#197 – Josh Simons & The Music Business/
- October 17, 2018
The Daily Talk Show — Wednesday October 17 (Ep 197) – Josh Janssen & Tommy Jackett
Today we chat to Tommy’s high school mate Josh Simons. Josh is now living in Los Angeles working as a songwriter, musician and is the CEO of the tech company Vampr, which he co-founded in 2016.
Josh is a creative and down to earth dude who’s gained a valuable perspective from his time working in the music scene, starting his own record label, advising multiple startups and living in a bunch of different countries.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show we chat about what Tommy paid Josh to make a video, what Josh has learnt connecting artists with Vampr, why every musician is an entrepreneur, touring with Keith Urban as his support act and what it takes to have a successful partnership.
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Wait a minute
conversation sometimes worth recording with Josh Janssen and Tommy jacket to Delhi talk show from Los Angeles and from last fearless Yeah, I love the name of this place last Phillies last.
But there's billboards, there's billboards all around here that the whole marketing purpose is to take the Mickey out of how everyone says it differently. So they'll be ads for like Mexican tequila or something and I'll say where we pronounce it last Phillies, you know, and so they take because everyone here says it differently in their us. This is quite a diverse little pocket of La definitely. And so that's the voice of not to confuse things. Another Josh on the show. We've actually had multiple Joshua's throughout our trip Josh Simon's low Yeah, right now. I'm auditioning through a face you
You haven't told me this whole trip is heaps of tells me yeah
okay yeah we'll get we'll get to the crescendo at the end where Josh is leaving the show and Josh Simon's his injury look now Josh is we grew up together Yes went to the same school you the year below Yeah.
I was three I was able to Lewis Okay, so we had raised Mitchell on the show explain a little bit on the show. And races brother is we all went to high school together. So it's this you know, we there's quite a bit of nostalgia there. But what I did love Josh Simon's about your house and I don't know if this was intentional. I went to the toilet before. You've got an Ozzy flushing system. Yes, that is actually not intentional. But I think the local hardware store is like trying to phase it because the old ones are disgusting they got believers and it's really gross and they waste so much what have you noticed how high the water comes up in the basement of a toy ever us to see the full shit it's like a like a moulding it or something.
If you really need to go there's no way you're not going to get some
crazy. Yeah, we just as I told you guys on the way in like we flipped this apartment about two weeks ago, or a week ago, maybe anyway. And we had a whole bunch of options of like what tiles you want for boys what toilets and they had that and so I just Yeah, that's it. And so, Australia, Australia, so I felt quite at home he was still the wrong way though. It's does that
generated the spin? Yeah, the other way. Josh, the the funny thing, like I haven't seen you in years, but social media and you know, within you peripheral on social media, you see what someone's up to, and I've seen what you've been up to, you've been doing some cool shit. You've got your music. Buchanan. You open for Keith Urban. Yeah, that was a crazy time. I was watching that as you're going around Australia, and you've launched a tech startup. Yeah, it's cool. I love that. You don't even need to know that. I don't want to speak to you, but it's like you
You literally can see what someone's doing for their life. You have a highlight reel anyway. Right? totally do it. Yeah. Well, that's and that's a whole different light chat, right? Because I was talking to an ex not long ago, and we hadn't spoken in like three years. And I said, from from what I've seen here and there, it seems like you're doing really good. And she said, Well, yeah, that's by design. I was like, all right. She wasn't doing. She wasn't doing very good. But But the point is, is that it's definitely obviously like you curate what you put online. Right? Everyone's a publisher. And certainly, especially actually, Since launching vampire, the tech startup. It was important knowing that those people with money that were constantly like, if I put up a post on LinkedIn, I guess you'd buy like, sometimes 10s of thousands of people, and almost all of them are either venture capitalists or fellow founders. So like it has to be curated.
And I've never wanted a personal account because I don't really think that anyone will get anything out of finding out what I'm eating for breakfast. But um, but actually did start a personal Instagram only a week or two ago because I
Part of this like meditation thing I'm doing is setting up an Instagram account. It was called 365 grateful Australian go invented the idea and it's originally she did it with Polaroids and real photos. But she was had everything going for lots of money great kids loved her husband, but she was just depressed. And I was not in that situation at all. But
I was talking a lot with like, I guess healers and stuff here. This idea of like, if you keep focusing on what's going wrong, of course, you will be in a constant negative mindset. So or headspace so the idea was like changing that mindset by purposely like because it's really hard the first three days is really easy because you do your wife your dog your apartment issues, and then and then you're like, Oh, shit, I need to laugh this way.
Yeah, right. So it's like fuck I need to I need to work out what actually is making me grateful today. So it's going to be a picture of you guys at the end because the toilet that was pretty
So that that's been really cool so that's the only person in scammer that had but you're right so I understand what you saying definitely that like you can go home sometimes I go home and like I remember one time I got back from a trip in England I was standing in line so I remember seven nightclub yeah yeah frequent Yes. Yeah I know Yeah, we did we did some damage Yeah, very good.
I went there actually couple years ago, you're still they still let you
complete right now if you want to do
thing Josh where you've gone away living your life and Tommy's been going to the same night
doing the same thing
to have a baby
See, I've seen that and that's that thing is like I've been following your life but not sitting there every morning bookmark. Tommy, Jay, check his Instagram. But you see these things? I totally understand you saying well, since I was standing in a nightclub one night and this dude was like congratulations on this single coming out like on this day and but he knew more I swear to God, I'm even in
He knew more about Buchanan than I did. Because he, because I didn't always do every post, right? There's a team and then you got publicists and you and publishers and all kinds of things and release dates. And this guy was and I haven't seen him since high school and he knew everything about Buchanan. I was kind of blown away. It's lovely. It's social media. It's a strange thing. It's fascinating. You've always been a creative top. I mean, I remember borrowing your camera. Yeah. Back when I was probably 18 You're still at school. Yeah. And you were massively into editing and cut your video clip about copy copy. Well, yeah, I made a video guys have still actually got it. I've got it too. And I'm happy to put this out. Yeah.
So embarrassing. It is so far. It's hard drive over here. I know. This is an audio show. Isn't four terabyte hard drive and then it's got everything I've ever done created that I don't want to lose. And I think yours was the first ever you paid me for that to edit it. And it's the first
Tommy coming back. It's about it was a $20 sign but
it was the first ever
paid you got ever had in video. And so it was like a really I was always very proud of that. That's
nice to know that Yeah, I'm wrapped that you can watch
20 bucks. I think it's good. I asked the 25 and he wouldn't buy
GSK inclusive I mean, what do we talk? Yeah, what was what was the video? Do you remember? You? So
when I was this is when I was wanting to be a presenter. So I decided, sorry What's this? I wanted to be a TV presenter.
Look, I just Jules land was like, maybe you needed to get a camera and do your own segment. So I wrote this segment, and it was all about copy low EQ, which is a coffee that is Asian by these little monkey looking cat things in tight in in sorry, Indonesia. And they eat the coffee beans off the tree, ship them out. And then these poor bastards have to go through the bush looking for the sheet. And then they take the sheet. They take the coffee out of the poo, and then they roast it gronk
and serve it and it's about $25 a car thought it was like $80 a cup. Yeah, it's probably going on. Yeah. It's a lot of money. Yeah. And so we went up to Sydney race Mitchell, myself, James captain and investment Yeah, is a huge trip. And so we went up there and we went to this place this I organised it, I produced it. We all went there and filmed and so I took Josh his camera, or maybe going around the house and happened to pick it up. And then I can't remember. I think we just took turns shooting, and I did this interview, and Josh cut it together. And yeah, surprisingly, it came together. But it was a it was very crappy, as in was presenting, but also, I think I remember even and I didn't have an eye back then I was like, I thought I did, but I definitely didn't. Like, you know, it was all out of focus. Like it was so soft. And there was no depth of field and the colours are a little bit muted. There was nothing we could do because that format was like it was the best camera you could get at the time for shooting stuff like that as I'm mini DV. It was like
the same one Yeah, yeah. You put like the it had like the input to be able to add external minds right? That's right. Yeah. But I was wrapped I think because channel v was using it assumption I think I saw it in like a Australian Idol behind the scenes and I was like this is back and
I think you know, well Dr. Salas changed the game only like a couple of years later in a big way Yeah. And and so did like things like red and stuff like that. But it's so funny to even talk about film now especially being like I have not done anything in film since 2009. We I did that I did like at a Coldplay video clip video thing. Yeah, they got like selected as like one of the winners of like this unofficial video clip as the keyboard and that's the case. And it was I edited that and I was using all like, Final Cut like no that no plugin. I don't even know there are video but like, I don't know how I work that out. But I wait like I had a brain I was I think I'm good at filmmaking. I don't know. That was the law. Yeah, I did. Yeah.
