Jack of all Trades
For many of us, learning to play one musical instrument in our lifetime would be a big achievement. For local resident Josh Pennell, you can add eight instruments to that list, making him one incredibly gifted musician!
The 24-year-old began playing at the tender age of just 8. The instruments he currently plays are guitar, bass guitar, drums, mandolin, piano accordion, piano and tin whistle. If that’s not enough, he’s also learning to play the bagpipes on top of all of that.
“I’m fully self-taught in every instrument I play. I had school music classes growing up, which did help. I do recommend lessons though, as they get you up to scratch a lot more efficiently” explained Josh.
His favourite or ‘go-to’ instrument is the guitar, as it’s the most versatile and one that he can always fall back on, particularly when he is laying down the roots to a new song or getting the fundamentals. “It’s also very therapeutic to switch off and jam out. Some people go dancing and some play sports. I play guitar” he added.
Pennell’s musicianship doesn’t end there. He has been the member of several bands, each time playing different instruments. He played lead guitar in the pop/punk band ‘When They Fall’, before making the transition to drums with ‘Authority Downfall’, where they performed gigs in Sydney and released and EP.
He describes his best musical achievement to date as filling in for mandolin/bouzouki/banjo player Adam Kenny for the Celtic folk/punk band ‘The Rumjacks’, playing a handful of shows on their East Coast of Australia tour.
Growing up, it was big successful rock/metal bands like Metallica and Led Zeppelin that influenced Josh. These days, it’s more individuals than bands that inspire him, “Frankie McLaughlin – The Rumjacks frontman is a big influence for my music. Also, Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters as he’s much like how I would like to be as far as versatility and just being so cool and down to earth”.
After a break from music, the young father would like to find another band to start or join in the future. He’s keeping his options open, with anything from bluesy honky tonk country right through to heavy metal.
“If you have a genuine love for your instrument and really knuckle down and persevere – you will get there, every time” he ended.