NEEDTOBREATHE is one of the most popular bands in the U.S. and Josh Lovelace is their keyboardist – but he’s so much more . . .

Josh Lovelace is a father, a son, a singer, a songwriter, and plays just about every instrument you can imagine. His new solo album, “Young Folk”, pulls all of this experience together with a young spirit, a folk heart, a soulful swell, and a dash of silly. The result are songs which are uniquely beautiful, blissfully powerful, and some that are well, just plain goofy. To celebrate his fine “Young Folk” album, Josh agreed to join us for an #8isEnoughQuestions interview.

For this #8isEnoughQuestions interview, each question was written and asked by one of our Full Van Fun family members and answered directly by Josh Lovelace. Enjoy!

1) What inspired you to make this album?

My childhood was filled with family singalongs. From an early age, I was drawn to many different styles of music and it really shaped me into who I am today. The early years of my life were filled with very happy musical times and I’m extremely nostalgic about it. Making a record for families felt like the most natural thing for me to do and I’ve loved every second of the process! Now I’m a father of two and I love singing together with my family. This record was really an extension of the musical moments we share at our house and I’m honored that any other family would invite these songs into their homes too!

2) Why did you write a song about being best friends?

In a world where kindness can sometimes be hard to find, I wanted to write music that hopefully inspires and challenges us all to be the kind of friend we want to have. “You’re My Very Best Friend” was written for my daughter as I thought about her growing up and making friends of her own. I’m very lucky to have had some amazing friends to share life with. Friendship is a gift and I think it’s important for us as grownups to show our kids what kindness and true friendship is all about.

3) Beyond keyboards and guitar, do you play any other instruments? Which is your favorite?

I love so many different kinds of instruments! Besides piano and guitar, I also play a little drums, bass, saxophone, trumpet, banjo, mandolin and also try to play anything with keys on it! One of my favorite things to do is learn a new instrument so I’m usually using my free time to try something new! I want to learn either cello or hammered dulcimer next. My favorite instrument of all time is the Hammond B3 Organ which I play every night with my band NEEDTOBREATHE. It’s a very soulful instrument and it has a spinning speaker connected to it called a Leslie. It’s like playing an organ through a washing machine!

4) If you changed your beard style, would you go more wizard or more leprechaun?

If I were to change my beard style, I’d like to go more wizard so people would ask me to grant them wishes and do magic tricks. Also I think their tall pointy hats are really cool.

5) How has your music helped you as a parent?

Music has become another language in our home. I’ve been able to relate to and communicate with my kids through melodies, sounds and rhythms since they were very young. Many of the songs on “Young Folk” came out of moments where I was trying to simply connect with my kids. Music is universal and I believe it has the power to break down walls and build strong families and communities. It has definitely helped me tremendously when it comes to trying to be the best dad I can be.

6) How long does a tree take to grow?

It takes a long time for a tree to grow big and strong! You have to be very patient as the tree gets taller and taller. Just like growing up, we start off as a baby and we continue to grow bigger, stronger and smarter as we turn in to kids and then grown ups. Whether your a kid or a grown up, the key to life is to not grow up too fast so get outside and climb lots of trees!

7) If there was one moment from your musical career that you could relive, what would it be?

I’ve gotten to do a lot of very fun musical things in my career! I’ve traveled the world, performed on tv, and even got to go to the Grammys! Of all the amazing musical moments I’ve had, one my favorite memories was getting to perform with my musical heroes Sharon & Bram last fall for the release of “Young Folk”. We did a special concert film for YouTube and then also went to a preschool to sing with the kids! I even got to perform Skinnamarink with them which was a dream come true.

8) Do bears like pears?

Of course they do! Pear flavored underwear to be exact! 🙂

Thank you Josh Lovelace for a “pear”-fict #8isEnoughQuestions interview and don’t forget to pick up his new album, Young Folk (especially the vinyl edition – it’s great). Interested in more family friendly music that parents and children can both enjoy? Check out these artists like Amy Lee (Evanescence)Lisa LoebAndrew & PollyCaspar Babypants (Presidents of the United States)Danny Weinkauf (They Might Be Giants)Bryan Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe), Rissi Palmer, and Jack Forman. Interested in travel stories about amazing destinations and adventures like the White House Easter Egg Roll, Santa Fe or Craters of the Moon? How about interviews with authors like Daniel Pinkwater or celebrity chefs like Fabio Viviani, Marc Murphy, and Jonathon Sawyer? What about recipes, ranks, reviews, or other tips for families? We cover all of this and more at Full Van Fun!

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Photo credits: Mary Caroline Russell and Full Van Fun