and how loving Jesus can be and that’s basically all we can say for sure about the Bible. His love message is the first and foremost thing.
A: That kind of answers this question, how have your experience with church been?
J: I grew up in the church. I think the Christian culture as a whole is relatively unrealistic for people to grow up in. I didn’t have a grasp, nor do I feel that most people that grow up in that atmosphere have a grasp, of reality. I mean, Christianity has its own everything. Its own schools, its own music, its own places to go, colleges, everything. Your whole life you can stay in this stream of Christianity and never actually see, or touch, or be affected by the world that’s dieing outside of you. I think that some cases have taken Christianity separated, which I don’t think is what Christ taught, to separate ourselves totally from the world. It’s very damaging to your soul. It’s very very easy, as a Christian, to be comfortable in this country and be happy, supposedly, without actually ever doing what Christ did. He came to this earth and was miserable for most of His life and He got into peoples lives. People that didn’t like Him, people that did like Him, people that were outcasts in the community and society and showed them the same love that He showed the apostles and His family, His mother, and brothers. I mean church is certainly good for things but I think that taking Christianity on its own without any reality checks is very dangerous. It was for me, growing up in the Christian environment all through high school until I got to college and after college and just learning about what Christ’s life was actually like. The model of a Christian by just watching what He did was not what I was taught at all.
A: Would you guys ever play at a church?
J: Oh yeah. We have. Definitely we would. It would just depend on the situation, what it’s for and stuff like that. Honestly it just depends. We’ve played lots in the past and you go to the church and it’s just their youth group there for the show and that’s it. It’s these kids that only are there because you’re sold in the Christian Bookstore. We’ve played Christian festivals and stuff that are very outreach and wanting to integrate Christianity with mainstream culture, trying to get rid of that separation and kind of the bad name that I think Christianity has in the secular market. I mean, people may like your band until they find out you’re Christians and then they kind of go “Oh… That’s just a Christian band and I know what Christians are about.” I feel like Christian music gets a bad wrap in the mainstream market because the mainstream Christianity that has all the money and is on television is very pushy, very bland, and unloving towards other people outside of that. Much like a finger pointing type of thing. People that aren’t Christians or don’t have the same views as them are instantly deemed wrong or are going to go to hell. As if anyone knows anyone else’s heart and their love for God. So I can’t blame people for not liking Christianity. It’s kind of brutal.