Making his way around the world one wave at a time, local musician, pro body-boarder, artist, and general good guy Josh Garner is doing it all. One of the brains behind the Perth based creative brand The Axiom, we were lucky enough to catch him while he was in town to chat about his favourite adventures, the low-down on The Axiom, and his favourite breaks.
You’re a being of many talents – musician, artist, designer, prolific body-boarder – can tell us a bit about how and where it all started?
Living in Margaret River as a young child definitely ignited the passion for the ocean. Although, it was only when we moved to Perth and I was a bit older that it inevitably became a huge passion of mine and still is to this day. Having a connection with the ocean is essential for me and my lifestyle. I remember I’d ride about 40 minutes to the beach every morning when I was about 12 – 16. And I think it was all that practise teamed up with heaps of excess energy that made me prolific of the boogie.
The creative side has been with me since day one. I’ve pretty much been drawing and writing since my Mum showed me a pencil and some paper. Music came later when I got a scholarship to a music school in year 9. I took that music program for granted but definitely absorbed enough to keep me intrigued about the miraculous form of communication that is music. Today, it’s one of my main endeavours and seems to work hand in hand with the rest of my pursuits.
I feel painting a canvas is very similar to composing a song and riding waves is very similar to performing music. There’s an energy you can unleash which creates a level of presence that allows creative energy to flow freely. Kind of like the ocean. But on the other hand without adequate practise it’s not going to be anything special. Whatever it is you are doing; if your completely into it I think it shows. Everyones got there talents and gifts and they usually reveal themselves during presence and doing something that you love and feel really passionate about.
You’ve got a lot of travel under your belt, riding waves in Hawaii, Mexico, South Africa to name a few. Any favourite adventures?
Yeah I’ve been travelling for 10 years straight (mainly on my own) and I’m only just taking a slight break this year. I think the best thing about bodyboarding for me is the locations you get to travel too. It’s not quite the same as surfing, as our world tour takes us to different places. And there’s little to no hype around the sport. We are also chasing different waves that seem to be in isolated locations on the planet. Hawaii, Mexico and South Africa have definitely been openers. Different in so many ways. I’ve been to Hawaii 12 times some how. This was actually the first year I didn’t go since I was 16.
Three months in South Africa was a huge highlight. I felt I learnt a lot about humanity and happiness whilst interacting with the local people. There’s something very profound going on over there. Another place was Peru and Chile. It reminds me of what I could imagine Mars to be like. There is a place called Arica in Chile where it doesn’t rain for a year and a half at a time. It’s the driest city on the planet. But just over yonder starts the Andes Mountains which is covered in snow. Machu Pichu and the Inca people are from these parts of the world and their history is very interesting. I love to learn about the culture of all the places I visit. I read and write a lot whilst travelling. Its my muse whilst doing long trips on my own. Hawaii is another very special culture for me.The people are powerful and the Hawaiian Monarchies did a good job keeping there land. The place has some amazing stories that are still a big part of the consciousness today. Although the relentless machine that is America has had its influence, Hawaii kept a lot of their powerful and beautiful traditions and way of life.
Mexico is also great! So much passion and so much jungle and tequila and other fruits. I had to cross the border from Tijuana into San Diego once at about 1am in the morning. That border is very suss and scary. I wouldn’t recommend it, but I was running out of cash and after missing my flight from Mexico City to LAX I was left with no other option. Live and learn.
You’re one of the founders of the local brand The Axiom. It’s evolved into a source for so many creative endeavours – visual arts and photography, music, surfing and beach culture. What was the inspiration behind The Axiom?
Yes the idea came to me when I was pretty young. I started travelling full time fresh out of high school and needed to create a company that would allow me to keep creative whilst on the move and capitalise on it so I could maintain my lifestyle. I wanted to work for myself I guess. As well as allow me to share things around the globe. So I figured clothing was the perfect start and a nice gift. So I started this in California whilst living there for half of the year in 2012. It really is the land of opportunity. You can make a lot happen creatively in that country as apposed to Australia where screen printing and manufacturing costs are very high and creative businesses are slightly more restricted to a smaller market place. But thats just part of
it living in Perth, the most isolated city on the planet. Anyways, the inspiration behind Axiom is to create a platform to share and voice some good energy and collaborate with other creatives from Perth and Earth. Basically to have a good time whilst handling business and life. The original idea was to create a positive spiritual change within myself and around me and a brand that reflects this idea. That dream has evolved along the way to be more practical and logical and definitely more grounded. Day to day happiness is the focus for me really.
Can you tell us a bit about the team involved?
The team as of now is a collective of musicians, artists, designers, writers, photographers, videographers, carpenters and event organisers. Pretty much a loose powerhouse of creative energy. And when guided in the right direction it does wonderful things. Everyone involved is pushing there own personal and professional creative journey at the same time. I like to think that those working with Axiom have that ability to expand there art form and ideas by collaborating with a crew of similarly minded folk.
The Axiom showcases are always massive nights with a great crew, how do you bring it all together?
We some what wing it. I think it obviously starts with the music and the individuals involved. And from there Axiom gives it a tiny nudge, along side the support from crew like Cool Perth Nights and all the beautiful venue owners out there. These are collaborations we love. The shows are always a good time so I think it’s a lovely congregation for mates and new mates to enjoy live music, conversation and have a dance. It’s something I enjoy doing at least once a week so its like second nature organising events with my mates.
You’re a musician yourself; tell us a bit about your new project, Nu Ohm Ra.
Nu Ohm Ra is; Tyler Ray Michie, Grant Touchell, Bill Christensen and myself. We’ve been playing together for awhile now and due to an overflow of songs we thought we’d give it a name and start performing and recording together. I’m not sure what kind of music we are playing as we all have very unique tastes to contribute. It definitely feels good to play together and it is exciting to have something fresh to share.
What are your top 5 beaches around the world?
Gracetown, Pipeline, Puerto Escondido, Conspicuous Cliffs, Teahupo’o
You can catch Josh’s new band Nu Ohm Ra at The Axiom‘s massive live music show case at Rosemount Hotel this Saturday night! Tickets at the door. Head to The Axiom’s website to stay in the loop with their new clothing line, upcoming events and adventures.