#90 Josh Dion-Drummer and Multi-Instrumentalist for Paris Monster
This episode starts with Damon and Marcos talking about Decision Fatigue. You may be experiencing this in long days and sometimes its best to get some rest and reset rather than keep pushing and risk mistakes.
This week’s guest is Josh Dion. Josh is 50% of the band Paris Monster, where he plays drums, keyboards and also sings. Josh Dion was born at the tail end of the disco funk era, when popular radio bore the sounds of Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, and 'four on the floor' drum beats! Raised in Storrs, CT, Josh started playing his father's drums before he even started kindergarten. He grew up playing drums to the simple and beat driven sounds of Nick Mason and Ringo Starr. He also lived across the hall from his older brother, who not only followed the Grateful Dead, but introduced him to Cream at the tender age of seven. Rightfully so, Cream, Zeppelin and the Stones led Dion to Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and beyond.
A prodigious talent, Josh started playing professionally at age eight and was invited to shed with the UConn Jazz Studies program by the time he was twelve. While he was impressing people with his percussion skills, he was playing piano and singing in his local church, developing talents which would eventually help him stand out even among the world class drummers in whose company he has now found himself.
After a stint in the music program at New Jersey's William Paterson University, he has made New York City his home. Josh's college days were greeted by an immersion in the Jam band scene with NYC funk band Ulu, who toured the Eastern half of the US. Josh was soon noticed by jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb, who offered Josh an opportunity to be seen and heard by a whole new level of the music audience. From that platform, he has gone on to work with some of the major brand names of the music world: Candy Dulfer, Spyro Gyra, Will Lee, Pat Martino, Jeff Kashiwa, Jason Miles, Anthony Jackson, Edgar Winter, Randy Brecker, Bob James, Eric Marienthal, Til Bronner, Jim Beard, Ivan Lins and on and on.
Damon and Marcos briefly talk about how Zach Danziger triggers a multi-media experience from his drumset.
Next up, friend of the show, Stefon Harris is coming out with a new album and we can offer you a sneak peak of the first single off the album. The album is called “Sonic Creed” and the single is called “Now”.
Shoutout to Dani Markham for being on the podcast (episode 81) and also inviting us to see her on tour with Childish Gambino. You can see the rest of the remaining TOUR DATES by clicking the link. Also, shoutout to Negah Santos and the rest of the Jon Batiste and Stay Human band for being at the Emmy Awards where most of the SNL band was the house band (Shoutout to Valerie Naranjo)
Our Iconic Recording this week is the song “Back In Our Minds” by Funkadelic from the album “Maggot Brain”. This features gratuitous use of the LP Flex-A-Tone and other percussion instruments played by Eddie “Bongo” Brown. Eddie was a member of the Funk Brothers who were featured on the video “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”
Music News for this week………..
The ultimate EQ cheat sheet for knowing what sounds and sonic ranges instruments should be in the studio (or even live settings based on what sounds you want to get). Quincy Jones co-signs the app JammCard and invests $1 million. The Music Modernization Act was getting fast tracked in the Senate without the last min demands by Sirius XM and after we posted the episode, the Senate passed it. We can thank SONA (Songwriters of North America) for all the hard work in helping to make this happen and become a reality. Next step - reconciliation in the House. Then the President signs. Then its law!
The Paris Monster tour starts in London. GO SEE THEM!!!!
The song leading into the interview is called “A Vision Complete”.
The church where Josh started exploring his singing and piano playing was at Full Gospel Interdenominational Church in Manchester, CT.
Josh talks about being into big bands in the swing era. That was the 1930s into the 1940s. To see a more detailed timeline, CLICK HERE.
One album that was big in Josh’s jazz education and development was “Everybody Digs Bill Evans”
Mark Small is the saxophonist Josh and Damon bring up who got his undergrad at Uconn, Masters at the New England Conservatory and after a six year stint with Michael Buble, is finishing his doctorate at the University of Miami.
One of the first bands Josh toured with that helped him break onto the scene was the band Ulu.
The Josh aka “The Funk Machine” also was a radio DJ before getting the gig with guitar player Chuck Loeb.
Damon and Josh bring up a couple of singing drummers like Phil Collins and Levon Helm, but Josh mentions how he spent time going deep into what it is that Levon did with “the Band” and then even deeper with Earth, Wind and Fire.
Josh’s new band is with Geoff Kraly and it is called Paris Monster.
The first video that Josh mentions in trying to play drums, his keyboard playing and vocals at the same time is from his Facebook page.
As far as the origin of the name, Cinques-tetes, or the Paris Monster was created in 1797. The cartoon was intended to illustrate America's displeasure with the French government, specifically over French attacks on American ships and the subsequent XYZ Affair.