And so it was always hot and Josh has been that guy to who's been doing it when it was hard now you can go and buy a Mac by camera it's all
rendering times isn't really Oh my God, I remember having a Windows computer like in the late 90s and I wanted to do an animation so I drew a MS Paint and then I use the rubber to get rid of like an arm and I'd redraw it and I'd export it and I understood frame rates Even then, so like I put it into Windows Movie Maker and give them all one frame and this was this was hard to do that I'm what I'm talking about was like I guess I had no friends at that time because I had a lot of time to do shit like this but and I remember I'd make these like three they were only three seconds long because that's like cc exports right? takes you 10 hours, right? Yeah, but no horrible was like Johnny Bravo surfing on the beach. But it was stuff like that, as always, like, what can I do just to finish it up and try something new. That's that hasn't changed. I guess I'm doing that now like on a much bigger level that impacts more way more people.
Yeah, it's funny, man, how do you pick which thing you're going to do? Like if you've got, I'm sort of lucky in the sense of that I'm not talented in that many things. So it's very, it's not like I can play fucking guitar or do any of that shit. So it's very easy. I'm like, I'm gonna talk and do videos, because that's all I can do. When you can actually do a bunch of different things. How do you decide I'm going to be a muse or, or I'm going to double down on film stuff?
Well, one, there's a couple of things that everything I've ever done have in common. And I've learned this in hindsight. One is it all involves working with other people. And finding good people is like one of the hardest things to do in the world. So
there's that and that so I guess the point I'm making there is it doesn't really matter whether it's making a song or working on the business or running the label. It's all it's all person to person interactions and stuff, and people management so there's that and then the other side is like
What What, what is going to make me like it feeling inspiration today kind of thing. So obviously, there's some things that can be avoided, like if you have,
say at the business, you've got a deadline, I can't even think of a good example. But like there's three or four things that have to happen today or else the servers will crash and and you haven't done some compliance stuff on the on the state side and you could get a fight. And so that's obviously going to take precedent, right? But that's all the stuff that I can knock out between nine and midday. And that's generally what happens I'll get up open the computer get through the the compliance stuff and then the afternoons definitely more creative like I try not to have more than one meeting a day. I learned that the hard way when you first get to LA you kind of meeting meaning meaning. It's one of my my consultants here. He's actually an English boy, but he'd been living here for four years and he's like you love a good meeting? Don't yet and I was like, he was so right. And they suck. I mean, first of all meetings over here or jazz hands. So it's like it's, this is great this fantastic. We're going to catch you again soon. You know, you okay with my secretary
We'll make it happen and will revert next week, what? Just Is there something here or not? So that's more I mean, that's the Australian Soto, I don't think so I try as a result of that I'll try never to have more than one meeting a day. And then like I said that the afternoon into the evenings is usually very creative. But sometimes being creative can be
working on a spreadsheet. I don't know how to explain it, but it can be like to solve problems is for me is creativity. And that was what I was gonna say is the second thing that they all have in common is all problem solving. So when you're writing a song, and you're trying to get a group of people and who are feeling and so like, in some ways, yeah, it's creative and you shouldn't animate you should spend too much time analysing what makes it creative, just like with film, but it is it's problem solving. You know, I've got an idea how do I get that idea from from the brain to the world because you are whether you're creating a song or a piece of film or business you're creating something from nothing, it's you actually constructing from thin air. So
I can jump very easily to answer your original question very easily between any of these things because it's all creative.
All problem solving is all people. Yeah. It does it mean that sort of what were the traditional you've gone on from making videos, doing music to then creating a company, the company that you do have is not a far stretch from music. But having a company is not being a musician. Night is very different. So can you explain Vampyr to people who don't know what it is? Yeah.
I think like the easiest way to explain it, it's quite simple. The one sentence line is like LinkedIn for musicians or Tinder for musicians, depending on how old you are and whether the advertising hits you in a certain city or not.
So it's like it's pretty simple, but it's the tech is definitely not simple. It's actually incredibly complicated. And basically, so every every musician in the world has spent years building up an Instagram page, a YouTube page, a SoundCloud page, a Facebook page, Twitter page, we take off
That stuff, throw it in, in an instant with a single press of a button into into our back end. And that sort of calculates how people might be related to one another in a millisecond. And then it suggests potential collaborators. Should we let the dog in? Because you don't have to hold on. We feel like dog situation here. Yeah. real briefly. There is had too much time in the sun. Yeah, it's hot here in LA. I downloaded the app.
Last week, I downloaded it a while ago, like when I saw it, I saw you create a ceiling. Yeah, yeah, I jumped on. And you're totally right. It's like for me, I guess I'm the Tinder demographic that should not that I'm married with my kids.
I get it, you swipe left if you don't want your rise. I guess it's funny because we we have to talk about in quite a technical way, you know, when you're trying to get money or even when you're trying to talk to like a potential partner like Capitol Records or whoever we're collaborating with.
And it's easy to say, Oh, we use the Tinder model, but it's actually binary decision making, which is a really from like a scientific point of view as super effective way to not only make decisions, but also to provide data back to the person presenting the options, which then informs future choices. So it's not just I'm saying no to this girl who lives in Albuquerque, because I don't like music. It's also we take like all the other things that might be a characteristic of her and then fact and then there's some machine learning there that makes our backend tell the user who might be a good option next. So it's, it's really quite complicated. Like it's, it's definitely it's a little bit of a it's been a machine learning. It's all proprietary, we built this from scratch. And it was just an idea in the head just like a like a song was, but that's what it is in a not like it's it's a professional. It's linked. Like I said, it's LinkedIn for the musicians. It's a professional network for the music ecosystem. And I think the cool thing is everyone else out there in our space is targeting music professionals who like there's only a
About 400,000 in the world who actually making money from music,
we're not targeting that every year there's like millions of kids who pick up their first ever instrument and in the ages of like 13 or even six when they and they become potential musicians, right but the system says musics not a real path. This is one of the reasons why we may Vampyr the system so the music is not a professional or like it. It's not a road or route you should go in life because you can't make real money, which is not true.
So a career counsellor will beat that out of a child. And school will be there as a kid and sports seen as more viable than music. And we wanted to address that really, and that's like, a much larger audience than most people realise. There's what we went through about a decade with a census data from as many countries as we could get our hands on it, and we extrapolated a figure of just under 1 billion people who have played an instrument or earn it
In the last 12 months, no one's ever done that research before. And there's a reason. And so we're trying to sort of get to the bottom of that. And and our long term vision here is it actually will do a lot of good on the education side of things, even though we're not selling it like that. That's part of the reason why it's being so sticky is we're selling it as like the Tinder sex gamification fun, because networking is not fun is laborious and a pain in the ass. But if you can find a way to gamify, something like networking, especially in a field where they say, there is no future for you, I think it could be worth a bit of money. So that was the kind of reasons why we got into it. What have you learned from having all of that data? What do people actually care about when it comes to picking someone to collaborate with?
So one of the things probably one of the most important things is how complete a profile is, and that should mean some of the things you learn also, by the way, aren't groundbreaking. They just like they confirm hypotheses that you would have. So, for example, most people who don't include a song or a YouTube video on their account won't get any love. Now, you think that would be obvious
But it's not when the person's making their account in, it's obvious to them and they're searching that I want to see what this person is all about. So generally speaking, I will send out a push notification once a month saying profiles that are complete get 75% more love. It's true. You know, that's a stat, you know, you can argue that. So that's the big one. Females because there's a lack of females in the industry get much more attention. It's easy to be cynical and say they get much more attention for other reasons. And there's a little bit of that.
But definitely, there's a lack of female top line is in music, and they get a lot of love. I mean, I think the last time we ran a report on what people are looking for producers are generally because you want to know it's not just what people are looking for. It starts with what they are first. So a producers generally looking for a top line. An artist is generally looking for a producer. So you could argue that you could make an MVP like a little product that just connected those two niches, but I'd say that that would be way too small and not worth anyone's time or money. You know, dramas seem to get like this. Certainly
There's a stigma to drummers that they move around a lot more and bass players Yeah, maybe is that data like actually finding points were like, this is interesting, more, more drummers are moving around or I wouldn't be able to tell you that without having something in front of me. But I will say that when we were chatting earlier in the with the Dario, they were interested in finding out specifically where certain kinds of players like a drama, for example, were living, because that could help with their supply chain in terms of what you know, guitar sticks, sorry, drumsticks, guitar strings, and what they sent to different stores. So there's like a million different ways you can use the vamp a dot, and I think that's what the industry is excited about right now with our businesses. It's not just how many people listen to Drake, which we can track that too, which is really cool. In fact, the coolest data point I think we had all of us year was when you well before he was announced as the Coachella headline. The demand for m&m like in general as an artist was higher by creatives and
Generally speaking, creatives are the curators of the world. And a lot of that is invisible. But we knew by a factor of two to the second most popular artists on our platform m&m had somehow search that. Yeah. And there was no indicators that he was going to be doing all these this big festival run and these big stadium shows, but we could see the demand there before it was announced. And then when it was announced, it was total vindication of like, of this insight that we have, right. Yeah. So how many users are on van but like how much data? Yeah, we're now dealing with, I think we're just over half a million.
