Interview With: Joshua Radin



Rebecca: I heard you were the editor of your high school newspaper, what was it called? Do you miss it?

Joshua: It was called the University School Journal. Oh god, it was so long ago that I really haven’t thought about it for so long. No I really don’t!


Rebecca: Were you a studious kid?

Joshua: Yeah I was. I liked doing a lot of things you know, I was the president of the art club too, I played tennis, golf and soccer. I had friends in all the cliques you know, I was never just in one clique.


Rebecca: So you weren’t a trouble maker?

Joshua: I wasn’t a trouble maker, no. Although I did though many parties at my house when my parents weren’t in town. So I guess that could be a little bit of trouble, I only got in a little bit of trouble, nothing major. They ended up finding out the last one…so I made it through all of high school with a pretty good record actually.


 Rebecca: So you started playing and singing 8 years go, what was that one moment that made you want to do it?

Joshua: Well there wasn’t one moment. It’s not like I woke up one day and said “you know what, I think I want to be a musician”. I’ve always been doing artistic things in my life, trying to express myself creatively, I guess always just looking for a different medium. Cause whether it’s a paintbrush or a typewriter or a guitar, it doesn’t really matter to me as long as I can get what I have in my head out. It’s almost like a building up of a pressure, something like a well or an oilrig, its got to blow…just depends on when and where and how. So I picked up a guitar, not to become a musician at all actually, I just wanted to learn a couple cover songs… more of a meditative type thing. I was writing screenplays at the time and if I was stuck on a scene, I would just pick up the guitar learn a new chord. Then after about six months of that I just decided I learned a lot of songs, and I realized that a lot of my favorite songs from the past weren’t that complicated to play. It seemed like a magic trick, but then once you learn a few chords you’re like the difficult part is not to actually play the song, the difficult part to me, seemed to be to write the song. So then the challenge became, how do you right a good song? So I just felt like the only way to do it is to just write what you know. The old adage write what you know. So I just started trying to be as honest as I possibly could about who I am and making myself vulnerable in front of an audience. I learned right away, if I did that, they really responded. They were able to relate to what I was writing about because we’re all pretty similar.


Rebecca: What is your favorite song you’ve ever written?

Joshua: You’ve Got Growing Up To Do. I think that’s the only song I’ve ever written that just poured out in like fifteen minutes. I didn’t labor on it at all. I almost like held up a lighting rod and inspiration stuck. But that normally does not happen for me. Usually I think about it for a while.


Rebecca: What was the first thing you spent your first bit of money on?

Joshua: It was an old vintage acoustic guitar that I always wanted. An old J45 that was from the 1960’s…that was the first expensive thing I bought when I signed a record deal.


Rebecca: I’ve heard you say “…to write a good song, all you need is three chords and the truth”,  is that advice you might give some young songwriters?

Joshua: Well I didn’t say that originally, someone told me that and I picked up the guitar, I was like ‘well, alright… I know three chords and I know what the truth is for me at least.’ But I would definitely pass that on for sure. I pass it on all time to other songwriters. I think its really about keeping it simple, as far as what I do. Don’t try and get too complex. I write in universal themes, so people can relate. I think you either got it in you or you don’t.


Rebecca: What you would be doing if you weren’t a singer?

Joshua: Oh I don’t know, writing a movie or painting a picture, taking a camera out and getting cool photographs, or writing poems. Sometimes it’s even enough to be around someone creatively who inspires you and have an amazing conversation.


Rebecca: If you could go back and change anything, would you?

Joshua: I really don’t have any regrets, I wouldn’t change a thing…however if I had to or I was forced to…I’d go back in time and I’d tell myself right when I started, not to put so much pressure on myself. I put a lot more pressure on myself than anyone does and I’m learning to not do that so much.


Rebecca: What are you a Bestfan of?

Joshua: Stumptown coffee! We just bought a few bags so it made it on the bus but I can’t really start my day without it.


Rebecca: What do we have to look forward to, what next for you?

Joshua: I’ve been on tour since June, promoting this album Underwater… I’m just going to be done for the year come mid November. So I’m thinking about going somewhere warm, sit on a beach, sit in a hammock with my guitar with a drink with an umbrella in it and just write some songs.


Follow Joshua on Twitter @joshuaradin

Visit Joshua’s website [HERE]

Check out  Joshua’s album Underwater [HERE]

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