An Interview with
The Frontman of 'Motorbone'
from Hollywood, California, USA
that took place on July 2nd, 2016.
Interviewed By Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: Where did your name come from? I noticed you were called Dangerbone and then you became Motorbone.
Josh: It’s a long story. Basically me and the guys in the band have known each other for 25 years. All played in different strip bands. Bands opening for the big name bands, getting signed for all the ? stuff…. Fast-forward a little bit further and the guy that is playing guitar with me now, Dick Delnevo, he and I wrote some songs near enough ten years ago and called the band Motorbone. Then something happened and it didn’t work out. I got into another band and I wanted to take it, but the guys said, “No that’s the other bands name, you can’t do this”, so we were ‘Dangerbone’.
We liked ‘Dangerbone’ because it was like a cartoon characters name plus the D and the B we made it look like a penis so that was funny. That band went through a few different incarnations but I had written all the music for the songs for the band and we became Suicide Jones. When I re-grouped with these guys, friends of 20 years, I just put those songs I wrote with Suicide Jones, some of the songs I wrote with Dick on guitar with Motorbone and we created Motorbone from the ground up.
So the name, if you google the name it means pretty much what you think it does. It’s a nice-fun sex act. It really explains what our band is all about.
Glenn: Which big names did you used to support, whereabouts and what stories have you got to tell about those days?
Josh: Well the bands that we were in back in the day – the drummer, Keith Morgan was in a band called ‘Big Bang Babies’ (with Guitarist, Keri Kelli) & 'Razmataz' too , me and Dick were in a band called ‘Street Love ’ that turned into ‘Grace’. We opened for LA Guns, Warrant, Tuff, Jackyl and all those guys when they came through the Sunset strip, towards the end of the 80’s and the early 90’s – we opened for all those guys. Also, our Bassist, Dan Bartlett was in a Hard Rock band called 'Dead End Sky' who are fronted by the original Five Finger Deathpunch Frontman, Kyle Zemanek.
Glenn: Do you miss those days?
Josh: I miss those days… you have no idea!
Glenn: I wonder why (I laugh)
Josh: It’s not because of the youth. Everybody says it, “I wish I knew then what I know now – it’s part of being successful but my story is a little bit different. I was born and raised up in the Seattle area. I lived on the streets for ten years from 14 to 24. I was a street kid hanging out with the homeless kids, sleeping in abandoned houses, hitch-hiking across country. When I came to L.A. I left Seattle when Alice In Chains was still putting on make-up and teasing their hair.
When I came down here, Glam Rock was still gong to be the big thing and it wasn’t until two years later that Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains… the way that they released the records, the way they were then.. it wasn’t until a couple of years after that they changed their look and grunge came in. So I missed the boat by a couple of years, but of course in Hollywood nobody knew. Nobody knew that the nation was changing. We all kept to our guns. Oh no, we were going to be Rock ‘N’ Roll, Motley Crue, Guns ‘N’ Roses but the rest of the world were Pearl Jam and Nirvana.
Now there isn’t a dangerous Rock ‘N’ Roll act up there now that is current. Sure, all these bands, Buckcherry is a great example and then the old guys from the Hollywood Vampires.. all these guys would try and come out revamping their old stuff. But there’s nobody that’s coming out with new current music that still sounds like dangerous stuff that came out before. We know we are not spring chickens but we still put on a great show and we would love to help bring that back. We are not Stadium Rock Stars – we’ll leave that for the kids to come up. We want to bring that sh*t back and be the forefront of that.
Glenn: Is that why you are playing a lot of the main small venues in the Hollywood area such as Crazygirls, Skinnys and those sorts of places to get your name known again and let the new kids latch onto it?
Josh: Yes. We are trying to put our name out there everywhere. I mean, all the local bands of course or local venues. Doing an interview with you in the UK is fantastic. I love you for coming out and checking us out and for putting our name out there. We are trying to get known as well anywhere that has a great radio presense. The old days of trying to get a record deal – that’s done. There’s no such thing as a CD really anymore. People released one song at a time on Itunes. So we are trying to find a good way to release that and grow our fanbase.
Glenn: With regard to your band being signed, I noticed that on the bands facebook page itself, it mentions a label called ‘Heavy Harmonies’. Who are they?
