Joshua ZERO

Meet Josh- a relatively new face to the Leeds scene, but with a catalogue of songs that hold the potency of years. With band members from Leeds staples- Long Legged Creatures and Mamilah, this new 6 piece has been described as a “string of whiney, emo numbers with plenty of lamenting, shredding and punchy drums”

 Lyrics are undeniably the fulcrum of your songs; how important are they for you, and what is the process behind the lines?

I like lyrics the best in songs, I can’t really listen to music with bad lyrics. Unless the music in amazing and stands on its own, in a jazz standard kind of a way. With the lyric writing and development, I usually pin point imagery that I really like, something that I have absorbed during the day, or based off something that someone has told me, or I’ve rambled over in my brain. Within that imagery I try to further pinpoint a feeling or a motive, something to give the song a proper sense of purpose. For example, the inspiration for Barbed Wire Eyelashes came from a night out, and the song is built around that initial situation or feeling. But yeah, that’s the starting point for the lyrics, and I use that as a basis to write around and go from there, putting the music to it always helps solidify the mood.

Talk us through the process behind ‘Barbed Wire Eyelashes’, how did it evolve from bedroom love song to the finished single?

Barbed Wire Eyelashes is still a love song, it just exists outside of my bedroom now. I guess it ties it into my last album “Love Songs From a Bedroom”, but that’s a side to my music that isn’t about anymore.

With BWE I wrote it and thought about it a LOT. I went away and wrote some other things and then came back to it and decided to make a demo, as I had a solid idea of how I wanted to track to sound. I took the demo to Ross from Long Legged Creatures and Ed Allen from multiple projects and they liked it! We started working together via Mabgate, then me and Ross worked consistently on the single for about 4 months. We recorded everything ourselves, most of it was done in his bedroom. Theres some cool violins and freaky samples in it, the piano takes were done in a piano room when we weren’t quite sober which I think gives them some of the character they have now. And now it’s here, with a rocket sound in the middle, fully produced and I’m really proud of it!

You have a very varied pool of influences: what acts (and more specifically albums and songs) would you recommend everyone listen to?

I wish there was someone here to bounce these names around with. It’s hard to pin it down to certain albums or artists on the spot. I think, if trying to cover a broad spectrum of music that I listen to, the  5 albums/ artists I would recommend would be:

  • 9 Inch Nails- The Downward Spriral.

    It’s super heavy and so industrial, definitely one of my favourite albums at the moment.

  • Serge Gainsberg- not necessarily any album but songs like ‘Je t’aime’, ‘L’hotel particulier’ or ‘Cargo Culte’.

  • The Streets- The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living.

    The album is all about dealing with fame, which I can’t relate to on the level he talks about it, but Mike Skinner has a lot to say and the lyrics are amazing.

  • PULP- This Is Hardcore


I think that everyone should listen to everything that I do, but apparently that’s not the case. A$AP Rocky, Car Set Headrest, Father John Misty, Joshua Zero’s new single….

You have a distinctive sense of style. Does fashion play an important role in your music? 

Only in the sense that I want to be a rock star and all rock stars dress relatively well. I like dressing up and looking my best going out. If I could afford designer brands I’d buy them. I just like how I look on stage really, it’s a little bit of escapism, or not so much escapism as a separate expression. Growing up I loved seeing artists like David Bowie and Lou Reed, and the sight of them on stage looking like a creature that no one has ever seen. I think that really is as important as everything else”.

Do you see yourself as a new age Jarvis Cocker?

I do see myself as a new age Jarvis Cocker (giggles). Well actually I don’t, I’d rather be his lovechild than be him. A separated at birth, make my millions and then reconnect with my long lost father kind of a story.

Favourite gig so far, and the gig you’re most looking forward to?

I really loved playing at The Brudenell Social Club for Transmissions, because it was our first time playing there as a band and it’s a bit of a personal milestone. I also really loved this Christmas gig we did back in December, Joshua Zero’s Plastic Christmas Tree, because we had all these dancers running around, and art and confetti. To be fair I like every gig, doesn’t matter where- I’ll do it in the carpark.

I’m looking forward to playing Sheffield at Peddlar’s Night Market with Pink Wafer on 6th April. I’ve never been to Sheffield before and the event is really cool. There’s a few unannounced gigs coming up in summer that we can’t wait to get playing too!

I’m always looking forward to casually playing Wembley Stadium in 2049, easy.

You can keep up to date with new music and gigs from Joshua ZERO on their facebook, and check out the live session of Barbed Wire Eyelashes here.