Which is way more than we ever expected to do with our original seed because the seed is funding for for those long. And I think we raised about 900 K over a three year period and spent it over a three year period. And we thought if we got to 100,000, we'd be laughing. So we've done pretty good like we've gotten further but honestly think we'd have a reasonable chance in the next five years of reaching about 90 million and that's what we're that's what we're aiming for.
When did you go from being a muse to being an entrepreneur? Well, you are definitely an entrepreneur as a musician. So every musician is an entrepreneur because whether you realise it and this is part of the vampire thing is again, but whether you like it or not, let's just say you're doing a show at the corner hotel. You've got somebody who are in Melbourne, yeah, great bar mo and music. You've got someone who's making your merchandise, you've got someone who's running the merch stand, you got a lighting guy got a monitor engineer, you got a sound engineer, you've got the promoter to deal with, you might have an agent. If you have a manager, you're dealing with them to this fans. So this is supply chain as we work to that wants to be about even at the smallest club show about 27 different roles of people that you indirectly work with. So all musicians are entrepreneurs. And I think that's a big misconception to music is do you think they don't want to even even when they do finally realise, oh my god, I'm this capitalist piece of crap. No, they are running small businesses because everyone's taking their little check along the way. In fact, the biggest crime is that the musicians
We're running this whole thing, usually walk away the smallest amount, you know, the sound guy gets his 500 bucks, the musician after they're paid everyone along the way, will be lucky to go home and $20 and they got three beers on a rider, you know, acid to Josh, today that I've always thought that you were a real hustler with your music, which I think is entrepreneurial spirit. Yeah, but, but I've always thought that it's a different, different area to playing then creating a catalogue, but I signed a record deal with inertia, and it was crap. And I fell out with them. And then I did em. They do like Adele and Bonnie bear in Australia and stuff like that. And so that didn't work out. So well. What does that actually
look like? Yeah, that will the reason why it didn't work out. So well. It's not actually the their fault. They I was so green. So they presented me what was a record deal, but it was actually just what's called a PMD a physical and digital and that doesn't include a marketing budget, but it has the option to and so they sort of took the approach of Well, you've got a song on Triple J
Right now and it's getting looks like there could be some crossover appeal with the mainstream radio stations. But we're going to sit and wait before we offer some money. And I was like, well, it's chicken and egg guys, we don't get the next single on the radio without without getting a video. Like it sounds like you were set on but it was set on 100% set on but then in the meantime, and this is what really impressed I think my manager of the time, fuck me I go through a lot of managers. But
this guy, Michael Lynch, he was he's Tim, Tim mentions manager. But he yet he was impressed with the fact that even despite that, we managed to get another song out there brand new and probably the biggest song we ever had in Australia called run faster.
And I did that through my own label. So then I realised that was and that's why that was at that point, I sort of stopped trying to chase a record deal I, you know, we'd had offers from Sony had a huge offer from Universal, and I sometimes regret not taking that. But at the same time, I wouldn't have been able to do van Praagh without having run a record label for six years, which I did. And again, that's where you learn
What it really means to to run a small business bank is a different level though we've got a board and I've shareholders a shareholder letters, Do you sometimes think it was actually easier? Just being a musician? How we I'm not gonna lie. Yeah, absolutely. I wish I'd sometimes. I mean, the Keith Urban thing came up after I, I genuinely thought I put out pressure an empty space at Buchanan second record in April 2016. And I had finally for the first time ever made my pace that I was done with music. And then Barry Palmer who signed me to my first ever record deal, and is my partner on on Bamba. He and I jumped on a plane to launch Vampyr and meet him in France. And while I was there, appro who's the like the songwriting collection coming up? Yeah, I looked up on their website when I had an internet radio show, but I was only getting about 10 listeners a day. So I felt like if there was only enough people listening that you could fit into my bedroom that I shouldn't have to worry about. Very good. Yeah. You're dealing with that. Yeah, well, Africa with me.
Out of the blue and said can you come and have lunch and I came there and they said your song is going to be the winners single on The Voice this year and we need you to sign this deal. I don't know why I was handling it because I ended up dealing with universal but and then I realised okay I might have a great here as a songwriter outside of Buchanan because until then everything music I did I traded under Buchanan but no one ever overseas knew who that was. So I had to make a choice I got my Josh Simon's now because I've started to have my fingers and all these different pies. I didn't know which thing to follow. Then the next day literally the next day my agent who hadn't spoken to in like a year called me and said Keith Urban wants you to open for and so I'd like Buchanan was dead I'd already announced it was the final show the workers club some months before you've pulled a Jimmy bands coming out of retirement. I had I had actually quit though and I was I was done. I don't think I've ever said that like to any I've told my friends that but I thought I was done. And then there was like this validation. I think that was the universe saying don't give up because I was pretty beat down.
I have friends who like, done really well in companies and climb the ladder and done incredible things. But I was always creating something from nothing. And I wasn't ever given validation, like, so that was hard. And it was like, you know, especially when you be I was in a band for like four or five years, it's very hard to get your friends to go to shows after that amount of time. And they say I said 1000 times.
You constantly hustling you said it before Tommy and
it's not the most rewarding thing in the world. So because I mean, you're not doing it for recognition, but you kind of you also want that someone to be there. What were you doing it for? Do you think? Um, oh, I know that I can write the songs that connect with people because now it has like, just historically I've done I've done that. And there's something very validating about accomplishing that. I don't I don't know. I mean, but you it is nice when you have someone that you know validating you to write like
You got it like it's one. It's funny, vamp is connected. We've facilitated three and a half million Connexions around the world that's changed the music landscape, whether anyone wants to admit that or not, it has changed, changed music in some way. And it's affected 500,000 people, right? But I would care so much more of just like a group of people that I knew, like, That's incredible. You know, it's a strange thing. It's a very strange thing like
yeah, I don't know, inside the Keith Urban thing that happens. What's your mindset when you've gone? I was done. And now I have to strap my shoes strap my boots on the boots, Keith Urban
cowboy hat, the first thing I did was go to the gym. I was like, I have to wait
six months to get in shape. And then I put it straight back on as soon as I finished up, but so yeah, the first thought was trying to get fit and stop smoking for a while and get that voice working again. And so there was like a really
positive influence on my life because it kept me in vaping for at six months as it defined you. He saw my TED Talk. And he loved to actually his trainer. So my TED talk, and then he passed it on to him. Me and Keith actually got along really well, like throughout the tournament, so we I did get to ask him things like that without being like, how did you find me? Yeah, it was a TED talk about
not too different than what today is kind of what have you done? And why Why did you do it? Yeah. It's and then you played, and then we played our TED talk was Korea because we did one song, and then I did a talk, it was actually very awkward thing to finish a song and pick up the mic and start, people was a bit required a bit of confidence. And I didn't like the talk. So I actually had them pull it really the talk that I'd practice. I thought it was great. And then I got there and they make you do the talk the day before. And I'd learnt like the headings and I wanted to a bit of a stream of conscious but I knew I had a time limit to keep it within 18 minutes. It's 18 minutes. That's what they're there. Yeah, it's actually 15 but they give you they tell you like
Hi, you can have an extra 30 minutes if you want, because I know that you'll go over anyway.
So I prepared really hard for that speech much more than the show. And we were doing three new songs from an album that no one even knew was coming. Right. So it was a big day. And then what part of the world is for you in Sydney Macquarie University? Yeah. And so then I got up the day before we get to the practice room, so you need to practice your speech, we need to see what I said, I'm not going to do that. And they said no, you have to and I was like, it's really going to screw things up for tomorrow. And they said, you have to and I said, Okay, fine, did it that was fine. It was great. And then they go got some producer nights off. And I said can you move this thing is they said can you move this section here to that bit Dan was all about like, how my dad died when I was young kind of led me to want to push harder and and I realised the interconnectivity of baba baba ba talk structure right before so I took note, I thought now you know, you can be better or you can take them, they know what they're doing. They've done this before. I took them. I took their advice to heart and I came out there and I did it the way they said it and there was
There's one shot in the video. It's so fucking funny. This woman's tensor French is what the fuck is he talking about?
And then I saw that during the edit and Mike because I think they couldn't post cut it like it was live edited, right it was printed, or whatever the word is. So
we were stuck with it and I just thought that one I feel like that through watching it back. I was like, What am I going on about but if I'd done the day before that would have been good.
And he liked it. OK, so the performance side of it.
