Barkley – The music business is interesting. It seems to be constantly evolving and it’s exciting to see what’s going to happen next. – @elegantdevils

Live interview 
Episode #382

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Drew James, Rob Frank, Josh West, & Josh Barkley.

Elegant Devils.

Barkley – The music business is interesting.
It seems to be constantly evolving and it’s exciting to see what’s going to happen next.

Rob – I think the music business has moved from a past of being a very set in stone formula,
to a business model that is always changing and in flux. You need to be able to adapt and be proactive to the changes as they come. If not, you run the risk of being left behind.

West – I don’t know any cons, music is fun and engaging,
if it is come to a pros / cons list you should stop.

Drew – The pros that we’ve experienced vastly outweigh the cons.
The biggest pros are the simplest ones – I get to spend my nights playing music with people I respect and often consider family. Some of my best friends are in this band, and to make music with them is a real honour. To be privileged enough to be given a chance to connect with so many people – to find others who are struggling with something I’ve struggled with, or to celebrate a high point in our lives together. That’s a big part of why we do what we do. The cons all revolve around the same problem I think everyone has experienced – there are all kinds of people who are looking to exploit performers for their own benefit, or who have been burnt out by the challenges that the music business has laid in front of them. It’s tough to see, but sometimes completely understandable.

Barkley – By learning from mistakes, and getting better at what we do,
and of course turning the frustration into new songs

West – By remembering that struggles are not a reason to quit,
they are just obstacles to overcome

Barkley – Victor Wooten.
The guy is just phenomenal! After 5 minutes of hanging out, I’m pretty sure I’d be a better musician just from proximity.

West – Les Claypool,
he is an incredible musician and someone who hasn’t really embraced the rockstar persona, a man who slaps a bass like it owes him money, and then makes videos bout fishing, I think he is a man who has music all figured out

Rob – I’m sure Butch Vig would be an interesting conversation.
He’s a musician, producer, mixer, runs his own studio, is part of a great band, and has worked with or alongside some other very talented artist’s. He’s the definition of a multitasker, and I can relate to that a lot.

Drew – My choice would have to be Dave Grohl.
He’s just…such a nice friggin’ guy. He’s been in two of the most successful rock acts of the last 50 years (arguably more) and he still seems so genuinely interested in helping others succeed, and so profoundly grateful for what he’s been able to do with his life. He is definitely my role model when it comes to all things music. And probably beyond.

Barkley – I grew up falling asleep with headphones, 
listening to rock music. There was already music in the house

West – My entire family has played guitar so it was natural to pick one up,
there was always an acoustic or a banjo lying around the house. A tradition I am trying to keep going with my son.

Drew – my whole life has been built around music.
I didn’t have first words, I had a first song.

Rob – I grew up with music always being present.
It was something that was always there and something I am grateful for.


Drew – Amaranthine is as pure a love song as you can get.
It was written as a wedding gift for one of my very best friends. He asked me to perform it at the wedding itself, and they had their first dance to the song. It was written at a time when I had almost given up finding a happy ending for myself. I had just been through a really bad break-up and while I was going through it, I was so happy to see that my friend and his wife were able to find something so…solid. So inspiring.

I wrote Amaranthine to tell them how proud I was of them finding love,
how scary it must have been for them to commit completely to another person, and to say thank you to them for giving me a reason to still believe in love when I had given up on it myself.

Thankfully, the hope they gave me tided me over until I found my own Amaranthine.
And so now, every time I sing it, I sing that song as much for her as I do for them.

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Rob – I think our first release gave us a good foundation to build on.
What’s next is what I am really excited for. Watching West put his personal touch on the first batch of songs was pretty unreal. He really did take them and make them his own. Writing new material with him has been a blast. I really can’t wait until everyone else gets to see what he truly brings to our dynamic.

Drew – Honestly? I’m not really sure what to expect moving forward.
We’re really starting to find our groove as a band. What’s special about our music and the songs we write is that all of them so far have focused on a theme- a theme that it’s okay to be who you are, to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, and find another person who connects to the world the same way you do.


Drew – We’re all currently living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Our nation’s capital! We have so many amazing venues and festivals here and in the surrounding area. Zaphod’s, Maverick’s, The Rainbow Bistro, Live on Elgin, House of Targ…you can’t go 10 feet without hitting an open mic night or a featured artist at a local pub. The music scene in Ottawa is so incredibly diverse that it can feel a little overwhelming – but just keep hunting. Ask around. There is absolutely a place in this city for you to go and hear the type of music you love.

Rob – There’s lots of places to go and a lot of variety to choose from.
You can’t really ask for a better platform to getting your music heard.


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