Joshua Fiedler Interview

September 14, 2009

I was fortunate enough to have a few questions answered by Juliana Theory and Vesta guitarist Joshua Fiedler. Here is what Josh had to share.

  • Josh, when you were in High School you played with long-time band mate Joshua Kosker and former Juliana Theory drummer Neil Hebrank in a band called Noisome. How and when did you guys get together? What was your early music output like?
  • Josh Fiedler

    Well it started out as me 16, a cousin of mine, and Neil both 15. I had been playing guitar and writing songs for about a year, and my cousin had also been playing for a short time. He said that his friend Neil just started to play drums, so we got together in Neil's parents living room and played Nirvana songs at first, and I started to introduce a few of the songs that I had written. 2 or 3 practices in, my cousin found out he was moving to Delaware, and Neil said that his friend had just started playing guitar. It ended up being Josh whom I had ridden the bus with to school everyday for our entire lives, but little did I know that Josh had literally started playing guitar a few weeks before hand, so I ended up being one of his teachers almost... it was pretty funny. But needless to say he picked it up quite fast. At first I would say that our stuff was very grunge, but after some time it ended up being very pop-punk. We really loved bands like Screeching Weasel, the Queers, Mr. T Experience, The Muffs, and the Descendants.

    • Neil Hebrank plays in Confident Years, have you heard their stuff?
    • Yes, I have both of the recordings that they did with Neil. They are very good, very catchy. Although I believe that they are no longer going to be making music. It's too bad.

      • I read in a Post Gazette article that you got married in a two week hiatus from the Juliana Theory in 2005, were you pretty much back on tour in the 'mother ship' straight after getting married? Do you miss the touring? Is the plan for Vesta to lots of tour dates?
      • That is true... it was crazy. We took 2 weeks off so I could be home one week before the wedding for the final planning, and then a week after so I could go on my honeymoon. I think I was only home for 2 days before we left back on tour for another 5-6 weeks.

        • You toured the UK in 2002 and then again in 2006 with The Juliana Theory, what are you memories of touring through England and Scotland, was it a good experience?
        • Josh Fiedler
          image courtesy soundriot.com

          It was a very good experience. The only complaint I would have had were the bus situation our first time through. We had this small bus that had no heat, and the toilet had leaked before we got the bus, so the floor was soaked in urine. And your Salad dressing leave much to be desired. But, we had tons of fun at all the shows, and of course walking around the cities we were in. My best memory was the show at the 100 club in London. To this day I think that was the best show we had ever played outside of Pittsburgh. And the hottest I had ever been in my life. And of course touring with Funeral for a Friend. Those guys were some of the nicest lads we had ever met.

          • We all know you were a founding member and staple of The Juliana Theory. If you could take one song with you and play with Vesta which song would that be?
          • To be honest, I wouldn't take any because they were so special with TJT. All of our songs, and the chemistry we all had. But the same goes for our Vesta songs as well, I don't think I would want to take any of those to TJT either.

            • Is there any meaning to the name of your new band, Vesta? How did you come up with it?
            • It has a few meanings all of which can be found just typing through on the net, but I heard it quite a while back. The first meaning I had heard was that it was the Wiccan goddess of fire. After that I think I told it to Kosker, and said we should call our side project this if we were ever to do one... and now 4 years later he we are.

              • When you first created the Vesta MySpace page you were credited as the only band member, was it originally intended to be a solo project? How did you go about bringing the other band members on board?
              • Joshua Fiedler
                image courtesy Andy Schwegler

                At first I was the only member. And I honestly didn't really know what i wanted to do with Vesta. I had about 5 or 6 songs that I had completed but knew I wasn't much of a singer. At first my plan was to put a band together with a female vocalist. But I had a job at the time that really didn't allow for any time to start anything. Eventually I ended up with a different job where I had met Justin. Justin was a drummer in a few local bands at the time, and he convinced me to jam one day. We played through about 3 songs and it felt really good. But father time snuck back in and nothing ever came of it for some reason or another. Eventually me and Justin started working with Chad, and after a couple months of talking about it, we finally decided to all get together to jam, and we of course still needed a singer, and Josh was the most obvious choice of everyone in the band. It made sense because we had all been close, knew how we all worked together, and 4 years ago when I had come up with the name he was intended to be the lead singer.

                • Do you still play a Gibson Les Paul?
                • I do still play one. And it is still my favourite guitar ever made, however I do sneak in my old Tele once in awhile too. I would also eventually like to get a Jazzmaster or two; they are another one of my favourite guitars.

                  • Your julianatheory.com bio says your favourite band is the Beatles and that you're a big video games fan. Have you played the Beatles Rock Band game that has just came out?
                  • I'm actually not a big fan of the Rock Band/Guitar Hero games. In my opinion kids spend so much time on the games trying to get good, when they could spend that time on a real instrument.

                    • Have you heard of Video Games Live? they have a full orchestra playing music from games live, they have dates in Philadelphia in October, you should check it out
                    • I think I read an article on that before, sounds very cool. There is another band that is really cool on the same level. They are an indie instrumental group called The Advantage, and they just play songs from Nintendo games like Super Mario Brothers, Castlevania, Metroid, MegaMan etc.

                      • White Album or Revolver?
                      • Hmmm. Very tough question because they are both equally my favourite records. I guess I would have to say it would depend on what kind of mood I was in. It's honestly too hard of a choice between the two... both very good in every way, but COMPLETLEY different.

                        • Letterman or Leno?
                        • Letterman.

                          • Godfather or Goodfellas?
                          • I guess I would have to go with Goodfellas because I have never watched the Godfather trilogy as crazy as that sounds... but I wasn't into the whole mafia thing like the rest of the guys were.

                            • When and where can we get the new Vesta EP?
                            • Everyone will be able to purchase the digital copy through iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and Napster. And the band itself will be selling a hard copy that you will be able to buy on our new website and MySpace that will have one extra song on it, and we will also be giving an extra downloaded song or 2 with it as well.

                              If you haven't yet heard Josh's new band Vesta head on over to the Official Vesta MySpace page and have a listen.

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