Canadian Rock artist, Josh Taerk recently released a new music video, has been busy touring, is working on a new album and even has his own men’s accessories line! We had the opportunity to chat about what he’s been working on, what music means to him and some more fun questions like his spirit animal!
Taerk has that real 60s to 70s vibe to him and even had the chance to play with Max Weinberg, the drummer for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. There’s a lot of up and coming musicians, but Rock artists hold a special place in the music community. A lot of the acts tend to stay around for centuries, touring in small venues that constantly sell out and put out dozens of albums over the course of their careers.
For Rock artists, it’s all about the music. It’s not about releasing a single and seeing if it climbs to #1 (although that is always a bonus). It’s about doing what you love, performing whenever and wherever you can. The fans are so supportive and that’s why there are artists like Bruce Springsteen, KISS, Strung Out and Mick Jagger who have stood the test of time. They are able to continuously perform and put out albums. They don’t make albums in order to beat records, they put out albums because they have something to say and want to share their talent and music with the world.
Check out our interview with Josh Taerk Below!
Variety Beat: What’s the concept behind the “Take A Chance With Me” Music Video?
Josh Taerk: The concept behind the “Take A Chance With Me” music video focuses on this guy, (played by my brother Ryan Taerk who I co-wrote the song with,) falling in love with this girl. It gets to the point where he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her attention, even stand under her window screaming, “How about it? Take A Chance With Me!”
Variety Beat: Everyone becomes an artist for different reasons. Some fall in love with the storytelling, the music or just being able to perform in front of a crowd. What do you hope to accomplish with your music? Why do you want it to be heard? What’s the story you want to tell?
Taerk: For me, music is a way for people to open up lines of communication with each other. The songs that have always inspired me are all ones that I can relate to, if not directly, then through the feelings and emotions in the story.
Music has seen me through a lot of moments in life, good and bad; and writing music has given me the opportunity to start new conversations, open up new lines of communication about the things that I’m experiencing and feeling.
My goal when writing songs is to tell stories that people can take into their lives and apply to their own experiences. I want to show people they’re not alone, and that someone else has been where they are now.
Variety Beat: You are working on your next album. Can you tell us anything about it and the inspirations behind the collections of songs?
Taerk: I’m really excited about the new songs because every song I write has a piece of me and my life at the time in them. These new songs are about life on the road, and the relationships that pass through our lives. I love my writing process because, I never know how inspiration is going to show up or where it will take me when it comes, but all the songs I write are based off of experiences that I or the people very close to me have gone through.
Variety Beat: What inspired you to make mens accessories?
Taerk: It really came out of my love for men’s Jewelry. I love how bracelets, a couple of rings, a necklace; not only add to a guys over all style but also contribute to an outfit in a way that can completely change your look even if you’re wearing the same shirt and jeans. I started making men’s accessories because I had a very specific idea in mind for this necklace I was looking for, but couldn’t find it. So, I decided to make it myself. I loved being able to design and craft my own pieces. Since I made that first necklace, I’ve been making boot chains and bracelets for men and women; and I’ve even started experimenting with ring designs.
Variety Beat: Are they accessible to the public and do you have plans to sell them at shows?
Taerk: They are available! So far, I’ve been making custom pieces on a per-request basis, but I could definitely see myself selling the Josh Taerk Collection at shows. I’d love to develop this brand into a full-blown fashion line one day.
Check out some of Josh Taerk’s Men Accessories!
It looks like he will even have some accessories for the ladies as well!
Variety Beat: What are some other talents/passions/interests you have outside of music?
Taerk: Outside of music, I love to ski! I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was 2 years old, and try to get out to the mountains whenever I can. I’m also writing a novel, which has been a very cool and completely different experience from writing songs. There’s a lot more room in a novel to really dig into the characters, their feelings; who they are in and outside of the actual storyline. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that project.
Variety Beat: Who would you say has inspired you most to be who you are as a person? (family member or friend)
Taerk: My parents have been a huge influence on the way I live my life. From day 1, both of them have been very supportive of my dream, my dad has actually been there for almost all of my firsts as far as my career goes, and my mom is constantly watching via periscope or Facebook live, having my back and being one of my biggest cheerleaders. They taught me that a life lived with regrets isn’t lived at all; that when you have a passion for something you’ve got to follow your heart and be open to the journey that follows. Most importantly, the two of them have taught me the importance of defining yourself for yourself. They grew up and decided, on their own, the kind of parents, friends and people they were going to be; and they hold themselves accountable for the choices they made and continue to make. They live their lives with integrity, taught me a lot about honoring your core values, and, in doing so, the people around you. They taught me the value of being, above anything else, a good person.
Variety Beat: What would you say your spirit animal is and why?
Taerk: I would say that my spirit animal is the Raven. Birds in general have become a huge symbol in my life, but the Raven made it clear that it would be an important symbol in my life. I was in California last summer traveling from Tahoe to L.A, and every day on that trip birds would follow me overhead, and drop a feather or two in my path. One day, we were having lunch in Yosemite and a giant Raven landed about 2 feet from me, and just sat there, completely calm, looking at me. We must have sat that way the entire lunch which lasted about half an hour, and when I got up to leave so did the Raven but not without leaving me behind a feather from one of it’s wings.
I’ve looked it up and the Raven is a symbol of light, wisdom, love and communication. The Raven is said to prefer to solve conflict through rational conversation as opposed to aggressive force, longs for peace and harmony in the world around itself, and wants to open lines of communication, pass on stories, wisdom and information to others. I can definitely relate.
(Anyone else needing to see a Raven on his next album cover?)
Variety Beat: If you weren’t doing music, what would you see yourself doing?
Taerk: When I was 10 I thought I was going to be a teacher. I always liked the idea of passing on knowledge, helping other people discover things, expand their perceptions and in doing so find their passion in life. It’s one of the reasons I love music so much; I get to fulfill that need by writing and performing my songs.
Variety Beat: What’s the best part about making music?
Taerk: Inspiring other people to follow their dreams. The most fulfilling moment in my career so far was when a girl came up to me after a show I was playing in The UK. She started talking to me about how she loved one of my songs, “Start Again” and how inspiring it is. She then told me that she wanted to follow her dream and become a singer, but wasn’t sure she could. I told her that life is too short not to do what your passionate about, and to follow her dreams. Two years later I did another show in that same city. This time her sister comes up to me and we start talking. Eventually she mentions her sister and I ask how her sister is doing. She said that after her sister and I talked at the last show she signed up for University as a major in Vocal Performance. She was almost done her final year. It’s those moments that fuel my drive to write and create.
Be sure to follow along with Taerk’s adventures! He’s perfectly relatable. Is this not you on Mondays? Every day? Today?
Listen to Josh Taerk’s latest album Here’s To Change