Josh Doyle is a UK born, Nashville based singer/songwriter. He was originally known for being the frontman of the Dum Dums, a hugely popular guitar pop band who peaked with top 20 singles and an album and played shows supporting Bon Jovi along with many festival appearances. The band shone bright but sadly called it a day in 2001. Since then Josh has been honing his songwriting skills culminating in him beating thousands of other entrants to deservedly win Guitar Center singer/songwriter of the year.
Josh had just announced a series of intimate acoustic dates for next month so we took the opportunity to talk to him.
Firstly for those who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I am Josh Doyle, an Englishman living in Nashville, Tennessee.
I have been making music for several years and have gone through the genres from poppunk to folktronica to rock to landing on this retro singer songwriter type thing I currently play.
Through all that time I have somehow managed to keep my fans interested and continue to grow as an artist and make new fans one at a time.
You’ve just announced a run of intimate UK acoustic dates, how did this come about?
I came over with my band from the USA last year with a bigger budget and we did really well at Glastonbury and Hard Rock Calling. This year I have been working in the studio on a different project but still wanted to get around the country more and play acoustically to small crowds of people. When I put word out on facebook and saw the demand was there I went fully into it. Its different coming from the USA than being a local touring band in the UK as the costs are so much higher so I needed to be sure people will show up and get tickets.
A couple of the shows sold out within days, did you expect that?
I dont think I did, no. That was a really good thing. I hoped they would sell out eventually because they were smaller, but not so quickly.
What’s the best and worst things about touring?
Touring can be lonely in between gigs, especially when its just you waiting for trains and dragging around your gear everywhere as will be happening on this tour. The payoff is when people are there enjoying what you do, enjoying what you were born to do and connecting with it. When you tour with a band its the most fun of all because you get your mates with you having a good time.
What kind of material will you be playing? Will it be mainly songs from the self titled debut? and will you slip in some Dum Dums classics?
I will be playing a list of what I just *have* to play, which includes some of the Dumdums songs that people still like to hear, and I am actually going to give the audience the chance to pick out songs at random from my back catalogue – -they have already been picking which songs to have in my “lucky dip” but I think its gonna be a great laugh and ensure a different show every night.
Many people still have a lot of love for the Dums Dums, and, myself included, used your songs as wedding songs! How does that make you feel?
Thats amazing!! We weren’t around long but I think just about everything we put out was really good. The personal triumphs are those things like people using your songs in their wedding and stuff because you KNOW how important something is to someone if its used in that kind of a situation.
You released your debut album in 2012 after winning the Guitar Center singer songwriter of the year competition, beating 17,000 other entrants, tell us about the album?
Part of my prize was to win an EP with multiple Grammy winning producer John Shanks. A week before going into the studio he texted me “why dont we try to make a whole record?” which blew my mind. I came to the studio with a book full of songs and I would play them to him and my assembled band for the record, Leland Sklar, Matt Chamberlain and Dean Parks. I purposely picked what songs I played first when it became apparent they liked everything I kept playing, so I really felt like I controlled what went on the record. Thematically its all about just the important things in people’s personal lives we go through like love, work, addiction, getting your heart ripped out, that kind of thing.
Any plans to record/release anything soon?
My next project is going to be very different, a lot more electronic and synth based. There are 12 or 13 songs recorded in demo form for it and my mgmt have been talking to labels about where it might end up. I am very happy with the direction and the songs are going to be amazing to perform with a band.
What would you say is the hardest thing about the current music business?
Just for musicians to make a living when different streams of income are being eaten into and more bands try to stake their claim — only the strong survive!! Or the independently wealthy I suppose lol
What’s on your ipod at the moment?
I like listening to 80s pop with huge choruses lately. Tears For Fears, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, stuff with great lyrics as well. I do like some Alexi Murdoch too, great solo artist.
What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
If this tour goes well, I may do another one in June. I had enough people upset with me for not playing their town, I think if they all get tickets I could make another DIY tour work! Also theres a band in Yorkshire that have learnt all my songs and want to play with me, they’re really good!
You can pick up tickets for the April tour right here, but be quick, some dates have already sold out, with some upgraded and others have very few left.