Joey Cape is an absolute punk rock legend. From fronting the iconic Lagwagon, to playing in Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, working on solo music, producing bands and being a dad his calendar year is pretty full. Joey is no stranger to Australian shores and September 2018 sees him return to the land down under as a guest speaker at Big Sound conference along with some special solo shows. We were lucky enough to catch up with Joey to talk about Big Sound and more.

SCENEzine
How’s 2018 going for you?

Joey Cape
It’s been busy but great.

SCENEzine
I was in Vegas earlier in the year and caught your Lagwagon set at Punk Rock Bowling. You guys were awesome.

Joey Cape
Thanks man yeah that was fun. I was up so late the night before. Generally as I get older I wake up really early in the morning regardless of what time I go to bed. I could go to bed at four in the morning and I will still wake up at seven. I remember thinking that night about two hours before we went on I hoped I didn’t start falling asleep. The show turned out to be great. The audience was cool it was a fun night. I was dead after that it wasn’t a normal Vegas night for me.

SCENEzine
Was it an honour as well to be a part of Punk Rock Bowling’s 20th anniversary?

Joey Cape
Oh yeah it was cool for sure. I’ve been to that thing almost every year. Because I’ve played it with different bands or by myself or I used to just go every year if I wasn’t already on tour. I feel like it would of been weird not to be there. It’s a lot of fun.

SCENEzine
You are currently in Australia for Big Sound music conference how did yourself being involved all come about?

Joey Cape
It was funny I had no plans to tour there I didn’t know what Big Sound was. My friend Erin Burkett who runs Fat Wreck Chords she got asked to be a key note speaker and she hit me up and she said they would like you to come to and I said no way (laughs). My initial reaction was I don’t want to speak at a conference about music no that’s not for me. But she kept asking and I thought about it and really it was a free trip to Australia so I thought ok it’s going to be fun. I added a few shows, to make it to make it more of a thing because it’s a long way to go for one event. Now I’ve got four things that I’m doing there. The more I thought about it and talked to other people it turned into a pretty cool thing. I think it’s going to be great. Lindsay from Frenzal is mediating it’s more of an interview than an actual speech. That’s kind of what spooked me at first. People assume if you are in a band that you are used to being on stage and like those sort of things, playing music is a whole different thing.

SCENEzine
Do you remember your first ever visit to Australia?

Joey Cape
It was 1995 I think. We toured with a band called One Inch Punch, great guys. It’s funny how your memory works I don’t remember any of the shows but I remember being near the beach in a little motel with the guys, having the night off and barbequing. Those are the kind of things that stick with you, the good times in between. That was a long time ago I’ve done a lot since then and been to Australia so many times since then.

SCENEzine
Have you thought about your Aussie setlist yet?

Joey Cape
Yeah actually I was just working on that going through songs that I know how to play and learning a few other ones trying to put them in order. I wing it a bit when I play live because most of the people who come to the acoustic shows I play are pretty loud and they yell songs out. I’ll go sure I can try that and sometimes it goes horribly wrong and sometimes it’s great. Most of the time I make some kind of set list and entertain the idea that I’m going to stick to my set list but the truth of the matter is I probably wont.

SCENEzine
You will be bringing Zach Quinn over to Australia with you. Have you toured with his band Pears before?

Joey Cape
Yeah I love that guy. Lagwagon has toured with Pears a couple of times and I’ve toured with Zack as well solo doing a whole month in Europe touring together. I also produced his last solo record. We are very close in fact we are close enough that he calls me dad.

SCENEzine
How do you find time to do your One Week Records project?

Joey Cape
Well there was a period of time where I was home a lot. I’ve been producing records for a really long time I started doing that shortly after Lagwagon became a band. I always co-produced records early on that I was making with my band as well. I’ve always loved the studio and liked it long before I was playing in a band professionally. Whenever I’m home long enough that I get a little bored if I have a month off I can work a record in there. Sometimes it gets a little crazy when I’m doing 280 shows in a year and 2 records those years are bad. But I really enjoy it and the way we do those One Week records is we do them in seven days so there’s not a lot of time for second guessing. It’s a pretty quick process and it’s kind of brutal because you are barely sleeping and just going for it. It’s a rush, I really like it.

SCENEzine
Do you have any memories of when you produced The Ataris records?

Joey Cape
Yeah I felt like when I did the Blue Skies record I had a good felling about it. That record I was far more involved in the process of pre production and song writing. It was great because I was able to push those guys towards what I thought were their better songs. I really like the way that one came out. I’m not sure I was as good of a producer as I am now as far as tones go. But I think the feel of that record is really solid and the songs are really good. With the second record I did Kris the songwriter was a lot more confident going in and he had everything worked out in his head before we went in the studio. I remember distinctly one day when Kris was tracking the engineer was running the board and I was on a sofa behind the board I slept for hours. Every once in a while I would wake up and hear him singing the word love and I would say that’s about the 300th time you’ve said love if you keep saying it then it’s not going to mean anything. For some reason that’s one of my few memories of doing End is Forever. It was nice working with those guys, that was a long time ago.

SCENEzine
What’s your opinion on the craze in Australia at concerts called doing a shoey?

Joey Cape
(laughs) I’ve never done one I don’t think. It depends on how drunk I have been on stage there, maybe I did. I can tell you that sounds pretty awful. I might be a little old for that.

SCENEzine
Speaking of old what’s it like these days playing “Falling Apart” live on stage?

Joey Cape
It’s interesting because there’s a line in the song that says I’ll never be Ozzy on stage when I’m 50. Now I’m 51 and almost 52 so clearly that’s a lie so I change the lyrics and say I’ll never be Ozzy on stage when I’m 60. That song was always tongue and cheek anyway. When we wrote that song everybody in the band had problems with their knees and their backs, we are all a little bit broken. Doing what we were doing early on to our bodies was a little hard on our bodies because we weren’t athletes. In some ways most of us are in better shape than we used to be. I don’t know why that is, it’s a total mystery to me.

SCENEzine
Looking beyond Australia are you excited to play the iconic Riot Fest in Chicago?

Joey Cape
Oh yeah Riot Fest is great. I’ve just recently got home from Europe now I’m in Australia and the next day after I get back I will be going Riot Fest. So I might be a little bit spun by then but other than that yeah I’m totally looking forward to it. I’m taking my daughter with me for the weekend. We are playing a couple of shows out there, it’s going to be a blast.

SCENEzine
Lastly do you have a message for the Aussie Joey Cape fans?

Joey Cape
Yeah if you are coming to a show I’ll see you soon. I’m excited.

(interview by Christian Ross)

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