text KRISTIN WINTERS
photography ENOCH WATERS
If this long-haired fellow looks familiar, you’ve probably seen him play drums at just about every venue in the Desert – often appearing in multiple sets with two or three different bands a night! It’s Joshua Adams, a favorite drummer and party crasher in the Coachella Valley music scene. He brings his smile, enthusiasm, and high energy into the room, turning casual conversations into a laugh riot with his lightening-quick wit. Offstage, he’ll speedily talk of his love for the 80s band DEVO, his beloved dog Moonpie, and happenings at the La Quinta Coffee Shop – all within the same sentence, exuding his signature charm.
After moving continuously across the country as a child, Josh has settled in the La Quinta Cove for the past fifteen years. He exclaims, “I love it here! I want to stay, probably forever.” In the past, he never stayed in one school for long and didn’t make any childhood friends. “I’d eat weird stuff in front of people, played with bugs, and wore weird outfits. I never found a niche.” Despite this, he graduated high school early through home studies at fifteen years old. “I said, ‘Mom, I don’t want to go to school anymore, I want to be in a rock n’ roll band.’ By that time I’d already put out four records, so I was like: ‘Fuck these guys!’”
Josh began playing drums at the tender age of nine, when he first met his longtime friends and fellow Fever Dog bandmates, Daniel Graham and Nathan Wood in an Apple Valley elementary school. When Daniel and Nathan mentioned starting a band, Josh boldly proclaimed, “Hey guys, I’m a really great drummer!” He sheepishly admits that he fibbed and was surprised when he arrived at Daniel’s house later for a sleepover to see a full set of instruments and equipment set up in the garage. After that night the band clicked, Fever Dog was born, “And I’ve been faking it ever since!” Josh laughs.
From there, Josh moved to the Coachella Valley and became involved in the Desert art and music scene. He met Kylie Knight, lead singer of Greasetrap, at a Valley punk show. “I first saw Greasetrap play at the Epidemic skate shop on top of a half-pipe. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I want to be in that band.’” Soon after, when Kylie called him and said they were looking for a drummer, Josh leaped at the chance. They recorded two songs that night, and Josh became Greasetrap’s new drummer, bringing a serious rock edge to the band’s psych/punk sound.
Later, Josh met talented local guitarist Luciano Avalos-Juarez after a Fever Dog performance at The Hood Bar and Pizza. The pair became best friends and teamed up to create Active Kissers. “The dude is closer to me than any family, musically it’s very natural. Whenever we’re playing together we know exactly where it’s going to go. It’s super easy.” Active Kissers continues to play throughout the Desert as a power force of seamless rock n’ roll from two young, accomplished Coachella Valley musicians.
In addition to his involvement in several bands, Josh gained recognition through his solo recording project known as Blue Diamond with his released album It’s a Puppy’s World. Blue Diamond demonstrates Josh’s abilities as a recorder and producer. The album has a space-age dreamscape feel: psychedelic jazz riffs melting together with synth grooves and enigmatic sound effects. “I wanted to make something that sounded wrong, like it wasn’t supposed to be that way. I love when you put on a record, you enter this weird environment. I felt like I could make a really awesome space that you’d want to hang out in.” He achieved this using old tape machines, “any synth I could get my hands on,” guitars plugged into stereos, and other “weird methods.” When pushed further, he could only smile. He wasn’t going to give away all his secrets.
Fever Dog recently returned from their successful three-week overseas tour, playing across Western and Eastern Europe alongside Desert rock legends Fatso Jetson. Josh is home and back in action, playing shows, and collaborating with several Valley musicians for upcoming projects.