02/01/13 - Interview with Josh Gass - Creative Director at the KahBang Festival.
Dirty Awesome: Who are you and what do you do?
Josh Gass: I am the Creative Director for the KahBang Music|Art|Film Festival and a founder of Section Four Creative. For KahBang that means each year I design the overall festival and many of the events that make up the fest and work with the department heads to program all the participating artists, musicians and filmmakers that showcase at KahBang. I also work with our Marketing team to help brand our organization and event.
Dirty Awesome: Tell us about your time in LA.
Josh Gass: I moved to LA in the fall of 2000 to attend to the University of Southern California and pursue filmmaking. I didn't know anyone but all my filmmaking idols had gone there so I felt that was the place I was supposed to be. Los Angeles was a life changing move for me. It's really a different world. I worked in Film & TV after school and it is a crazy industry. I managed to get some good credits after a while and worked for American Idol and some other shows. The amount of work being done in LA is ridiculous - there's a ton of opportunity if you're willing to work for it. I pretty much worked all the time and partied like crazy. You know... you [Dirty Awesome editors] were there for most of it.
Dirty Awesome: Why did you choose to move back to Maine?
Josh Gass: I came back to Maine for the summer in 2009 because a TV show I was working for was on hiatus for the season, but I stayed because of KahBang. I had been wanting a project like that for some time - something that was a team collaboration and also something that contributed to Bangor. I never thought it would be a Music Festival, but the team that organized those first few years was fantastic and it really got me excited. That and I met my fiancee... those two things pretty much sealed me staying in Maine.
Dirty Awesome: What's the worst thing that ever happened on site at KahBang?
Josh Gass: That's a tough question. Putting on the festival each year can be very stressful and weird stuff always happens, like Biz Markie reading the horoscope on stage in 2010 when he ran out of material to rap about... but I guess I'll say the worst thing was when the drummer for My Morning Jacket got sick before their set in 2011. That pretty much sucked. Also, Lupe Fiasco stepped on my foot right before he ran on stage that same year and that really hurt.
Dirty Awesome: What's the best thing to ever happen to KahBang?
Josh Gass: Best thing that ever happened... BoB's performance in 2010. That pretty much set the bar for us.
Dirty Awesome: Do you ever see yourself running for political office any time in the future?
Josh Gass: It's possible in the future, but right now I'm pretty focused on continuing to build KahBang and Section Four.
Dirty Awesome: Do you plan of directing anymore feature films?
Josh Gass: Definitely. My brother and I plan on starting a project this fall to shoot in 2014.
Dirty Awesome: If you could change one thing about Bangor, what would it be?
Josh Gass: I would put in a an OTTO Pizza and I would get a bunch of tech start-ups to move here.
Dirty Awesome: Do you think the economy in Maine is going to get worse before it gets better?
Josh Gass: Yes. Parts of Maine will continue to grow, but overall this state needs to look seriously at its decline and realize that it is going to take innovative thinking to solve our problems. Young people have very little to gain by staying here after college and that drain needs to be fixed. If we keep ignoring this problem, I don't see the trend being reversed anytime soon.
Dirty Awesome: What are you currently most excited about in your life?
Josh Gass: Currently I am most excited about getting married this summer.