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Interview with Joey - 12/28/01
Me: OK first off, congratulations on the success of 'Invitation to the Dance'.
Joe: Thanks. Hopefully things will really start to pick up next year. Things are kind of slow right now because our record label closed down.
Me: What did you want to accomplish most with the release of the album?
Joe: Basically to do the heavy melodic thing correct. So many bands come out and some I feel but some I don't. I just wanted to put our skin on it. But hey, we just wanted to make music that people would connect with. When kids come up to us at shows loving the whole 'Falling Down' thing, that's what it's all about.
Me: Are you happy with the response that it's gotten so far?
Joe: Yes, we are ecstatic from the response.
Me: What is the meaning behind the title 'Invitation to the Dance' and how did the cover art come about?
Joe: 'Invitation to the Dance' is our way of inviting everyone to come check out our style. We got it from a movie. Not telling which one though. Let's just say you can't get it at Blockbuster. As far as the cover art goes, that was all Carlos' vision. The guy on the cover was actually in the 3 Doors Down video, 'Kryptonite'.
Me: Yeah, Carlos was telling me about the cover a couple of weeks ago. What made you decide to remake 'Falling Down', 'Jonesin'', 'Rejection', and 'Sideshow'?
Joe: Well 'Falling Down' is like the epitome of 40 Below Summer. There was no way that it wasn't going to make the album. 'Jonesin'' is a sick twisted tale that we just wanted to tell. It's a true story. 'Sideshow' is like the anthem. It always gets the crowd going. 'Rejection'… I don't know. It's just a pretty heavy song so it made it.
Me: Sounds cool. I hope that you guys decide to do a remake of 'Faces' someday. Do you plan on re-releasing the entire 'Side Show Freaks' album sometime in the future, or just some of the songs off of it?
Joe: No, I don't feel that it would be good. I would much rather write new music. But I can tell you this… there are parts of 'Side Show Freaks' in some of the new music that we've written. We wrote a song that is seven and a half minutes long. I think we have five new songs so far. We also have a song called 'Rain' that no one has heard before.
Me: I guess you guys will be ready when it's time for the next record. Any chance of an 'Endorphins' remake?
Joe: Um, it's definitely a possibility. It's got to be worked on. Everyone who got it off the computer… enjoy it.
Me: You guys have an awesome live show. Do you do anything to prepare before going on stage?
Joe: Well we do some stretching. Everyone has they're own thing. Some of us like to be alone and some of us like to be around a lot of people. We just try to keep each other in a positive mood. We're goof balls, you know? We'll just be standing around and occasionally we'll flip out.
Me: Yeah, you guys have been getting crazier on stage. Do you have a favorite place to perform?
Joe: It was definitely Birch Hill for a long time before they lost their liquor license. A lot of people stopped coming because people want to drink. People in Jersey are still giving up the love, but we got to find a new place. Any house of blues is also a cool place to play. The house of blues in Chicago is crazy.
Me: If you could do a tour with any band, dead or alive, who would it be?
Joe: That's a good one. There's a whole bunch of bands that I would like to tour with. Sevendust… Tool… Incubus… POD. There are a whole bunch of bands that have records that inspire me. We play with Head Charge constantly so that's a thrill. Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, and possibly Van Halen. Led Zeppelin for Carlos and Queensryche for Max.
Me: I've been to a lot of your shows and I know you guys meet a lot of fans. What sort of impression do you think you leave on them?
Joe: It depends. A lot of bands love the energy. We get it from all of the people out there. The fans give off the fucking craziest energy. 'Falling Down', that song is special to the people out there and it's special to us. It's definitely a powerful song to us. I feel like the people we get are really fans. They are not interested in just one song. They are the best. They give it back to us.
Me: How would you describe 40 Below's music to someone who has never heard it before?
Joe: Beautiful, melodic, completely brutal music.
Me: What do you think separates 40 Below Summer from other bands?
Joe: Without sounding conceded, I would say the musicianship and the song writing, although I'm inspired by most of the new bands out there. But we just want to keep doing what we're doing, you know? It's just the 40 Below Summer sound.
Me: What inspired you to become a musician most and who are some of your musical influences?
Joe: Definitely my father. He gave me the genes, enabled me to play without instruction, and taught me that it's the only thing I can do to enjoy. I can't sit behind a desk or work in a store all day. I need to be playing music. I can't be like a caged animal. As far as musical influences go, probably old Smashing Pumpkins, Incubus, Tool, Slipknot. Um… Candiria, Sevendust, the first Korn record. All we were listening to back then was death metal until that album came out. Also, older death metal bands like Suffocation.
Me: Top five albums?
Joe: Uh… Smashing Pumpkins 'Siamese Dream', the first Korn album, Incubus 'Science', anything by Carmine D'amico, 'Aenima' by Tool and Faith No More 'Angel Dust'. You can put those last two together.
Me: I'm a big fan of the first Korn album too. The second one was also really good. You had mentioned earlier that your record label, London-Sire, closed down. Do you have any feelings on what happened?
Joe: I feel like it's all good. Somebody else will pick us up eventually. Things are rolling and our attitude is on the ball. Maybe we will be signed to someone in the New Year. January or February sometime. It will probably be better for us with the marketing. I mean, London-Sire was great… they did a great job. It's not their fault. They've had mostly electronic acts to begin with, but it's cool. I was really feeling the love for them and it's a shame. But when one door closes, another one opens. If you get depressed, it's over.
Me: OK, last question. What is the ultimate goal for 40 Below Summer?
Joe: To basically just be able to keep making records and play live. I want to be able to meet and affect people. I have no immediate objective. I just want to make music. If I went back to working, I would seriously lose my mind. It's not all fucking glamorous, it's hard shit… but it's fun. I love my band like a family. I can't be away from those guys for more than a couple of days.
Me: OK, thanks a lot for doing the interview. Do you have any final words?
Joe: No problem. No final words. I don't want to do anything like that. Our fans know how we feel about them and we know how they feel about us.