Since signing with Peter Gabriel’s Real World record label in 1995, Joseph Arthur has released a prolific stream of music. The Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter – who is also known for his paintings – will return to Birmingham for a June 7 show at Bottletree Cafe. Recently, Weld caught up with Arthur by phone.
Brent Thompson: Joseph, thanks for your time today. If you will talk about your new release, Redemption City. How did the album take shape?
Joseph Arthur: All of my albums are a mix-up of old and new songs. I have my own studio, which is nice.
BT: With the evolution of home recording technology, is there still a need for the traditional recording studio?
JA: It’s a luxury – it’s nice to go into a professional recording studio and have an engineer if you can afford it. I like working in my own studio and this record is the first record I’ve made from beginning to end in my own studio. It marks a new level of independence for me.
BT: How do you feel about the current climate of the music industry, particularly as it relates to technology?
JA: It’s always been impossible. I got my record deal in ’95 and it was impossible then. Back then, you gave cassettes out to good friends and that was it unless you got this magical thing called a record deal. It was like lightning striking – I got lucky. Nowadays with the Internet and people putting out all this stuff out there, the idea of people paying attention to what you do is like lightning striking again.