Joseph Coward returns with a frenzy of melodic and bellowing guitars for todays GIGsoup Track of the Day ‘Weight.’ The single features Sonic Youth legend Thurston Moore and is Cowards first new material since 2014’s critically acclaimed LP ‘The World Famous Joseph Coward’.
We caught up with the artist and talked about his influences and career to date…
‘Weight’ is your new single since your feature length EP in 2014 what does the song encompass and what have you been up to since we last heard from you?
I spent 2015 in the studio, including a collaboration on “Weight” with Thurston Moore, which was a pleasure and a privilege.
What are your plans for 2016 in the world of Joseph Coward?
It’s a small world… I want to release a new record and get out on the road, probably just me and my guitar. I like the idea of taking the train to each show and staying with friends in each city. I don’t think I can face the ignominy of Travelodge again, anyway.
How did you get into music? And what who/what are your main musical influences?
I started listening to the radio when I was about eight years old, just because I liked the sounds it made, and then got into guitar music when I was about nine or ten. My cousin gave me Nirvana’s discography on CD and through devouring every book about them that I could get my hands on, I learned about Sonic Youth, Mars, DNA, Teenage Jesus and The Jerks, Smashing Pumpkins, and a ton of other bands that I still love. My main musical influence is Sinead O’ Connor.
Reading previous interviews about your interests in literature, political movements and your dark childhood. Is it right to say that your music and songwriting encompass those views? Or is it simply just a part of Joseph Coward?
I wouldn’t say that my childhood was particularly dark but yeah, my formative experiences and interests have informed my songwriting, how could they not? They’re both part of me and part of the music. I don’t know where one starts and the other begins, really.
Your sound could be described as melodic post punk. Do you feel there is a description of your sound and would you like to work in other genres in the future?
I dunno, I never really think of my music in those terms, which I suppose allows me to be adaptable. I feel as though I’m moving closer to being in perfect touch with my artistic voice, like the barrier between what I want to say with music and physically saying it is getting smaller. So, whatever that sounds like is what I think I’ll be doing in the future.
You cofounded the label Stiffy Byng. What was the reason behind this? Some artists in the industry feel the need to self-manage due to a perception of the big labels taking over. Do you agree and how does that relate to your music and vision?
I got a distribution deal with PIAS in late 2014 but for them to put an album out you need a record deal, which I didn’t have, so I just made up a label. I think autonomy is important as an artist, but you can still have that whilst working with labels and agents and whoever. You’ve just got to be careful.
You have had exposure on Radio X and great press acclaim! What has been the best highlight to date?
I’ve also had some fairly shitty reviews in the past, lest we forget… I don’t know if I have a particular highlight. I’ve been playing music for bloody ages now, so I suppose I just feel lucky to still be making music with some very talented, special people.
This Joseph Coward article was written by Sarah Ebockayuk, the GIGsoup Track of the Day Editor