The Josh Rouse interview exclusive from 24/7 Magazine
24/7 Valencia: You've been on the music scene for over 10 years, recording and touring the U.S. and Europe. Your latest album 'Nashville' went international. Why do you think so many people connected with it?
What are your influences (music, film, books, and people)?
Your 'rock'n'roll' lifestyle on the road has been widely documented in the past. What did you learn from it?
Why did you move to Spain and what do you think of Valencia? Do you prefer the Spanish way of life?
Can you tell us a bit about the recently released collection of songs, 'Bedroom Classics Vol 2'?
What are your future plans? Will readers be able to see you live in Valencia soon?
Is the bottle half empty or half full in your world?
Thanks for your time!
The Josh Rouse interview exclusive
If the excellent, internationally lauded 'Nashville' was Rouse's Revolver, then 'Subtitulo' is his Rubber Soul. It's an acoustic affair, with a warm feel and lovingly crafted melodies. With a distinctive, adept voice and a nylon string guitar, it's pop at its finest with all of the tunes and none of the contrivance. It has a laid back vibe that can make it seem a little flat on first listen but after a few spins, you're hooked for good!
Having upped sticks from Nashville and moved to Altea in Spain, it's perhaps not surprising that there is a Bossa Nova vibe on some of the tracks of his latest album. Recording in España last summer was, by all accounts, a relaxed affair ...with a piscina and three hour lunches being enjoyed by the band and stalwart producer, Brad Jones. That 'tranquilo' vibe seeps through every track, making it sound all so easy.
'Quiet Town' (where interesting people with good conversation pass the time and nothing much goes on but it's a great life) sums up where Josh is at on this album. He is a singer/songwriter at peace with himself. Rouse is not aiming to break the mould with experimentation or overblown production. He hits the spot on virtually every number with catchy verses, strong choruses and great hooks, baby. There are plenty of picked guitars, some funky percussion and lush strings, reflecting his love of 70's Easy listening pop.
However, if you scratch the surface you'll find there's some dark shadows lurking like the rough diamond duped by his conniving babe in 'Jersey Clowns' or tales of Josh's hard-drinking days and being hospitalised in 'Givin' it Up'. It makes for a very human collection with out and out love songs like 'Wonderful' to his Valenciana girlfriend "I think you're wonderful, don't change." It's an album of a musician who appreciates the good times all the more 'cos he knows what it's like to hit rock bottom...
'It looks like Love' captures the heady mixture of lust and euphoria of getting it on with someone you really believe in and living in the present as the past slips away. Check out the jazzy grooves & sensuality of 'Summertime' that recall his American youth of 'Iced tea... cigarettes & long blonde hair... watermelon....and being cool."
"His Majesty Rides' swings along with soul-funk ease and electric piano ornamentation and reflects a singer very much in the driving seat. Although only 33 minutes long, this is a confident, catchy, sunshine collection of tunes that you will be humming in no time. He now lives in Valencia with his girlfriend, the singer and artist Paz Suay. She designed the album's artwork... Josh Rouse will be touring Spain around May or June of 2006.