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Get to know Josh Perdue with us. We sat down with my friend at the swanky new bar/dining are at Hotel San Jose. This is really a nice place. It was very hot that day. My brain melted during this interview. It was all I could do not to throw myself in the pool.The team this time was John Grubbs, Caity Shaffer and I. We had a good time with Josh. He earned the nick name ACDC during this conversation. Josh is just an amazing guitar player. Josh is on the way to becoming a legend. Get out there and see him in action. He will blow your mind! You can see him play with the Lost Counts at Sullivan’s Steakhouse every Tuesday and Wednesday from 7-11 and he usually shows up at the Gallery to play for the late night set. (Transcribed by Alexis Matthews)

Okay {laughter)

Josh: Is this like, is this like, an interview? Oh Yeah.

Austin Daze: When did you get started playing guitar?

Josh: Um… Let’s see… I had a Mickey Mouse guitar when I was about five, I guess… I started playing that around fourth grade I was in band, and I was tall enough, I was the tallest in class, so they told me to play upright bass, so, I got serious around 8, 9, something like that.

Austin Daze: Wow. Cool.

Josh: I got addicted. I got the bug.

Austin Daze: Where are you from?

Josh: I am from Arlington, Texas. Dallas/Fort Worth area. The new home of the Cowboys.

Austin Daze: Who were your biggest influences when you were a kid?

Josh: When I was a kid? My dad’s band. They kinda got me started with it. Um, ACDC. {laughter}

Austin Daze: Yeah. That’s cool.

Josh: Let’s see…

Austin Daze: Your dad was in ACDC? Awesome.

Josh: He was in ACDC, Yeah.

Austin Daze: Wow.

Josh: No, my dad had a 12 piece band, like, rhythm and blues, Motown show band when I was growing up. I was always hanging around them when they were practicing; so, while he was in the garage playing his guitar, I’d go in his closet and get his good guitar out–the one I wasn’t supposed touch, secretly but… {laughter} Secretly… I didn’t tell him. And so I could play one day. He was like, “When did you learn how to do that?”

Austin Daze: Who else did you listen to besides ACDC?

Josh: Um. I listen to a lot of Freddie King, Ray Charles, Jimmy Reed, you know, all the blues guys. My first concert was Hall and Oats. I was a big Hall and Oats fan. A lot of that stuff.

Austin Daze: Where did you see Hall and Oats?

Josh: I saw them at Reunion Arena. Yeah. Even with binoculars they looked very tiny, I was WAY in the back, … it was still great.

Lots of blues guys, I listened to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan. And Jimmy Vaughan. I am a huge Jimmy Vaughn fan. Still. To this day. Still. Mr. Class. He’s very classy.

Austin Daze: Let’s see… So… your from Arlington

Josh: Yeah.

Austin Daze: So… One of the main questions we had was about your relationship with Robert Walter.

Josh: Uh huh.

Austin Daze: So, who hooked you up with Robert Walter? How did you become acquainted with him?

Josh: It was a combination of two different people, Barbara Prashner and  Anthony Farrell from the Greyhounds. Anthony kinda hooked me up. Robert was coming into town and was asking Anthony who he should use for a guitar player and he suggested me because Anthony knew I loved all his music and I knew a lot of it, so, it was a good little fit.

Austin Daze: How did you prepare for your first gig with him?

Josh: Um, I just studied the music over and over and over. Well, I got a little process, before I even pick up a guitar I just listen to the songs over and over and over, get em stuck in my head, and then, teach my hands how to do it, pretty much. Same process I’ve been using since I was a kid, so… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. {laughs}

Austin Daze: Are you also a guitar teacher?

Josh: Yeah I teach private guitar, bass, vocals at um, Austin School of Music (North location).

Austin Daze: How long have you been doing that?

Josh: I’ve been doing that, for about, I guess, five years… so, yeah, I’ve got a bunch of students up there I teach. Just got finished doing the Rock Camp, which is all summer long, so that was really fun. Get to teach those kids how to be in a band and they get to play there gig, usually at Antone’s, but since Antone’s is closed, we did the Roost, so that was really fun. Very Rewarding.

