Any Old Joe
North Hollywood, CA
It breaks my heart that these guys are non-locals to us here in PA. With an exceptionally positive attitude in their music and songs that make it impossible not to sing along, I’d love nothing more than to be able to catch these guys live. I stumbled across Any Old Joe for the first time a few months ago. I knew right away that I wanted them in AudioXposure. We held off until we could feature them “properly,” rather than just running a short profile piece, and trust me – they’re worth the wait!
Any Old Joe is one of the more melodic bands that I’ve come across. They have some of the strongest vocals that I’ve heard, and their sound is incredibly tight. Oh, how I envy those lucky fans in Southern CA. AOJ is comprised of Brad Walcher on guitar, Shaun Sawyer with vocals, guitar, and keys, Steve Heffernan on drums, and Dan King on bass and vocals. Three of the guys (not including Dan, who is very fortunate to be touring Europe right now with MC-5) took the time to talk to AX a little bit about themselves and their music.
Although Steve and Shaun have been working together since 1998, it wasn’t until 2003 when the final lineup of Any Old Joe was solidified, and they put out their first release, “Changes.” During their time together, the guys have had the opportunity to grow with their music, and the changes in their own lives and outlooks, that have resulted from being able to do what they love to do. Here’s what Shaun had to say:
“If you were to ask me how I felt before a show a year ago I would have to say fear. I was afraid of screwing up, I was afraid that people wouldn’t show up. I guess that every band has those fears. Now, I love the moments before our shows. What was once fear has turned to excitement. Before every show I am struck with the joy that this is what I do. Who am I to get in front of all these people and play our songs? This is amazing that I get to be a part of all of this. After a show it really carries no different feeling. I am excited about the next one. I am usually up for hours after. The greatest feeling comes from when we get to talk to our fans, and sometimes go out to eat with them. That is the greatest thing about it. They make it all worth it.”
The four members of Any Old Joe come from different backgrounds, but their passion for music ties them together. They are all graduates of Azusa Pacific University having studied a wide range of subjects, from business to cinema to broadcasting to theology. Steve took some time to talk about his specific history with, and feelings about, music.
“I started playing music when I was about 4 years old, starting on Piano, and then moved to drums when I was 13. As a band we started playing together in 1999. (It was Dan that finished up their linuep about a year ago.) I’m intense about music because I love how melodies can bring out emotion, and how intricate rhythms really get my mind working. The future hopefully has us doing more of what we love. A goal I’ve set for my self is to dig deeper into music theory so I can help us make songs that are even more interesting for people of all musical skill levels.”
What is the music of Any Old Joe about? What kind of goals do these four have, and where are they going to find themselves? That remains to be seen, but here’s what Brad thinks about all that:
“We write songs about real things, mostly struggles, with God, with the opposite sex, with hardship, hurt, and of course love. Music is a gift to all who listen, it helps cure sickness, it brings happiness and strength, it can induce sadness, it even sparks creativity and intelligence. More specifically, it is what God made us four to do. I don’t think Any Old Joe will die. We’re in for the long haul and we have the industry on our side. We’re waiting for the right contract to take us where we feel lead. We’ve unfortunately had to turn down three offers thus far in order to be where we want to be. With Universal’s recent interest we are closer than ever to achieving the ultimate and living a dream. To play music as a career. Our goals are many, but we want to display that music with a positive message doesn’t have to be lame. The anger movement of the early 2000s has been destructive. Music based on hate doesn’t do anybody any good.”
So, what inspires these guys? Shaun chimed in for this one:
“We are inspired by life. The excitement, the defeats, faith, relationships, and love are all things that make us real people. I know that all of that sound very cliché, but it is true. The music that we write is an expression of the feeling and situations that we go through or find ourselves in. Music is a whole other language. It can break down any barrier, whether it is cultural, emotional, and lingual. It evokes our true emotions and often speaks the words that we can not. We just want to make music that speaks to people. We want to be vulnerable and honest, but never lose sight of who gave us and gives us these opportunities.”
As you can see without a doubt, these guys are truly passionate about their work. They’re already drumming up enormous amounts of interest from the industry and fans alike. You can find out more about this outstanding talent, and check out some of their tracks, at www.anyoldjoe.com or their MySpace page. Just one more question for you boys:
When are you coming to PA???