interviews, music

Artist Interview: Josh Ehrmann

An interview with Josh Ehrmann after his CD release show at Off Broadway in St. Louis. Filmed and edited by Emily Kathryn Curry. (Contains clips from live performances of “Listen,” “Twenty,” and “Water.”)

JOSH: I’m here with Josh Ehrmann. He’s a musician from the St. Louis area and he just released his first CD today. Tell me about that CD.

JOSH: Well the CD was recorded in Nashville in March and June in a basement studio with Cody Bonnette, who is formerly a member of As Cities Burn. He produced it, and Aaron, who’s also a member of As Cities Burn, played drums on it. So that was really neat. They’re big influences of mine, and to able to have them contribute to some of my ideas and write songs together was really interesting and fun. And my friend Timbre, who plays harp on mewithoutYou records and stuff like that and has her own band, contributed her voice and harp to a few songs. It was really cool. Yeah, five songs.

JOSH: How did you end up getting in touch with Cody?

JOSH: That was just through MySpace. A friend of mine that I work with had told me that they were starting to record bands, cuz they had moved into a house that had a studio in it. My friend had actually called Aaron and got a hold of him and talked to him for awhile so I was like, I could probably get through as well. So I just gave it a shot, and started having these crazy ideas, like, well, the studio’s in Nashville, Timbre lives in Nashville, maybe she could play on some songs. I really hadn’t written any songs up to that point that were finished, at least, and this whole idea of being able to work with people I really looked up to kinda motivated me to finish songs. So I got through with Aaron. He was on tour at the time and kinda busy, so we just messaged.. and that’s kinda how we worked things out.

JOSH: So you got down there and recorded. You played guitar…

JOSH: Yeah. Acoustic guitar’s kinda the foundation of the album. I also played other things here and there. I played some bass, a little bit of drums, some toy piano, glockenspiel, melodica, you know, simple stuff like that. It was really fun. And then Cody contributed some electric guitar. Aaron played drums. Timbre played harp.

JOSH: You’ve talked a little bit about As Cities Burn influencing you. What other kind of influences are on this record? What are you trying to say through this?

JOSH: This record was more inspired by the experience itself. Just the whole process was kind of a big step for me, personally, so I think that’s where a lot of inspiration came from, and a lot of the themes on the record. Things I had been thinking about at that time, so that kinda shines through, more so just life experience than any sort of artist.

JOSH: What would you say you’ve learned from doing this?

JOSH: I’ve definitely learned a lot about songwriting. I had a tendency to overanalyze, which is why I would always write parts instead of finishing entire songs. And I really learned how to keep it simple and be OK with being a beginner. I really like songs that have a lot of instruments, so I’d like to venture into that a little more. So really those are my goals, kinda day by day, playing shows as they come. I would love to record some more songs. I just bought a friend’s old Macbook, so that’s a really nice tool. GarageBand is very helpful in recording songs.

JOSH: So what is the CD called and how can we acquire it?

JOSH: The CD is called The Stone’s Throw EP. I’m hopefully gonna get it online soon.. through bandcamp.com, and I will alert people via MySpace, I guess. (Myspace.com/joshsounds)

JOSH: How did you choose that title?

JOSH: This record and these songs are just a short distance. While they are personally for me a big step, they are just part of life’s process.

JOSH: Is there any particular song you want to talk about that means a lot to you?

JOSH: Probably the most interesting story, I guess, is the song called “Water.” Going into the studio I only had two songs finished, and that was one of them, that had a lot of words. But when I got into the studio, for whatever reason, things weren’t flowing, we couldn’t get a good sound, so I just did a basic guitar track with a really nice glasstones guitar, had a great tone and really cool sound, and just had a drum loop and stuff like that, and then Timbre came and played some harp, and I added another guitar part over that, and it just stood so well as an instrumental song that I didn’t feel like I needed to add words. So that song is probably the one that’s the most moving for me to listen to, because for me a lot of it is associated with what was going on that week. The original lyrics were about pursuing your passion, getting out there and taking that first step, even it is is difficult..

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