24-year old Joshua Cockerill moved to Toronto at the age of 18 to be closer to his country’s musical pulse. In what he considers his greatest coup, he convinced his favorite local musicians to join his band. In a few short years, they had become staples of the Toronto scene. In 2009, Cockerill moved into the basement of the home of one his most beloved Canadian songwriters, Justin Rutledge. He no longer had to stray far for guidance.
The band’s debut album was released in 2009 under the banner Joshua Cockerill. This kicked off years of touring across Canada, a rigorous endeavor that changed their sound and dynamic. In 2010, Cockerill, by then known for his (proportionally) gigantic green Gretsch guitar, was invited to play alongside musical heroes Ian Tyson and Serena Ryder at the 50th anniversary of the Mariposa Folk Festival in Ontario, Canada. They also took up residency at downtown Toronto’s historic Cameron House, where Cockerill wrote and performed a new song every week during the band’s weekly shows. At the Cameron House, Cockerill put on shows with renowned Canadian artists Bahamas, Doug Paisley, and Bazil Donovan of Blue Rodeo.
In December 2011, Cockerill returned to the studio to record the band that has since come to be known as Animal Parts. The eponymous album, co-produced with Chris Stringer (Timber Timbre, Ohbijou, Snowblink), marks a shift in musical and aesthetic direction. “We boiled the songs until everything but the essence had evaporated.”, explains Cockerill, “The solos evaporated. Tradition evaporated. All egos evaporated. Joshua Cockerill evaporated. It opens up room for possibilities.”