Austin Daze:Do you have any stories from Rock Camp? Did you have a stand out students?

Josh: I have several there that just really really blossomed, this summer, and yeah, that’s just one of the greatest feelings, ever. Just like, I can only imagine what it would be like if that was your own kid, yeah so, that was pretty cool. Yeah, let’s see Eric Bitner, K.J. White. They are two up and coming guitar students, they are really getting in there, so.

Austin Daze: Who do you listen to now?

Josh: Little Walter {laughs} I listen to a lot a lot a lot of Little Walter, uh, Brewer Phillips, I listen to a lot of him. He was Hound Dog Taylor’s guitar player. I listen to a lot of Doo Wop, I love the fifties and sixties music, so I love all that stuff. I love all that Dap Tones stuff too, I am a big fan of of them like Menahan Street Band, Budos Band, Sharon Jones, Sugarman 3, love them.

Austin Daze: So specifically, what are some of your favorite albums?

Josh: Some of my favorite albums? Um… there is one band from the UK that I’m really really love and its weird because I like all the songs on all of there albums, which is rare for me to like, um, they’re called The Bees. They are really good. They’re sound is kinda like Indie Rock a lil bit. Everything I like about music they seem to mold into this beautiful package and sound so, I really dig that a lot.

Also, The first two Thunderbird albums are really good. The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Austin Daze: I don’t know if I have any genius questions, I saw, somebody posted like, if you could play with anybody living or dead… someone that you really don’t have an opportunity to play with now, but if miracles and strings could be pulled, is there somebody you would really like the chance to play with? Or would have liked the chance, like I say, they don’t have to be living.

Josh: I’d really like to play with Jimmie Vaughan.

Austin Daze: Dude, so let’s make that happen. So We’ll call up Jimmie now. Hey Jimmie! Hey Jimmie! I think that can & should happen, sure!

Josh: I’m a HUGE Jimmie Vaughn fan, like all my guitar player buddies we go and see him and our mouths just open, I even ask them, I’m like, “Do y’all feel like lil kids when you go see him play?” It’s like yes, it’s beautiful. He’s just got this huge bag of tricks that he never pulls from, and every once in awhile he’ll pull from it and it just gives all of us chills. I just love that. Yeah, I’m a huge fan of his. I’d like to meet Paul McCartney one day. That’d be cool. I wouldn’t know what to say to him though… fellow Gemini…

Austin Daze: You know Jimmie? I mean, you know, ask Paul, hey, you know Jimmie?

Josh: I play with a lot of the same people he does, got booted from a couple of gigs that I was supposed to sub for because he showed up at the last minute. That made me feel good a little bit, and bad at the same time.

Austin Daze: How did you get involved with Chicken Strut?

Josh: Uh, Bobby Perkins. I was living with Bobby Perkins and the original guitarist and then they parted ways. I just happened to know all the songs that they played, I was right there so they ask me to come in, started playing with them, been playing with them ever since.

Austin Daze: What about Golden Dawn Arkestra?

Josh: Golden Dawn, um…, I started playing with Topaz with Bobby Perkins and Mudphonic. They called me up to sit in,then Topaz started a couple of other projects. He had me on guitar, and then slowly morphed into Golden Dawn. So.. {laughs} just been hanging on to that ride, that train for a little bit. Very very fun band to play with.

Austin Daze: So, for everyone who hasn’t seen Golden Dawn, can you describe, what is that experience?

Josh: It’s like Sun Ra meets Fela Kuti meets seventies disco. Something like that. I call it Texas Afrobeat, if there is such a thing. {laughter} I think it’s kind of funny. It’s fun, it’s just fun, I call it a good time because it’s some of the best musicians in Austin all in one band. All my favorites and then, you know, we just get up there and have a good time… and people seem to like it so

Austin Daze: People like a good time

Josh: Oh yeah

Austin Daze: It’s underrated sometimes people look for perfection or superior musicianship, you know, and those things are good, don’t get me wrong, but when they don’t bring that fun, good times

Josh: Oh Yeah.

