Joshua had been working on the “big secret project” for months already before he sent me a couple of his pieces, the pieces with the most references to his alter ego character, particularly in “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
These more visceral, aggressive pieces like, “Take Over” were my main source of material and inspiration for the shoot. Joshua shared some visual references with me, but also shared a good number of aesthetic references in the album. Leather jackets, excess, designer clothes, smoking, Victoria’s Secret, celebrity, pop icons, etc.
We did our best to emulate Lana Del Rey’s, “Born to Die”, with a hat tip “benedictio latina” thrown in for the cover.
Joshua’s experiences with acting made the photo shoot feel like we were on a stage or film set as he embraced the rockstar inside.
The reason we employ satire is usually that a simple message won’t be heard on its own merit, whether because it’s become PC to discuss with common language or because it’s been co-opted. When that message is pushed to its furthest, most absurd limit, we’re more willing to listen and more capable of connecting the dots.
In the end, the album is more of a 50/50 split in my opinion. Half edgy satire, half real vulnerability. This is a part of the “Jekyll and Hyde” tendency he describes in the album. It’s a duality that deeply resonates with me. And in the end, you’ll still hear much more of the good doctor in the album and see more of Hyde in the images.
My hope with this set is that the brash, arrogance is obvious on the surface. Even while shooting, however, I could sense something else entirely, under that surface. It’s the same thing I think you’ll experience when you listen to the full album. The personal, painful, raw, sincerity of confession and longing for absolution.
Go ahead and take a listen: joshuablair.ink/confession/