Josh Turner has a sound that is recognizable in a few short notes; combine this with his smooth voice and lyrics that people can relate and you will find what has kept him in the spotlight and on the charts since his debut in 2001.
With his new CD “Haywire” set to hit the store shelves on Feb 9th, Josh is busy with the promotional side of the music business. I managed to get him to slow down for a visit to talk about the new project and what we might expect in the future.
BEV: Thank you so much for taking some time to visit with me about the new CD “Haywire” and all you have going on with it. It is set for release soon, are you ready?
JOSH: The album is ready to come out on February 9th just in time for Valentines Day. We’re doing a lot of work promoting the new album, promoting the song, trying to get the song up the charts. It looks like we’re shaping up to have a great release. So, that is what has been consuming most of time right now. We’ve had a lot of pre-sales which is encouraging.
BEV: As far as the feelings you had making this album in comparison to your other albums, what is different?
JOSH: It was a faster pace, it wasn’t rushed, but we didn’t waste any time putting the record together; and it came together well. There is always a fear that when you speed up the process, that the album will lack the quality it needs, but I feel like we got in a groove, in the zone and the quality went up, stayed up and maybe even surpassed the last three records I have done. That is a lot for me to say, because my 1st three records had a lot of energy themselves. I feel like this record is diverse, there are a lot of different songs on this one and I pushed my self vocally as well. I feel there is a lot more energy on this record and I think that the fans will be able to hear that.
BEV: What was the most exciting thing for you personally in the creation of this project?
JOSH: Making it. That part of my job is one of the most fun aspects; simply making the record. It allows me to write songs, go into the studio and bring the songs to life. The whole process is intriguing and exciting. Every detail to me is important, and I pay attention to those details and I have my hand in the decision making process regarding them.
BEV: Is there anything during that process that is stressful to you?
JOSH: I am my own worst enemy, especially if you are a perfectionist like I am. I like taking my time making a record. I like making sure we have the right songs, but the time in between the sessions drives me crazy; just sitting around waiting to go back into the studio again. It is a Catch 22, because I want to have the right songs and don’t want to rush, but at the same time I hate waiting around to find that next great song or write that next song. If there were only a way to solve that by all of these great songs coming to me at once!
BEV: Since you have become a household name, what changes have you gone through as a person and as an artist as all of this is transpiring? What changes have you noticed?
JOSH: This is kind of crazy. It is demanding and it is tiring, but it is fun too. This is what I have been dreaming of my whole life. I always wanted people to come up and ask me for my autograph even though it seems to always happen when I least expect it. If I didn’t love it, I definitely wouldn’t be in this business. It can be very grueling and I have learned a lot about myself. What I can handle, what I can’t; a lot about how to treat people. So much of that comes from your upbringing, but we get approached by a lot of people you have never met before and you have to learn how to treat people with respect and integrity. You come to realize that bad news travels faster than good news. Doesn’t matter what mood you are in, if somebody comes up to you; you have to treat them as if they were your best friend. I have learned that you have to put a good team around you to really help you that shares the same values, ideas, and goals so they can make a decision if need be and know that I am going to be ok with it.
BEV: When you look at the songs on the “Haywire” CD, which is the most personal to you?
JOSH: Good question. Probably “The Answer” is the most personal song on this record. I wrote with my friend Mark Narramore. We are both Christians; we sat down that day looking through ideas and one of the ideas I had written down was Jesus is the answer. I thought it was a title that we could write a lot about and the title alone was powerful. We started writing about the people in the world who are looking for answers to their questions, looking for direction. It was about this is what we believe; we believe that Jesus is the answer to these problems that you’re having. It started out feeling like a sad Vern Gosdin song musically, but as the process went along and we added on it, it turned out to be a full blown gospel song. I put a lot of heart and soul into recording this song. Even when I got into the studio to do my vocals, I felt like this song just wanted to break lose. It was the last song I sang for the record and I had nothing to lose, no shame; so I went in and allowed my voice to go where it wanted to go. Singing up in my higher range is not something that I do everyday, because people know me for my low range. But I felt like this song really called for my upper range and I allowed myself to go there. It was challenging, but I believe that was what the song needed.
BEV: Did you write all of the songs on this CD project?
JOSH: No. I wrote 5 out of the 11. I wrote “I Can Be”, “The Answer”, “Friday Paycheck”, “As Fast As I Could”, and “Haywire”.
BEV: Do you prefer to sing songs that you have written because of the emotional attachment or do you not mind either way?
JOSH: It depends on the song. There are songs that I didn’t write that I enjoy singing. As far as songs of mine, there has to be a certain level of quality whether I wrote them or not. It all varies form song to song.
BEV: Do you have any songs out there you’ve written, but that haven’t found a home yet?
JOSH: Yeah, I try to write as often as I can and obviously I can’t get all of the songs I write onto the records. It depends on the record really. Lately most of the songs that I am writing end up on the record that I am working on at that moment. Like the title track of my last record, I wrote it leading up to recording that record. Most of the songs on that record I had written just leading up to that recording. It was just something I was in the moment for. What didn’t make it on the records either didn’t feel right or wasn’t supposed to be on that particular project.
BEV: As far as expectations you place on yourself; do you have a lot of expectations you put on yourself everyday and do you have a certain schedule or a routine that you do?
JOSH: One thing my life has never had since I signed a record deal is a routine. You just never know what each day is going to bring. That is one thing that my family and friends have noticed. One of my best friends told me “I don’t know how you do it”. I never know what news I am going to get and I think I prefer it that way. I hate monotony. I used to work for Nabisco as a retail representative during my 1st two years of college. I would go to stores and check the shelves and make sure the products looked good. It was the same stores every day, doing the same thing day after day. I almost pulled my hair out! This job as a singer and artist; there is no monotony. There is always something new going on, always a new challenge. It keeps my spirit alive.
BEV: What’s next for you in regards to this CD?
JOSH: Right now we are getting ready to rehearse for this years show. We will be playing a lot of new material this year. If we go back to a market we have already played, the fans will not be seeing the same show. That right now is top priority. Once it comes out, we are heading out west for about three weeks and playing quite a few dates. I will be home for Country Radio Seminar and preparing for a lot of press during that time. We are gearing up to have a good year.
BEV: Long term, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
JOSH: In the next 10 years I would love to look back and say I had another handful of hits and made several more great records and gained more fans. Hopefully maybe get to the place where I didn’t have to work as much as I do now. Spend more time with my family and do some things that I really want to do. Wake up every morning and sing country music.
BEV: What is the best piece of advice you have gotten that you would pass on to new aspiring artists?
JOSH: A lot of times the old timers talk about saving money and learning to be smart with your money. I have always tried to do that. Also, Eddy Arnold told me one time to record love songs. He always encouraged me to record love songs if they were ‘right’ for Josh Turner. I took that advice to heart, especially on this record. So we’re about to find out if Eddy’s advice is going to pay off.
BEV: Is there anything routine that you do before going on stage? Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
JOSH: Normally I try to start getting ready about an hour before the meet and greet time, I like to do the meet & greet before the show. I get ready in the back of the bus listening to the current R&B station on XM Radio. It is what I warm up to vocally to go out an sing traditional country music. That is my ritual, in addition to getting the band together before going on stage and we say a prayer, and then go out there and have a good time.
BEV: Josh, I love your music and have enjoyed the time we got to spend visiting. I look forward to seeing you very soon and wish you the best of everything with this CD.
JOSH: Thank you very much, and I appreciate the interest and all you do as well. I hope to see you soon.
For more information on Josh Turner visit www.joshturner.com and to purchase the CD from ITUNES visit http://awe.sm/43SD4