Austin Daze: then there’s something lacking so you can hide a lot of stuff, uh, with good times, because people enjoy, that’s what, in the old times, the band was the party central, they would create the party and sometimes people turned the party into a concert, it’s not the same thing.

Josh: We like to make em dance. That’s kind of our goal. Sometimes I pretend my guitar is a remote control, like a body remote control {dinga-dinga-dinga} and I play a little lick, and try and make someone’s shoulders move.

Austin Daze: Does it work?

Josh: It does sometimes! It’s kinda funny that’s why you’ll see me staring at some people sometime like {dinga-dinga-dinga} playing something odd, and see if they shake to it. It’s kinda fun man. I like it.

Austin Daze: What about your costume for Golden Dawn? Where did you get it? And why did you choose it?

Josh: Which one of my costumes? I have a habit of leaving my costumes at the gigs.

Austin Daze: Oh really?

Josh: and then trying to go back the day after and they’re gone… so… I just did it this last gig too, but it was recovered safely, so… That was kind of a combination of Laura Scarborough and Topaz’s idea and uh, Echo, she had a big involvement in that too, it kind of, doing the Sun Ra thing, a little bit, kinda dress it up, space men thing, you know? It’s fun. It’s hot up there too!

Austin Daze: It won’t be summer forever.

Josh: No, we’ve been very lucky, at least it’s not 2011!

Austin Daze: Have you seen Sun Ra in concert?

Josh: I have not. That would, that would definitely be an experience.

Austin Daze: {laughs} yeah. Let’s see… you’re in a band called Lost Counts?

Josh: Yeah, that’s my main band, the Lost Counts.

Austin Daze: Can you tell us, kind of, how it got started? And where you are going with it right now?

Josh: Well, I had a band with Greg Rhodes, he’s the bass player for Golden Dawn, he plays in Mudphonic, and the Avocados. The Avocados play here, like on Tuesdays. We had a band called Honey Bread; it was me, Greg, and Johnny Radelat. Johnny plays with Gary Clark, Jr. now.  Bobby kind of parted ways with Mudphonic, then they stole my bass player, they stole Gregg from me. So, I found Nathan Basigner, my organ player, he moved into town, I found him on Facebook. Said, “Hey, you want to get together and jam.” We’ve been a band since. It started out with me on guitar, Nate Basinger on Organ, Nick Stephens on sax and Johnny Radelat on drums. Then… Gary Clark Jr. stole my drummer, they stole Johnny from me, {laughs} so now he’s touring with Gary and now on drums we have Bobby Trimble who I grew up listening to. He was in a band called Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys. I heard he was in town, he was living here, so I called him up, said, “Hey you wanna be in the band?” And we’ve been playing since. The hits of the fifties. {laughs}

Austin Daze: What advice would you have for a musician just starting out?

Josh: Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen.

I mean, like, like really really listen. Because there is so much stuff, in one song, that most people like miss, you know, because it’s just for enjoyment, if you’re studying something, if you saturate your ears enough with it, you’re going to pick it up, you know? If you want to learn Spanish move to Spain, you know, kinda thing. And be respectful to other people. Be the yes man, you know? I was talking to Frosty about that the other day, um, and he was like, I didn’t get to be where I am at today and still playing because I’m good, it’s because I’m a ‘yes man’ I say, “I’m here to do my job that you want me to do.” So… Just be nice, and be cool, and don’t bring you’re shit to the stage. {laughs}

Austin Daze: That’s good advice

Josh: And and and just love it. Let your heart come out.

Austin Daze: How can you be rock and roll if you don’t bring your shit to the stage? That’s what it’s all about!

Josh: That’s right! That’s right! That’s right! I’m trying to change the mold. At a very young age I started noticing

Austin Daze: Rock and Roll people quite often, crash and burn too.

Josh: Oh yeah…oh yeah.

Austin Daze: With their shit on the stage.

