This is a little introduction into who I am both musically and personally, as they are two sides of the same coin. My music has taken me on an amazing journey so far. There's been high flying ups and, of course, rock bottom lows. I'm only 25 and I've called more places home than most people will in a lifetime. I have amazing family, friends, and colleagues, and I wouldn't change a thing about who I am or where life has taken me.
From as far back as I can remember I listened to Oldies and Country radio in my mom's car in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. I always loved the fun feelings of the oldies, and the top notch songwriting and production of country. At the time I didn't know who the artists were but some of my favorite songs were by bands like The Beach Boys and The Beatles. I've always gravitated towards the summer, surf, Southern California culture although back then it was an intangible dream.
At 5 years old I began playing the piano after a teacher auditioned me then took me on for free. I played a few recitals and stuck with it for a while but I didn't have the fortitude to play scales. For me music was fun. It's a game, like life. I didn't want it to be a chore, and that's an attitude that has stuck with me to today. I find the more I study, memorize, and learn, the less fun it is. Music begins to be a job and not a pleasure. The best things I ever write are never thought about. I hear it, it comes from the ether and 'wants' to be created. Anytime I force it, it falls flat. So eventually I quit playing the piano (I recall a rendition of "We Three Kings" being the tipping point) and took a hiatus from being a 'musician'.
As you find out through the course of your life, you are what you are. Music made it's way back to the forefront for me when I was 16. I listened to Metallica, Blink 182, and similar music to deal with the angers of teenage life in a split family. My dad bought me my first electric guitar and I was off to the races. I played incessantly. When I was at school, I thought about my guitar, and when I got home I practiced every waking hour. I formed a few bands throughout high school and started writing songs. I never thought of myself as a singer, though I grew up singing in church and school choirs, but the necessity of recording songs forced me to start doing it.
At 17 I joined a band with big plans of success. We moved to Las Vegas (why?) because a member had family there and it was cheaper than California. We bounced from Vegas back to Oregon a few times and then I put the stake in the sand to move to take it seriously and move to LA. I moved down first to plant the seed and went to engineering school to get a job a studio. It came very naturally and I started recording and producing countless artists. I worked in the day and wrote and recorded "Seeing Is Believing" by my band LUX at night. The process took about a year and had moderate success after. We opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd at our hometown arena and headlined a show with over 500 fans. Not bad for a self promoted DIY band. Eventually I got tired of the attention being placed on hype and fame, and no time being spent on the music. The band eventually fizzled out, and the dream was lost.
I answered a Craigslist ad looking for a sound mixer and got my first film gig from it (mixing "The Hills Have Eyes"). From there I dove headfirst into the film scene, recording orchestras, mixing, composing and had a great time and surprising amount of success for my age. I also began composing for commercials and video games. And while it is all a ton of fun, I was neglecting the passion and outlet for my personal music. It's taken a run of about 5 years in which time I've had the opportunity to work with some of the best in the biz, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It will always be a big part of my life, but I decided to shift my focus back to the music.
In 2009 I realized that I was not immune to the burnout phenomenon. It hit me hard and I took a sabbatical to stay with family in Oregon and get my priorities in order. It was the best decision of my life. I realized how important family is, and how important priorities are. So often we fill out 'to do' lists up with so much junk that we push out the good things in life. After that amazingly healing time of growth, I got the itch to get things kicking again, and am now back in sunny So Cal feeling the best I have ever felt. So I'm back in the land of opportunity and my muse is back with a veracious appetite.
I'm creating a record now and invite you to visit it on the process. For so long I've had hundreds of song ideas that I've left unfinished. I can be an intense perfectionist if I let myself so I'm letting go of that desire and going with the feelings now. Hopefully my music will mean half as much to you as it does to me, if I can share my journey and experience, my love and happiness in any way, than my job is complete. So get ready for some great times
Josh Sarles - Drifter
I have sets ranging from 30 to 90 minutes. I do covers, but most of my repertoire is original material