For Joseph Goldstein, music is lifestyle, not a hobby. To him, music is much more than a catchy hook from a Top 40 hit on the radio; it is film scores, background music, instrumentals, and even songs that his four-year-old daughter would make up and sing around the house. Goldstein takes an interest in everything from reggae to soul to alternative styles of music, as well as intertwining the three to create a sound that truly emulates who he is and who he wants to be as a musician. Whether his songs are recorded through a $3,000 microphone or a $30 microphone, you can guarantee that it will be the most effortless and authentic song he could have created. Why? Because it comes from his heart and soul; of which you can read a little bit about below in our interview.
Where are you from?
How long have you been an active musician and how did you get started?
I’ve been playing in bands since the time I was in sixth grade (22 years ago). Most recently, I was a singer/guitarist in Death In The Arena (early reggae), and as a bass player in Hola Diablo.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
Progressive/alternative with a dash of blues, funk, and jam.
What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
Last year I put out the EP, Nebula. The project started just as a way for me to apologize to my soon-to-be born daughter for not singing to her in the womb as I had my first child. I spent six days leading up to her birth writing and recording a brand new song each night.
The whole process was done as low-fi as possible with the USB microphone from the Xbox game Rock Band, and a midi keyboard. I was able to refine the recordings to a point that I felt they were fit for release, and it was also a dream of mine to release music beyond the demo level.
What is your writing and recording process like?
My writing process is sort of all over the place. Sometimes, a line will pop into my head and I’ll quickly record it on my phone, to be found years later and cobbled together with some other similar bits like Legos.
Other times, I can just sit down and knock out a song like I’m not really in charge of it at all.
On Dusk, the song “Dead Island” was written by my four-year old. She had been singing the chorus around the house for weeks. I had her dictate the lyrics to me, and I recorded it overnight.
My process of recording has been to keep things as simple as possible. Start with a scratch drum track that I record the guitars over. Then I switch to the keyboard to start adding bass and other instruments that will be used on the track.
What are current projects you are working on?
I’m currently working on a faux compilation album of New Wave songs. The idea is that each track will be by a different fake artist that celebrates different facets of ‘80s New Wave. The fake bands will be comprised of myself and a number of local guest musicians.
What is your favorite memory as a musician?
With Death in the Arena, we were playing a fourth of July show in Philly. The venue was an old building and we played on the second floor. That night we debuted our first original song (which I had written) and it went over very well. The audience was dancing, and you could feel the floor moving underneath us. It was incredible.
What are your goals for the future as a musician?
I just want to keep recording and hopefully find a footing out there for anyone who would appreciate it. Making music solo leaves so much doubt for the process, and it takes courage to put it out there for the world. I want to make sure that I never lose that courage.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017? 2018?
I’ll be playing a few acoustic shows to help promote the album and have an opportunity to score a short film.
Where can readers find your music?
Readers can find my music on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and pretty much all digital retailers.