On Episode 5 of Artist Friendly, Josh Katz, frontman and guitarist of the alternative band Badflower, joined host Joel Madden for an introspective chat about mental health and what's in store for Katz and the band following the release of their 2021 genre-bending sophomore album This Is How The World Ends. Today, you can check out the new episode wherever you stream music and listen to podcasts, and on YouTube, as well.

For the last year and a half, Katz and Badflower have been riding high, due to the success of their sophomore album, which they'll continue to tour on the upcoming Asking For A Friend Tour that kicks off Feb. 21 in Atlanta, GA. Since the release, much has changed for Katz, and most of it for the better, as the Los Angeles native decided to move to a rural farmhouse outside of Nashville, TN where he is continuing to focus on his own well-being and his art. Below, find five takeaways from the Artist Friendly interview, as Katz dives into his recent life changes, personal growth, and what's next for the band. 

Josh Katz has found peace

In recent years, Katz has become far more transparent about his mental health journey and the obstacles he has had to overcome in order to find peace. In the interview, Katz details a period of time when his anxiety was at an all-time high, due to burnout, dissatisfaction, and the overall stress that comes with a touring lifestyle. Today, however, Katz reveals that his anxiety levels are much more manageable, and he couldn't be more relieved to be on the other side of the experience. He explains that one of the biggest turning points was the release of Badflower's breakout single “Ghost,” which was not only a huge success, but an emotional milestone for the artist who felt like he was finally taking agency over his anxieties and able to open up in a meaningful way. Nowadays, Katz does not feel like he has to put on a “rockstar persona” when taking the stage, and can instead be comfortable as his authentic self. 

Fan reception can be hard to gauge 

Katz admits that the band's early days were a bit easier to a degree because there were fewer expectations and pressures to fit in one box or adhere to certain perceptions. Katz says that Badflower undoubtedly takes fans and their reception seriously, and because they mean so much to him, he explains that there's often an urge to please them as much as he can with regard to the direction their new music takes or their touring schedules, which is something he's working on balancing. That being said, he loves when he can see just how much a song has an emotional effect on fans when playing it live — and iterates that they mean just as much to him. Now, he feels like he's especially struck a healthy balance, living on a more isolated farm where he can log off and find serenity, and "tap back into the real world" when he goes on tour. 

A bougie supermarket experience may have inspired a beloved Badflower song

Fans of host Joel Madden know just how much he loves the specialty, LA-based grocery story Erewhon — and Katz admits on the pod how much he can't get enough of it, too. In a funny bit, he says that the store's notoriously pricey products are a bit comical to him, though — so much so that he actually wrote a song that subtly touches on experiences he’s had there. The song in question is “Fukboi” from the band’s 2021 release This Is How The World Ends, which Katz describes as a slight dig at privileged dudes trying to pick up women at the fancy supermarket. 

Creativity will never stop

While Katz does envision a day when he can slow down a bit, he is more than confident that he will never truly “retire” from music in any capacity. In fact, Katz has a hunger to constantly create and can't imagine a day without diving into art. If anything, Katz hopes to continue to have a sustainable career and solid foundation so that in the future he can further explore even more ideas. 

Anything could happen in 2023

Katz is still tight-lipped about the prospect of a new record coming out in 2023, but it’s probably safe to assume that fans will get one, or, at the very least, some new singles. The band has been writing for the first time on the road, setting up a studio on their tour bus to demo ideas — and it will be very exciting to see what this process leads to with the end result. Fingers crossed they keep writing as they set out on their Asking For A Friend Tour with Des Rocs and Blood Red Shoes later this month.