Knewyu Interviews Josh McNelly

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Knewyu’s Newest Contributor & Entrepreneur

KNEWYU: LET’S START WITH A QUICK INTRO! WHAT’S YOUR NAME, WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHAT DO YOU DO?

JOSH: My name’s Josh McNelly, I was born in London, but lived most of my life in North Wales. I’m currently a university student, but I’m also working with Knewyu now of course. Along with that, I’m working on starting up a music business called MSH with a friend. We’ve not been going long but we’ve already got some cool stuff done, and we’re in the process of recruiting more bands. There’s still a lot to do to get it up and running properly, but I’m excited about where it’s headed!

K: YOU ARE STUDYING MUSIC BUSINESS WITH ME AT UNIVERSITY. HOW ARE FINDING THE COURSE?

J: Ah the course! I’ve really enjoyed it so far to be honest! Yeah doing the assignments is kinda dull but I’ve learnt a lot on the course itself. It’s been just over a year now since it started and there’s been so much opportunity from doing the course, that I probably wouldn’t have got in 5 or 10 years back home. It’s been great!

K: YOU ARE OFFICIALLY THE NEW CO-HOST ON BKFST WITH NADINE! WE’RE SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU! DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF UNI AND BKFST WITH NADINE?

J: I’m a music student, so the obvious one is music. I do play guitar, which is definitely more of a hobby right now, although maybe I’ll play in some more bands in future. I love going to gigs as well. 90% of the time I’ll have at least one a week to go to. There’s just something amazing about watching and listening to live music.

Besides that, I’m a huge Marvel fan, so I like reading the comics and learning more about it. I discuss it all the time with my housemate, who’s also a big Marvel nerd. We like going to comic-con as well, we had a big group of us last time and we were all cosplaying too! I cosplayed Nightcrawler from X-men, that was fun but a lot of work. Another thing is I love visiting different places and going on interesting walks. I went camping not long ago at the Brecon Beacons, and walked/cycled some trails up there. I’m trying to arrange another weekend for that, I love mountain walks.

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K: WALK US THROUGH A DAY IN YOUR LIFE. HOW DO YOU MAKE TIME FOR ALL YOUR JOBS AND ACTIVITIES?

J: Oh man, whether my day is busy or not it is completely random. An average busy day is having uni in the morning to afternoon, then going home and continuing work from there. Currently there’s a lot of work to do for MSH, so me and the founder Shane are discussing our next moves, working on the website, figuring out costs, stuff like that. I’ve had a few meetings concerning that recently too. Along with that, there’s also uni work. I don’t do this every day but often I’ll have to research a lot for the different modules of that. Again, on a busy day, I’ll then have a gig to go to in the evening, whether it’s a big show or a small local one. So yeah, that’s a busy day. On a slower day it’ll be that minus the uni work and gig, so instead I’ll probably practice guitar or play on the Xbox with my housemate.

K: IT’S COOL THAT YOU HAVE JOINED THE KNEWYU TEAM! IT;S ABOUT TIME!! WHAT CAN KNEWYU READERS EXCPECT TO SEE FROM YOU?

J: I think it is about time! As I’ve already said, I go to lots of gigs, and my main feature will be gig reviews. I’m more of a fan of alternative and heavy music, so expect a lot of that in particular, but I’m pretty open to go to almost anything overall. As I said earlier, I like going to different places, so I’ll probably do some features on that in future too. And I’m also a co-host on BKFST with Nadine, so for that and Knewyu, I’m looking forward to doing some interviews!

K: IF YOU COULD GO TO ANY GIG AND GO BACKSTAGE TO MEET HE BAND/ARTIST AND/OR INTERVIEW THEM FOR KNEWYU OR BKFST WITH NADINE, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?

J: Okay so I’ve thought about this and there’s a lot of huge bands/artists I could meet, but as a more personal choice, I’d love to meet Arcane Roots, and in particular their vocalist/guitarist Andrew Groves. He’s such a huge inspiration to me, not only is he an amazing guitarist and a fantastic vocalist, but he’s one of the best musicians I know of too. Every Arcane Roots E.P/album has a different style to it, yet is still unmistakably Arcane Roots, and I love that they never stick to one style. They write the music they want to, not what is expected of them from their past releases, and to me that’s truly the best attitude to have. If you’re writing what you want to, and what you believe in, it really does show. They really broadened my horizons musically. They’ve already said they’re changing it up again for the album next year. Am I excited for it? Excited is an understatement!

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K: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?

J: Well, one thing I’d love to do is move to Canada and work in the music industry there. My cousin, who I also live with, lived in Canada most of his life and what he’s done sounds genuinely fantastic. He’s done a lot of traveling, and has worked in loads of different sectors of the industry and that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to stick to one job or one place, I want to experience as much as I can through the industry. Wherever I’m going, it’ll be a part of the music industry. Canada just sounds like a really great place, it’s a big country with lots of opportunity, lots of places to explore and has a thriving music scene. So yeah, that’s the ideal plan.

K: WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE TO AN ASPIRING MUSICIAN AND GIG GOER?

J: Now this is always a good question. If you’re a musician, learn as much as you can. Firstly, learn about the technicalities of music and your instrument. You can either get taught lessons, or you can look online. The more you understand about music, the better your playing will be. Secondly, play with other musicians. You can see how they play, and learn from them. There’s nothing better than getting a solid jam going. You’ll be surprised how much you learn from just playing alongside others. Thirdly, if you’re writing music, write what you want, and what you believe in. Make sure you’re happy with whatever you’re putting out there. If you enjoy what you do, it’s likely that others will do too.

In terms of going to gigs, go to as many as you can. And they don’t have to all be big gigs where you’re paying out £30 a ticket. Got a friend who’s in a band? Go to their gigs! If you like some artists/bands that aren’t as well known, look out for when they’re on tour, because you can go see them for a tenner. Just keep an eye out for tours, and check out your local venues. When you start looking, you realise how much is out there. Not every gig is going to be amazing, but some of the best ones I’ve been to have been in tiny venues, and they cost me less than £10. Experience as much as you can in life, and if you love music, live shows are the place to be.

Thanks Josh! Welcome to the team!

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