Josh Doyle: On what it means to be ‘independent’

Josh Doyle

Thinking back to the late 90s, early naughties, powder pink walls adorned with glossy posters of S Club 7 and Craig David would not have gone amiss in the bedroom of your average pre-teen girl, but at a second glance it might have felt somewhat odd to see pictures of Punk/Pop band the DumDums alongside them, but yet they were there. After protestation to the ‘pop machine’ (the label wanted them to be more like Busted), the DumDums disbanded in 2001 leaving behind a score of probable hits and a front man with a thirst for success. Ten years on and Josh Doyle is an Independent solo artist living in Nashville Tennessee, with a fan-funded EP and tour under his belt. However, in an ever changing industry governed by affluent corporations and many a bandwagon, what does it mean to Josh to be independent and what does the future hold if ‘Indie’’s gone pop’?

Words By Rahsian Parris / Photography Courtesy of

It’s 10 years since the DumDums first single ‘Everything’ was released, how do you think the industry has changed? “Completely… back then it would have been impossible to be independent but now there are avenues opening up all over the place for independent artists to make a living with music which is great because you will likely hear more unfiltered art not made just for money but made to get across one persons heart to another persons heart which is what music has the potential to do and is what will last through the generations.”

What are the pros and cons of being ‘independent’?

The pros are that I have a family and I can stay at home as much as I want to be with them. I now have the choice to say “no” and you don’t have that tied to a label. The cons are that I don’t have an endless supply of money to be able to record all the songs I work on, I can’t tour as much as I would like… I rely on making new fans one person at a time.

As a solo artist, how much pressure is there to conform?

I feel like if I copy something that is the current trend it will go out of date by the time I bring the record out so there’s no point. I might be inspired by a currently popular song but…I get inspired by songs that are true more than songs that are trendy.

Many already popular artists have opted to go ‘Indie’; do you think this has undermined its significance?

No, it shows the legitimacy of it as an option. Before it would be that you would be an independent because a record label wasn’t interested in you and all the independents were niche artists or just really bad ones that wouldn’t translate to the general public and wouldn’t make a label money. When you see these big bands go independent it is a powerful statement that the labels are doing things poorly.

If you could trade in what you’re doing now for major fame with the DumDums again, would you do it?

No, and we have been given the option to reform a few times – got an offer last week in fact! What I am doing now is kind of what I have always wanted to do but on a smaller scale. It feels like “me” more than anything.

“People need to find their music outside of the label system and everything that is presented to them by corporations with a lot of money – because that is the difference a lot of the time between great artists that remain undiscovered and poor artists that get a career they don’t deserve”

So what should we expect for 2010?

I have a lot of things going on, working on a US tour, a UK tour to follow the successful one in 2009, writing with people (but keeping it real!), and I want to release a lot more music this year but I don’t like to jinx my plans by revealing them.

Josh Doyle’s EP ‘Values and Virtues‘ is available from