Hi Josh!
First of all, I want to say that you’re my favourite guitar player/singer and a big influence for me. I have two music questions for you and I hope you’ll answer it.

1. I know that when you drop out of school at age of 15 you took your time to practise music. But did you have any band at that time as a teenager? If so, how do you remember it and if not, when did you join your first band?

2. As an aspiring musician myself I have a hard time finishing my compositions. One day I come up with nice riff or chord progression and the next day when my excitement is gone I find it boring. But my main problem is coming up with vocal melodies to finished instrumental track. Do you have any tips on how to do that? Or maybe it just comes naturally in your case?

Lots of love nad keep bringing happiness with your music,
Artur from Poland

A…

I had a few bands as a kid, what you could accurately describe as garage bands, but they never much progressed past that. I was the drummer. I had a best friend growing up who was an excellent bass player and we played together with different guitar players, two different “bands,” but as I say, apart from the Battle Of The Bands at Granada Hills High School, we were fairly confined to the garage. The first time I played guitar, and I guess what you could consider my first band, was The Bicycle Thief, but that wasn’t really a band as it was mostly Bob and I. Dot Hacker was the first time I felt like I had an actual band, that’s why I couldn’t end it when I started playing with the RHCP. It’s been nice having two bands. I had none for 30 years, now I have two, I guess.

As for the second part of your question. I’m not the right person to ask. I have terrible work habits and haven’t finished songs that were begun years ago. Granted, I’m doing other things, but my only advise would be to just work. Work work work. Record, improvise, write simple things, write difficult things. Write simple melodies, write strange and difficult melodies. Write melodies in the style of other people, and I guess, most importantly, don’t be too harsh and critical toward yourself. Allow yourself to explore and have fun. Sometimes a song, chords and melody come to me in as long as it takes the song to play, meaning the whole thing just comes out, there it is, done. Sometimes I’m still tweaking ideas that were born ten years ago. Every song is different. I think Harry Nilsson once said, “get to know your song.” I like that. Know your song. Know what you’re writing and why. I don’t know.

J…