Name: Josh Rand
Band: Stone Sour
How and when was your interest in music sparked?
It really came at an early age. My parents played a lot of records when I was growing up, so I’ve always had a love for music. But the first band that I was really into what’s Kiss at the age of three, and from there my interest grew.
Was playing guitar always your first and only choice or did it start with something else?
I actually started out playing bass guitar at the age of 15. I had moved from a smaller town outside of the city and in to Des Moines and my new set of friends had this band so they said you have to be the bass player and that’s how I got started. After a couple of years I became I better guitar player then everyone that I knew. But the moment that changed everything was when I heard the Racer X album “Street Lethal” for the first time. I was like, “I want to be able to play like that.”
After Corey Taylor, you’re the longest-serving member of Stone Sour and have been with the band for more than 15 years, sold millions of records, toured the world and received tons of awards. Tell us some of your personal standout moments in your journey with the band.
I mean, the accolades are great but truly it’s about the journey itself and the people you meet. I’ve been fortunate enough to pretty much meet everyone that’s inspired me to play along with and been able to record in some amazing places. love recording. But I think if I was to pick one standout moment it would be from a Mr. Big show a couple years ago. Paul Gilbert gave me one of his guitars. I still to this day can’t believe he did that and I’m truly grateful.
Out of everything that comes with being in a band – writing, recording, jamming, touring, traveling…and the list goes on – what is your favorite part of being in a group?
The times when the five of us banded together, when we feel like the odds are against us and we prevail.
You are often cited for bringing the “metal” aspect to the sound of Stone Sour. As a writer, what would you say some of your inspirations are?
Thrash metal! But I draw inspiration from all sorts of things. Hell, MC Hammer influenced me to write 30/30-150. Hahahaha!
On the subject of writing, how does your creative process look like when composing for an upcoming record? Do you set aside dedicated “on the job” time to write or does it all happen when it happens?
I’m a person that believes that you can’t force creativity. It will come to you when it’s right. Sometimes I write several songs in a month and then other times go several months without writing a song. I’m in no rush to force anything.
What does your writing spot or home studio look like in terms of gear?
Apple iMac with Pro Tools, UA Apollo, Kemper, A Designs Pacifica and HM2EQ, Korg Micko and Yamaha monitors. It’s a pretty simple setup, but it’s everything that I need.
What Toontrack products do you use on a regular basis and where in the creative process do these come in?
EZdrummer is on everything that I do. It’s been this way since 2010. I do a lot of writing to drum beats, so EZdrummer is the most valuable writing tool in my studio.
If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you’d do for a career?
Truck driver, I already have the license.
Best studio or stage moment ever?
Back in 2006 I got to play again with Alice in Chains on the song “Again” which is pretty amazing.
…and on the slip-side: Worst studio or stage moment ever?
Well since it’s pretty fresh in my mind I’ll go with having to be seated for this entire tour with Ozzy because of my knee has been tore up.
FOUR QUICK QUESTIONS.
If you could only keep/play one guitar moving forward…which one in your collection would you pick and why?
It would definitely be the Paul Gilbert guitar. Not many people can say that they were given a guitar by their hero. I still can’t believe that it happened.
You could only bring one record to listen to during a massively long tour, which one would it be and why?
Metallica’s “Black Album”. Timeless songs and fantastic production.
Big festival or club show?
Club shows. We like to be able to feed off the energy of the crowd and it’s a lot easier to do in a club show and It always sounds better being indoors.
Name one piece of gear you can’t live without in your studio (and it can’t be the guitar or the computer!).
EZdrummer! Like I stated before: I write to drums.
Your all-time top five list of albums!
Kiss “Alive II”
Motley Crue “Shout at the Devil”
Iron Maiden “Live After Death”
Metallica “…And Justice For All”
Dream Theater “Images And Words”