On Saturday, August 21 The Heights had the opportunity to sit down with Josiah and the Bonnevilles, a band made up of Josiah Leming, Stephen Johnson, and Josh Nyback. The band spoke about their beginnings, their music, and their hopes for the future.
The Heights: How did your interest in music begin? Did you have a musical family or did someone encourage you to start playing instruments or sing?
Johnson: My grandfather was a concert violinist. I don’t know if it’s true, but they say music skips a generation. My mom has no musical talent whatsoever, but she made me take piano lessons when I was young because she wanted to make sure I carried on the musical legacy. I played classical piano—Mozart and Beethoven.
Leming: I just loved it when I was young. Church was the one thing that spoke to me. I have always liked music.
The Heights: How do you all know each other and how did the band form? Then, how did you create your sound?
Leming: I have known Josh for a while. We toured in a prior project. We reconnected in 2014, which is when I also met Stephen. We all wanted to form a band and I had a new batch of songs to show them. It was an instantaneous click. I don’t think there was a doubt in any of our minds that we liked what was going on. We took it to some stages in L.A., got some great feedback, and the rest is history.
Johnson: As for our sound, it is still developing. It has been a cool evolution, figuring out how to play our music live and how we want the record and the live performances to coexist.
The Heights: What was your first lucky break?
Leming: I don’t know if we have had our lucky break yet. We have had some good things come our way in the last two years, though.
Nyback: I’m a firm believer that if you just keep doing what you’re doing and you like what you’re doing, people will eventually help you get to the top.
The Heights: And can you tell me about your EP Cold Blood?
Leming: Cold Blood is a batch of songs that we wanted to use to introduce ourselves to the world. The album will be a further step in that direction.
The Heights: Was there an overall theme or message you were trying to convey in your EP?
Leming: I think each song lives individually. They all establish a timeline in life and in emotion.
The Heights: If you could meet and work with any contemporary musician right now who would it be?
Johnson: Besides Josiah and the Bonnevilles? Short pause. I would like to get a little jam in there with Matt DeMarco.
Leming: The stuff that I love is old and very lyrical. There’s a Canadian guy Andy Shauf that I love. He’s really good. But I don’t think that I need to work with or know the people that I love.
The Heights: Is there anyone playing at the festival this weekend that you’re particularly excited to see?
Leming: I’m excited to see Hayley Kiyoko over on the Sun Stage in a little bit.
The Heights: What is in store for your band for the fall and in 2017?
Leming: So far, we have been doing an L.A./New York cycle for our shows. I imagine that will continue. And just putting finishing touches on our upcoming album.
Johnson: Really hoping to get up to Boston College.
Featured image by Blythe Calderley / For The Heights