Hello Josie and welcome to Brutal Resonance! Since it’s your first time here, let’s start off with a warm-up question. What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Josie Pace: In no particular order, first would have to be the first vinyl album I remember playing over and over which is Styx - "The Grand Illusion". 'Castle Walls' was my favorite song on the album but the entire thing grabbed me and really inspired me at a young age. Second would have to be the Royal Blood self titled album. I had heard one of their singles on the radio and went out and bought the vinyl album. I listened to it on repeat. It has an amazing flow and all of the songs are so catchy and have an aggressive moody feel to them. Lastly a huge influence for me and one of my all time favorite bands (before the lead singer left) is Family Force 5 - "Business Up Front/ Party in the Back" along with a few singles they released before the album. Still love putting this one on, and Solomon Olds is still one of my all time favorite vocalists. I love their sense of comedy in some of the songs and the somewhat rawness of the mix. They are still on my workout playlist.
You are an established guitarist and producer. What made you pick up the guitar and why did this become your primary instrument? What do you love about it?
Josie Pace: I knew I wanted to play after seeing my Father play guitar and sing in my very early years. I was heavily influenced by bands like Heart, Joan Jett, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. I knew singing was my passion but with learning to play guitar I could create an actual career from the ground up. Writing my own songs, playing them on the guitar and singing them. I started lessons when I was 11, teaching myself to write songs, learning structure and keeping rhyming dictionaries and notebooks with me at all times. I love being able to create something out of just a feeling. Songs aren't tangible but they can stir emotions and make you cry or laugh, dance or sit like a stone, still, and revel in the emotions that were created out of thin air. It almost feels like a superpower to me.
You and Ken Roberts worked together after he saw an acoustic performance from you. What was it like when you first began working together? Was it rough or were you able to wrap your minds around one another’s?
Josie Pace: I remember it took a very long time for us to start working together because I had been getting emails from so called “producers” claiming that they could help me be the best of the best at writing…if…they could only hypnotize me. Needless to say I was wary of anyone claiming to be a producer. But Ken was persistent, sending me his Facebook page, things he's done and accomplished and even his girlfriends Facebook page. After a photoshoot with my friend and very accomplished photographer Scott Sprague, I learned that Ken was also very close with Scott and most definitely didn't want to hypnotize me. We set up a meeting shortly after. Honestly, working with Ken was like we had been working together for years. It took a little while to become comfortable but the ideas and things we started accomplishing right off the bat were inspiring. We joke around a TON, maybe a bit too much for the average person, but it’s never a dull moment in the studio. I think that we work well and bring out the best parts of each others craft, creating music that is fresh and new.
One of your most popular songs is cover of Placebo’s ‘Pure Morning’ that you collaborated with Sammi Doll on. How did you meet Sammi Doll, what led you two to working with one another, and why did you decide to cover Placebo?
Josie Pace: When Ken and I had first started working with each other we shared our favorite bands and showed each other what we enjoyed listening to. One of the bands being IAMX where Sammi Doll plays synths. We went to see IAMX at The Shelter here in Detroit and stood in front of Sammi for the entirety of the show. I had written the song “Perfect Replacement” and we decided to send her an email asking if she would be interested in singing on it. She was ecstatic and said yes! Sammi is so sweet and we all became fast friends after working together, recording the vocals and filming the music video for “Perfect Replacement”. So when Ken and I finally decided to cover Placebo’s “Pure Morning” it was a no brainer to ask her to team up once again. Being a song about female strength and friendships, it was a match made in goth heaven.
You’ve a ton of releases under your name but I’d like to focus on your most recent release, “IV0X10V5”. To start, what does the title of the album mean? And is there an official way to pronounce it?
Josie Pace: The title is the word Noxious written in leet speak, which uses numbers, symbols and letters to create other letters. IV0 X 10 V 5
N o x i o u s
While filming the music video for my song “Battleground” I had artist, Holly Pantea, paint a sort of tattoo graffiti of the lyrics onto my body. One of the lyrics being “All the lies you’ve told, whispered in my ear, what you’re telling is noxious.” Holly took the word noxious and painted it across my collar bone. But the way that she painted it looked similar to the way we spell it on the album. It really stuck from then on and became somewhat of a logo for us as well.
Just reading through the song titles of “IV0X10V5”, I feel as if there’s a lot of stress and anger being released on the album while also being empowering. What is the overall theme of the album? Did anything inspire it?
Josie Pace: While writing the album, I wasn't really thinking of sticking to a theme, but after it was finished I realized the theme is inner conflict. I use writing to help myself as a sort of therapy. All of the songs are inspired and written about certain moments in my life. A lot of moments in which were hard for me to overcome, self doubt, depression, anxiety and even grief. I feel like everyone has moments like these. Everything is very relatable and I like writing in more of a poetic format so that the listeners mind tailors the song to them. It brings the listener in and each song becomes personal to what they have experienced.
What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
Josie Pace: My favorite song on the album would have to be “Vicious”. That song is still very fresh to me and holds a special place in my heart. I wrote it while grieving the sudden death of a very close friend. I had never felt a hurt like this before, and she means so much to me that I needed a way to keep her close. I put all of my anger, confusion, sadness and tears into this song. If I listen to it too deeply or perform it and lose myself in the lyrics, it still chokes me up. Everyone deals with grief in different ways, but having this song to reach out to others and show them they aren't alone is something she would've loved.
You’ve also recently been on web series “No Cover”. Tell us what that’s about and where we can watch it
Josie Pace: “No Cover” is a music competition for bands with original music, hence no cover. The judges being: Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Alice Cooper, Bishop Briggs, Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, and Gavin Rossdale of Bush. We drove out to LA to perform on the show and stayed there for about a month filming. It was definitely a different experience but it was a learning experience in the end. You can watch the episodes on Sumerian Records YouTube Channel.
And what else do you have planned for the near future? Any other singles, remixes, gigs, tours, etc. that you can tell us about?
Josie Pace: As of right now we are trying to plan out shows and tours to promote the album and finally play cities we haven't played yet. I am so excited to meet new fans and perform in new places. Ken and I have talked about possibly releasing a single in the near future, and I have been working on writing some new material possibly for another album.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your time. I leave the space below open for you to mention anything else. Cheers!
Josie Pace: Thank you so much! I loved answering some questions for you. If you'd like to listen to my music, watch my music videos or check out some photos, and merchandise you can visit WWW.JOSIEPACE.COM. My album “IV0X10V5” is available on vinyl, CD (including a bonus track) and digital download.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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