Josiah from The Head and The Heart is here to answer any questions you may have for the next hour, beginning at 8am PDT / 11 am EDT!

My Proof:

Comments: 448 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

rhymeswithsarah72 karma


theheadandheart49 karma

He is a good friend of mine. The song was written about him by his lady, who is also a dear friend. It started as a poem, got turned into a song by myself and one of my earliest musical partners in Seattle about 4 years ago. The rest is history.

[deleted]1 karma

This song was originally known as Grandfather's Wisdom, correct?

theheadandheart4 karma

Something like that. The title bounced around for awhile.

a1recycler64 karma

Down in the Valley is one of my favorite songs by anybody in the last few years!

Is there a story behind writing it?

theheadandheart74 karma

Not a great story. It's the same as most any song any of us in the band write, a little bit too much whiskey and reflecting on what the hell is going on in your life.

MyTherapistSays59 karma

Rivers and Roads is my favorite THATH song. My best friend moved across the country last year, so it's quite relevant to me. Who wrote the song, and what were the events that lead to it's being written?

chubbsDemApples17 karma

I caught a setlist at a mpls show in sept 2012. They had alternate names for "rivers and Roads" as well as "Down in the Valley" they were "Rivieras and Rodents" and "D in the V". Inside joke?

theheadandheart24 karma

Haha, just keepin ourselves entertained.

rivers-and-roads5 karma

Do you ever get tired of playing those/any songs?

theheadandheart15 karma

Oh all the time. Life goes in cycles. Different songs are more or less relevant as life comes and goes.

theheadandheart34 karma

Ok guys, here we go! Looks like I have some catching up to do..

Salacious-25 karma

Where is the rest of the body?

theheadandheart20 karma

Below the part you can see.

beansiej18 karma

hey josiah! a couple of summers ago after a concert in minneapolis, you, a few others and i got drunk and went swimming in lake calhoun at 3am. i just want to say im not doing that again this year. october is way too cold man, way too cold!

theheadandheart20 karma

!!! That was incredible! Hey there.

OneMillionDollHairs17 karma


theheadandheart13 karma

Well played.

Dlp14015 karma

Are there any plans to officially release any of the following songs:

  • Ever Since / Chasing a Ghost
  • In the Summertime
  • Untitled (from your second Fuel/Friends session)


theheadandheart18 karma

Ever Since probably will stay as is (you can get it on the iTunes sesh), because I can't imagine the band doing anything better to that song.

In the Summertime might show up in a mixed around version at some point down the road. I love the chorus of that one, I'd keep that, but not a huge fan of the verses.

Untitled. Who knows? I love that one.

a_aadams744 karma

Glad there is someone else who has their Fuel/Friends session. Those are so good.

Dlp1402 karma

These sessions, as well as the KEXP sessions, tided me over until the new album was released.

a_aadams749 karma

KEXP makes me want to move to Seattle

theheadandheart48 karma

Do it. Seattle is great.


Don't do it. Seattle is overcrowded. Because it's great.

OnAWhale11 karma

Who is the main songwriter in the band? It seems like almost everyone takes the lead vocals at some point; is the singer based on who writes the song?

theheadandheart21 karma

We're pretty open. This album has more Jon songs, but we kinda open it up for whoever writes a good song to take lead. But yes, whoever is singing lead 99% of the time wrote the song.

thejesteroftortuga9 karma

How did you guys react to seeing Pearl Jam Tweet a shoutout to your new album? That must've been quite the honor!

theheadandheart10 karma

We retweeted it :) But yes. Pretty sweet!

Iammelee8 karma

Excellent new album, as expected!

My question is, what are you guys currently listening to?

theheadandheart39 karma

Phosphorescent - Muchacho. Yeezus. That's pretty much it. On repeat.

theheadandheart8 karma

Hey all, sorry but I gotta get going. Thanks for asking! Sorry I couldn't get to all the questions, but hopefully if I didn't answer yours, I answered a similar question elsewhere in here.

This was great! See you out on the road.

tmubashir018 karma

He Josiah I just wanted to say that the new album is amazing and I wanted to thank you for letting me take a picture with you guys. I have two questions:

1) Will you release some of your previous songs in a different album? Like Oh Virginia and No One to Let You Down.

2) What would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

Thank you for doing the AMA I'll see you you guys in NYC

theheadandheart24 karma

Most likely not on the releasing old songs on a new album. But you never know. I know Jon has still been really into playing Oh Virginia from time to time live though, so that one is still living and breathing.

