Josh James of Stick To Your Guns talks about Disobedient & their Headlining Tour

Introduce yourself and your part within the band.  I’m Josh. I play guitar in Stick To Your Guns. You’re currently on your headlining tour supporting your newest album Disobedient, How is that going for you guys so far? Before starting…


Andrew Wendowski


Posted on March 5, 2015

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Introduce yourself and your part within the band. 
I’m Josh. I play guitar in Stick To Your Guns.
You’re currently on your headlining tour supporting your newest album Disobedient, How is that going for you guys so far?
Before starting this tour we were pretty nervous, which is uncommon for us. Typically when we release an album we won’t headline on it right away, especially not in “larger” rooms like some of the ones on this tour. The process of creating this record…going to a producer, writing songs in the studio, etc,  has been uncomfortable so we figured to take that and implement it to how we will tour on this record too. And here we are…headlining on a brand new record, playing new songs…and it’s been unreal. A majority of the shows have been sold out. It’s by far the biggest and best headliner we have done to date. So yeah, we’re pretty stoked.
You released your new album Disobedient back on February 10th, 2015, Could you tell us what inspired the albums title and how the albums artwork came about or symbolizes?
The word disobedient has so much negativity attached to it. Like its a bad thing. I don’t fully agree with that. The greatest changes are through disobedience. Civil rights, social progress…all of it is because someone got so fed up that they dug their heels into the ground and fought their way against the grain. We had a long list of titles but nothing clicked. When “Disobedient” was suggested it just felt right. I think it describes the sound of this album. We really wanted everything to connect and feel right. The artwork, songs, production, title…all of it. It needed to match in order for it to feel complete.
How did the writing process work & what is the overall meaning behind the lyrical content on this album?
Jesse, Chris and I wrote songs on our own and then the three of us met up and picked what we all liked best. We went into the studio with around 17 songs. We ended up writing three more songs in the studio, two of which made the record. Lyrically there a few different topics that we haven’t touched on before. Songs like The Crown and Left You Behind are more personal lyrics of Jesse’s life….dealing with family issues. Nothing You Can Do To Me is written from the perspective of Jesse’s dog, Cash, that is a rescue. The overall theme lyrically for most of the album is in order to change the world, you have to first change yourself. It all starts with you. We are all connected so what we do personally effects each other. 
I understand that you guys worked with producer John Feldmann (the Used, We Came As Romans, Black Veil Brides, The Story Of The Year) to record your fifth studio album, Disobedient. Why did you choose to work with him on the album?
We’ve never worked with a producer before and we wanted someone to be really hands on with this album. It was a scary thought but we wanted to do something different…and bringing in a “sixth member” was definitely something different for us. We made a list of producers, which John was on. Honestly, we didn’t expect to get a response from him but he responded immediately saying he wanted to do the album. We had a meeting with him and he just came out and said “I don’t know what you guys calls yourselves but you’re a punk band. I don’t want to change your sound. I just want to make it better.” Looking back I think that is exactly what he did. He made us better. 
Overall, How did the recording & production process of this album go? (like how long did it take to create, record, mix & produce this album)
Well, like I mentioned before we went into the studio with about 17 songs. We spent the first three days writing songs with John, which was really hard for us because it was so different then what we were used to. There was a point where we thought we were going to have to cancel the record with him because he was pulling us so far out of our box, but he sensed that and had a talk with us and ask us to trust him. We did and are now very stoked it went the way it did. Typically we go in and do drums first,  followed by guitars/bass and finally vocals. John had us do all the vocals first, then drums were done in five hours…which is insane. Then guitars and bass were last. For the most part we all recorded solo…one at a time with none of the other band members there. I think we finished in around three weeks. I remember it got to the point where I was going to the studio and just doing pick slides and feedback all day because there was nothing else to do. We had five weeks blocked off and everyone went home 10 days early.
Do you feel that your musical style/sound has changed within this album compared to your previous releases? 

This is the bands fifth album. The only member that has been on all five albums is Jesse, the singer. There was a Change in style between the second and third album because it went from an old line up that wrote the music to a new line. Disobedient sounds similar to the last album, Diamond…but different. That’s the point for us. We want it to sound like us without it sounding repetitive, if that makes any sense. 

Why did you choose “Nobody” as the debut single of this album, Would you say this song is the best song to showcase the album?
Nobody is one of the songs we wrote in the studio. I think it has a great energy to it. It’s melodic but hard at the same time. It was the song that felt right for us to represent the album.
Your album debuted at #51 on the top albums chart, & #2 on the top hard rock chart. How does it feel to know that an album you created debuted at good rankings on Billboard?
Pretty insane. We sat on this album for a full year before it was released, so to us it was old news when it came out. We forgot that it wasn’t old to everyone else and that there was even potential for it to hit any of the charts. When we got the email saying how well it we were stoked. 
This album has songs featuring guest vocals from Scott of Terror, Toby of H2O, Walter of Rotting Out, Motionless In White, & even John Feldmann himself, Why did you choose these artists to feature on your album?
Honestly, they all live in the LA area where we recorded. (with the exception of MIW – we just happened to run into them at a hot dog stand and then invited them to do vocals). We just wanted our friends to be on the album. We are huge fans of Terror, H2O and Rotting Out so thought it was cool.
With you album title being Disobedient, What would be some things you think people should disobey?
Brushing your teeth, matching your clothes and the whole elbows on the table thing.
What gave you the idea to include 2 acoustic songs on the special edition album of Disobedient? (The Crown & Nothing You Can Do To Me)
We did an acoustic version of We Still Believe on the last album. We loved how it turned out and so did fans so we figured it would be cool to do more acoustic songs for the deluxe version of Disobedient. Personally, I love when bands do that.
How do you hope that this album or your band in general impacts your fans when they hear your music?
We don’t write music for our fans. We write it for us. It’s a form of therapy and expression. If people get something out of it, if it helps someone through a hard time, then that’s great…but that’s not the point of STYG.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe STYG what would they be?
Aggressive. Obnoxious. Disobedient.
Where can you fans or soon to be fans find you online & Is there anything else you want to say to your current or future fans?
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