In the ALPHA/BETA stages of The Pop Punk Dad this guy by the name of Josh Mitchell hit me up and said how he was a fan of my blog posts, and had this band called Life Is Short. At the time TPPD was featuring weekly, random bands from the area in this cliche' page called "Radio, Radio, Radio.”
I featured his band and their song "Gumband." Humble as ever, he thanked me and mentioned that in a few months he'd be starting a cover band "thing" that was different than Life is Short. I asked to keep in touch, and would love to feature them on my weekly "band thing" whenever he got it going. Fast forward a year and a half later, and Punk Cover Moose was born.
Punk Cover Moose - More Than A Feeling (Originally by Boston)
With a NEW video out every 3rd Wednesday of the month, over 20K followers and likes on Facebook, over 500 subscribers on YouTube, and an average of 18K views per video, Josh Mitchell aka Punk Cover Moose has combined his love for punk rock and classic rock tunes into a one-man-band who covers all of his favorite classic and oldies songs in a pop punk and punk rock style.
This may sound a little like deja vu, that's because back in November, I had posted a blog on The Pop Punk Dad about Moose starting a kickstarter that would fund his debut album Punk Cover Moose Oldies Volume 1. The kickstarter raised nearly $5,000 with over 100 backers to fund expenses to the physical copies and legal rights to the songs.
With orders being shipped, and pledges being fulfilled, I had a chance to catch up with fellow "Pop-Punk Dad" Josh "Punk Cover Moose" Mitchell and ask him a few questions...
* You have a pop-punk band called "Life Is Short" that plays original tunes. What inspired you to start Punk Cover Moose?
- I’ve done some covers in the past of oldies tunes and thought it would be cool to do a whole record. Finally just buckled down and committed myself by announcing that I would release a new one every 3rd Wednesday after I had the record demo’ed
* What made you decide to go solo with literally EVERYTHING rather than a traditional group?
- I just wanted to do something entirely on my own terms and have fun with it.
* You had this insanely successful kickstarter campaign. 110 backers, nearly $5,000 raised. How do you plan to top this record?
- Thanks! Well I haven’t really thought about topping it. I was only planning on one record just for fun. Next thing I knew, I’m doing radio shows in Cali and shipping out Kickstarter orders. I’ve started demo’ing and plan to announce the new record by spring. If this stays just as fun as the last record, I’m alright with that!
* You've been releasing new songs even after this first record. Do you plan to continue to release albums?
- Well the plan was to release 1 song every 3rd Wednesday for a year and put those 12 songs together as one record. Now that it’s been a year and the album is out on my website, I’m demoing for the next and plan to do the same thing. It’s not traditional but My name is Moose and there’s nothin traditional about me!! Lol
* This first record "Vol. 1" has the "Oldies" theme. Do you plan to release one from every decade/generation?
- I’ve always been a fan of the 60’s and 70’s era. It was such a different time than it is now but the songs hold up imo and are so much fun to put a twist on. I’ve kicked around the idea of maybe doing a 90’s, one hit wonders, or even TV show themes but it’s still up in the air.
* All artists who choose songs enjoy them before picking them before playing them. Are the songs you choose for PCM random or do they have some significance?
- It’s kind of a long process for me because there are a lot of good songs out there. I go through phases of listening to Oldies on the radio and when I do songs come on and I usually feel it right away. I’ll write it down in my phone and at some point make a demo. The last record I had I think 15 or 20 demos and picked my top 12. I don’t know if I’ll ever get them all out there.
* Do you think you'll ever go outside the realms of "rock"? Perhaps *gulp* country? (No lie, I love me some Dwight Yolkum and Brad Paisley (that dude can rip!).
- Ha! I’m actually a fan of country music. Mostly because I also produce bands from time to time and country mixes are amazing. That would probably be a fun record to do!
* So with the success of this first album, have you ever thought of doing live shows and if so, who would you get for your band?
- I never planned on it. It started out as a solo side project thing. Now that I’ve been getting asked a lot I’ve thought about playing some local gigs maybe even hittin the road. As far as a band, I have a great inner circle of amazing friends that would help me make it happen no doubt. I will be a guest at Comic-Con in Augusta GA in March if that counts even though I’m not playing lol.
* Speaking of shows, (I've been asking everyone this), being that you are PUNK Cover Moose, this is THE LAST cross country Warped Tour, your thoughts?
* Favorite Warped Tour Memory?
- Yeah it’s definitely the end of an era with Warped and it’s going to feel awkward not having it anymore. I’m bummed I never had the chance to play but I did have to opportunity to seen a ton a good bands and see friends on the tour when they come to town.
* With festivals like Warped Tour, The Bamboozle, and Ozzfest just to name a few having their final cross country curtain calls, where do you think kids, musicians and fans of the genres will flock to next to get their festival fix?
- I’m probably the worst person to ask this haha. But being on the other side of the industry as an engineer, at the risk of sounding like Father Time, I’ve seen the industry change before. It’s has plenty of times before my time and will many times after. Everyone will figure it out and adapt. I think Ian Malcolm once said that “life uh, finds a way”
* Okay, so we talked about you doing this "solo". Your songs are posted on YouTube. This past month or so YouTube sent out a disclaimer, (I got one too), basically stating they would rip monetizing from anyone who doesn't have at least 1000 subscribers and at least a collective 4000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months.