Josh: That was our old record company that we created when we went to ASCAP and copyrighted our tunes. Somebody came in and purchased some other songs and they were produced under that moniker – not all of them. We are absolutely not signed. We are looking for a rep. Who knows what a record label could do for us anyway. They don’t do things the way they used to. Any support from anybody is totally welcome.
Glenn: For other people that are outside of the area or outside the USA, what would you say personally is a main selling point of why people and record companies should come and check you out and get you up where you should be, so to speak?
Josh: What they should expect and the reason they should come out to a Motorbone show and check out our tunes is not only good times Rock ‘N’ Roll but they all tell tell a story. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and you’ll have a good time. We do rock – that’s the biggest selling point. If you want a good time, Heavy Metal Rock ‘N’ Roll that kicks your ass, that’s the reason to come out.
Aside from that, we are a drinking mans band. You want to have a party? Come out and see Motorbone! If you want to have a good time, come out and see Motorbone! If you want to leave and say, “Man, that just rocked!”, come out and see Motorbone! We are not there to blow you away with the biggest chops anybody has ever had. We are not there to be the heaviest band and create a huge mosh pit. We’re not there to do any showing off or be pretentious. We are there to have you have a good time. We’re gonna have a great time doing it. You have a great time in the audience – it’s a party – that’s all it is!
Glenn: I was watching your ‘S&M’ Promo video. All your songs have a story, so what is the story behind that song?
Josh: Well that’s a good question. That song was written a while ago about when I was the homeless kid. I spent a lot of time having young ladies take care of me. I would do whatever they needed me to do to have them feed me and keep me warm. However, at the end of the day, if they think that they were getting one on me, I don’t care if they tie me up because they are the ones going down. So ‘Hey, I am your slave, you are just what you say’ but in that last chorus, it turns around, ‘Hey, you are my slave, that’s what I say’ and that’s what it’s all about – reciprocation.
Glenn: I have seen quite a few of your songs live when I came to see you at Crazygirls. What songs mean the most to you that you are most proud of and you really want to get out there and say, “Look, you need to hear this song, this is our story?
Josh: There are a few of those. Two of those were just recently recorded and about to be released. One is called ‘Wake Me’ and it’s very much… I’m a very proud… let’s just say I walk with God but I have no religion. The song is about how religion has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes and everyone knows that Mother Nature or something way more powerful than we are. But the written word has been written by man and in my opinion shadowed what being with God really means. So that’s a very, very important song to me.
The other one is called ‘Lost And Found’. We’ve all been there. It’s about being the most popular kid in the room but deep down inside feeling alone. Being at a party and there’s lots of people around and they are all your friends but you feel like you are lost in a crowd. That one is probably the most important.
Aside from that, I know they are the lighter songs although we play heavy rock but those are lighter crossover Rock ‘N’ Roll. As far as the heavy ones go, there’s a song called ‘Get In The Game’ which is all about being a waffle hour – just get off your ass and get in. Once you do, you’ll feel fine. That one’s heavy, ‘Get in the game, get in a fight’. I am hoping that one gets released pretty soon too.
Glenn: Yeah, I remember hearing these brand new songs when you played at Crazygirls.
Josh: Yes, you know what? We are back at Crazygirls on July 25th! Whoop! Come and see us and then get your lap dance!
Glenn: (I laugh). It’s a funny little place. It’s a quirky place.
Josh: Yeah quirky right?
Glenn: Yeah. I kind of like the place. It’s kind of a love/hate sort of a place. It’s a strange place.
Josh: It’s been there forever.
Glenn: Yeah. You just don’t expect to have shows in a strip club. I noticed you are going to play at Skinny’s Lounge.
Josh: Yeah, July 14th we’ll be at Skinny’s. Absolutely.
Glenn: What would you say your favourite venues are there to play and why?
Josh: They all vary. I like ‘em all. I love Crazygirls. It’s great because if you play the right song, the girl will get up on stage and dance to it. It really nice to know that strippers can dance to your music. There’s a place in Pasadena, it’s not really a Rock ‘N’ Roll bar but when the fans and friends come out it’s a packed party called ‘The Old Town Pub’. We’re there about once a month at the end of the month. That one has got a pub feeling. It’s got a old English décor. It’s a small place but the people that come, they rock hard and it’s really a traditional rock venue but they really enjoy it.
