11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Joshua Dylan Balis

Joshua Dylan BalisI hope you are not like me and late to discovering the music of Joshua Dylan Balis. His debut full-length LP “We’re on Fire” brings together Indie Rock and Americana and is reaping serious praise for both Joshua’s exquisite songwriting and compelling sound. If you are a fan of artists whose songwriting commands your attention and instills your spirt, this is one for you. Give his music a start with a watch and a listen to the title track.  

Joshua just had the honor of being the first official artist in residence at the Analog at Hutton Hotel which I sadly missed. I thank him for his “eleven” and after he enjoys his break from touring, look forward to seeing him play a Music City stage again soon.

P.S. Visit his website where you can add a signed copy of his new CD to your collection.

Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I’m originally from Dallas, and moved to Nashville in the winter of 2019, to make my current record. I came to Nashville for the first time in summer of 2019 and started cutting a record with Omni Sounds on Music Row. I had such a good experience making that record, with those guys, it was enough to make the move!

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

First record I bought was the Pokémon soundtrack, in 1999. I was seven, so forgive my taste. I played it on repeat and my parents had to exercise a lot of patience. Last record I bought was Townes Van Zandt’s Live at the Old Quarter, Houston Texas. EPIC!

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

First concert I saw was Weezer. They opened up for the Foo Fighters and it was definitely an impression that stuck around throughout my adolescence. The last concert I saw was my own. LOL! We’ve been on tour since middle of May, so I haven’t had much time to see live music that wasn’t part of my own show. Sometimes my bass player Reed Gaines will open our set with a few of his own songs, and that’s always a fun moment. Reed is a great writer, and I love working and playing with this band.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Townes Van Zandt. I’m in a big Townes phase right now. I’ve listened to his music my whole life and he’s one of my dad’s musical inspirations. But after watching a documentary (and countless hours of YouTube videos), I feel like I’m rediscovering him and all his magic as a songwriter.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

For coffee I have a few places. I like E+ROSE for an overall healthy breakfast, but for just a good coffee I think Crema is great. I also love neighborhood spots like Frothy Monkey. Pizza is tricky. If I need a late bite, its Five Points hands down, but if it’s a nicer dinner with friends, Roberta’s is great.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

There are so many great ones, and mostly as a writer, I find myself romanticizing and the past. I could go on and on about the “old days,” but I think if I had to pick one, I’d say Justin Townes Earle’s Harlem River Blues. The name alone sold me, and of course it’s filled with HITS!

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Dukes! Best late-night sandwiches and beers.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

It depends. If I’m working out new material, I used to love hopping on at Belcourt Taps. That place had such a soft spot to me in my Nashville experience. It’s where I met every one of my bandmates and friends. I love to play the OG Basement for a weekend late show. Gil and Grimey are Nashville legends (and great guys) and there’s something so fun about packing out that venue and slamming back well Vodkas. Ha-ha!

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

One of the bands that’s impacted me the most is The War on Drugs. I know they’re not Country but if I had my wish. they’d be in Nashville and do secret pop-up shows in small listening rooms and somehow, I’d always have the inside track!

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

I’m wrapping up touring this record around October and headed right into the studio to cut the next. I was in Texas recently, making demos with a good friend and producer (John Pedigo of Vandoliers and Joshua Ray Walker), so I’m really excited about the next project. As an artist, it’s so important to feel inspired and optimistic about the future, and I’m definitely in that place right now!


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