Joel Kosche’s musical journey has been a remarkable road, one that has brought the talented guitarist and songwriter to some interesting destinations along the way. At age 13, Kosche began to teach himself to play the guitar, later taking classical guitar instruction to supplement his burgeoning talent. A fixture of the Atlanta music scene, Kosche fronted the well-known local band, Steep, while earning a living as a guitar tech for well-known artists such as Steve Winwood.
Kosche eventually landed a gig as Collective Soul’s guitar tech, and hit the road with the chart-topping rock band. Developing a musical rapport with the band members, Kosche eventually replaced Ross Childress as the band’s lead guitarist in 2003. Since then, Kosche has become an integral member, co-writing the hit “Hollywood” for the band’s 2007 release Afterwords (which he also co-produced with lead singer Ed Roland). On the same album, Kosche wrote and sang lead vocals on the song “I Don’t Need Anymore Friends”. On Collective Soul’s most recent eponymous 2009 release, Kosche once again showcases his songwriting skills with the single “You” and the album track “Understanding”, which were co-written with the rest of the band.
Kosche’s latest destination is the release of his first solo album, entitled Fight Years. Recorded over the past 3 years, the album is filled with powerful songs and lyrics that chronicle Kosche’s musical journey, and allude to some seminal events in his life. From the opening swells of “Yours To Reap” to the final crushing chords of “New Song”, this record remains unashamedly guitar-driven throughout but with a purpose.
Joel gave us some insight into his life currently with Collective Soul, his new album, and 500 Songs for Kids. Read more to find out!
This is looking like a very busy month for you Joel, can you take me through some of the exciting things you have going on?
Yeah, this has been a busy month! I’ve been doing some live shows around the Atlanta area, playing songs from my solo record Fight Years and that along with pre-production and writing for a brand new solo record has taken up most of my time. Also, I’ve been preparing for a summer tour with Collective Soul. We’re going out playing the entire Dosage record start to finish, which is something we’ve never done before… and of course we’ll be doing all the other hits as well.
Lets talk about 500 Songs for Kids. Tell me why it is important for you and what you would want everyone to know about the charity?
This is the first year that I’ve been involved in this particular charity, and hopefully they’ll have me back again every year. I’m a proud father of two beautiful babies, my two-year old son Sefton and my nine month old girl Elise. Once I became a parent, it’s like I found a new place in my heart where all this love was that I didn’t know I had before. I feel like I’ve been truly blessed, and everyday I thank God that my family is healthy. This organization is all about helping raise money for a variety of children-related charities including hospitals and youth camps, etc… and they do it by putting together a concert experience where musicians/bands play 500 different cover songs over ten nights. It’s a great concept as I believe music is a healer and this is a way for artists to do what they do best and at the same time help others.
Moving on to Collective Soul… I hear there is a new album coming out. Can you elaborate?
Well, songs are being written for a new CD, but it’s a little early to say when exactly it will be recorded or released. It seems like every time I open my mouth about the next thing we’re getting ready to do or what the latest and greatest project is that we’re working on, it seems like it gets postponed, shelved or forgotten about all together.. so you’ll just have to just wait and see what happens, I guess!
Your solo album, Fight Years, is available now. What makes this album so special to you, and what would you want people to know about it?
This record is very special to me. Basically, this album took about three years to record, as I did it in between two Collective Soul records along with the accompanying tours, and also a record I did with Steve Walsh(vocalist for the group Kansas). I played all the guitar stuff and most of the bass. The drums were done by Ryan Hoyle(Collective Soul, Paul Rodgers). I do all of the lead vocals, but I had a few guest artists like Steve Walsh do backgrounds on a couple of songs, and Ed Roland(Collective Soul) did backgrounds on one as well. Although it took about three years to record, it really took me a lifetime to write Fight Years. All of these songs capture a moment in my life and in a way, chronicle to a certain extent my musical journey. The lyrics are very personal and musically I think it’s a good mix of guitar-driven Rock with some Pop. I tried to show some different sides of what I do so there’s a few other little twists in there as well. It was truly a liberating experience to write and record this exactly as I wanted without any compromise, and at the same time a little frustrating since I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Sometimes I don’t know when to say “That’s good enough!”. That being said, I’m really proud of all the guitar work and the production. I actually recorded most of it at my home studio with the exception of the drums which were done at Will Turpin’s(of Collective Soul) Dad’s studio and at Ryan Hoyle’s studio out in L.A.
What do you think about the changing and growing Atlanta music scene?