1 horse sized duck. Can you imagine how terrible you'd feel beating up duck sized horses??

gardnersalad1 karma

Would you rather be friends with 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

theheadandheart4 karma

Definitely 100 duck sized horses. I'd LOVE to be friends with 100 duck sized horses.

seanbrunett7 karma

Hey Josiah! Love you guys, have seen you three times so far and can't wait to see you again. Where is one place you haven't played yet that you're dying to? Could be a country, venue, etc...

theheadandheart14 karma

Wanna play in Spain. Gone to Europe a bunch but never there yet.

And Hollywood Bowl. I grew up in Southern CA so that one is a big part of growing up and the musical legends I nurtured in my brain at that time.

Chemistcal7 karma

You always say in interviews that you don't care about having a sound, and that you just want to make great music. I think that is a great philosophy and your albums are so listenable because the sound is different from song to song. What is your song writing process like? Do you write lyrics and then the music behind those lyrics individually, or is it a group effort?

LOVE THE NEW ALBUM (and the blue and gold vinyl).

theheadandheart10 karma

It's mainly about putting the song first, that's the focus with us, the musical style is whatever is flowing out of us when the band gets it's hands on it. The lyrics are pretty individual, we don't really edit each other's lyrics at all. The music, on the other hand is very collaborative and tons of bouncing ideas off of each other and editing goes on when the full band goes to write their parts and arrange the song.


geoffreylebowski6 karma

Do any of you guys live together in Seattle? Who fights the most in the group when you're on tour? Who is the funniest person in the band?

theheadandheart13 karma

We don't live together anymore. We're an Equal Opportunity Arguing band. Hmmm, funniest is obviously subjective. But to me, Charity is the funniest.

bubba_ra6 karma

Hey Josiah. Huge fan since the self-titled here. Your verses on Rivers And Roads are my favorite parts on that album. We actually met in Hoboken, NJ when you played a last minute show at Maxwell's a few years back. You and all your band mates hung around with my friends and chatted for a while and I left with a poster autographed from all of you guys. It's actually up on my wall right now and has been since.

I wanted to ask how the sonic shift in this new album came about. I've read statements that said you guys were inspired by touring with bigger, more eclectic bands, specifically Iron & Wine for example. On this new album, I feel like you guys fell victim to the same fate as Iron & Wine, in which you expanded your sound strictly for the sake of expanding it, without any substantial inspiration or direction behind that, resulting in you guys applying your great voices and instrumentation to generic, uninspired "Indie Rock Lite" style songs. Mostly gone are your wise and wistful lyricism and genuine backwood, down-home roots sound and what we are left with is an album full of songs that sound like Mumford & Sons and Coldplay had a baby that just bought its first Microkorg last week. Was this shift in style encouraged and maybe a bit executively decided by Sub Pop? Was it more to follow in the footsteps of the big arena bands you toured with? Or is this truly the sound you envisioned for The Head And The Heart from the start?

No disrespect, just a very let down fan looking for some inside info from the band.

theheadandheart24 karma

There was no label influence on the album whatsoever.

I've never envisioned a sound for this band. I've envisioned writing great songs and then arranging them with the other five people in the band. For me, this album feels like a much more genuine reflection of what we sound like when we play live than it would have been to make another record that sounds like the first one. As to the phrase "genuine backwoods", none of us live in the woods, we live in a city. Making an album that sounded backwoods would be very not genuine. Which is why we didn't make that album.

From my perspective, this album is a document of what this band is into and what we sound like right now. Might change drastically again on the next album or might stay similar. If you don't like it, that's ok. Listen to the first one. I like this one better now, because that's where I'm at.

No disrespect felt. I'll cross my fingers that at some point down the road, this album hits a nerve for you.

sourceofthelight5 karma

I've always thought that Honey Come Home was one of the sweetest/saddest songs I've ever heard. Was this written from the experience of someone who has gone through a divorce or a child who witnessed a divorce?

theheadandheart14 karma

The characters in the song were a creation that allowed me to deal with heartbreak without needing to spell out my own.

hairytrout5 karma

What's your favorite type of fish?

theheadandheart13 karma

humu humu nuku nuku apua'a

wolfdog194 karma

Is there any chance we'll get to hear some of Josiah's other older songs come to life like Snowed in Seattle or Sounds so Sweet?

theheadandheart5 karma

Nah, the time for those songs has passed. Time to write new songs. That's kinda how this works. I write songs about what I'm dealing with or living NOW and because it feels relevant to my life, I want to play them for people, I'm able to play them for people in a way that is believable. Those songs just... their time has passed.

theheadandheart6 karma

But wow! Can't believe you dug those up outta the vault!

keegstr4 karma

Hi Josiah. Let me preempt this by saying your first album is to date my favorite album of all time. I love it's simplicity, the rawness of it and the pure emotion in every song, in particular Rivers & roads.