Also, there's Loaded which is a Hollywood Boulevard haunt. The reason why that one’s great is because people that go there want to hear Rock music. It’s what it is. It’s a rock bar. There’s not many of these left here in Los Angeles. It used to be all Rock ‘N’ Roll but now it’s hip-hob and dance. There’s not a lot of Rock ‘N’ Roll but that’s definitely one of them.
Glenn: It’s funny you should mention Loaded because it is re-opening tonight (the band room) because my buddy Ruby is playing – in fact he is headlining with his band Carrera.
Josh: My buddy, Ricky Ohrn and Aaron Lee from Rebel Hotel are gonna be playing with Kate Crash and my buddy Ruby Carrera. They are headlining and I’ll be there at 9 o’clock. As soon as I get off the phone with you I am going to start the party. Hopefully I’ll still be awake when I get there.
Glenn: (I laugh) So the main thing at the moment is to get the show on the road with these songs. Do you have plans to bring an album out or just get the songs out on itunes?
Josh: I think right now we are just going to go for one song at a time until we get some representation. The song that is going to be released in the next couple of weeks is called ‘Wake Me’.
Glenn: Why did you decide to perform the song ‘B*st*rd’ by Motley Crue? Does that song mean a lot to you are is it just a great song that you just like playing?
Josh: It’s a song we just love playing. It’s got a great groove. That was one of Motley Crue’s best records. It’s great to play a song that everyone knows but nobody ever gets to hear. The only time Motley Crue ever played that live was at the 1983 Us Festival. They rocked but they did not execute it that raw. We are f*ck*n’ ‘B*st*rds’ so we love to play that song and we do it pretty well.
Glenn: Yeah it sounded great. Especially to finish the night off with. You have to finish the night on a great song and it’s such a great song to finish the set off with.
Josh: Yeah, for sure! Because people know it, they love it and it sounds great.
Glenn: Completely! What would you say your proudest moments of being in Motorbone are so far?
Josh: That’s tough. I have two children so what am I going to say? I have two kids, I’ve lived a couple of different lives. I’ve lived a few normal people’s lives in my lifetime so I’ve had several really proud moments. It’s really hard for me to pick out one. I’ll tell you right now, something that’s huge for me is having frikkin’ Glenn Milligan get in touch with Motorbone and say hey, “I’d love to do an Interview with you guys!”. That made me super proud baby! Motorbone is super, super honoured to be interviewed by you and just be out there and I appreciate that.
Glenn: Oh it’s a pleasure. Would you say there are certain things that have happened in the band that you are really proud of apart from still being there?
Josh: Just having the music come together and being in a project where there’s no in-fighting. Nobody’s arguing, we’re all there to have a good time. We are all past all that drama. Being in Motorbone is probably one of my proudest moments right now period.
Glenn: So if you could throw some claws out there, so to speak and say, “Right guys, we want to support your band on tour”, who would you like to support to get to the big arena gigs or whatever else because you have so much passion and so much going off on stage which makes you worthy.
Josh: We’d love to get on a National Tour with Halestorm. I think what they do is frikkin’ killer as far as a new Rock band they are probably the best – straight-up Rock ‘N’ Roll’. I’d love to go out and support Buckcherry. I knew him from being back in the day and going out and doing a short jaunt with those guys would be a lot of fun. There’s so many bands to mention. I mean, new artists, new heavy artists… if I could get on a bill with Volbeat from Sweden… if we could do that it would be absolutely phenomenal. There’s too many artists to name. We are ready to get out there right now.
Glenn: That’s awesome. I like your mind-frame right there because you have so much passion to be in the band and make it to the stage you want to get to and that’s something to strive for that. You’ve got to admire people that do that. That’s great!
Josh: Never give up kid! Never give up!
Glenn: Exactly. Right I’ll let you get off but say hi to everyone for me.
Josh: Thank you so much. I appreciate it man.
Glenn: Right you take care of yourself Brother. Thanks Josh.
Josh: You too buddy!
Glenn: See you later man! Bye.
Check out the following Links:
Instagram - @motorbone_band