So he he because I had by that point, I mean, it never came out the actual talk it was live streamed to 10,000 people but unless you're those one of those 10,000 people,
you would never seen the speech. So everyone else is just seeing the performance which which was bloody awesome. It's one of the purposes of it. I love it as a creative just knowing that you can do something and not know in the moment. What it will do for you. Yeah.
But it can change as well. So the lesson I learned that and everyday actually just in anything is if generally, when you put effort into the universe, it will reward you in some way. Just as a blanket statement and tired being really tired. You go to bed would be one of them. Yeah, but we're going to bed is refilling the bucket. Right? The energy, the energy to the next day. So anything you do, but what I've had months, definitely, especially in the early is like the or the middle year of ampere, actually, when I knew that I had to sit at my computer every day, and just invite people and go on Craigslist to every little suburb around the world. And and mention it like there's all these little growth hacking things that I knew if we didn't do, there was no quick way to do them. We couldn't hire someone to do them. We'd have to do them ourselves and do it really well. And so 2017 was like a real grind, right? But it and I guess the thing I got back from that was a nice healthy user base. But what I wasn't doing during that time was like I wasn't writing music. I wasn't spending effort on friends. And then all of a sudden I was like, why am I getting opportunities? Yeah, Why isn't anyone want to hang out? And was the answer is
really obvious? Well, you're not putting effort into those parts. So isn't it interesting that you were talking about the fact that you were about to give like, you know, finish up all the that music stuff? Yeah. And then you get the call about Kate. Yeah, I've noticed that in life. Sometimes when we turn our back to the thing that we're really pushing hard for, yeah, it comes towards us. Have you ever thought about that? And is this an approach that you've you've applied to what you're doing to that and you can't force that you have to genuinely about the about to give up you have to change because that you certainly can't like you can't sort of say out loud and when
I'm done done today, yeah, that doesn't work. The woman in that audience will be like
damn to somebody you know, you can't fake that and look this. I can't really probably talk about it so much right now, but this happened recently where I thought I was done with something and and then something came around that made sure I wasn't done with that thing.
How vague but it does happen in life. And definitely I've observed that pattern. And I think it happens with relationships too. And it can go both ways. They're like with a, with a partner, if you're thinking I'm truly done now, oftentimes, that'll be the start of something really special and and a bit of some sort of turnaround. And then other times, it also be like that moment where you're both like, yeah, we're just really good mates. Yeah, you know, and that happens. And I think this could mean that you then meet your life partner right to the
positive, but it's wrapped up in this thing where it feels like it's too much cliches today. But
life is full of cliches, business partnerships. Tommy and I have just business together. Sorry. What's it like? What's it been like so far? It's been it's been good.
model that the Josh. I'm in the model.
Businesses called big media.
Company Okay, and so yeah, so we're working together. And you know Tommy and I have traditionally been pretty sort of individualistic in our approaches to life this is our
This is our attempt it Do you have your own philosophies on how to go about things yet? No, but we've ended up with just by design, you know, a lot of creatives can't find the right person to collaborate with. So you end up just doing the stuff on your own. And this is, through the daily talk show. We've actually been like, Fuck, we've done 190 episodes of the of the show. Like maybe we could actually do videos together, we could do all this sort of stuff. What has been the lessons that you've learned through having business business partners, before we go that with having spoken on that many people do you guys like realise like the value in your own network and what you probably there's not a role in the world that if you said, shit, we need someone to do X Y Zed for us that you would not have a number to call. You guys are very fortunate. Yeah, like that's, you can't buy that. You can't get
That from growing, maybe you get that from going to like an Ivy League or something because if someone they all their parent does it right and that helps having gone to Wellesley College Josh. Yeah. You know, my parents used to I used to say, why did you send me to a private school? Because I went to a State School for primary school and they said, like, why did you send me to? They said, Oh, you know, the communities and the families you may I'm glad I went with it, because I've made a lot of great friends. That's horseshit. You know, it's not like it's a Yale I understand that. It's expensive to go there. especially nowadays, like when we were there, it was still like 10,012 that was just a fuck load of money. But now it's like 25,000 or something ridiculous. But I did not meet like a high net worth community that made my life I mean, there's no one from yc that I can think right now that I lean on, you know, da I've got I mean raised Mitchell is probably one that he's solid friend. Yeah. But we went back before Wesley same but I've always thought like I think about with my son, where he goes, and I said this to my wife, she went to public schools and, and they weren't sort of of the
Sort of, I guess expense or prestige of the one I was at. But it gave me a mind opening, like hanging out with kids, where they had walking fridges and their parents owned hundred million dollar companies. I just have never thought that I couldn't do that. And I think he's your confidence. Forgive me. Yeah, it's almost like I just say this shit is like, Is that normal to have like a really great car. But the funny thing is, I went to a public school and when I went to a low socio economic school, and met this sweetheart,
and so I think like
I got to be I got to be school captain. I don't think that if I went to another school, like I wasn't talented, dynamically. And so yeah, I think that it's a you can always lean you can always look at things and say I'm this I'm
This because I had this experience or because I had this opportunity. But I think that in a lot of ways that it's like it's cemented in, maybe it's through your parents or whatever it is. But I think that like, Yeah, I don't think it needs to be the factor. I mean, if I if I had kids, I think I would go like public school. Yeah.
These kids to stay in England, a public schools, a private school, but he said it's a state school. I truly believe it's all the parents. I don't have kids, but a dog, I got a dog and he's, he doesn't fucking go to school. He's not. No, no, I do think it's like if your parents says to you, from a very young age, you can be whatever you want to be that I think you end up believing it because you are a sponge and you believe what you're told. I think the problem right now, like, certainly here in the States, from what I've seen, and people I've spoken to the kids in that is there's too much blame on the schools if the kids don't turn out right, or if they have problems, and I think that's just such horseshit. Yeah, I mean, that's such an out generation thing, too. Isn't it like someone else's fault? Yeah, no. Take some response.
civility it's your fault.
So yeah, I don't I mean, as I said, I went to a state primary school I thought it was fine and there's a few guys at it tends to be drug dealers but they sold me really great way that I was not complaining. And now it's actually realised I can't actually con i can't smoke weed. You can't like 17 I had
to get too paranoid. Yeah, and one time I just got way too paranoid. I was at Cypress Hill Good Vibrations festival. Do you remember that? I don't know Cypress Hill. Yeah. And I there was a giant mean pastor I remember making a pledge to myself This will be the last one I ever have. And it was got fact I gotta get I didn't get paranoid that time but I just remember sticking out Why do I do every weekend something with my mates I'm pretending to enjoy what and that was like that's like a good lesson to live by that ya ever do anything you don't enjoy? Yeah, so so I'm not enjoying this every time I'm pretending like I'm having fun but I can't feel my fucking legs. So
don't want to do it anymore. But they have this thing now called CBD oil. And I mean, I don't know
Heaven Australia because there any reason I have it here is because it has been legalised and so people are coming up with marijuana oil they take out the THC from hemp, sometimes from marijuana but mainly from him and all that's left is CBD which is from cannabinoid chemical of some sort and if health so la right now is crazy, but it has no it has no psychoactive in it so you get the relax that pain because I never understood people who say I smoke a joint to relax, I'll have a bucket beta relax but but I someone really pushed me in for quite hard actually, you know my old boss but now
potentially might come to work with me which would be cool. But she was like you need to do this will change your life will change your life. And I find it because it's quite scared to do it and touch weight and over a decade. I finally took it and you don't notice anything like it doesn't there's no point where you suddenly feel relaxed or anything like that. But that's kind of what it does. It removes inflammation throughout the body and a lot of like stress could be we don't know this for sure, but it could be inflammation of the brain.
epilepsy people with epilepsy,
people having fits. It's apparently good for depression and things like that and mood disorders. And I mean, for me, I've just found I don't do it every single day. But it seems to keep me on track. It could be that could be
psychosis. What's the word placebo? So that's what I'm looking for. Could be a placebo, I don't know. But why not take it every if it works, why not take it every day because and I think this is real, a real and not placebo effect. It seems to make me a little bit tired. And that's fine if I've got bounds of energy, but days when I've ended late and have to start early. If I take that I might be children not stressed, but I'll get to two and I'll be like, I need a nap. And that's not really that's not going to work. So you put it on your Nicola, where do you where do you put it under my tongue because you let it sit there for 10 seconds and then you swallow it so it goes into your bloodstream. And yeah, I'm not just sending chills you out a little bit and legal here is totally legal. It's bloody expensive, but I'm sure that'll come down as this
competition and stuff came back to Keith Urban. So the first time you're on stage, how many people was at the biggest event that you'd ever performed at night? lane way festival probably was bigger. Yeah, well, maybe Actually, I don't know. Because that there was a few nights of the Keith tour where we did 16,000 people, but over the whole tour, we played to 150,000 people, which is in that was in that 10 day period. So that's the biggest I've ever done. And 50,000 women.
