JOSH, a dreamy-folk band from Switzerland breezes into the singer/songwriter scene with their EP Kingdom North.
Three siblings are part of this six-piece Indie band –Janine, lead vocals and guitar –Vera, her sister, vocals, bass, electric guitar –Simon, her brother, vocals, xylophone, cello. A closeness of skin and memory comprise half of this band. A collection of journey seekers and truth hunters. JOSH instigates self-exploration in ways of yesterday, from the barefooted, face-painted youth settling on ideas of happiness contrary to popular belief. Rebels for happiness.
When my husband and I went to Zürich, we had the pleasure of staying with Janine and Vera in Egg, a small village just outside of the city. I was moved by their long hair and toothy smiles, then I listened and was haunted by Janine’s voice, almost quivering –inviting me to enter her Kingdom North.
What does JOSH mean? Why this name for the band?
It’s just a male first name. I always liked boys names for girls.
The name doesn’t give away anything about our genre, it’s short and we just like it.
What musicians or artists inspired the sound for JOSH?
I began playing guitar and writing songs when I was 12 years old, and at that point in time I had been a girl scout for 6 years, sitting around camp fires and singing songs to guitar strumming. I had written poems long before that. I started when I was maybe 9 years old because I found out that I had an ancestor, who was a great poet, Benjamin Franklin Wedekind. I was fascinated by how one could form a story or mold feelings into words and then into sentences that could move you, touch something deep inside you. I wanted to be able to do the same.
After a couple of years writing poems, I started to write songs. I grew up with music around me all of the time, classical and jazz, hip hop, reggae and funk. It’s just always been a part of me and it was plain natural to me to play music – the violin, the piano, to sing.
Nowadays I am inspired by lots of different artists and I’ll try to name a few:
Ben Howard, Lucy Rose, The Tallest Man On Earth, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Bear’s Den, Balthazar, Half Moon Run,…
But I listen to all kinds of music.
If JOSH were a country what country would it be and why?
Oh wow, I don’t think this country exists. It’d need mountains, big mountains, and the ocean so that you can go for a surf at dawn and there would be the big city, where you can see live bands and cry on old bridges and get lost or get fucked up and get rid of yourself for a night. It’d have forests and places where nothing is ever happening, like forsaken wideness. There’d be four seasons and there’d be wild animals. Because those are the places that inspire me, those are the places where life is happening. Even if I sometimes think it’s not happening at all, it is.
Where is JOSH going in the future?
We are currently recording new songs and we definitely want to bring them out one way or the other and then get back on the road and play as many shows as we can, wherever the people want us. We don’t want to be stuck in Switzerland. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country but it’s small and there are other things to see in the world that help me open my mind and stay awake, stay alive.
We don’t want to be world-famous or stinky rich, we just want to make music, play shows and move people in whatever way, makes them happy or sad. Music is a powerful thing.
What is JOSH’s prized possession in this world?
Passion, honesty, naivety, the love for music and a life philosophy to always do what I love. To me, that’s the most important thing in life.
Find their music here:
Find the JOSH documentary here:
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY: Jacklyn Janeksela