Well it has changed but from what I can tell it’s not really growing, at least as far as original “Rock” music scene. I’m seeing more clubs doing the cover band/ karaoke thing and the scene doesn’t seem as vibrant as it was when I was doing the local band stuff.
What advice do you have to new artists out there?
Well, I probably don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said before. I mean, of course you should practice your craft and never give up and all that stuff, that’s a given right? I guess the one piece of advice that I could give would be to always try to surround yourself with people who are creative and successful in their field and that doesn’t mean people who are necessarily in the music business. So much of the music business is really about who you know, and the more people who you know that can help you, the better. Also, don’t get locked into a preconceived idea of how you’re going to “make it”. Sometimes it’s the side roads that can lead you to where you want to go, and you have to take chances in this ever-evolving business.
Great advice Joel! We look forward to keeping up with you!
The New Theatre in the Square Marietta is Back and Better Than Ever!
Three years ago one of my favorite local theaters took their final bow and closed up shop. Ever since I can I remember, I loved going to see performances at the Theatre on the Square in the beautiful Marietta Square. I can remember going to see some great Christmas shows with my parents and one of my favorites, the “1940’s Radio Hour”. Ahhh, the memories. But, it was all over in 2012.
Three years have come and gone and I spent two of those years in Boston and one in Florida, so imagine my delight to come back to Atlanta to find that the Theatre on the Square was revamped and ready to amaze again with great local talent.
We took a few minutes to get to know the lovely Roxanne Johnson of the Theatre and ask her a few questions.
TBB: We are so excited that the beloved Theatre in the Square in Marietta is making it’s glorious comeback. Tell me about this revival, who is involved and what we can expect?
Roxanne: It was more than heart breaking to the community as a whole to see Theatre in the Square close up shop in 2012. Immediately seeing huge potential Raul Thomas; Executive Chef, Film Maker and avid supporter of all the arts, took over the theatre in September of this year. From the community he hand picked a team of top notch creative and business professionals. We all quickly went to bring this sacred space back to it’s former glory.
Wanting to court previous supporters of the theatre we offer through our resident company standards and favorites of the community. There will also be more contemporary entertainment offered as well as concerts and comedy and other events. The former green room has now been transformed into a small film and photography studio.
The studio is available to the community. As well as classes for children and adults. We are already working closely with Marietta Middle School and Kennesaw State University. The ultimate goal is creating a multi-cultural center bringing entertainment and education to the area through art and theatre.
Information regarding what is currently running and what is coming up for us, as well as purchasing tickets can be found on our website HERE.
After the 1st of the year we will be offering season tickets, flex tickets and reserved seating.
Ho Ho Ho Steve-O? Holiday Laughs with Steve-O at the Improv Atlanta
Steve-O (a.k.a. Stephen Glover) has become a household name over the last two decades. Famous for his cringe worthy stunts on MTV’s Jackass and WildBoyz, he is never shy and always up for a challenge! Steve-O is coming to Atlanta this week to perform at the Improv Atlanta 12/3 – 12/5 so get ready for holiday cheer, Steve- O style!
We asked Steve-O a few questions, you can read his answers below:
TBB:First of all, since you are coming to Atlanta this week, tell us what your favorite thing about Atlanta is. Also, do you plan to visit anywhere other than the Improv while in town? Ever heard of the Clermont Lounge? ;)
Steve-O: It was July 4th the last time I was in Atlanta, and I had a great time taping big fireworks to my skateboard and blowing them up while I rode around a skatepark. That was a really wild time. Next week I go to jail for the crane-climbing stunt I did earlier this year in Los Angeles, so this weekend I’ll be sure to enjoy my last days of freedom roaming around Atlanta. I’m sure the Clermont Lounge is awesome, but I think I’m going to skip that spot this weekend.
TBB: The Clermont just might be a little too much for you Steve-O!
Kurtis Blow and the Hip Hop Nutcracker
A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary work set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, embarks on an international tour on the strength of last December’s sold-out performances of the world premiere at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) in New York City. The Hip Hop Nutcracker will make a stop at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Saturday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker is directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, artistic director of the all-female hip-hop crew Decadancetheatre in Brooklyn. It is adapted to today’s New York by Mike Fitelson, executive director of UPCA – the work’s original producer – and includes hip-hop interludes remixed and reimagined by DJ Boo and violinist Filip Pogády.
For its stop at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 28, The Hip Hop Nutcracker features special guest MC Kurtis Blow, one of the founders and creators of recorded rap music.
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