That's right. We didn't we were worried that because papers have been support x weird, right? is a lot of people obviously have never heard of you most people and you can't go too hard. Right? You can't go with Keith asked us to really that's why because everyone was like, when I got the shows, they go see your country band. I'm like, firstly, thank you for listening to my music.
No, Keith actually wanted like a pop brought high energy at to open the show. So that was specifically what he wanted to get people going.
And so we were told to go out and do our absolute best and loudest and
Um, it's just so funny, like costing back to that. There was so many 20 end of 2016. But it was a dream. I mean, that's literally the end goal. The end goal of being in a band is I want to play my music in arenas, the 10s of thousands of people every single night and feel like I'm a rock star. Any page. Yeah, he played us really well. Imagine them going All right, let's just get the label or whatever. This is an opportunity. opportunities. Yeah, Tommy's gonna pay your 20 bucks 25 get you a lunch.
There's an Australian band. That's very well known. That name runs with May the Cree see.
They they did that I believe with some friends band and I think they were paid nothing. Like taking a band around Australia, particularly actually more than any other country in the world is fucking expensive. Like a show you can easily budget if it's just the four of you, plus one already.
Doing it on the lane you might be like $1,000 success in the virgin lounge or something to get placed and I know we did everything. We hired a really good team Justin, Justin Haley and he very humble guy but he's done a lot of these big international sort of acts before and he gave us an indie right and he knew all the right hotels it was given gave us enough privacy but we're cheap. And he basically got me spending what I would spend on a club tour but on a big tour including that the case was amazing to as well because he took care of our back line so Keith person like his his trucks, took our equipment
we had to pay for airfares.
I think we paid for our con but they covered or transport to an event. Like Keith went above and beyond like some bands will get paid $400 to do an international support. We got paid.
ballpark, we got about 3000 a night and that doesn't include the royalties that you get from playing your songs on the in front of 15,000 people which then come and that was not going to say how much but that was the biggest pain.
I've probably ever had him Oh, sorry, how to road he's actually when you're when you're performing in a public venue, even though it's not the songs CD version playing, it's still a performance of the track. So the Songwriters need to get paid for that track having been performed in front of that many people. It's like when a song is played over the speaker in a mall, it's technically being performed to all those people. So the Songwriters needs to get paid for that performance of their work. And then like a shop, for instance. So you go to like a surprise or some
pay a blanket licence BCI. That's right, you don't pay a blanket licence. And then at the end of the year, when they have all of their fingers on who got royalties, those blanket figures get distributed proportionately provided to who's already killing it. That's really that that works out really well. If you're doing really well and it works at horribly if you're not doing very well. When you're paying in that front of that many people. You can put in what's called a song sheet directly afterwards, where you Chronicle what you just played. And as I said, that was like the biggest one day check I've ever saw a prize taking that pool of money.
And I saying the promoter of the show, as the person who put on there for him to pay specifically for those songs. I can instance like that. And so each night like a promote someone from the, like the promoters company don't quote me on this exact process. But from memory, I had to sign a sheet at the end of each night that actually confirmed what I done, because that comes out of their pocket. They're paying. Yeah, so that's what I was wondering. So they actually pay the exact amount. You're saying it's not like, there's a big pool of money and they do percentage and I know Yeah, yeah, that's right. Is there a set fee for like, if you were so you were big cannon, but there could be another band that was twice as big did I get paid more because they twice is the same? It's all comes that it all comes down to the number of people in the room, okay. So, and it's based on the size of the venue capacity, not in the natural people who turned up so you can you can
have three people to the MCG.
But then if you're the one booking it out, you're the one paying the royalties back to yourself or through an intermediary that then comes back to you and everyone's taking a cut along the way. That's cool.
360 you would have probably would have done really well before he opened for
m&m at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Yeah, well, he would have done the same as I would have when I opened Rod Laver two nights in our own Yeah, it wouldn't make the same amount of money yet.
And so it'd be nice if that was more regular
seems to be a lot of middlemen, that sort of thing with the music industry. So we had Seth Godin on the podcast recently, who's a marketing genius written 18 best selling books? Yeah, I was. So stuff. And he talks about this idea of picking yourself, which isn't necessarily conducive to middleman. It's the idea that like, self publish, get yourself stuff out there. How have you balanced picking yourself versus knowing when middlemen actually serve a purpose? Well, I do self publishing, I do self distribute. But you're still relying on a third party service to actually physically be the distribute toll.
You can't there's like there's a limit to being independent. Also, there's only so many hours in the day and even if you somehow managed to cut it, you can't go to every if I was going to be a true self publisher I'd have to go to every single shop in the entire world and every city in it, you know and cut deals. So you so you go to something like CD Baby, CD Baby and that covers your distribution doesn't necessarily cover your publishing although I think you can now although I would not recommend anyone has a publishing deal unless they need one. What does that actually mean? What's the deal means that the public any money that you get on like the work sides of the song, the Songwriters that any money that's due to the songwriters, a publisher will take a cut if you have a publisher. And the reason they're taking that cut is they're out there trying to get you what's called sinks, which is like placements on TV shows and stuff like that. And they also trying to collect they also do admin, which is collecting the monies that are due to you all around the world. The thing is that pretty much all automated Now see, half of their jobs are done and that's why publishing percentages a damn from few years ago was like 50
30% now it's down to like regularly 25% so they're like commission jobs and now they just No, no they used to they used to be able to have a real claim to why they are asking for such a big car show is if you didn't have us yeah, you might still collect some money through your PR like apples and your PPC. But you're missing out on a large chunk of money that's unclaimed for you. That argument isn't sure anymore. It's just this it's it says if you want a TV commercial, say an Apple TV commercial, they would do the deal with Apple. And then that's right, that's right Apple is going to pay $500,000 for this track and then they'll take 30% Okay, yeah, that's fair. And that point because getting you 500 k like you're happy to give away the 30% and also like and this is again we having a publisher by I just want to clear is a very good thing. If you make if you make quality product and you make a lot of it. You can't get in the room with Apple, you publish you can that's why you have a publisher and you don't have the time like you can't be smoking afford an apple and you know, and Samsung and all these different companies at the same time trying to cut
You're out there creating good music like, because eventually equality and music will slip. So if you do need, you can't be fully independent. That's just a facet. And as I was saying, right at the start of this lecture,
you are always dealing with somebody else, even when you're super independent. Like you just kind of avoid it is the only thing in life that you can do this truly independent is masturbation.
Even toilet, like even taking a shit involves toilet paper that you got from a supermarket. And that was made somewhere else in another factory and was packaged by someone else and there was truck drivers to get it. Like there's nothing you can do except masturbating and breathing. So you're very independent guy and that's not may ask you if you want a lot,
especially since getting married.
And so the so but what is that? What is the takeaway for someone who's actually a musician is wanting to do it now. You've mentioned so many elements. And obviously there is the idea of going being entrepreneurial, but like what is it like if you were
To have a bit of a game plan if you were to mentor someone, what are the things that they need to be worrying? I did this guy who's had I'm wearing I'm in this exhibit son. I just did his like new album Lucy bit, son. Yeah. So I did his album this year is the biggest project I've worked on since be Cana. And I produced on every track. We have like a real big roster of really famous producers. But I basically coached him through that and said,
this is like this is how I would view a cohesive project he had his own vision to I should say, but together we sort of realised that a very specific vision and then that translates to more than just music that translates to like the aesthetics, the visuals, the branding,
And then and then choosing the right partners to do things like distribution. He was very fortunate. He partnered with STEM who are a great new distributor, like challenges sad baby that getting a lot of traction like they want they want to watch. They
Do an IPO put your money in there? Yeah but um so yeah, I mean I have been a mentor I guess to the people who are already and he was already established like he'd already had like a Spotify hits and stuff like that and he's dad's x to the manufacturing z right? So you know that was a cool one but yeah, he's younger you know he's four or five he learned every year I learn every week. I lot of it's about respect as well like a lot of young people don't have any respect. And sometimes that works. I can think of one household name rapper right now who's screwed over pretty much everyone I know. And it worked for him now he's a baby daddy to a cut. No, nevermind, but
but so I like that works for him. But then there's other people that it really backfires for. So you got to be really nice every step of the way. That's probably the most important thing. I don't think I was very nice when I started. To be honest, why not? Well, I think I was always I was
I've always been nice to the people that I work with until I feel like I've been done wrong by and I'm very fiercely loyal person and
That can go both ways. So take a bullet for someone, but if they turn on me, I turn my back pretty quickly.
And that's not necessarily a good characteristic at all because I think there's a lot of like I look at some friends at school, they're done, you know, things that are impressive, what I've done is impressive, and everyone seems to rally around them and then sometimes what I've done has been a pretty isolating route and I do think that's probably because my personality Yeah, I feel the same way I feel like and it's one of those things where it's like, I think about Josh is it also really hard now obviously, I'm dead serious actually.
