What is your name and role within Neon Tetra?
I’m Josh the lead singer in Neon Tetra
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Adelaide born and bred. The music scene is really thriving over here and is going to have a real boom period I think over the next 12-24 months. The rest of the country is going to start hearing some big things from many Adelaide artists.
How did you first start playing music?
I started playing music at a young age. I started off playing the trumpet, which I did for about 9 years. I started singing in shortly after that and haven’t stopped since. I’ve been playing guitar since I was in high school.
How did Neon Tetra form?
Liam (our wonderful bass player) and myself were in a high school band we formed together for a couple of years. Then after we disbanded we wanted a medium to still play music together so I made some calls and got Dan involved and we formed Neon Tetra.
Your stunning new single ‘Used To Be’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this track?
This track was pretty heavily influenced with Dan’s love of 80’s stadium rock, so we kind of just went deep down that hole for this one in terms of production.
Where and when did you record?
We recorded this one late last year. We tracked most of it ourselves at home, and then tracked the drums with Matt Hills at Hillside Studios, who also mixed the track.
What programs and instruments did you use for the recording?
Everything under the sun touched this recording, Qbase, ProTools, Ableton etc. Fender P for bass, Gibson Les Paul for guitars and a Prophet 6 for synth.
How do you usually go about writing music?
The writing process is collaborative between Dan and myself. Usually whoever comes up with the original idea will kind of dictate where it needs to go and the other jumps in to offer their thoughts and help guide it if it ever gets stuck. It’s a really nice way to work to constantly have fresh ears processing how a song sounds.
You have a tour coming up, where are you headed and what do you have planned?
So we are playing Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne, probably our favourite cities to play. We are also playing Whyalla and Wollongong for the first time which we are really excited for.
What have you been working on recently?
Basically as soon as we finished Used to Be, Dan and I began writing a whole bunch of songs which we are hoping to have together and ready to play on this tour. From there we’ll be recording those once the tour is done and hoping to drop something towards the middle of the year.
What or who influences/inspires your mixed genre sound?
Dan and I have very different influences. Dan listens to stuff almost exclusively between the 1960s to 1980s, while I listen to a lot of modern music. Finding the sweet spot (or sometimes the sweat spot) between those two influences is a fun challenge and with each release we get closer and closer to finding exactly how we want to express ourselves as Neon Tetra.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m listening to a lot of different stuff as always. Lately though, a lot of Big Thief, Sharon Van Etten, Beach House, Paul McCartney and Wings, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tyler, The Creator and The Strokes
What do you like to do away from music?
Despite most of my life being consumed by work and writing music at the moment, I still find a bit of time to watch plenty of movies, I rewatched Interstellar for the first time in ages last night, that was a blast. Otherwise I love to sit around and sip away at a coffee and read. I’ve been reading some Nietzsche for some light and summery reading lately (haha).
What do you have planned for 2019?
Tour this single, record some new tracks, write some more songs to record at years end or early next year, play as many shows as possible, and have fun the whole way.
Any secrets that you care to share?
During May we will be working with a pretty heavyweight producer for the first time to complete our first 6-track EP.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Can I say coffee? I’m hooked!
I love nothing more than getting a coffee to go and sitting by the River Torrens in Adelaide and just lie down in the grass on a sunny day and read a book and listen to music.