Yesterday, I emailed Josh (Caterer, singer and guitar player for the Popes) and asked if he would be willing to do an interview. I was pretty amazed at the quick affirmative response he gave. I would have figured he would be too busy (since they ARE on tour and everything) to get back to me but not only did he agree very quickly, he always responded to my interview questions pretty quickly. So anyway, here is the interview I did with him:
What made you originally want to play in a band ?
I always loved music. Ever since I was a little kid. We grew up listening to all kinds of stuff…rock, blues, big band, country, then started getting into punk rock and decided that was the way to go.
How did the Smoking Popes get together?
The Popes just kind of happened. My brothers and I had been jamming together since we were kids, so it seemed pretty natural to put a band name on it and start playing out.
From what I understand Smoking Popes were disbanded because of your heavy involvement in Christianity. Are you back together now because you are not involved in that anymore? What made you decide to put Smoking Popes back together?
When I became a Christian in 1998, it was such a huge change for me. Jesus changed my whole life, and it took me some time to adjust. I had to put everything else aside and just focus on my faith for awhile. After a few years, I felt grounded enough in my faith to be able to play rock music again without compromising in any way.
What is it like playing in a band with 2 of your brothers? Any sibling rivalry going on there?
No, we’ve always been great friends. We get along really well. I think being brothers helps us because we grew up with the same musical tastes and we can communicate really easily when we’re arranging music.
What are some of the differences you have noticed between working with Capitol Records as opposed to, say, Asian Man Records?
We love working with Mike Park at Asian Man. He’s a great guy. Being on Capitol was an interesting experience, but I think we’re more of an indie band. We like being able to do things the way we want without a lot of red tape.
What is the song writing process like? Do you write lyrics first or music first?
I usually write the music and melody first, then I’ll work on lyrics. Sometimes the music comes pretty quickly. I can put it together in one sitting. Then I’ll spend weeks looking for the right words. It took me three months to write the lyrics to Pretty Pathetic.
Is your other band, Duvall, still technically together and just on hiatus or had it been completely disbanded? Do you play any Duvall songs on tour with Smoking Popes?
Duvall didn’t officially disband, it just got eclipsed by the Popes reunion. Duvall did a couple shows last year, and I play Duvall songs when I do solo acoustic shows, but we don’t play them at Popes shows. I’m not sure why, it just doesn’t seem like the thing to do.
What sort of bands/artists have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been listening to the Secret Sisters album a lot. I love it. Other than that, I pretty much listen to old stuff. Beatles, Stones, Ramones, stuff like that.
What sort of things do you like to do outside of playing music?
I like to ride around on my motorcycle. I also like to watch movies with my wife. We get old movies from Netflix. I also very much enjoy sleeping.