But seriously, the word Josh is a hard name. And I really think that like it's hard to do like a Josh I think I saw one of these Facebook maintain that I tagged him it who's who's called Josh
none of you have reached out in a couple of months.
I didn't even get that but that so I must be good. That's right. Yeah.
Not even friends.
exactly exactly. I mean how do you avoid that because I think that I'm similar in the sense of the very passionate and can be great but also can blow up when she it's not Yeah, she's not passions not getting snickering laughing from his girlfriend right now. Passion. I think passion is seen as the most beautiful trait in Australia and is to do a small poppy syndrome. And it's also just to do all total. I said that tall poppy said top of small
he was fucking towards poppy syndrome in Europe. I can bring him down. Oh, I just wanted to bring him out.
I actually say small puppy.
Anyway, telling people how they should feel.
no, I think it's definitely that and it's funny in America. It's It's It's quite the opposite. They do applaud. Hustle I recognised actually burns out
with passion a bit by the time I got here I probably would have done really well here if I made it hit three years before I did, because by the time I got here I kind of made peace with or maybe I hadn't been ground down so much as I just realised. It's not a characteristic that people like you don't need to broadcast it, maybe keep it to like you can still feel that way and still so what do you do then? How do you Where do you take the blow up? And how does it actually come out? You feeling a certain way? You feel like this is a perfect situation and you want to tell them how you feel? Yeah, I'm still really bad at it. But wait, wait a night sleep on it is the best piece of advice ever. Because generally will handle it better the next day. I've gotten myself into a lot of trouble by thinking I was in the right and thinking I was actually having a like
telling someone else why I thought they were wrong. And it's completely backfired. I realised like just how like it's costing me it's cost me a management deal before that was worth a lot of money. Now they weren't doing the right thing by me. They let a huge amount of money go pass and it was totally their fault. But our
I had been doing the wrong thing by dealing directly with the person who might have paid us them money. So like this, like I can think of times. And now like on a social level, how do I deal with it like with friends or former friends? Or how do you even approach that like, so if you not to blow up? What's that? Like? Do you still have the conversation? I think Yeah, that's true. Eventually, there was a situation this week with someone kept me waiting two days in a row. And like, that's really insulting and the person and there's a reason why and they went to someone else called them and the person they went to see, I don't think is that much more important. No. And it's got nothing to do with being important actually. It's got everything to do with I blogs, actually lots of respect. And I was furious. I still haven't addressed that because I know I'm still too too hot about it. Yeah. And I know what the kind of things I'll say, yeah. So I'm going to wait till I calm down. I need to my phone. I'm always like, calm down. Calm down, because I know that the chat has to be had because we still work together. And there needs it needs to be addressed. And he will walk away from that, whether I go well or not. And he will probably think this guy's a knob. But he'll eventually really
The positives far outweigh the, the negative. So the time thing waiting, what actually changes then like rather than like it because I guess I would worry that deep, okay, so it's not like, Hey, you don't like steeping it more and it becomes sort of more sort of some personality depends on you but I for me
one thing I know you can't do is like not if you do feel super passionate about something, you can't ignore it, because if you ignore it, I think you're then giving permission to people to walk all over you. And it's a really, it's a hard one because I know heaps of people that never seem to be in confrontations and get really high in life and as far in life and high in what they do in their org charts and stuff, I think, how do they do that? Because you have to, I think, anyway, you have to let people know that you're not going to be walked on because otherwise you do get taken advantage of and, you know, I'm sure everyone in this room can relate to that, especially trying to do what we're doing and and i'm talking about not just getting water and sense of respects like how much people are prepared to pay for you to do something or to appear somewhere or to be a part of something, you know, at some point
gonna send them say I'm actually worth more on this because I've been putting in over a decade and I've got life experience but and so I believe in happy to hear otherwise you have to be able to learn how to speak up for yourself. But the time things definitely about doing it in a respectful way so that you don't sound like a complete knob. You still want to sound like a no because it's caused by the nature of the very word confrontational involves an element of like confrontation, or something annoying. And the idea though that like I sometimes feel like Can I Can we go remote with this moment? Oh, yeah, absolutely. This is how do you sometimes feel like annoyed that you've you've been in that put in that situation? In the sense of like, you're feeling like the knob because you've you've said these? You've said, You've had to have that conversation? Yeah. You know, yeah. Like, like, What's your thoughts on that? What you're saying is like, basically is more of a question like, how do you win in a scenario where you feel the need that you have to speak up about something? Yeah. I don't know the answer to that question. Yeah. I don't know that anyone does. I think if
That would make you like Gandhi or something. Hi. Yeah. I mean, what is your relationship with a guy?
I definitely. And I'm sure there's plenty of people who who know me who would actually say that's not true, but the people who really know me would know this is true. I don't believe I'm right.
Sorry. I always believe in what I'm saying. But I don't believe that it is the truth. I'm always happy to I love being loved being proved wrong. I don't like being the smartest person or being the smartest person in the room puts you at a massive disadvantage by and large. Because everything you do is like being watched and you're set up to fail in some respects. So I love being wrong.
And there's probably I think that's a skill you learn from hearing a lot of no's. Especially when you're like an entrepreneur and you get used to hearing knows I
like someone who's like emotionally intelligent will then go Why Why are people saying no? Or what what about me is so like off putting, or it is sometimes it's not you and sometimes it might be a product or it could be a combination. But yeah, I don't know. I think
Being able to have empathy and listen properly to what other people say is like kind of a key to succeeding and getting ahead of it. But again, it doesn't doesn't really answer your question like how do you be more? How do people will how to become more likeable? I don't know. Maybe the goal is not to be likeable, maybe likeable is I think you should be nice and have empathy. And some people will like humans and that's actually the right answer. So some people naturally thousands of people like them and call them leaders. I don't know. I feel like I'm a lady, but I know plenty of people don't like Marmite. A lot of people don't like me. That's totally fine. I'd have no I've made I made my peace with that one a long time ago. Yeah. But I've realised I've helped many more people in have helped me and that's I don't I don't mean that record is in folio in a bit of a better way. But everyone who worked on Buchanan, I was trying to where it says that most people who are former band members or collaborators have gone on to have a career in music, even if they want to talk to me anymore for one reason or another. And I feel pride in that a lot of people who work with me in the vapour boys and feature film I made in 2008. Remember that? Yeah.
They have gone on to work in the film industry and like have that hustle and understand how to do independent things because they worked around me for a month like I think I inspire but then people don't always like me is that self talk do hard on yourself in the sense of that idea that you go to the shops like if you go back to Melbourne, you have a bunch of people that you just if you bump into them at Kohl's you know feel a bit awkward the guy at the local BP who used to watch rage and see me on the TV a bit. He's like more excited that I'm back in Melbourne and like a lot of people from school.
Josh on Ok, now my mom's good moms, good one moms a good egg show come and pick me up from the airport every single time God bless the night It is strange. But I think also there's probably people and my mom. My mom and I have talked about this many times. Actually. I don't think people really as I said right at the top of this. I don't think people know what I do. And so it's very hard to support someone if you don't know what they're doing. Yeah, I'm fine with that. What do you do?
write songs I try and look pretty and I run a tech startup and my gripe my mimosas. Trying to Here we go. grab those. What do you think just about living in LA? Yeah. And coming over here from Melbourne. I think we will from probably a unique group of people. Because there was like, a whole bunch of people that ways they've gone on to do exactly the stuff that we've been talking about in this conversation, music, film, creative endeavours. What do you think it is about la? And did you get a sense movie over here going? This is different based or people like locals here a different or? Well,
we did come from a unique year level and every school has has one every now and then where there's like a couple of years where there seems to be a lot of like, I mean, our streak at yc there was even the years bit older than us, but we had some guys from the temper trap. And then we know obviously at the Mitchells and but there was a lot of people who went on to the really amazing things from our little cohort.
Which is it does happen like that sometimes, as far as like la being like a if that being a microcosm of La it's not I don't really think that's the case. Everyone here has one thing in common and one thing only and that's that they want to make it. It's not just the people in film.
And it's always it's also a bit of a stepping stone between New York and the rest of the world. So is like, make it here first. Really? Yeah, definitely. Little bit of that, especially in the corporate side of things. Yeah. Like, they'll be the LA scene, which is the younger one. And you know, it's like, you get a little break and your first big job at a big company, but then a lot of people then move on to New York from here. It's very rare that people sort of come from New York back to to LA. Because I think a lot of as a it's kinda like Sydney. A lot of people go there because it's great opportunity. I don't think anyone actually wants to live there.