I enjoy the new album quite a bit, and I respect your choices to move to a larger production with more instruments and a larger sound. I do wish you had a few more acoustic songs on there, since that was what I liked so much about our self titled album. I think Cruel would be a wonderful candidate for an acoustic release, if not the entire album.

Do you have any plans, or would you consider doing an 'unplugged' version of some of the songs on your new album?

Thanks so much for creating your music. It really is wonderful.

theheadandheart7 karma

I think that's what sessions with radio stations or take away shows are for, in my mind. So many of these songs will end up acoustic somewhere on the internet by the time we finish touring on this album. For starters, check out our last KEXP session we did about a year ago. Or the Fuel/Friends Chapel sessions.

Smooth-As-Sandpaper4 karma

Looking forward to seeing you guys for the third time ever. How good is Thao and the Get Down live?

theheadandheart2 karma

Definitely get there early to see them. Fantastic. That's why we're touring with them for a second time. Quiet Life (the opener) is also fantastic live. We bring out bands that we love and believe people should hear. So please come early and enjoy them.

monkeyslicky4 karma

hey JJ new album is killer, im so proud of all your hard work to get there. 2 Q's - Who are you singing to in fire/fear & The title track Lets Be Still's lyrics sound about the challenges you as a band touring for close to 3 years faced and needed some quiet time. is this a fair assumption?

theheadandheart8 karma

That is a fair assumption, and there's some truth there, but I think Let's Be Still is definitely more widely applicable than just to our situation.

And Fire/Fear is an odd one, the feeling and weaknesses and problems in it are things I've dealt with hard, but it was easier to write about them by creating the people in the song and letting them deal with it than to write straightforwardly about my personal situations. So. It's to several different people really, or no one, or to myself. Probably to myself. I think the person who is the narrator of the song is probably saying those things to me.

ialreadyknewthis4 karma

You guys signed my egg shaker, but I've used it so much, all the ink wore off. Will you guys sign it again the next time you play in Boise?

theheadandheart9 karma

Yep :)

BenHarper203 karma

Does it ever get boring playing the same songs on back to back nights? Even your favorite song you can only listen to so many times over the course of 3-4 months, so as someone who plays songs do you ever feel that? Like on a certain night, man I just really don't feel like playing this tonight, or I just can't get into this song tonight? Love the new album! Thanks guys!

theheadandheart7 karma

Yes :)

theheadandheart6 karma

But you don't bail on it just because you don't feel like it. You know?

alexissunshine3 karma

Oh, goodness, what a great day. I love your music so much and am absolutely crushed that I can't see you play in Indianapolis next week- I got to see you last year in Broadripple and it is still one of my all time favorite experiences.

I remember you saying that that crowd was the biggest you had as a headliner. It made me really happy because I'd been listening to you for ages. How do you stay so humble when you have become so popular? And what musician do you dream of working with?

theheadandheart18 karma


theheadandheart13 karma

Probably if I could sit down and have a conversation with Thom Yorke on the basis of mutually enjoying each other's work, that'd be my number one. But I'm pretty far from that at this point.

Dogberto3 karma

Any plans to play Ireland? What's your favourite album of 2013 (that isn't you own, obviously!)?

theheadandheart7 karma

Not positive it will happen on this particular upcoming tour but we're coming back to Europe in February. I'm assuming we'll be getting to Ireland. Loved our one time there!

Janeen22803 karma

Been seeing you guys since Feb 2011 and it's awesome to watch you guys grow as a band, and individually.

Are you guys going to do another Chapel Session or Daytrotter Session?

I really enjoy both of those, as your harmonies are able to really stand out - especially the Chapel Sessions!

theheadandheart6 karma

Definitely another Chapel Session. Those are fantastic.

f0lkchild3 karma

Hey Josiah! I've been a fan for a while and saw you guys put on a great show in Richmond last Summer. I love the amount of acoustic live sessions your band performs. How do you think this kind of performance connects with the fans rather than releasing solely recorded songs?

theheadandheart3 karma

It's good for my spirit and soul to do songs in a variety of ways. That's really what's good about doing those sessions. And I love seeing songs by bands I love performed in an alternate way, so I'm sure it works that way for fans of ours as well.

kmcclelland3 karma

Dude, outstanding new album. Haven't finished listening to it all the way through, but holy cow it's good.

