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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW JOSEPH LOTHIAN

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to become a soloist?

I’ve played in a few different bands in London, I’d actually started a new live project in early 2020, we had a great debut gig in February, and then… well you know what happened soon after… So although I’ve always written solo material, the last couple of years has been an excuse to focus more on that side of things. 

Tell us about your musical history?

I mainly see myself as a songwriter and musician, though through this latest project I’ve been doing much more producing too, which is a newish horizon still.

What’s one question youre sick of being asked when interviewed?

Being interviewed is still a novelty to be honest!  

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

I probably have my fair share of delusions… but no, I don’t think there’s really anyone in control of it all.   

What useless party trick do you have? 

My main party specialty is the ‘Irish Goodbye’  

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

Probably a gig with a previous band at Water Rats in London, just down to atmosphere. 

What was the worst experience on stage?

Years ago I was in a band and in the run-up to Christmas ‘Santa Baby’ became an overly hasty addition to our setlist, the minimal practice showed, and we were left with a ‘Santa Meltdown’ (in the words of our bassist)…   

Tell us something that you think people would be surprised about? 

One of my cousins used to date Jonny Greenwood, who is a bit of a hero. I was much too young to remember, but sometimes wonder what it would have been like had he permanently joined the extended family!



If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it? 

Human person sings about human emotions… but in seriousness, that’s probably the best description, my music has emotion at its core, the rest is a vehicle.  

What makes you stand out as a artist?

There’s so much good music out there these days, who can truly stand out? That said, I am interested in the intersection between pop and ambient/experimental music. I really don’t like ‘mashups’ of classical music and pop, but I do try and access certain spaces in modern classical music, I lean heavily on modern songwriters for inspiration, but also composers like Shostakovich and Pärt. If not completely unique, these are perhaps not the most mainstream ambitions.  

Right now, whats pissing you off the most? (Cant say the virus)

Not having enough time to record music!  

What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

There’s a song called Oleander, there’s an early demo on my Youtube Channel, but planning to re-record it soon – it works nicely with a full band, or just stripped back to guitar, so it usually works in whatever context, and it’s fun to sing.  

I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it?

Wilderness Music (Continued) is about songwriting as an act, and its ability to create comfort and value in an otherwise barren or inhospitable environment. It definitely has its roots in London, so it definitely is a musing on the alienation many feel in the ‘unreal city’, and the possibility of music as a salve to that. 

Talk me through the thought process of the album?

The idea of singing or music in the Wilderness for me came from the Persian poet Omar Khayyam, the rest came together from there really. There are quite a lot of older songs, the theme helped them to find a home together with more recent writing. 

What was the recording process like?

Long! It was slightly interrupted by moving into my new studio in Peckham, having a non-home studio is a first, and has been pretty transformational for me, so it was worth the slightly drawn out process that resulted from making the move…  

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?

As mentioned above, I’m not a seasoned producer by any stretch, so doing a lot of the production work myself was (and still is) a big learning curve. Some of the material was also recorded in another local studio, and I continue to be in awe of and learn from those who do know what they’re doing when it comes to recording/producing!  

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so lots of things… I have been more satisfied with this release than previous things I’ve done, but hearing things I would ideally improve helps spur me on to the next project.  

What are your plans for the year ahead?

I have lots more song written, so working on recording the next thing! 

Thanks for doing us today folks, send this back on a word document and ill get it all ready for you.