Wordy Wednesday, Part Deux: Josh Dies

Read Kevin Ireland’s review on the new Showbread album then go henceforth and read what Josh Dies had to say when thepaintedman had the chance to chat with him…

Hi Josh, how is everything going?

Hello! Everything is going great, as I answer this question we are officially eight months and four days away from the release of the Captain America movie and in a few days I get to start listening to Christmas music.

I run a website called thepaintedman.com. It’s basically just a blog that covers stuff I like, notably music and beer. I also dabble in football, movies, and faith from time to time. Obviously you fall into that music category, but out of curiosity, do you enjoy beer? I believe it to be a true gift from God. If so, any specific faves?

Ha ha, you’re asking the wrong guy. I’m a teetotaler, I’ve never in my life had any sip of any kind of alcohol and I never will. I think alcohol is a tremendously dangerous addictive drug that at best harms the brain and body and at worst kills, devastates and destroys millions of individuals, families and lives all over the world. To me, it’s something like a legal and socially acceptable version of heroin.

All that sounds incredibly dramatic, I know, but let me insist that I do not judge or condemn anyone who disagrees with me. To me it’s like a sports team or comic book argument; I’m passionate about it and I won’t compromise, we could even have a stimulating debate, but I’d never actually look down on someone or think less of them because of our differences. I have friends and family who don’t share my opinions and I’m fine with it.

It’s more a social issue to me than a spiritual issue, even though for me personally there is a spiritual component involved. I don’t make the claims I make with a Bible in hand, criticizing the morality of others. I just think what I think for myself and try hard to leave it at that. I screw up all the time, but I’m working on it.

I will say this: I love chocolate milk and it is also bad for you. My favorite kind is probably Coburg. Also, 2% or fat free chocolate milk is insulting and offends me more than beer.

Ok, on to the music. Let’s start with the song that put you on
the map and still gets tons of iTunes play from thepaintedman, “Mouth Like a Magazine”. What’s the song about and what was it like to start to get noticed more when it was released?

The simple answer is that the song is about gossip. The slightly longer version is that we knew a girl at the time who was famously slandering the band despite the fact that she didn’t know any of us. Later that girl became a close friend and we laughed about it.

“Mouth Like A Magazine” is a weird artifact. When you write these things you have your own ideas about how they might be received, but no one imagined it would be Showbread’s most well known song for years and years. I still like the song a lot, but I’m more than a little tired of it.

That song and the numerous songs you’ve done with one of my
musical heroes, Reese Roper, have probably been my favorite tracks from Showbread thus far. How is it working with Reese? And what is the Thieves Guild?

Brave Saint Saturn was still on Tooth And Nail when we set out to record our first album so we just asked someone at the label for Reese’s email address and asked him to come sing on a track or two. He happened to be nearby working on the Roper album so he just drove to us and worked for a day in the studio. It was incredible, we were and are huge fans of all of Reese’s respective musical ventures, so it was fantastic having him contribute to our songs.

When he co-wrote the song “The Beginning” on our Nervosa album we had such a good time working together Patrick and I asked if he’d be interested in starting a band or at least doing an entire album together so that’s how Thieves Guild came about.

He’s a busy guy. That’s the only explanation I have as to why Thieves Guild has yet to release anything in the three years since we “started” the band. We’ve recorded a few demos but haven’t finished anything yet. Hopefully his schedule will open up here pretty soon and we can really crank some stuff out.

Speaking of songs by Showbread that I really dig, talk to me about the absurdity of the “Dead by Dawn” controversy.

A woman named Ingrid from a website called sliceoflaodicea.com saw a fan-made video for “Dead By Dawn” that was pieced together with clips from the Evil Dead films (which serve as the inspiration for the track). She assumed this was an actual music video and was absolutely appalled, though to be fair I’m sure she’d have been every bit as disgusted if she knew it was a fan-made video. She wrote an extremely defamatory article about the band in which she said things like, “Why would a band like Showbread be allowed on church property unless it was for purposes of evangelizing the band members?”

The article began to spread out amongst other conservative Christian networks and a lot of parents who had never heard of Showbread or heard our music or read our lyrics were writing Christian bookstores to have our album taken off the shelves, which is exactly what happened for a brief period.

At some point, the distributors actually investigated the controversy and saw that the woman who originally stirred up the hornet’s nest thinks just about everything is evil and makes work of condemning any and everyone she can. The whole thing was dismissed and our album went back on the shelves of Christian bookstores where they are sold for nearly ten dollars more than they are at secular retailers.

Our road pastor at the time made several attempts to contact Ingrid, just to have a humble and friendly conversation and maybe work some misconceptions out, but she never returned our calls.

So, shifting forward, what should fans and newbies alike expect from your newest album?

Long-term fans really shouldn’t have any expectations other than to be surprised. This album is by far our biggest departure from its predecessors. I think new listeners are in a better position to appreciate the record right away because they aren’t tethered to any preconceived notion of what it might or should sound like. Our old albums sound like Refused and Nine Inch Nails, this album sounds like Genesis and R.E.M.

This album is on Come&Live right? I find them to be a truly interesting label and concept. Can you tell my readers who may not know of them what they are all about?

Come&Live! is a non-profit organization that works like a record label that gives music away for free. The idea behind it is living simply so that we can give generously. There are artists who are pouring blood, sweat and tears into what they do, and they believe in a message of hope so sincerely they don’t want you to have to pay for it. So Come&Live! exists to facilitate artists with that calling.

Well, no interview would be complete without asking you about your influences.

With this newest album, The Flaming Lips record The Soft Bulletin was probably my biggest influence, and I think it’s very audible in the songs. I was listening to Peter Gabriel, Tom Petty, Chicago and Dan Fogelberg when I was writing this time around, not Misfits and Trent Reznor like I usually do.

When not listening to Showbread or Showbread’s musical influences, what should my readers spend their time listening to?

Whatever they like.

I am a Believer, as I know you are also. Many reading probably
aren’t. What would you say to them if they asked why they should have a relationship with Jesus?

I can only speak from experience. I believe that there are so many scientific, historical and completely tangible reasons to believe the New Testament is fact, but in the end I’m telling people that I have hope and freedom from everything in the world. Everything can be taken from me and I will have joy in knowing what I know. I have nothing to benefit outwardly from this message: we’ve never been a financially viable band and we now give our music away for free. People misunderstand and dismiss us because we follow Jesus… there isn’t anything in it for me on a superficial level. I tell people about Jesus because I love people, and I love people because of Jesus.

Finally, what is your take on Michael Vick… with my being an
Eagles fan and him being a straight BEAST on the field lately, I can’t help but ask. Does he deserve this second chance? Are his sins unforgivable? Does he throw the prettiest spiral ever known to mankind?

I’m not really that knowledgeable about it all, but from what I do know I don’t see why his past mistakes should dictate the future of his career. If he throws a pretty spiral, let him throw that thing. People make mistakes.

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~ by thepaintedman on December 1, 2010.

One Response to “Wordy Wednesday, Part Deux: Josh Dies”

  1. […] my interest in beer and my personal faith can walk hand in hand, in fact a recent interview with Josh Dies includes an adamant assertion that alcohol is no good and ruins lives. With his worldview and mine […]

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