A chat with multi-dimensional Florida band, Element 7

A chat with multi-dimensional Florida band, Element 7

Element 7 is a rock band based out of Cocoa Beach, Florida. Lead singer, Joshua Dean, has been doing festivals and shows all over Florida and is considered a staple of the local music scene, touring with his acoustic harmonies fused with rock, metal, folk and opera. Joshua has been writing and playing music since 15 years old and was born and raised in Mt. Orab, Ohio.

After graduating high school he attended a catholic college and studied Italian opera and bluegrass guitar. He spent the next 10 years traveling and has played in Brazil, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and now resides in Florida. He originally created a project called SEED, which now has evolved into Element 7, where he has implemented his musical vision with writing, singing and playing guitar with a sound that leaves his fans in awe wherever he goes. I had the opportunity to sit down with the band after watching their show at the Beach Shack in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It was great to see him perform again after he has supported and shared stages with so many local bands for years! The camaraderie and his kind words have been infectious to all of us in this sweet little town of driven artists. 

Element 7’s music is multi-dimensional with melodic, guitar riffs inspired by artists such as Nirvana, Rob Zombie and Metallica. Joshua’s vocal style includes operatic elements, his voice can reach incredible high notes back down to lows that will keep you captivated throughout his engaging set. I had the chance to talk about his new band, starting fresh with his new life and what he wants to do with it all. 

Element 7 is: Joshua Dean (lead vocals/guitar), Mitch Cottingham (bass/vocals) and Dylan Gedney (drums).

Hey guys, thanks for sitting down with me today. Let’s talk about the beginning of your music careers. When did this all start? 

  • Joshua: When I was a kid in the hills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In the middle of nowhere where all I had was my guitar; my friend.
  • Mitch: I’ve honestly been playing music since I was 10 years old. 
  • Dylan: Tried cello in grade school, but always been drawn to drumming!

 Hey Joshua, what made you study opera? I mean that is pretty darn cool!

  • Joshua: Opera is like bodybuilding for the vocal cords, and bluegrass is the same thing for your fingers, and musical theory too. I figured if I could master those or at least get experience in those then I would be able to understand more musically and have more skills quicker than playing just my favorite type of music. 

Is there a time in your lives that changed you forever and/or perhaps maybe inspired you with your music?

  • Joshua: When I was 16 years old, I got hit by a car and I died. And I had seen some things and came back, I guess I wasn’t allowed to die yet apparently. So I was brought back and the first thing I could do was play the guitar. For a while I couldn’t say my ABC’s, count or walk for a little while. But the first thing I could do is sing and play my guitar.
  • Mitch: My best friend growing up, Jeremiah Bristoe, introduced me to rock n’ roll. It was him who got me into music, when I heard “Stairway to Heaven.” The sound in and of itself was memorable and the emotion portrayed in such a medium, made me realize that I really liked rock n’ roll music.
  • Dylan: Travis Barker has always been one of my biggest drumming inspirations.

Tell me what music have you listened to this week that really inspired you?

  • Mitch: Blue Man Group. Their take on creating polyrhythmic music with the most unorthodox instruments was really cool!
  • Joshua: A metal folk band called The Hu. They are from Mongolia, and play instruments from Mongolia. I love it!   
  • Dylan: Brann Dailor, for his approaches to writing drum parts.

I love how open-minded your band is!  What is the hardest thing about music? The sacrifices you have made to do what you love?

  • Joshua: Well there are a few things. The uncertainty of it.There are a lot of good people in the world, and a lot of people that aren’t so good. In the music biz, you get all of them. They all have a pull on your success. Being away from people you love is hard too. A lot of sacrifices but hard work always pays off. You just gotta trust the process and be ready for hard work
  • Mitch: Balancing life, time away from family, and time that has already passed. The balance can be rough, as you find yourself having less time to be with those you love. Then, time and of itself, you can’t get back.
  • Dylan: A few things come to mind; the sacrifices you make to be away from loved ones at times, the uncertainty of being a working musician, but it’s all worth it to do what you love.

Where do you want to go with your music? Any place in particular? What are your plans at this time?

  • Joshua: We have so many songs, we just don’t have them all recorded right now. With this new project we will be bringing it! 
  • Mitch: Primarily recording new music and broadcasting it across the world. Potentially playing music full time.
  • Dylan: I know we’ve got a bunch of new music to work on, so I’m excited to get cracking on that!

Where do you want to be with your music in  say… 2 or 3 years? I know you guys are lucky because you have nothing to hold you back. All of you have that which will definitely take you far.

  • Joshua: Headlining some badass festival with thousands of people, and playing all over the world!
  • Mitch: Playing our music and sitting in for as many people that want to play, and playing wherever I can, no matter the distance.
  • Dylan: I’d want to be as far as it can take me!

Can sis and I have a backstage pass and hang out?

  • Joshua: Always! Haha
  • Mitch: Absolutely!! I was planning on it before you asked. It’s the least we can do for everything you’ve done for us. Both you and your sister are amazing people, and I hope we all have many more awesome memories together in the future.
  • Dylan: Of course!

Is there a band in mind right now that has influenced you immensely growing up and still to this day?

  • Joshua: Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Doors, Black Sabbath,Tool, Alice In Chains. A lot of those bands made me who I am today, physically. Even trying to master a certain artist, if you try to duplicate their artwork, you find your strengths and weaknesses and you try to focus on mastering your craft. You can learn from it all
  • Mitch: Led Zeppelin. Their musicianship and John Paul Jones’s multi-instrumental abilities continue to inspire me to pick up and play different instruments.
  • Dylan: I think I’d say Slipknot. They were my gateway into heavier music. Their showmanship has always been intriguing and have continued to influence me musically.  

Can you tell us one lesson you have learned from this relentless music path?

  • Joshua: You gotta stay on this path. Well, you can never be comfortable. Uncomfortability is the ebb to getting better at everything. If you are comfortable with something, you kinda become lazy and stop the progress of growing.
  • Mitch: Always remember to give thanks where it’s due, and never give up on your passions, no matter how much life changes. Nothing is guaranteed in this world, so might as well make the most of it and enjoy it while we’re here.
  • Dylan: To always bring out the best in friends and family, to be thankful for support , and to just have fun and enjoy the ride!

This band, Element 7, based in central Florida, is an upcoming band that is relentless and taking the south by a storm. Go to their show, and you will see what I am talking about.

For more on Element 7 check out: Instagram | Facebook

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