Sterling’s Josh Pineo juggles his busy life, but he likes it that way
STERLING – To say Josh Pineo was a star when he recently interviewed one of his idols, the WAAF’s “Mistress Carrie” Sarao, for his Bulldog Uncensored Podcast is an understatement.
“It was a great blessing to have someone of her acclaim, not just locally but nationally as she is quite well known,” said the lifelong city dweller. “It was a big thing for me”
But this wasn’t the first time they had talked. Pineo said they met a decade ago when Sarao posted on Facebook that she was looking for firewood, and he says he made a “shameless plug” for his family’s Tuttle Road farm – and it worked .
Giving her demos and merch from his band at the time, Pineo said, “We hit it off from there and we’d see each other regularly at shows.”
They met again at the 2012 Summer Nationals on Main Street in Worcester, when the stage where Pineo performed with his heavy metal band Fuel of War was right next to the WAAF setup.
“It was the first time she heard me play,” he recalled, adding that when he launched his podcast in February, she was on his list of people to interview.
“I said ‘Hey, I’ll start this, if you have the time you’d like to do it,’ and she said yes. It was exactly the right timing and the right time.”
In addition to his podcast, Pineo is a talented guitarist, involved in two bands, Satin & Steel and Fuel of War, and a veteran stand-up comedian. Being wheelchair bound doesn’t slow him down one bit, as reflected in the name of the company Speed Demon Promotions, which he founded in 2010.
In addition, Pineo also has a lot to do in his private life. He married the love of his life, Nikki, in September 2020, and he said they “make a good team and take care of each other.”
“She’s super supportive and she does everything she can to make me happy and keep us going,” he said. “Without her, I couldn’t do half of what I’ve done for the past five years.”
The couple recently moved into a home they built and attached to their parents’ home in the city. Pineo worked with townsman and builder Russ Philpot to design the house, the same person who designed the plan for his parents’ house.
“We literally made it as accessible as possible,” Pineo said of her new digs. “Roll-in shower, ADA sink, ramp. The only thing left for me to do is put my couch on booster seats so I can get in and out of my chair.”
Pineo, who graduated from Wachusett Regional High School and studied Audio, Production and Television at Mount Wachusett Community College, is training his 5-month-old Dozer, a Labrador Pit Bullpointer mix puppy.
“He’s awesome, pretty much my sanity right now,” Pineo said, adding that “we get most of our training skills from The Right Paw” at Princeton and calling owner Jen Banks “a darling.”
Life doesn’t slow down for Pineo and he’s fine with it.
Bulldog Uncensored averages almost 700 to 1,000 streams per episode and Mistress Carrie’s play “got some really good numbers”. Although the podcast “isn’t making a lot of money at this point,” Pineo said, “they’re trying to rectify that with sponsorship.”
Four Engines Apparel in town is the “biggest donor in terms of sponsorships,” and he said he’ll be recording commercials for them that will run during the podcast, which he’s recording at home. He plans to eventually set up a recording studio at his home, saying, “It’s nice to be able to make my own schedule.”
“I’d like to be the New England version of Joe Rogan,” he said. “I’ve always been a big fan of Joe.”
When asked what inspired him to start the podcast, he said that being unable to perform with the bands or stand up in front of live audiences is a great way to “stay out there” during COVID.
“I wanted to connect with people and still have the opportunity to network, whether it’s comedy or music or whatever,” Pineo said. “I know a lot of people and can reach people.”
He said Fuel of War is currently “on pause” but he plans to restart it at some point and standup comedy has been a challenge because of the pandemic.
“I had a pretty full plate,” he said. “As things open up again I’m trying to figure out my game plan but my biggest problem is the lack of transport and you almost have to train for it, that takes a lot of endurance. A lot of my comedy is based on my experiences, so I need to get out more. Those were the biggest challenges.”
While he’s currently focused on building the podcast, Pineo has recorded songs with fellow Satin & Steel bandmate Alicia Marinelli, including a single they released last September, “Where You Are,” which he said was “a got really good feedback”.
“We wanted to test the waters and see what people were going through and most of our peers were impressed, which motivated us to keep going,” Pineo said. “There aren’t many strong, tenacious female-fronted bands left anymore, we’re really trying to promote that.”
He said he’s trying to “clean things up” when it comes to juggling whatever he can get his hands on and that he’ll record some music if there’s a gap between podcast episodes.
“I’m definitely not a one-trick pony. I got tired of waiting for people to do what I want to do, so I said ‘f* it’ and just walked away.”
He and Marinelli, who hails from Rhode Island, have been friends for many years, and Pineo said they “came on stage together.” – the only problem is finding the time to focus on it.
“Satin & Steel is a work in progress,” Pineo said. “We’ve got two or three other songs in the flow right now, I’m doing all the editing and stuff. There are never enough hours in a day.”