Joshua Radin, an East End favorite, will take the stage on August 7th at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett for his first concert in more than a year and half. Leading up to that, Radin’s latest album, The Ghost and the Wall, will drop on July 23rd.
We had the pleasure of once again speaking with the talented musician – who has sold over 1 million records and generated over one billion streams – about his new music, getting his “stage legs” back and much more.
Could you speak a little bit about the inspiration behind your latest album, The Ghost and the Wall?
JR: If I had to pick a general theme for the entire album, I guess I would start with the title of the album. The Ghost and the Wall was sort of like a chicken or the egg kind of question of which came first. This question is something I was sort of, while I was alone for the whole pandemic in my house, I guess I was thinking a lot about which came first for me. Was it the walls I put up around myself and thus people in my life became ghosts or was it that people in my life became ghosts and then I put up walls around myself? So, I guess I was trying to answer that question in writing the album.
Would you say that you accomplished that through the album?
JR: I mean, I think I got closer to an answer. But I don’t know, it might be one of those lifelong questions that I’ll be asking myself, that no amount of songwriting or thought might ever find an answer – but all we can do is hope and keep questioning.
And you’re once again supporting an animal rescue through your music, this time it’s Best Friends Animal Society. Why was that an organization that you wanted to champion?
JR: I just think all shelter animals need a little bit of help from as many people as possible, because they don’t have a voice themselves.
Do you have any rescues?
JR: No, unfortunately, I travel too much to have a pet. But it’s one of those things where all my friends have rescue pets. My sister got me involved initially because she’s obsessed with her rescue dogs. And her and her husband, my brother-in-law, they work during the week, but during the weekends, they spend their weekends at the shelters playing with dogs, doing whatever they can. So, all my friends and family are very involved.
The Talkhouse concert will be your first in-person, live show since the pandemic began. After more than a year of not performing, what are you most looking forward to about being back on the stage?
JR: It will be a year and a half. My last show was in Barcelona in mid-February of 2020. So, I’m terrified actually. You know, usually I play so much that you just have “stage legs” and you get so used to it. But this is the longest I’ve ever gone since playing my first ever concert. So I’m hoping I’ve got the “stage legs” back, but I guess that one show will figure it out.
What am I looking forward to most? I mean, just that adrenaline rush, being on stage and making myself vulnerable to random strangers, which for me is like my therapy. I’ve got a lot to say and it’s been welling up for a year and a half.
Over the course of 16 years, you’ve released eight albums. So, how do you decide what songs to perform at each gig?
JR: Usually, it’s the songs that I just like the most, at least off the new album. Back in the day, we didn’t have Spotify and things like that that you could just go on and see which song of yours is the most streamed, the most listened to. So, it makes it pretty easy to craft a setlist, if you want to play mostly songs that people listen to the most. Because generally, that’s what they want to hear the most. A lot of times I don’t even do a setlist. I just kind of write out a sheet of paper, I’ll write out like 40 songs, a lot of them that are the most listened to or are the most requested and quite a few of them off the new album that I want to try out and just go from there and then take requests. I just try to keep it as loose as possible.
Since you’re a Talkhouse summer staple, when not on stage do you ever get to enjoy the area?
JR: Yeah, it’s so beautiful. My aunt and uncle live out there permanently. My mom is going to come out for the show. And I’ve got quite a few friends coming out to the show. The Talkhouse is such an intimate venue. It’s gonna be so much fun. And then just going to different restaurants and going out to the beach. Just a beautiful time.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JR: I just can’t wait to be there.
Stephen Talkhouse is located at 161 Main Street in Amagansett.
For more information, visit www.JoshuaRadin.com.