Between 1998-2001, Josh's Punk-Pop group "Dumdums" were pioneers of the
British bubblegum-punk movement. While touring the "toilet" circuit in the UK, they were signed to Wildstar by Ian McAndrew (Arctic Monkeys, Travis) and exploded across the radiowaves. Their first single hit the Official UK Top 20 and led to four UK hit singles from the first hit album, "It Goes Without Saying".
Josh became a recognisable face in the UK music scene. The band grew in stature, selling out venues all over the UK including Shepherds Bush Empire in London.
They were cover stars of national music magazines including Melody Maker, and due to an awesome live reputation made fans ranging from Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols to John Entwistle of The Who, were invited by Paul Weller (The Jam) to play Earls Court and by Robbie Williams to support him on 30 arena dates.
They played all the major festivals, sharing the stage with Flaming Lips in Glastonbury, Supergrass at V2000 (the same day they supported Bon Jovi at Wembley Stadium) and a star studded line-up at Party in the Park for 250,000 at Hyde Park. They toured as headliners in Germany and Japan, hitting the Japanese charts with single "Everything", in 2001 signing to MCA in the USA.
While recording the follow up album, after the big US deal, the band span off into personal breakdown. Given a "write more 'pop' or get 'dropped' " ultimatum by the UK label, Josh decided they had already strayed too much into 'pop' territory and quit the band. He watched as poppier, manufactured copies of his band sprung up and dominated the music charts for the next couple of years, while he couldnt put his finger on a direction to pursue next. Depression descended and Josh became reclusive, not leaving the house for days at a time. He needed to get his head together.
Was music even what he was meant to do with his life?
In 2003, he and his wife sold and gave away all their personal belongings and moved from the UK to Nashville, Tennessee, a town where he was a stranger and he could get some space to write something that would define him as an artist and writer. Or perhaps a place to find a new start away from music....
BACK TO THE UNDERGROUND
The next year saw him recording the emo-influenced folktronica "End Of Fear EP" with college student Sam Shacklock, one half of "Intramural" (the other half being Statistics frontman and Conor Oberst bandmate Denver Dalley). Josh refused to use
his contacts and channels to immediate international exposure but instead released the EP independently from his website, mailing each CD out by hand, oldschool.
An underground US following developed quickly, and respected zines such as
Absolute Punk "a stellar debut, 8/10" and Sound The Sirens "a therapeutic
must-have" gave high ratings. Using only MySpace and physical CD mail
order sales (no touring, no digital sales, no radio) Josh slowly but surely sold out of the first run of the EP, with help from a remnant of Dumdums fans and a growing contingent newly discovered fans from the USA.
THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES
In 2006 he played rough acoustic demos of new material to rock producer Joe Baldridge (Beck, Family Force 5), who agreed to produce his album without even a record deal or management. As he stepped into the studio, he also played his first solo shows in four years in Tennessee supporting Imogen Heap.
His new songs impressed so much that he scored international management
from Showdown in the USA (Creed, Mute Math, Paramore, Family Force 5)
and Radius in the UK (Imogen Heap, Dumdums). The story wasn't quite over...
The new album demos were recieved well by the biggest label execs in the US record industry.
With all kinds of interest being generated Josh brought musicians over from the UK to play in his band.
But suddenly the idea of being a slave to bosses of the dying record industry became less interesting.
Why not keep going right to the fans and maybe one day make enough money to be able to do this fulltime?
Needing to make regular pay without being away on the road all the time, Josh took a job as a waiter rather
than pursue a record deal and based operations out of his garage again. His US management urged him to go for
the big record deal, so he kicked them to the curb. On his own terms again, Josh is making fans one at a time.