Josh Pyke answers his Doubting Thomas
AFTER more than a decade of making records and tours, Josh Pyke needed a break and immersed himself in home life.
He took his sons Archer and Augie to school and exercised his creativity by penning his first children's book Lights Out, Leonard.
"In terms of the hiatus, it was a very busy time. I wrote the kids book - there's another three coming out over the next year - and I did a punk side project Sword Owls (named by one of his children)," he said.
"As much as I loved touring, it was a double-edged sword because of burnout, and I was having severe anxiety issues I needed to get out of the cycle of 11 years of touring and get a handle on.
"It was really liberating to stop and realise all of this wouldn't disappear."
When coronavirus lockdown began, the artist found himself again in a state of flux.
Like every artist on the planet, Pyke had to shift his planned comeback shows from March to October, and switch to a social media strategy, hoping that his fans would still find his new music as he entertained them with mini-gigs online.
"That's been the big difference. I have never released a single or album where I wasn't able to immediate go out and get that immediate feedback from the audience," he said.
"It has been weird; but it's not exactly releasing music into a void because I have been getting a lot of feedback from social media and because we now have access to so much data, you can literally see how many people are listening to you.
"Performing live was always a big barometer as to which songs were connecting, which songs everyone knew all the lyrics to."
Just as the award-winning songwriter and author returned to his day job after two years off the road, with his first new music in five years, the first single I Don't Know and this month's Doubting Thomas, the pandemic ushered in an immediate halt to live concerts.
Pyke managed to film a video for Doubting Thomas in Singapore just days before the Federal Government closed Australia's borders to combat the COVID-19 spread.
The Singapore location was inspired by a visit to the Science Centre and its hall of mirrors during a family holiday, serving as a metaphor for the song's lyrics about "the idea of self-reflection and not being able to escape yourself wherever you look, and how you can't pass through to the mirror world, to this alternate reality."
It also features a co-star, a old-school ghost in a big white sheet, which will resonate with any G Xers and their kids who have grown up with classic horror films and Scooby Doo.
"I shows my kids the video and they were like 'That's not scary at all, what is that?'" a chuckling Pyke said.
"If you look at the ghost, there is a height discrepancy; both the directors had a turn playing the ghost."
Josh Pyke will resume his tour on October 1, for all dates http://www.joshpyke.com/
Originally published as Josh Pyke answers his Doubting Thomas