Five questions with Akron musician Joshua Weiss
by Floco Torres
Joshua Weiss: I guess it would’ve been around 2007 or 2008. After a horrible skateboarding accident resulting in a broken leg, dislocated ankle, multiple surgeries and a metal plate in my leg, I really got into writing and performing live. I met this super talented, great guy Joseph Boldensmith and he invited me to help him transfer his spoken word project, The Rhythm And The Cadence, to a live setting. With loops, samples, programmed beats and live instrumentation we did just that. I knew I had to do music as much as I possibly could after that experience. Soon after The Rhythm And The Cadence ended, I bought a shoddy drum kit for a hundred bucks and met Ben and Chetawni Miller and their friend Sean Soltis. We started a punk rock band called Gunnit Ta 88, and with their help I started to teach myself how to drum. Here I am today still trying to figure it out.
FT: What are all of the current music projects that you’re involved in?
JW: The most active project I’m currently involved in is a band called Stems with my friends Justin Seeker, Mike Voris, and Joel McAdams. I also play Tenor Banjo in a band with my father Kenneth E. Weiss called Good Moan’n. We play traditional Appalachian Old Time and Celtic music mostly, but we write a lot of original stuff too. My buddies James Rychak and Charlie Druesedow, from the band Hot Rails (RIP KEN JANSSEN), have a project I have joined as lead vocalist that I’m super honored to be a part of. There’s always projects popping up and I am fortunate enough to know a lot of super talented musicians.
FT: What’s the songwriting process like in your band setting?
JW: Usually the songwriting process involves listening to a ton of music and then getting together as a band, just playing and seeing what sticks or stands out. Working from the ground up in most cases. Solitude helps me focus and is necessary for ideas to generate.
FT: Recently, we were talking about the Akron Skate Park and how you still skate. How do you feel about skate culture being as big as it is now amongst those of us that don’t skate?
JW: As far as skateboard culture being this massive thing emulated by fashion and people that don’t really skate, I mean, it is what it is. If companies can make a decent go at it because people want to buy their stuff, then that’s great, you know?
FT: What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish musically in 2018?
JW: It’s overwhelming to even imagine the year 2018, let alone think about what I’d like to achieve musically. But I’d have to say just keep grinding man, keep on keeping on.
(photo of Joshua Weiss by Maeghan Housley)