Josie Pace is an artist hailing from Detroit, Michigan whose music blends elements of electro, goth, synthpop and then some. Her latest album is IV0X10V5 on Negative Gain Productions. She’s also about to embark on a lengthy tour in support of Aesthetic Perfection. We’d like to thank Josie for her time in the interview.
What role did music play in your early life?
Music was a big part of my life from the beginning. I grew up in a very musical family so listening and creating music was an every day thing much like it is now. Music grew into an escape and almost like therapy for me. Being able to create something out of how I am feeling takes a bit of the weight off of my shoulders.
What was one of the first instruments you learned?
I started learning how to play guitar when I was fairly young. I knew that I wanted to have a career in music and I knew that writing songs was something I loved to do. My parents really supported my decisions from a young age and knew learning to play the guitar would help me get farther in the industry when I was older.
Did you have a music teacher? If so, what were they like?
I have been waiting for the day I get to give my guitar teacher, Judy Insley a shout out in an interview. She was an amazing teacher. Not only did she teach me to play guitar, she also knew I had a knack for songwriting and helped me build my craft. She would constantly send me home with stacks of songwriting books that I still have today. We would work through songs I loved from other artists and we would also work on my own songs. She is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter and she really helped me throughout my years of lessons with her.
IV0X10V5 was released on February 4, 2022. How would you describe your sound to a person who has never heard of Josie Pace?
It’s always hard describing my own music but I would say it’s a classic approach to the lyrics and lyric structure with a heavy electronic jolt that kicks you in the ass. I write all of the songs on the acoustic guitar first, and I think that is what creates a really strong song. The melody is secure and flows well before transposing to synths and electronic sounds with powerful live drums. At any point I can strip them all back and still have a song that can stand on its own with just vocals and guitar.
Can you please give us some insight on the creative process you had while creating IV0X10V5? What were some of the hurdles?
While some of the songs on “IV0X10V5” were written before deciding to release a full length album, I have the same process for all of my songs. I never choose what I am going to write about before hand, I let the music pull from my head what is weighing on me. I start with simple chord progressions and letting words come to the surface. Whatever decides to show itself is what I write on. Letting melodies form and creating hooks from phrases that stick in my brain. It’s therapeutic and it’s somewhat relieving when I look up and have a sheet of lyrics written down. There are never not any hurdles when creating. The normal hurdles of writing and fighting writers block, to choosing what songs will be on the album, getting everything printed during covid took MONTHS.
With all of those hurdles, I was thrown another during the end stages of completing the album. My very close friend had died in a car accident the night I was shooting part of the “Future” music video. Working on the album and focusing was so hard, but I knew how much she supported me and how much she loved listening to my songs. I wrote “Vicious” at the end stages of finishing the album about losing her and how there would be no highs in life without the lows. We decided to include it on the album at the very last minute.
What is your favorite song to perform live and why?
My favorite song to perform live has to be the bonus track “Braindead” that is only available on the CD. We recorded my vocals at the end of the song very differently from how I perform it live. It is an extreme release of anything that I am feeling while I’m on stage and it is so much fun to perform.
What can fans expect from a Josie Pace show? How do you energize the crowd?
I definitely bring some insane energy and I always feed off of the crowds energy as well. I am always working towards strengthening my vocals and my performance and I will say that I have a pretty mean light show as well. One of the things that I feel energizes the crowd is the intro to my set. The buildup of suspense and tension works wonders for stirring emotion and energy. I always try to look as many people in the eyes as I possibly can each night I perform. It’s one of the things I love to do to let people know that they are seen and I appreciate all of their support.
What is one of your most memorable gigs?
One of my most memorable gigs would have to be headlining at Bar Sinister in LA for the first time. I had headlined shows here in MI before but Bar Sinister is bigger than any venue I had played before, let alone headlined. I remember being so nervous at soundcheck and more so when doors had opened. When it came time for me to head to the stage, I was in awe of how many people were in the crowd. It was PACKED to the brim. I was shaking with excitement and relief before walking onto the stage. The crowd was absolutely amazing and I will remember that performance forever.
If you were arrested with no explanation, what would your friends and family assume you had done?
I actually asked my sister this question! She said “I’d think you had accidentally killed someone for harassing you or someone else. Yeah like you’d accidentally stab them or something.” -Jenna Pace. I agree though, my family knows that I’d go up to bat for them any day, and I wouldn’t stand by and watch someone else, or let myself, be harassed. I would never start the fight, but I would finish it.
What secret conspiracy would you like to start?
I would love to start a conspiracy that I am an alien or some sort of being from another universe or something like that. I think it would have no trouble catching on.