An interview with Joshua Skate Party - Interviews - Soundblab

An interview with Joshua Skate Party

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An interview with Joshua Skate Party
Ann CourtneyAn interview with Joshua Skate Party

On July 9th, Joshua Skate Party (consisting of Ann Courtney of Mother Feather and Joshua Valleau of Wolvves) made their live debut at New York City’s Mercury Lounge. For about an hour that night, it was thirty years ago...

I had a chance to catch up with Ann and Josh, and talk with them about all things JSP.

What did each of you bring from your respective bands to Joshua Skate Party?

Ann brought some special members of Mother Feather’s fanbase who know what’s up, Josh brought one USB midi controller and a power strip.
Seriously though, I think we just both wanted to get together and try some musical ideas out that we’ve never had the opportunity to do in any of our previous bands - stuff that we felt like was missing in our lives.

You’ve both been performing live with Mother Feather and Wolvves respectively for a while, how was the live energy different with Joshua Skate Party?

Obviously, the songs inform all the energetic differences between projects, but one specific thing Ann noticed is that she only needs about half as many anti-inflammatories for JSP. Also, Ann found it was a new experience to not be totally soaking wet after a show (although she reserves the right to dump a beverage over her head at any point.)

What was the timeline of Joshua Skate Party? Inception, first writing session, first recording
session, etc. ?

We got together in the spring of 2015 and started writing. A year later we had 10 songs (which is what we have now). Then what happened was that between 2016 - 2019, we got really busy working on a bunch of other records. Ann was on tour with Mother Feather for a few months, then came home & wrote most of their second album in the fall/winter of 2016. Then in 2017, Josh produced that album with the band between January and June. Josh was also finishing up the next Wolvves album in 2016 and 2017, and has been working on several albums for other people.
At the beginning of this year, admitting that it seemed like we were never going to find time to do Joshua Skate Party, we decided to take a different approach and start putting a show together first (instead of releasing the music). This has been a rewarding and enlightening process, and now we’re ready to take the show on the road and release some music.

Grammar Time - why Joshua Skate Party and not Joshua’s Skate Party?

Because that’s what it said on the sign.

Josh Valleau

Josh, what did you use to recreate the sounds of summer in the late 80’s/early 90’s? Equipment/instruments/plug-ins/patches?

Although this music is definitely referential at the stage it’s at right now, we don’t know for sure that it will necessarily continue to identify as an 80’s- or 90’s- sounding thing as time goes on. But no matter where it ends up, it seems clear enough that synthesizers and drum machines are major DNA components. So: Yamaha RX5, Kawai R-100, TR-707, TR-909, MPC 3000, SH-101, Juno 60, JX-3P, Pro-One, TB-303, CP-70, JV1080, DX100, S950. For plugin stuff there’s a couple of favorite sampler programs I can’t live without (Commodore 64, Jupiter 8, Moog) and a couple of favorite virtual instruments (Korg M1, Linn LM-1)

You guys set the tone perfectly with your pre-show music at your Mercury Lounge gig; what are your all time favorite late 80’s/early 90’s Summer Jamz?

That is, of course, an impossible question to answer, but here is a randomly-ordered AP exit poll results’ worth of jams:
Janet Jackson - When I Think Of You
Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam - I Wonder If I Take You Home
Pretty Poison - Catch Me (I'm Falling)
Sheila E. - Glamorous Life
Janet Jackson - Go Deep
Herb Alpert - Diamonds (Cool Summer Mix)
Jane Child - Don't Wanna Fall In Love
Sweet Sensation - Hooked On You
Chaka Khan - I Know You, I Live You
Apollonia 6 - Sex Shooter
Derrick May - Strings of Life
Sa-Fire - Don't Break My Heart
Janet Jackson - Escapade
Paula Abdul - Knocked Out (single)
Prince - U Got The Look
Chaka Khan - What Cha' Gonna Do for Me
Sequal - It's Not Too Late
Mr. Fingers - Washing Machine
Cherrelle – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On
Lumidee - Never Leave You (Uh Oh)
Madonna - Into the Groove (You Can Dance)
Inner City - Big Fun
Amerie - Why Don't We Fall In Love

Future plans for JSP?

We're going to release 10 songs over the next several months, with videos, run some Facebook ads and maybe try for a liquor sponsorship. We’re also going to run some contests on the hotline and maybe set up a digital raffle. And definitely keep playing shows.

Final question - when can we expect Lizzie (Carena, of Mother Feather), Elizabeth, and Lewis (Valleau, of Wolvves) to announce their own side project?

I don’t know... Lizzie definitely has no shortage of projects. Maybe we can arrange a situation where Lizzie and Lewis open a web-based concept pop-up as a virtual band consisting of a Sweetwater rep and his enthusiastic client. Who would buy what?

Joshua Skate Party have their second show at The Sultan Room in Brooklyn on August 22nd, and will release their first single soon after. For more info, check out their site and, to hear their new track “Resonator”, call the hotline at (917) 524-9217.

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