We caught with indie-electro artist Joshua Worden to talk about his musical origins, influences and his latest release ‘Tennessee’.
How did you get started making music?
I started playing guitar when I was 12 or 13. I was a pretty angry, mischievous kid and got in a lot of trouble, so when I started playing guitar it was a real outlet for me. I took all that aimless energy and channeled it into the instrument.
We were introduced to your music through your latest track ‘Tennessee’. Tell us the ideas behind it.
I lived in the rural mountains of Tennessee from age 9 to 13 or so. Our closest neighbors were almost a mile away, and I spent a lot of time deep in woods behind our little white house (the album art for the single, actually). For me, this song is an exploration of that time in my life. The texture of it. How it sits in my chest when I think about it.
Any more tracks we should check out or big plans for 2018?
My goal is to release a new song every couple months. This is the third song from the upcoming EP “Cinders”, which I’ll probably release next month.
I’ve released several full length albums over the years, and I think I’m over the whole album thing. Singles seem to be much more suited to the modern day musical attention span (my own included).
How do you usually approach writing and creating new music?
I have sat in zazen meditation every morning for the last 7 years or so and it has deeply affected every part of my life. When I’m writing music, I try to create from what my teacher calls “unconstructedness in stillness.” Dogen Zenji, the 13th century founder of Soto Zen, called it jijiyu zanmai.
When I’m able to touch on that, the music just writes itself. Ultimately, I’m trying to say something about what it means to live and die.
Can we see you live & on tour any time soon?
I hope so. It’s been a while since I’ve played any live shows. I toured a good bit and got pretty burned out doing the solo electronic thing. It’s really hard to play a dynamic set when you’re by yourself with a bunch of electronic gizmos.
Until I started doing the solo thing I was always in a band, and I really miss the interaction and camaraderie that that brings. A guitar, a microphone, a cold beer, and your friends with you on stage. No computers. No blinking lights.
So when I finally do play my music live again, it’s going to be in that setting. Hopefully later this year.
What can we expect from your live show?
Real instruments and mistakes.
Who have been the biggest influences on your music?
Lately my biggest influence has been Raymond Carver (especially his poetry). I’d consider it a real achievement If I could write a song that evokes even half the truth that he expresses in his writing.
Which artists are you listening to right now?
I’ll leave you with this.