Before Josh began preaching the Bible, he took a walk on the dark side. He was an unfortunate victim of Seattle’s early post-grunge years, the creative lull between the demise of hard rock heavyweights Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, and the rise of indie princes Modest Mouse. Josh was the singer for Man Ray, a stylishly black power combo that wrapped goth gloom around thunderous yet melodic modern rock. The band’s stainless debut album, Casual Thinking, was greeted with high expectations in 1997. However, Man Ray’s label, Mercury Records, rewarded it with nonexistent promotion, the album stiffed, and the group split up as a result.
Josh then formed the short-lived glam rock band Medicate with members of Super Deluxe. Disturbed by what he saw happening to his friends in the rock community, Josh found solace in the Bible, renewing his Christian faith. He then left Medicate and the entire Seattle music scene, moved to Spokane, and led worship at Calvary Chapel. While there he met guitarist Brian Ortize. The two started jamming together, creating a sound that would be developed further with the arrival of Adam Breeden (guitar), Marquis Ashley (bass), and Nick Tibbetts (drums). After being crushed by the Seattle grunge implosion, Josh’s spiritual reawakening was embodied in Telecast. Wanting a group that would enable him to express his Christian beliefs while being accessible to a secular crowd, he took worship music into a new arena, sounding more like bands on commercial alternative radio than anything on Christian stations. With a pretty, atmospheric style inspired by David Bowie, the Verve, and Coldplay, Telecast released its debut album, The Beauty of Simplicity.