Deep into the Depths: Josh Bain on Hypocrisy, Greed and Lust
This story was originally published on 12/07/2015
So, Depths didn’t break up. Nope, they’re on tour. They’ve got an album too and it’s probably the heaviest thing you’ll hear out of this side of the Southern Ocean until the nails are being driven into your coffin.
They call it The Mortal Compass. Mortality and morally and the directions we find ourselves our going. Some of us have thrown care into the wind in a time of excess and greed and others spend their days knocking on the doors of strangers’ homes trying to lead them to the arms of God.
Depths’ vocalist Josh Bain’s mortal compass points him to the stage and pushes him to put pen to paper.
“The whole idea around The Mortal Compass is the vices of man and greed and lust,” he tells me thoughtfully, taking a short pause before he continues.
“People need to know this shit and get it out in the open and this is my way of getting it out to people. I’m definitely not the first one to do it but I feel strongly about it.”
Josh isn’t a preacher (“Never wanna be one of those guys!” he laughs) but as he’s got older he’s come to see more of the world around him and within himself the vices he share with us all.
“When I started [songwriting],” he says, drawing what would soon become a signature deep breath before delving into the depths (yeah, I went there) of the question. “Was all personal and all about the issues that I had going on in my life and all emotional.”
“These days, it’s more towards what’s going on around me and that I think people should be aware of that sort’ve stuff.”
That isn’t to say he shies away from putting his own life — and his own vices — out there for people to hear about. He’s one of few people that’ll look in his own mirror while reflecting one back at you.
“I’m an open book really so I’ll openly admit that I can be a hypocrite, have been a hypocrite and am at times. Not that I want to be,” he adds, like an after thought. “But at least I can admit that it’s there and work on it. It’s the only way you get passed it.”
Josh’s realism is almost jarring. Sure, every person and their dog can write a song about how they feel or their fuck ups and their faults but it takes someone fairly special (or masochistic) to want to stare them in front a nation of people.
He says there’s a pretty comfortable disconnect between himself, his lyrics and what people really know is going on.
“Someone can read the lyrics and take something different from them. It all depends on what you’ve had happen in your lives and what you can take from them.”
“I don’t mind putting on the line what my faults are cause at the end of the day that’s what makes us human.”
Josh speaks earnestly, almost gently (It’d be gently if we were in person but his voice competes with semi-regular squalls). In someways, I didn’t expect it. Most people take some coaxing, some warming up before they’ll put it all on the line (especially for a journalist).
“I’m never going to write lyrics that have nothing to say, otherwise it’s pointless me saying them at all.”
And looking at the world around him gives him a lot to talk about.
“These days [his lyrics] are more towards what’s going on around me and that I think people should be aware of that sort’ve stuff, Government crap and all that jazz, stuff that people need to hear about.
Not enough people know,” He continues, beginning to sound fired up, “I know that people are starting to grab onto it now but it’s still not well enough and it’s out there in the mainstream. Not that we’re mainstream, at all.” He laughs.