Psycho / Tropic: A Mythological Interview with Joshua Powell

>> Joshua Powell is an artist from Indianapolis, IN, who handcrafts a strangely literate brand of psychedelic indie rock that manages to be simultaneously socially conscious and spiritually turbulent. His interview discusses his passion for collage, his wide-range of musical influences, and compares each track off of his latest release 'Psycho / Tropic' to mythical creatures.

Could you please introduce yourself; talk a bit about your background including how you started your journey into the world of music?

I grew up in small town Florida, playing in the woods, going to church, and teaching myself punk music from online forums and guitar tabs. I never had a way out of music, Mom started me in piano at age 5. I went to school in small town Indiana where I made some darling friends and read the types of books that make kids sell all their shit and buy vans and go out in search of things worth taking pictures of. Think of that in a broad metaphorical way. I was booking our first three-month cross country crescent while I was finishing up a thesis on the historical context of Bach’s solo cello suites. I think about those early van years and I’m amazed we made it. We slept in cult houses and public parks. We helped keep Taco Bell in business and we played ten million shows to ten million dive bartenders, slogging it out for Facebook likes and High Lifes. All those years of playing acoustic folk music burned me out on anything but the weirdest sounds, and that brings us to the new record. I live in Indianapolis now, in a bohemian little bungalow house with a bunch of artist types. We teach music on the side to little kids and college students, and we’re proud to be a part of the burgeoning Indianapolis scene. We get back on the road when we can, and I’m culling through the interesting things of life, working on synthesizing them so I can eventually make the next, broader, weirder, freer record.

It is so interesting to see you have such a wide range of influences, from Neil Young to Kanye to Dali. Could you talk about the strangest thing you’ve felt inspired by?