By Leanne Knibb
Later this month, Josh Doyle will be stepping back on British soil for his UK tour. Leanne had a quick chat with him about the tour and life since the Dumdums.
Josh Doyle is certainly an inspiring and admirable musician to talk to. Throughout his musical career, from the days of the Dumdums to his present solo career, he has constantly worked hard and stayed true to his style of music and what he wants to produce. Certainly a fantastic role model to young musicians out there.
Josh’s early career started as the lead singer for successful band the Dumdums back in the late nineties, early naughties. Bringing, catchy songs, like; You Do Something To Me, Everything, Can’t Get You Out of My Thoughts and Army of Two. The Dumdums had great success, and their style, paved the way for other bands like, Busted and McFly.
However, with the rise of these other bands, and the demands of the music industry trying to take the Dumdums into a direction that wasn’t their style, the band broke up in 2001. And in 2003, Josh and his wife decided to sell their personal belongings and start afresh in Nashville.
“It was the end of the Dumdums and I couldn’t get my head straight about what direction I wanted to go in, musically, so I just thought it best to go away altogether and start again where no one knew us. It was also a challenge to be able to make it in the USA which was something the Dumdums couldn’t achieve.”
After spending some time waiting tables in Nashville, Josh worked on producing his first solo EP called; The End Of Fear. Producing it with a completely DIY approach, Josh only sold his EP through Myspace and as physical CD.
“I wanted to explore the freedom that came with not having a record label and trying to use the technology to do it DIY. I sold a lot of CDs but I wasn’t really keeping count. When your music ends up on torrents with people waiting to download it I think thats some kind of indicator that you are doing good. It was obvious though that there was a ceiling on what I could do as an independent guy without a team around me.”
Josh continued to write, and in 2012 he decided to enter the Guitar Centre Singer Songwriter contest, to see if he truly had what it takes to keep music as his main focus in life. To which his question was answered when he went on to beat seventeen thousand entrants.
“It was amazing. I had done pretty huge things with Dumdums such as playing to forty thousand at Hyde Park with Elton John, Christina Aguilera etc, and Wembley Stadium with Bon Jovi but I was more nervous for the finals of the Guitar Centre competition because there was a lot riding on it, I was basically seeing if I was good enough to keep making music my focus.”
And his song writing ability certainly went on to impress. Part of his prize for winning Guitar Centre Singer Songwriter contest was to record an EP with John Shanks. However, Shanks was highly impressed with Josh that he decided to record an album with him instead.
“It was a magical week and it was like when the Beatles would record a whole album (that takes months to record usually nowadays) in a short period of time – I had to raise my game because I was surrounded by some legendary musicians that play regularly with the hugest names in all of music. Here I was, a part-time musician suddenly keeping up with these guys it was a great feeling. The album was well received with Billboard magazine saying I was going to be the next big thing internationally…well that hasn’t happened just yet [laughs].”
Josh describes his style of music as; “…retro singer songwriter from the seventies like Cat Stevens, James Taylor, etc..” with “…darker lyrical themes…” and “…modern influences like a little Snow Patrol…Frank Turner…” However, there have been many times that he has become frustrated with the music industry when trying to stay true to his style.
“…the industry has changed a lot since I started and we are all trying to navigate our way through the minefield. I managed to stay true to what I want to do musically because I try not to be too dependent on other people’s money to get me to where I need to go. Money will always compromise you because you will generally put money into something to make more money and to make more money people think you need to appeal to everyone nowadays when really that isn’t true. To just need to find a small niche audience of listeners that ‘get’ what you’re doing and the world will spread, slowly but surely.”
And after six years since his crowd funded tour, Josh Doyle steps back onto British soil, for his DIY UK tour. Where in true Josh fashion he asked his British fans to post suggested places he could play on his tour.
“I just saw where the people wanted me to play and if the venues got back to me I booked them. I am going round on a train so I tried to make all the venues close to a train station. [smiles]”
With a few local support acts at some of the various places, Josh promises to be playing long sets performing music that spans right across his musical career.
“I will be playing good long sets with a lot of passion. It will be the best stuff I’ve written from Dumdums to now.”
And Josh has even asked on his Facebook page for fans to vote for songs they want to hear played on his tour. So make sure you go vote: http://www.facebook.com/joshdoylemusic.
However, having heard Josh’s music I can safely say, you will be treated to an evening of music that is both lyrically and musically beautiful, evoking an emotional reaction, that will cause you to sing along. And I certainly am looking forward to catching up with Josh, for Secret Sounds, during his tour when he plays in Cardiff.
You can see Josh perform at these venues:
The Bedford, London – 21st April 2014
Gwdihw, Cardiff – 22nd April 2014
The Birdcage, Norwich – 23rd April 2014
Ritz Cinema, Lincoln – 24th April 2014
HMV (in store set), Sheffield – 25th April 2014
Rutland Arms, Sheffield – 25th April 2014
Tower of Song, Birmingham – 27th April 2014
Platform 5, Ashford, Kent – 28th April 2014
You can buy tickets here: http://bestsongs.moonfruit.com