When we heard Josh Berwanger had a new album coming out, we were intrigued. In what feels like a lifetime ago, Josh was entertaining emo kids everywhere with his band, The Anniversary. But since the band called it quits a decade ago, it felt like he had dropped off the map. We’d heard rumors—he was out of the emo game, he was living with his mom, he was coaching girls’ volleyball in Kansas. We didn’t know what to believe. We’d also heard that he is a disaster with a cell phone. Somehow, he got our number and texted us. And texted. And kept texting. Sometimes the texts came in the middle of the night. Sometimes they were simply a photo he found funny. Sometimes (most times) they were the rambling thoughts of a guy with too much time on his hands. This went on for days. Weeks.
Amidst this text storm, we tried to get some info out of him about his new album, Strange Stains, because it took us by surprise. In a good way. The album is a huge departure from what those who remember The Anniversary might expect. Josh’s musical tastes seemed to shift from emo to a more hippie sound over the years. Strange Stains sounds more like something Paul Simon might release than the Get Up Kids.
We tried to inquire about this album and what Josh has been up to but trying to get a straight answer from that man is a lot like trying to get a toddler to solve a calculus problem. What follows are excerpts from our text message conversation with Josh, the most legible parts anyway. The conversation takes place over the course of several weeks (and will likely continue long after this runs). Interspersed are random photos he texted us. Don’t try to make sense of it. Just stream his song “Mary” from Strange Stains and scroll. Now if you’ll excuse us, we just got another text from Josh.
Note that right off the bat, Josh has already sent us a book about bestiality and misspelled his own name.
This is from a comic Josh draws called "Pawz McKooly, Ultimate Pawty Dawg."
Dan Ozzi may have to change his number after this. Follow him on Twitter - @danozzi