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Inverness musician Josh Mackenzie celebrates his debut release on the No Big Deal Music label of single Somebody New from his own The Joshua Hotel side project

By Margaret Chrystall

There has been a big moment for Inverness musician, producer, songwriter and performer Josh Mackenzie with the release from The Joshua Hotel project of new single Somebody New, the first official release for Josh on label No Big Deal Music, run by Charlie Clark. It's already been a busy year for Josh with songwriting, recording, releases and working on plans to let the world get a glimpse of The Joshua Hotel live. He answers questions from Margaret Chrystall about all of it below ...

Q I know this is your official debut single with No Big Deal Music, the label run by Charlie Clark of Astrid fame, how does that feel?

A It feels both natural and exciting! The song was written around the time Charlie asked me to be part of the new label, so it really captures the essence and energy of ‘now’ in terms of everything that’s going on in life at the moment.

Josh Mackenzie of The Joshua Hotel. Picture: Nicky Murray
Josh Mackenzie of The Joshua Hotel. Picture: Nicky Murray

Q Josh – you have said the song is loosely inspired by the score of the 2010 film Drive. And you also said "It does happen to be a very heartfelt and deep number, in similar vein to the material on the EP [Closet Romantic], but a progression both sonically and in terms of songwriting". Could you elaborate on that a wee bit?

A Yeah, so in terms of songwriting, it feels like one of my most honest and confessional numbers. Sometimes a progression in one’s songwriting doesn’t necessarily mean the song is ‘better’ than previous works, but just that it’s maybe reached a new depth of honesty or a purer and more concise way of expressing experiences and emotions.

Sonically speaking, it is probably slicker in terms of production than the previous stuff, but only because it maybe did suit having a bit more vastness and dynamic in the mix compared to the more lo-fi leanings on the EP. Unlike the EP and previous singles, the mix for this track was finalised by someone else – Jason Shaw [Cambodian Space Project].

Jason kept everything sounding the same, but just added a bit more punch and texture to it. There’s a certain science to mixing and mastering that I haven’t quite grasped yet, so I was happy to hand it over.

Somebody New.
Somebody New.

Q Any further plans you can reveal yet for The Joshua Hotel – thought I'd ask as I know you had hopes to maybe get a live date out there before the end of the year?

A Yeah, it’s just taking a little longer than expected to get the live show together. We probably could play next week and it would be fine, but I just really want to have it all smoothed out. The band is tight and raring to go, it’s more just the logistical side of the live show that still needs a bit of work. I’m needing to learn how to use different forms of technology that are all a bit alien to me. It’s getting there. I fully expect 2022 to be filled with plenty of live performances.

The Joshua Hotel from Joshua Mackenzie, new single debuts on No Big Deal Music.
The Joshua Hotel from Joshua Mackenzie, new single debuts on No Big Deal Music.

Q Also, as many people will know, you are the frontman with Inverness band Lional too. Lional are doing a date at Madhatters in Hootanannys in Inverness soon?

A Lional are indeed playing a headline show at Madhatters on Thursday the December 23! Support comes from Moteh Parrott. It should be a special night. We will be performing a good mix of old and very, very new songs.

Somebody New is out now on No Big Deal Music: https://linktr.ee/TheJoshuaHotel

More on The Joshua Hotel on Facebook: @thejoshuahotel

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