When it comes to the source of inspiration for musical artists it differs, yet to think Josh, a 41-year-old songwriter, guitarist, and lead vocalist for Jersey Calling would write music from angst is something we least expect. He revealed this in a recent interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh, where he shared parts of him and also some of the challenges he and the band have faced.
When asked about what really inspires him to write, this is what he had to say
“Anger is usually what motivates me to write. Also, self-doubt, sadness, and frustration with something about society at large. I’m kinda angsty for a 41-year-old guy, lol. “
Although this is true, Twisted Paradigm, which is the fourth song on their latest Parasocial Security album, has a nostalgic feel. This is perfect proof of the versatility Jersey Calling. Their song has the ability to alter your emotions. Parasocial Security has a total of songs and is heavily centered on post-punk.
According to the band, there were two reasons why they chose Parasocial Security as the title of their album.
“We chose Parasocial Security as the album title for two reasons: it is a play on “social security,” which seemed a good follow-up to our last album title of “Punk Rock Retirement,” and it’s a commentary on the parasocial relationships that have become a mainstay of modern society, including those we have with musicians on social media, whose lives are much more curated and public now. It’s not enough to just make music anymore, you need to have constant content.”
What really caught my attention of the artwork for the album, I would leave that to you to access it yourself.
Listen to Parasocial Security below
Follow Jersey Calling on
What is your stage name
Is there a story behind your stage name?
Sean (lead guitarist) and I (Josh, vocals/guitar) were originally in a band called Burn Kate that broke up. We were on a big kick of listening to The Clash at the time, and we thought Jersey Calling would be a cool homage to their album London Calling.
Where do you find inspiration?
Bad Religion, NOFX, Green Day, Paramore, Midtown, Against Me!, and then our own experiences in our lives inform our lyrics.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I grew up listening to punk all through high school, and I remember seeing my first local show with a band called Sexy Chocolate – guys I knew and hung out with – and it had never occurred to me that guys like me could play music too. So the local scene in my area gave me the confidence I needed to start my own band. It looked like so much fun!
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
My mother painted, and my dad does theater, so I grew up with an appreciation for the arts.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I love playing music, all of us do, and the dream would be able to do this and have it actually pay the bills. We aren’t there yet, lol.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
Sean (lead guitarist) taught me the basic chords on guitar. As far as singing, I always sang growing up, and it was just something that I did because we didn’t have someone else designated for that role. Now, Victoria is a different story. She can actually sing, and now she’s in the band AND I married her, so that’s awesome.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
Reel Big Fish, I was in high school and ska was my entryway into punk music. I still love ska.
How could you describe your music?
I often describe it to people as what punk sounded like in the 90s. 90s retro punk has been my go-to for describing our genre.
Describe your creative process.
Totally different for each song. Some start with lyrics, some with music, and some with just a title. I started writing Gods & Cowboys with Victoria because I heard someone in a YouTube video describe the United States as “the land of gods and cowboys.”
What is your main inspiration?
Anger is usually what motivates me to write. Also, self-doubt, sadness, and frustration with something about society at large. I’m kinda angsty for a 41 year old guy, lol.
What musician do you admire most and why?
I think Laura Jane Grace from Against Me!, Frank Turner, and Fat Mike from NOFX are my three favorite songwriters.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
We’ve always been a punk band, but I like to think that our songwriting had matured a bit. Some of my lyrics from 20 years ago make me cringe, but that probably means I’m growing.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I prefer cooperation to competition.
What are your interests outside of music?
I took up skateboarding last year (at 40), and I’m totally addicted to it. I absolutely love it.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
None of us do this as our career (yet?) Sean works for a non-profit food distributor, Randy’s a firefighter, John owns a restaurant, Victoria works in the justice system, and I’m a teacher.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
It’s tough to make the time necessary to do what we love, because we all have jobs, families, and social lives. But we do it as often as we can, because it’s important to us. Music has helped me process some really difficult times in my life, and I think I can say the same for the rest of the band members too. Randy fell off a roof while he was on a job as a firefighter back in February and was in a wheelchair for months.
He still hasn’t returned to work, and he said to us that music helps him through that. His story blew up and he talked about the band so much in his news interviews that Live Nation offered us an opening spot on the Adjacent Festival with Blink-182 and Paramore back in May of this year. So music ended up giving him (and us) one of the best days of our lives.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
There’s a lot of homogenization in the industry. There isn’t a lot of different genres on the top charts these days. It’s almost all pop or rap, which aren’t bad types of music, but it leaves me wanting more variety.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
We chose Parasocial Security as the album title for two reasons: it is a play on “social security,” which seemed a good follow-up to our last album title of “Punk Rock Retirement,” and it’s a commentary on the parasocial relationships that have become a mainstay of modern society, including those we have with musicians on social media, whose lives are much more curated and public now. It’s not enough to just make music anymore, you need to have constant content.
What are your plans for the coming months?
We have a couple music videos in the works, and we have a bunch of shows coming up. Follow us on Instagram jerseycalling to see where we’re playing next!
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
Not at the moment, but we’d certainly be open to the idea.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Thank you for continuing to listen, coming to our shows, and hanging out with us. We have some fans that go back over 20 years, and it’s been really cool growing up with them.