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INTERVIEW: Josh Christina

Q:Can you talk to us more about your song “Friend Zone”?

A: “Friend Zone” is my jab at a contemporary, piano driven, Jerry Lee Lewis influenced, rock and roll song. Trying to keep that raw, retro rock and roll feel while adding a modern vibe to the lyrics and story. In a Chuck Berry interview I watched one time, he was talking about how when he wrote rock and roll songs, he wrote about subjects he felt everyone could relate to. I figured a song about being friend zoned was a pretty across the board topic.

Q:Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

A: Not really. I think almost everyone has been friend zoned at some point in their life by someone they had feelings for, including me. Figured it was a fun, relatable topic. The subject of the song in someways applies to an event or two that has happened in my life but the story of the song is just a fictional story.

Q:Any plans to release a video for the track?

A: Not right now but I wouldn’t be opposed to it. Video shoots always look like they’re so much fun. If not for this song, I’m sure at some point in my career I’ll do a video.

Q:The single comes off your new album Instincts – what’s the story behind the title?

A: So there’s two parts to the story behind the album title. First, when I started working on the album with my good friend, two time Grammy Winner, Jon Carroll, him and I discussed writing a song together for the album. The song we came up with was “Instincts”. I song about a guy who is so in love that the person he loves has just become a natural part of his being. Anyway, so the second part is that when we went to Memphis to record the album, we were recording it live and old school at Sam Phillips Recording Studio and really just let our instincts and feelings flow through the session. “Instincts” just covered so much of the process and the being written by Jon and myself just worked for the title track.

Q:How was the recording and writing process?

A: The recording process was great. We cut the guts of each song live with no punch ins or auto tune or anything. My vocals, piano, drums, bass, guitar and organ were all cut live on every song. Then we over dubbed back up vocals which 95% of that credit goes to Jon for not only layering the parts in but arranging a good number of them. The writing process was a little different. I had already had songs written for the album and Jon had already had a song written that I wanted to record on the album. We did do some spit balling of ideas via face time a few times and we wrote “Instincts” together over the phone.

Q:What role does Baltimore play in your music?

A: Baltimore and Maryland in general is really where I’ve cut my teeth, as they say, as a performer and musician. Most of the first few years of my career I spent playing bars and carnivals and fairs all over the state. Really helped me grow as a singer, musician and performer in general. I encourage every young musician out there to just get out and play as much as you can. Really the best way to learn and grow.

Q:How your upbringing has influence your writing?

A: When I was 6 years old I got into Elvis Presley and that opened the door for this style of music for me. From there I found my way to Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard And Chuck Berry. I didn’t really write much until I got into Chuck Berry. In my opinion, he was the best at writing that style of classic rock and roll and listening to him is really where I got the bug to wanna be a writer.

Q:What instincts did you get to explore on this record?

A: I got to explore a lot of the old school, retro ways of recording and producing. Unlike the other albums I’ve done, this one was cut live and cut at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis. I got to record on a piano Jerry Lee cut some records on, one of the mic’s we used as a room mic was used at Sun Records way back in the 50’s. It all just gave me a chance to really dig into my roots and influences.

Q:Any plans to hit the road?

A: I’m always ready to hit the road! I do have some stuff already booked for 2019 in North Carolina and Kentucky, possibly Texas. There’s a lot in the works and I’m excited to see where this crazy music journey is gonna take me.

Q:What else is happening next in Josh Christina’s world?

A: Currently we’re about to re-release an EP I recorded back in 2016 titled “I’m 21”. The EP was recorded in Nashville with Dolly Parton’s producer and band leader Kent Wells And was originally released to radio and press only in the UK and Ireland. It lead to some great things such as my performance on Ireland’s “Late Late Show” but has never been released to radio and press in the US. I’m currently working on not just promoting “Instincts” but also the re-release of “I’m 21”. Very excited to see what’s to come!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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