Having guest-starred and collaborated on numerous synthwave projects, Josh Dally is now stepping into the spotlight by embarking on a solo career. He has already showcased his musical prowess through collaborations with Timecop1983 and his primary project, At 1980. We’re thrilled about his solo venture, and after immersing ourselves in his new material, we were eager to speak with the man himself about his upcoming album.
Matthew: What does it feel like going completely solo? You’re very well known in the community for your collaborations with musicians like Timecop1983?
Josh: Going solo is something that I have always wanted to do and was just waiting for the right time. It feels great, with these songs putting them under my name felt like the right thing to do.
What is it like to become a staple name in the community and have that complete creative freedom when you’re solo?
Becoming a staple name in the community means the world to me as I owe a lot to the synthwave scene. I have so much planned over the next few years and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks. In terms of having creative freedom that is lovely but I also really enjoy collaborating. I’m definitely looking forward to working more on my solo stuff and more on my collaborations.
How long has it taken to do your new album Speak Your Mind? What have been you key influences for it?
I would say around 5 months from start to finish. Writing for around 3 months and then recording and mixing for around 2 months. I would say a huge influence was living in Nashville. The energy of the city is so electric and those long summer nights and neon dive bars definitely found their way into my music.
« Nashville, the energy of this city is so electric »
Will you be touring this album? If so what would your dream venue be to play at?
I will definitely be playing live at some point yes. My favourite place to play is definitely the US. I love the adventure of touring all the different states. My dream venue would be Madison Square Garden!
If you were at a sales pitch, how would you sum up your new album Speak You Mind in a single sentence?
“It’s the soundtrack to the movie of your life”
What are your main aims for your solo career? Success obviously being one, but in terms of live performance, fan engagement etc?
Honestly my aims are very simple, to make great music. I just want as many people as possible to hear my music and hopefully enjoy it.
You’ve collabed with Timecop1983 for Take Me Back. You’ve been a key component to his music in recent times, is that the same for your solo work and his input?
I always enjoy working with Jordy (Timecop1983). We are lucky that we always see eye to eye creativity and I always feel that we end up with a great song. With regards to this album the only track we worked on together was Take Me Back, however going forward I am looking forward to working with him again.
What is your go to instrument? Do you have a wide collection of them and you have one that overrules them all?
Ooo good question. I would have to say guitar, and specifically a Gibson Les Paul as on late. That was my go to guitar on this record. But I also have an upright piano that I really love and I’m really enjoying writing and practicing on that.
« I would have to say guitar, and specifically a Gibson Les Paul as on late »
You have a voice which reminds me of a cleaner version of Joe Elliott from Def Leppard. Is he one of your vocal influences? If not, who is?
I love Def Leppard, I would say I was more influenced by their songwriting than his voice. I never aimed to sound like anyone however all the singers that I love must have shaped how my voice developed.
The synthwave community is a gradually growing one, but in some there has been the comments of synthwave being dead. What’s your opinion on this?
Yeah I hear this being said as well. I think it has become more saturated…. There is more good and more bad, I think that’s just what happens with anything though. I do feel synthwave is at its best when it’s mixed in with other influences, this really excites me because this is how synthwave will keep growing and evolving.
Taken from Palco MP3
What is a key element or topic you love writing lyrics about?
I love trying to describe a scene or a moment in great detail so that the listener almost feels like they are there in that moment. I love that about Bruce Springsteen, he makes you feel like you are living the song.
Your lyrics are very heartfelt, do you base your writing on personal experiences?
Yes I definitely do. Sometimes they start off very specificity about a moment in my life or a feeling and then they turn into almost how I want that moment to end. Almost like I’m re writing the script in my own life’s movie. I find this very cathartic.
« Almost like I’m re writing the script in my own life’s movie »
Finally, what is next for you? Anymore collabs you would wish to tease or is it a gig schedule and kick back with a martini?
Well firstly I will kick back with my favourite Martini, a Vesper Martini and then crack on with the next At 1980 record!
– Interview by Matthew Clewley
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