How have you guys found your blend of rock/pop/folk? How much "messing up" or experimentation did you have to go through?

theheadandheart7 karma

As I met Jon and then as the two of us met more and more people, we added people that we felt a kinship and a chemistry with, rather than thinking about finding people that played specific instruments.

We never thought we'd have violin, Jon's big instrument he imagined early on when writing melodies in his head was a trumpet. But. We never met a trumpet player we clicked with. And we met Charity who obviously kills it. So we just stayed open to what fate had for us. Worked out.

Lucas2508952 karma

Hey Josiah!! I really love your work and i am proud to say that "THE HEAD AND THE HEART IS MY FAVORITE BAND" you have so many fans in all of the world, i am brazilian and want to know when you come to here?

theheadandheart7 karma

We're trying to get on one of those Lollapalooza fests that gets down to Brazil. Cross your fingers that we get it!

SantasDog2 karma

Big fan from Denmark Josiah! I've even created the Danish wiki-page for you guys. It might be weak in information, but it's the effort that counts!

Will you ever go on tour in Scandinavia (or Europe)?

Keep on making excellent music!

theheadandheart5 karma

YES! Thank you. Definitely coming to Scandinavia (and Europe) in February.

woot262 karma

For Monday night's show at the Columbia City Theater, the ticket sale via your websites mailing list and tickets were available at the venues's will call with ID/Credit card. It was my thought that this was done to try and off set tickets getting to scalpers. Is this something you (the band/Sub Pop) pushed for? Can we expect to see this more often from you guys?

Thank you so much for the music and performances. I'm blessed enough to be in Seattle and to have seen the progression since The Crocodile all those years ago. I got to meet Dave Matthews and his wife at your Showbox in April 2010 too (I'm one of those super fans that follows DMB all over). Three nights of The Head and The Heart at the Gorge this year with Dave Matthews Band has made it the best weekend I've had in the decade I've been going. Rivers & Roads at sunset was the epitome of Heaven's Amphitheater. Congrats on the new album and I can't wait for more to come!

theheadandheart11 karma

Yes, definitely that was to avoid people scalping tickets. Scalpers suck. Greedy motherfuckers who take advantage of people's love for a band.

Coffeeoverdose2 karma

Hey Josiah! First off I want to say I'm a HUGE fan and love everything you guys have created!

What song on your new album means the most to you, and why?

theheadandheart6 karma

Fire/Fear. See my reply to monkeyslicky. Heaviest most personal lyrics.

eeisner2 karma

Josiah! I wanna thank you for the AMA and for such beautiful music! "Heaven Go Easy on Me" def fits my life and "Don't follow your head/follow your heart" has inspired me to give up on the boring life of business and pursue a career in my passion instead - independent music.

So can you secure me an internship at SubPop this summer? But really, I started writing songs a month or two ago, and man its a lot harder than I expected. What advice can you give me for writing lyrics and music as beautiful as yours?

theheadandheart15 karma

I cannot secure you an internship at Sub Pop. But best of luck there!

I wrote bad songs for maybe 7 or 8 years, numbering in the hundreds before I wrote a truly good one. Don't think you can just start writing songs and have a career. It is a craft that has to be a labor of love. You should write songs. More songs. Songs about anything and everything. And just try your best to get at the heart of what is true in whatever it is you are writing about. If you find yourself writing in cliches, I've found that means you're not being honest enough, because if you really get into your psyche, you'll find you say things a little different than anyone else. Stripping away the years of conditioning to not be yourself and fit in makes doing that really difficult at first, but it comes if you keep at it.

cavanacj1 karma

Hey Josiah!

The new album is great!!

Any specific reason why there are less harmonies on this record than on your self titled release?

theheadandheart9 karma

It's where the band is at. Some of the lyrics that don't have harmonies felt too personal to cover up with harmony.

theheadandheart3 karma

and Thank you!

Redditor_4041 karma

How is your group dynamic, are you always in good terms or have their been ups and downs? PS. Have the records from both your albums!

theheadandheart2 karma

Ups and downs. It's like family. You love each other and you fight but no one is going anywhere, because we are bonded together, with or without the band.

sinknorad1 karma

Hey, I've been a big fan ever since I saw you guys supporting Death Cab in the UK. I was wondering if you guys are planning on touring here again? I've been checking your website on and off but haven't seen anything. If you don't have any plans, is at least something you think will be happening soon? Really looking forward to new album as well btw.

theheadandheart2 karma

Yep, announcing dates soon in February!