We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Sullivan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
One of my all time favorite books is “On Writing” by Stephen King. In that book he goes into his process of writing and gives a lot of backstory on his own life. Stephen King is my all-time favorite author and this book was like finding the holy grail.
After reading his book I began emphasizing finishing things that I was working on. He talks specifically about writing in the book but his own teachings apply to so many other areas of life. I took it upon myself to complete projects that I was working on. In the past I had a tendency to start things and then not follow up on them or just leave them unfinished.
It also changed the way that I think creatively, and the way that our band goes about the writing process in our own music. We have a rule now that when we are working on a new song or jamming on an idea, that we aren’t allowed to talk about what it sounds like. The reasoning for that is we don’t want to put that idea into a box and also change the way that the other people in the group are thinking about the song. It’s been very liberating to write music this way.
This is a book that I recommend to everybody and I can’t recommend it enough.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I play guitar in a Nashville rock band called Year of October. I started the band back in 2010 with my wife Phlecia. We’ve since put out four albums and are currently working on a fifth. We’ve been playing music full-time since 2018 and we played 200 shows in 2019. We describe our music as Fuzz*Rock*Soul and our latest record “Wastelands” was released independently in October of 2020.
We played music on the weekends while working 40 hours a week for about eight years before we were able to play music full time. It’s always a grind and we are always willing to work a little extra on the band. We book all of our own shows and we also do all of our own music production. We run all of our social media sites as well and do all of our shipping when it comes to merchandise.
It is certainly not easy to be a band. I think the hardest things to do is get people to listen to your music and also book shows. We have figured out ways to get our music online to new listeners who might be interested in our music. We also have gotten a lot better at booking through research and also just through doing so much of it over the years.
I definitely would like to be seen as a hard working band. We haven’t taken any shortcuts and in the end I like it that way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my friend was interested in going to see a show I would take them to Springwater in Nashville. It’s one of our favorite dive bars and they have some of the best shows there.
For food we would hit up Kay Bobs, which is Americanized Mediterranean. It’s Phlecia and my favorite place to eat and it’s also very affordable.
Also it’d be great to hang on the Eastside of Nashville. Possibly have a drink in the 5 Points area. 5 Points also has a lot of great venues like the 5 Spot where we could see some great bands play.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give our shoutout to our friends Echo Pilot. They are a rocking band and they always support and lift us up.
Other: Bandcamp: https://www.yearofoctober.bandcamp.com