We chatted to Josh Righton about his new singles – Waste This Year and Giving Up For PR

So can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and when did you start to make music?

So I am 24 at the moment and i’ve been releasing stuff under my own name for about 3 years now. I’m originally from the midlands and i was in a high school band called The Collisions so i guess thats the first point where I was making music of some sort. When we all went to uni the band kinda stopped and I ended up doing other stuff at uni for a while so it went a bit quiet. But i wrote a bunch of songs anyways and eventually there were enough that I liked that i thought I’d try record them. I did. Then I put it out and started gigging. Then there was a global pandemic and now we’re here. It’s a classic rags to other types of rags but better at music production story.

If you had to sum your style up in three words, what would you say?

Unfortunately Folk Punk

So far you’ve released two singles this year. Can you tell us a bit about them?

They are two songs that i wrote about a year ago. They were starting off points for 2 albums in totally different styles. Both were written about a year ago and i’ve been trying to write others that match the style of one or the other the whole time. I haven’t really managed to get an album of either so I eventually just thought. Ok fuck it. Let’s put them out. I kinda see it as entering a shitpost era in terms of music. I’m kinda not gigging atm (but if anyone would like me to then do get in touch!) and i’m making music that i think is fun. So i decided to stop worrying too much about it being cohesive and instead just release the songs i think are fun. So that’s where Giving Up for PR and Waste This Year (With Me) came from.

And I hear there’s some more big things to come? Can you tell us more about what is next? 

So in the spirit of having maximum fun making music I’ve reassembled my high school band, built a studio in my parents shed and we are working on some songs. We made a live recording of Giving Up for PR which is gonna come out soon as a proof of concept and it seemed to work so i’m going from there. I got a little obsessed with the band U2 via the comedy podcast U Talkin U2 2 Me? recently and i learnt about the Rattle and Hum project, which is essentially this quite pretentious hybrid Live/Studio album/film. So i thought i’d make my version of that as it seems like a lot of fun and is rife for parody. I’m currently doing an MA in Screenwriting so any opportunity to put 2 passions together I leap at. Plus who wouldn’t take an opportunity to lovingly mock Bono.

What have been some of your biggest inspirations for your music making?

The obvious answer is Frank Turner. I have a tattoo of his logo and i’ve honestly adored him since I discovered him at 16 and it’s through his influence I discovered many of my other favourites (The Weakerthans, Frightened Rabbit, Arkells etc). Recently my biggest inspirations have been the bands in the DIY Punk scene. People like Jeff Rosenstock and The Homeless Gospel Choir. I love the attitude these guys have. Music is about community and fun and feeling and saying what you think. These guys do that perfectly.

I’ve also been massively been influenced by Lorde recently, I love how she made an album that she kinda knew wasn’t what her fans necessarily wanted but it was what she wanted. Solar Power rocks and i’ll have many an argument on this topic if needed.

I also wanna throw a shout out to Ezra Furman for being the coolest and for tipping me onto Lou Reed. It’s probably a bad musical choice to start letting Lou Reeds work influence you but if someone as cool as Ezra Furman likes him then i feel obligated to get influenced.

I also know you are a keen gig-goer. What have been some of the best gigs you’ve been to?

I always feel like the best gig is often the last one you went to. I saw Parquet Courts a few weeks back and they were rad. 

But honestly there is a long answer that I can’t do this interview without mentioning. At Lost Evenings 4 and meeting all the guys from the Solo Armada live streams post day 1. The Solo Armada is a gift to gig going and the music scene and during lockdown those live streams were the first time i felt like strangers possibly might like my music. It’s a beautiful community and i can’t not shout out Phil Rees and our dear interviewer Ted for being fantastically nice and talented people. They are the kinda of people that make gigs worth going to. 

Oh look, its us three!

A final short answer is I saw Frank Turner play the closing down of Nambucca and cried for the entire final 30 minutes. That man never fails to surprise me. It was perfect. (aside from Nambucca closing which is fucked)

What are some of the hurdles you’ve encountered making music, and how did you get over them? 

I think the biggest hurdle has always been finding motivation to do it. I think it’s a hard thing to do consistently because you are making this music that you think is great but without having a dad who happens to be the A and R guy for Sony Records, it’s not that easy to get it out to new people. I have eventually realised that this element is perhaps less important. You gotta make stuff for you and then hopefully others like it. Trying to be famous is a bit of a losing battle. i’m more likely to get famous for doing something embarrassing on CCTV in Sainsbury’s and it going viral than from music. But in the end i’m not gonna stop making music and I’m going to continue ignoring wet floor signs so we’ll see which one happens first.

Any live shows planned?

At the moment i’m taking a little break from live stuff so not really. But as i said earlier. If anyone wants me to come play songs somewhere i’m not gonna say no.

Where can we find out more about you?

My insta is joshrightonmusic thats a good place. If you want to see me tweet about vape pens and Neutral Milk Hotel then i’m also on twitter @joshrighton. Those are both fun.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

Oh urm. I’m not sure. I guess i could tell you my PIN code. it’s 54….oh thats someone at my door I think. Got to go! Thank’s Ted!!

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