* The question is, will you continue to use YouTube as your primary?
- I just reached 600 subs on YouTube and I def don’t want to let them down since everyone has been so supportive. Platforms like YT and FB change constantly so the best thing to do is just focus on your art and do what you do imo.
* Are there any other platforms that fans can find you?
- Yeah, I’m on all the normal places like Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
* Are there any other ways for fans to "donate" with all of YouTube's new policies?
- I have physicals and merch on punkcovermoose.com and a donate button on the bottom on my site.
* Ok, so you have a beautiful family. You're a dad, and awesomely enough you were one of my VERY FIRST supporters back when The Pop Punk Dad was still in "BETA".
* Even though she's super young, do you play the PCM songs for your daughter?
- Thanks! And glad to support. Yeah when I need to keep her occupied for awhile, my wife found that she drops everything to watch my videos when she hears the intro noise at the beginning of my videos haha. Poor soul...lol
* My dad used to sing Blackbird by The Beatles and I Started a Joke by Bee Gees when my brothers and I were little to lull us to sleep. For my daughter, I used to put a playlist of classic rock and punk songs like Blue & Yellow by The Used and Ready by The Starting Line.
* Are there any lullabies or songs that you use on your daughter?
- Haha, yeah it’s kind of a funny story. She really lives the new blink record. I started singing Cynical to her awhile ago and later found out that she loves the song Sober in that same album. Not really Lullaby lyrics but she doesn’t know that yet lol
* As a joke, my brother (who's also an awesome dad and a fucking RIPPIN' guitarist) learned cartoon theme songs, nursery rhymes and songs within cartoons like "Best Day Ever- SpongeBob" and the Itsy Bitsy Spider the metal version for his daughters.
* Have you learned any quirky songs like that to play for your daughter?
- You know... I never really knew any cover songs ironically. I think I learned Cynical for her but I don’t remember it anymore lol.
* Best "dad" joke?….Go!
- When I’m in public with my wife and she tells me that she is going to the bathroom, I like to, loudly, say “Mention my name! You’ll get a good seat!!”
* Contrary to your YouTube videos, there IS intact only one Josh Moose. And as mentioned, you record and mix everything yourself. You also film and edit everything yourself.
* Where did this wizardry of knowledge come from?
- Ha! Thanks so much. Lots and lots of YouTube videos.
* Do you have anyone helping you out behind the scenes?
- My friend and video partner Matt (who I do other bands music videos with) shot Grazin' In The Grass, The Joker, and Changes for me so I could stay on schedule. Occasionally I’ve had a friend hold the camera or something for a special shot or my friends have come in to the studio get some recording experience but I’ve done the lions share of the work on the technical side. Musically I’ve played everything. My good friend and now studio partner Jed Dixon (The Switch Kids, Before You, Jackson River) did guest guitar on More Than A Feeling.
* You are crazy good at marketing the PCM brand. Did this come with a bit of a "push" or natural with your amazing fan base?
- Wow thanks! Honestly I have NO clue what I’m doing haha! At the risk of sounding conceded, I think the key is quality content. I’ll be the first to say that I’m no hero, but people know when you half ass shit. If you put in 110% and constantly work on improving your skill people just know.
* In the videos you play everything yourself. The quality of sound is amazingly tight. And the videos are very well done.
* Quick rundown of your "go-to" gear for recording.
- I’ve been loving the slate plug-ins lately.
* ProTools or Logic? and any "secret sauce" plug-ins to your recordings?
- Both! Mainly ProTools just because that’s what I grew up learning on. I starting using Logic like 10 years ago for any software instruments, because they are killer.
* Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere and cameras?
- I was actually using iMovie for the longest time until I needed the 4 Square Effect. I found an old version of Premiere Elements from some small company in Australia online for like $50 and I mainly use my phone for a camera. Occasionally, I’ll use an older Go-Pro I bough off of Amazon like 5 years ago dirt cheap. The wide angle lens in it is so cool looking.
* Can any band/artist go to you to your studio?
- PCM kind of took over my time for recording lately but i will occasionally do a record to change it up. I’ll start feeling over whelmed and I’ll get an offer at the right time and take it to get a break.
* Have you ever thought of filming music videos for bands/artists?
- Yep! Already do with my partner. Most people don’t know that we did the Life Is Short titled song and the couple of PCM vids that I mentioned. We even did a shoot for AF Records.
* Any tips for home studio artists?
- Never stop learning and education is never ending.
* Any tips for YouTubers starting out on their own?
- Content and consistency is king. Keep learning. Keep digging. And 100 views is a lot. Keep going.
* What is next for you? Goals?
- Oldies Volume 2 is the next PCM record. Stay tuned!!
For more of Punk Cover Moose check out ANY of the links below:
Check out Punk Cover Moose Oldies Volume 1 out now and be on the look out for a NEW Punk Cover Moose video every 3rd Wednesday of the month.
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