It was nerve racking Friday morning fiddling about with an international phone card that wasn’t working correctly. After several attempts it finally started calling and I was greeted by a friendly “Hello? Is this Nathan?”. The voice belonged to Joey Cape who is the Vocalist for Californian punk legends Lagwagon. By this stage I’d already lost about 10 minutes of the interview and he expected another call shortly. We briefly discussed rescheduling before diving right into it.
You might be wondering, does he like coming to visit us? The answer was a resounding “Oh yeah always! I love coming down to Australia, it’s a lot of fun to catch up with my mates and play shows, I always have a really great time! The only thing that’s kind of a drag is i’ll only be out there for 4 days or so and it’s a long way to go to be there for such a short amount of time. Other than that I’m real excited! The best part is seeing friends from, well, I don’t want to mention any particular city because I have great friends everywhere down there, but I don’t get to see them often enough and they’re funny, courteous, and it’s never not a blast to hang out!”.
Joey is paying us a visit as part of the Bigsound festival in Fortitude Valley, Queensland which kicks off on Tuesday the 4th of September. I was curious to know what exactly was planned for the event, “It was a little unclear at first what was going to happen, they called it a keynote speech but it seems like it’ll be more like an interview with myself and Erin-Kelly Butkett who owns Fat Wreck Chords and will conducted by Lindsay from Frenzal Rhomb where he’ll ask us some questions and hold an audience Q&A, but I doubt it’ll be as fun and sophisticated as the show Q&A that you guys have over there (laughs). I’ve done tons of interviews but this is my first keynote speech, it’s not something i’d normally volunteer for. I can get on stage and play songs just fine and it’s easy because it’s honest, getting in front of people to do a talk takes a little acting to a degree. But a friend of mine is doing it and suggested I should give it a shot, I’ve been writing and performing for a long time and it the whole thing IS about music so I’m not under qualified to do it though in some ways it makes me a little nervous. The good thing is if you do feel that way when trying something new then it usually means you’re doing something right and you’ll rise above it. In this case I’m discussing something I’m highly passionate about! I guess I find it more comfortable to be present with friends around the dinner table discussing things that are philosophical. I thought that’s what this whole keynote thing would be, something that has a start and an end with a story in between but knowing i’ll be talking with Lindsay i’m expecting it to be really entertaining, Lindsay is a funny guy and I expect him to make me laugh a lot!”
Joey is playing two shows whilst in our backyard outside of his Bigsound appearance. We had a discussion about the venue he is set to play in Melbourne on the 9th September, “The Evelyn is a great venue, I’ve been there a few times, usually I stay with a friend close by whenever i’m down there and I spend a lot of time around the area. A few years ago I saw an Elliott Smith tribute there and it’s a cool little scene around the area. I’ll probably play a few songs from all of my records, even three or four off Stitch Puppy, but it might be time for a lew record (laughs). To be honest I’m working on a new one that should be out in around the Springtime so there’s that. The shows came about because of my Bigsound appearance and I figured, hell, if I’m going all the way out there for that then I way as well play some shows while I’m at it. The whole thing was quite impromptu but I love playing those intimate kinds of shows. The thing I’m most intimidated about is by the time I would have recovered from such a long flight, with the time change and all that, I’ll be getting on a plane to head back and end up completely screwed up for the next place I go (laughs). I think I’m home for a day or so before heading off again to do some shows with Lagwagon, it’ll be interesting! I only just got back from Europe (laughs)”
His latest solo album “Stitch Puppy” inspired a recording venture named “One Week Records” which, as the name implies, records full albums in the space of a week. “With One Week Records I like to put myself and artists that come in into a position where they have to make quick decisions, to shake up their creative process. It’s usually solo artists that come in and it’s always a rush to get those creative juices flowing. I did my album “Stitch Puppy” in a short amount of time, a little longer than what I aimed for, but it was a thrill I like sharing with other artists.”
Joey will surely have a lot of interesting and insightful perspectives and ideas to share at this years Bigsound as well as his two solo dates. Backing him up is Pears frontman Zack Quinn.
September 4-7 (Joey appears on the 6th)
Multiple Venues around Fortitude Valley
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Tickets available HERE
The Evelyn Hotel, Brunswick
Tickets available HERE
Grab your copy of Stitch Puppy HERE