Josh: I’ve always felt like that. I’ve always wanted to kinda like, change the game a little bit. Because I started noticing, at an early age, that all my influences are alcoholics and drug addicts, and just old blues men, and stuff like that, like, I wanna do that without all that stuff, so…

Austin Daze: I don’t know if it’s across the board, but it’s true for, a lot of this generation of musicians, is that they don’t have all the same troubles as the seventies rock and rollers did.

Josh: Oh no. No. They don’t.

Austin Daze: Some do. But, a lot of them just didn’t have that as part of their deal.

Josh: Right.

Austin Daze: You know like the stories of the Beatles, where they were like, before the, the dope and the acid and stuff, they were just doing pills and amphetamines and drinking crazy amounts of alcohol.

Josh: Oh Yeah

Austin Daze: Just to fuel their drive, and so like, some musicians, I’m not saying all musicians are pure now, but a lot of these younger kids, they stretch, they do yoga, they eat right.

Josh: Oh yeah.

Austin Daze: Vegetarian food and then they go home and they’ve studied all the the music, and so that they bring a different slant to it I guess. So, I’m glad you’re not going to fall apart tomorrow…

Josh: Good. Yeah, me too. Yeah, it’s a different time then it was back you know, back in the day. I was reading somewhere the other day about Brewer Phillips, mentioned earlier, who played with Hound Dog Taylor, he was telling stories about him and Hound Dog used to argue all the time and they’d get in a heated discussion, and you know, Hound Dog shot Brewer, like, three times, like on separate occasions  and stuff like that.

Austin Daze: You’d think you’d learn eventually!

Josh: Yeah! Like, you were still playing with him after he shot you three times. Huh… That’s devotion or something. {laughs} I hope my band members don’t shoot me.

Austin Daze: Some of those things are pretty tragic too, just like, beyond the…

Josh: Oh yeah

Austin Daze: …complete, disintegration of the person, someone super talented like Charlie Parker, for example. Just a tragic, tragic story, to channel that tragedy to play great music… So, glad you don’t have to channel that great tragedy to play great music.

Josh:  Oh yeah, he’s a big, Charlie Parker is a big, big like focused, slash practicing method had a big influence on me. I love his music, and I love his Be Bop lines, and I’d love to learn em legit one day but… I wanna, I wanna poster of Charlie Parker. My walls in my room are blank, and I just want one poster of Charlie Parker staring me down, so I know I need to practice (laughs) He would practice, like, 13, 15 hours a day. Like, that’s insane.

Austin Daze I saw some documentary that had some great footage of him, just doing something, that was, I don’t know, you could see it, he was one of those people that music just kind of seeped out of seemed like…

Josh: Oh yeah. Well, he was a very humble guy man, and he invented this style of music and he didn’t think anything was like, that different or that great about it. He was just like, this is what I think it should be you know, so this is what I’m doing, you know. Just an amazing influence, you know.

Austin Daze: You don’t play Bossa nova, or do you play Bossa nova?

Josh: Um, yeah we play a lot of, we kinda play like, soul Bossa type stuff in The Lost Counts. In the Lost Counts we play all kinds of stuff, we’ll do like early Ska, rock steady, fifties and sixties R&B, we’ll do some swamp pop, we do all that stuff too. So… it’s fun.

Austin Daze: I think we should all go jump in the pool!

Josh: Yeah!

Austin Daze: Well, we would make a scene. Speaking of Rock and roll, that’s kinda a rock and roll thing to do.

Josh: It is. We need a TV to throw in there, or a desk or something. That would be super rock and roll.

Austin Daze: That would be a cool, just have a TV, and a student desk under water, and you’re down there, in like a little scene, holding your breath, or just have bubbles coming out…

Josh: You’re on the phone…

Austin Daze: Let’s do it. I’ll go buy an underwater camera. We’d have a great time.

{laughter}

We’d need some weights, cause, it’s hard to stay underwater on the bottom.

Josh: {laughs} yes. I’ve heard it’s kinda hard to breath under there too.

Austin Daze: Is there an underwater make-up specialist in town?

Josh: Oh, mercy.

Austin Daze: Man, thank you man. Thank you for doing this.

Josh: Oh, thank you, I hope I’ve had some good information in there. {laughs} that was fun.

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