Talk about quality of life. That seems to be a common thing that we've heard from everyone that we've spoken to in the US, especially Australians move on, as I said, they've all they've all said a similar thing, which is like it's the music
There's a grittiness to the US. And it's, it can be very hard. And a common thing is, especially in places like New York City, unless you're making absolute bank unless you're sort of in the 1% you're going to have a pretty average. Yeah, it's just like it's much like London in that respect, which is where I'm originally from. Did you move over there after school? Yeah, yeah. So I was born in England. And then we came to Australia when I was five, did Primary School secondary school, went back to England came back to Australia for a little bit and then came here.
But yeah, it's very gritty. And it's actually gritty. Because there's like romantic gritty which is like Hollywood, I think, which is, you know, movies like like Soderbergh films capture that beautifully, like crash and traffic and so like, but there's that greediness within this extra greediness of life itself, which I've it's funny, it's only something I've started considering, like fairly recently, but these people here are tough. Like Say what you will about Americans being dumb was smart or, you know, they don't know.
apostles know that they are really tough individuals because even my wife she has a pretty rough background without going into details because he's from Hawaii from Hawaii. She had a very rough upbringing, right there's a volcano about to erupt. There's
always on the age of death. Yeah. No rough in a traditional sense you know, like family problems and stuff like that. And and drugs and all the rest of it. volcano problem that
So what was oh yeah, so then she so some of the stuff she's been through and like, I guess you call it trauma.
And then I look at the trauma that we've been through and half my friends have got anxiety and and you know, have had many breakdowns in that. And I don't know, I don't know maybe Americans just don't talk about it. But they really hot like they have mama fucking hot like that. You have a lot like she'll chill, wake up after, you know, some sort of event or whatever, and then she'll just
trip on and go to work and and crappy wage because the wages stinks like if you're just working a service job
and the minimum wage is horrible and they just trip on and they just get it done. Where's I feel like maybe it's because we went to as they but I feel so soft like if I feel like it's my life got to that point I mean I don't consider what I'm living in particularly amazing but it is what it is and I'm you know, I support myself and I don't rely on anyone. But I couldn't imagine living on anything less than this and yet some people come in here and they're like you're living in luxury like look at everything you have. And but I don't consider this luxury. I also don't consider this being a pauper either. I know exactly where I'm at. But Americans seem to have this toughness where they can cope even if they're on less and I could not cope on this. I'm telling you right now, if I was living in anything like
like, this is tiny, like I feel claustrophobic in here To be honest, like Australia rid of somebody if I can get tired.
But I'm not getting to the point. I'm more saying it's like, I feel like a pussy next to them. Yeah, and the quality of life here is I don't think it's great. You know, like
We talked about it earlier, but having to drive like a lot of miles to see a doctor because the health care that you're partly subsidising that you forced to go on, because that's the employees, employers choice. And, you know, this is at least like complications. That's what you call them complications that we just don't seem to have in Australia. But I, I think that Australia is lucky more than rather than this being tough. I think Australia is actually incredibly lucky. And you don't realise that until you leave. Because I've lived in a few major cities around the world. Now. I've certainly travelled to a lot more than that. And I've only just started to appreciate in the last three years, just how well we have things in in Australia. Why do you think Australians come to the US for opportunity market size? Simple? And do you think that you'll come back to Australia and what will you bring? bring with it? Probably some children.
Yeah, I definitely going to come back to Australia, whether it's in two years or three years, but that's sort of the time for
It's great what you learn here like the size of the roads, the size of the sidewalks. Everything here like teaches you how to cope in a much bigger way even the mountain ranges are bigger than they are like think of the Danny young Rangers and look out my window and look at like, you know, all of these like the Santa Monica ranges and everything behind it.
So I think you learn how to cope in a much bigger world and then you come back to Australia does feel a bit like a small country town. But on the flip side, it's like a small country town with the best restaurants the best amenities, best nightlife best people. So it's a it's a really it's just an odd place. I don't know why everyone wants to come to America. I do get it I understand why the market size thing but feels like there is a lot of opportunity. There's up there but that that comes with that so many people Yeah, yeah. You see, like there's so much homeless and maybe I'm just noticing about, see how people are with it here. From the vast amount of people and just them having to get ahead you just see like in
Starbucks. The characters we were in West Hollywood yesterday at a Starbucks very interesting spot. It's the epicentre of the guy community mixed with every other flavour imaginable. And we saw so many people come in that were just struggling. And I just like, sucks it out of me saying that but what I think what I've taken from it is like, this is what happens when you dump a shitload of people in one area, and everyone's having to try and make something of themselves what? Yeah, what everyone says this is the place you go, where dreams get made, this is where you go to make it. Whether it's dreams, those nightmares, hey, that's right. 100% and I think
it's my it's my biggest. It's the thing that upsets me the most about this city, especially when you're driving, so only locals would understand. It's probably like the pain of driving east to west if you have to commute each day is like a nightmare. It's one of the worst drives in the world and you know, 10 miles might take you an hour and a half if you leave at the wrong time. But what you see along the
Is this a lot of poverty and and that's the thing that affects me the most and it affects you. I think the more you live here by it, I'm sure it's, I remember how it felt when I first got here, you kind of thought, let's be awkward, but there's the Hollywood sign. Now it's like, because you're on the part of the fantasy here. Like I've been living here for a while. You don't really notice the the neon signs in the Hollywood sign you do notice like the, the other stuff that's going on more, and it doesn't, doesn't get better, like you don't get better at ignoring it. So if I if I could help if put it this way, if I sold vampire or something like that, and I decided we would stay here for another two years, and I could work on a new project. I'd want to do something to do with that. Because it is something that I think everyone who lives here would agree is like, pretty depressing. I mean, there's more homeless people in LA than all of Australia combined.
The the falling out that you've had over the years, do you feel like do you get to a point where you've there's a forgiveness that you've actually that negativity is just going away? How do you reconcile those previous
like I think
if you're like a little bit of neighbourhood or whatever, you can still always find some of that anger. But like in on a day to day level Yeah, forgiveness is key. first ever band May the guy who's actually founded Buchanan with me a guy called john Berra, we fell out after felt like we'd been together longer than anyone but there's only one year after starting it, but I was offered a deal and the deal didn't include him. And there was a time that we tell Josh Janssen that he's no longer part of the day
I'm just sitting I'm Tommy, I'm actually
will make the big announcement, but he wasn't offered the record deal and, and I said, I'm gonna find a way to bring you in any way I'll just give you part of my cash and we'll just do it outside. Don't worry about it. I got this covered.
will be good cuz he was like about 1040 and I was 2021. So I understood why the label was doing it to it kind of anyway, I try
To bring him in, but he never let that go. He took that very personally, even though I wasn't the one who suggested it. And
we fell out as a result, he stopped returning emails, he held up the release of an album because he had says he hadn't given permission for us to use tracks and Baba. So it really could almost cost us a year of time. But hey, so I started to harbour resentment. So so he had resentment for no real good reason. I then got resented resentful because he was resentful and held us up. And then I just let it go. But I would occasionally Think about it. And then Curiously, one day he called me out of the blue and he goes,
I heard you had cancer a couple years ago, I was like, Yeah, I did. And he's like, I just wanted to say, I'm blown away. I'm
really proud of you for getting through it. But I just hate how things ended between us as well. And I've listened to the new record and I think you've done a marvellous job and I was like, you want to come back and work with me? And he was like, absolutely not.
But I'm really proud and so but that we that was kind of out. So yeah, you can make up definitely
Yeah, I don't think like disputes unnecessary. Like I really wish they didn't happen. And they don't really happen so much anymore. But he's havin you're trying to be in it. You guys should know this. I mean, you do know that I'm sure. Like you're trying to do something no one's particularly backing you like you've got you've got great mentors around you from what I understand right with like jewels and yeah, those guys in that same, but like, it's not like a stereo is paying for this right? As much as I probably but if they were, I mean, I mean that's that to us that seems like the the old method like especially music industry, I know is still very different. But with what we're doing with we don't have to be picked, we can pick ourselves that's, that's what we're trying to do by guess. We see these examples where it's like the blow ups happen and we're almost just trying to bring all that stuff forward and saying okay, well, what are the conversations we can have now? How can we point out the fact that most partnerships are going to be a cluster fuck and end badly? Yeah, I guess so. And I know you guys have friends that almost every part
If I went into with a friend
where there wasn't already a working with I should say where there wasn't already a working relationship in place has failed miserably Ronnie in May embraces thing failed miserably
and and almost always it affects your friendship Even if you say it doesn't even if you still catch up for a little bit afterwards inevitably it Fraser let it phrase a friendship. So if it doesn't work
having said that Vampyr my business partner is a sign me to a record deal but I call him a friend even though there's a 30 year age gap. He's definitely a friend we have we go to each other when stuff so when stuff like one years old, is he Hello? Yeah, yeah, he's really really, really good looking.
doesn't talk back makes a lot of noises. Now. Um, so I mean, that one worked. But I guess the age gap is so large, that kind of a different relationship, different kind of relationship than like being just there with your friend from school. I think that the key to a successful venture doesn't matter whether the person's friends
Beforehand or not, is a common goal. If you align around the goal, then you guys are always going to be arguing about how to get there, which is a great thing to be arguing about what a beautiful thing to argue about process. If you're arguing about what the goal is, and the reason I said it's like, let's just present this to a stupid example, but I need to get a carton of milk as quick as possible. That's the goal. And in someone's goes, Well, I found a place one block down the road, there's gonna be $12. Well, there's one that's 10 K's away, but $22. Like, if the goal with the common goal is let's get it as soon as possible, you're going to go spend $12 and you'll find a way to get the money together. It's when the goal differs. That's when the argument really, of a sudden saying I went into my own right, yeah, right, whatever, I want to save money. And it's like, well, I didn't realise the goal was prudence. Yeah. Like if the goal is as quick as possible, then we're going to get it as quick as possible. And I think that's where successful partnerships are built out of the best example of bands like you to Coldplay, The Beatles, the bands that stick together, and there's always they always have financial agreement. They're always in alignment with the
How to handle business.
until they're not, but no, but generally speaking, they've got a very clear framework that starts from very early before they're successful. And they have ambitions shared ambitions as to where they want to be. In all those cases, they want it to be the biggest thing in the world. Do you think there's so there's bands you you're talking about? Do you think there's any correlation between bands that get together and stop playing because they love what they do? And they actually couldn't give a shit about money to start with? I think they're lying. Yeah, you reckon? Yeah. Especially if they really find that they're starting to love it. Because if I do think bands can start just because you just want to play music. no two ways about I've done that before with friends just hang out and play music. But when you realise how much you love it and then the next door the natural next thought is I don't want to do anything else except this well, what happens next you go well, how do I survive but I don't want to do anything else except this one. We're gonna go work at Safeway. Fuck I better be good at this so I can make enough money you end up getting there doesn't matter. I know a lot of people go we just wanted to make music didn't matter what happened. Man, that
Such lies, because how you going to support yourself? Yeah. And even if it's like at the very back of your mind might be subconscious. I'm not saying that they're they're consciously sitting there and going, I'm going to make some money out of this. I mean, that's probably the business person who may be thinking more, but it's it is an inevitable thought process that you go through. I don't want to do anything else. Is it a one page document where you're doing dot points? Like if we were to, if people that are listening, you know, in the same position that we're in where we're starting this partnership? What does what does it actually look at the heads of agreement as to the two pages? Because you got to leave one page for signatures? Yeah, but it shouldn't be more than one page. I'm just really big. Yeah, you got a Donald Trump size.
And people say small hands he must I think the signature is the biggest giveaway. Signature six inches total if you have to use a crying Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So talk about that, like I have no idea. So heads of agreement is is basically exactly what we're just talking about. It states and intense. It's
is somewhat enforceable as more enforceable than, say an NDA, which is don't disclose anything else we, you know, it's an alignment is an agreement. It's a statement of intent, like this is what we're going to do and generally it proceeds what's called a long form, which is what you'd answer into if you're going to set up a serious like potentially limited company in Australia or an LLC in America or any kind of thing mechanism in between.
You would sign a heads of agreement and it is a great it's an exercise more than anything is kind of like one of these boring exercise you have to do at school uni way. It's like, why are you doing it like this is so obvious but so if you didn't have it, it's never been the explicitly play play somewhere written down somewhere like just to be able to simply say, we want to create we have the intention to make a radio show or a podcast that has this many that will eventually have an ESL have this many viewers and we will eventually get advertisers, we will split that money 5050 and the net expenses we expect will be blah, blah, blah. I mean, you can get that in on a paid easily and word at the right way. I'm fortunate in my situation.
With enough boys that I understand legally pretty well, so I can, I've had to do a few heads of agreements, because I advise a few other startups now. And I've done a few of those in the last year.
But you can be considered easily all on one page. And then if things move ahead and you start to see like $1 coming in or just traction in general, using our listeners and stuff, then and I think a point that will be very obvious to you guys, or whoever's going into business together, they'll be a point where it's like, this is something we should probably get our ducks in a row and make sure everything's in order and dot those i's and cross those T's. And and, and then, and then you do that and you put it in a drawer and you never think about ever again. People who I'd say another quick way to fuck up a business relationship or a partnership is if you go into business with someone who's constantly referring to the agreement.
Yeah, contracts are there as a guide when things break down and it's still just a guide. What you end up compromising on will not be the contract. Be some other compromise the another
been in situations like that where all the contract says this? I don't give a fuck what the contract says I'm trying to get a result today like, you know, and that's I think the difference how do you When are you referencing it in a positive way to create alignment? And when are you doing it just to be if I can bring it up unless things are really bad like it there's nothing wrong with like having an argument in business. I think it's part of being in business part of being in business is a relationship. Part of relationships, whether they're friends sexual or otherwise.
Hey, you've nailed Tommy in my relationship. Yeah. How? How is that going? How are you guys mixing the sex and
sex? So is that pretty easy? I think so is the better way to say fuck that friend says nonsense.
Good for you guys.
Yeah, there's gonna be arguments. The contract should not be referred to unless things are really dire. You know, I'm talking like, I'm ready to walk away. And then the other person goes, why gonna walk away? How could you do that? Because right here, it says, This is how
is going to be and this is not what it's like right now that's a perfectly good chance to say yeah a motherfucker. But if if you just arguing about you know day to day process and someone pulls out and says well I've done my seven hours a day I'm not resolving this you can catch me tomorrow at nine in the morning so you're in this for the wrong reasons yeah you know it really this is not going to work out as there's there's so many of these warning signs that I wish I knew like 10 years ago that because I just use save so many yes time I had learned like I learned that the house same I've got told everything that's like gone wrong
on my way to being where I am now, which is just you know, partway through a bigger journey again, everything that's going wrong I was probably wanted about almost certainly, but I'm on my email I have to I have to fuck up.
Because then you believe it. There's a difference between thinking something and believing something and you believe something after you've experienced that. Or Yeah, well told told yourself. It's true enough times, but someone going oh, this might happen. Be careful. There's like it's not gonna change.
Yes, I'm going to have an effect on your decision making you young and full of calm, you're going to go and
this is the title of the episode. Man, I really appreciate the fact that you're open about this shit because there's a lot of people who have had cluster effect relationships, all that sort of thing and they just, you know, act as if everything's been cool. And the journeys been easy. You have to share it. Yeah, it's that's, that's, that's, that's paying it that's being in service to the community. That's love. That's proper love. Yeah. So I believe in you, Josh. Last question about sorry, Josh mad.
Li all zz and Li dude, do Americans not getting the front seat of Uber's? No. And don't feel guilty about getting the backseat. I learned that so I still have that Englishman. Maybe it's a straight I don't know. But I still get that guilt when open the back door because I do. I sit in the back. I use it because Okay, so Americans don't sit in the back. I used to sit in the front as a respectful thing I thought. I said I'm not my slave driver.
But a lot of
Because a lot of people sit in the back the front seats are often jacked up right to the front so you spending a lot of time playing around I know that sounds like small but often I try to work on my laptop so it does make a lot of sense to sit in the back. And also I get quite realised I get quite carsick as a passenger on the side of the road, and it doesn't have Australia at all. But over here, although it could have got into an accident back maybe you're any fucking laptop. Yeah.
I got into it actually a battery Uber accident over a year and a half ago now and I got whiplash and concussion and I was in hospital for overnight you definitely called one of those signs that says, Oh, I
went to Google and tighten I am in like whole I did. I played them. I go to that $10,000 MOBA but then the golf Am I used to stupid big commission and they made me run around to handle these doctors to justify law I ended up with about $3,000 is the short of it and it took about a year to come through it was not worth it. I should have just not done the claim to be perfectly frank. Yeah, I've heard that so many times.
Like it's tried to call me the day off to settle over the phone and they're like, don't take that call. Hang up, hang up. I should have settled over the phone. I would have walked away with much more cash. Yeah, but it's not about that. I mean, the real point of the storey is ever since that I've actually found myself just caustic in here and I'm could be just because of the accident. I don't know. But I'm being a passenger in the front seat here is a head fuck I find this. You're in the driver's seat like yeah, you know, what does he actually look up to the mirror? And I'm like my head just your driver's mag cuz I'm like, my mirror is not facing my way I can't see behind it is it's all these little things like that. So yeah, you're right. Americans don't sit in the front seat, but it's a great thing because it means we don't have to sit in the front seat either.
He's a little bit annoying when there's three of us because it's it gets. I agree because people in the back Yeah, that's okay. Tommy would be in the front, right? Yeah, exactly. Really? Yeah. third wheel on the front page with the daily talk show. Josh Simon. Thanks so much. Thanks. I hope that wasn't too serious. I hope you know we
Got some awesome that was great man. Have a good one.