Joey CapeFat Wreck Chords
By Lanny Bolder on September 5th, 2008 at The Phoenix - Toronto, Ontario
After twenty years, 10,000 cups of coffee, 4800 Budweiser’s, 9378 smokes, wives, children, death, and taxes all cogs in the Lagwagon machine appear to be operating in fine tune. I hopped aboard theLagwagon (Which is now a 45 foot diesel bus…very pimp’n) for an interview with writer/vocalist Joey Cape and his moustache Lawrence. Thanks to Melanie from Fat Wreck Chords Canada for setting it up.
Lanny: So let’s begin, as we should by introducing yourself, and telling us about the tour?
Joey: My name is Joey Cape and I sing in Lagwagon. We just got a new addition to our tour tonight, which is Only Crime. We are also playing with a band from London, England, Tat, and MXPX. We have been across Canada, and we still have another five weeks to go.
Lanny: Talk about the tour. Has any crazy shit been happening on your cross Canada summer adventure?
Joey: I have been looking for the elusive Salmon Moose.
Lanny: The Salmon Moose???? I have never heard of that.
Joey: You have that up here right?
Lanny: No you will have to enlighten me man.
Joey: I think it’s like a hybrid animal. It’s a salmon and a moose. I was told it’s a killer!!! Also Tat is on our tour bus. They are here from England, and they couldn’t get insurance to drive. They had this one American guy hired to drive them, but he just left them stranded. So you know we helped out because we are really nice.
Lanny: Well good on you guys. That’s really cool. Now you have been poking fun at getting older in your songs like Falling Apart, now you go and release an ep called “I think my older brother used to listen to Lagwagon”. Why do you have to make your long time fans feel old too?
Joey: I guess it was just some resent built up and now we are like “you’re old too now ass holes!”
Lanny: Come on man we know we are too old to be going to these punk shows; we just try to blend in with the chaos.
Joey: Yes I could see you guys holding the record not even wanting to buy it because it’s like admitting you’re that guy – that older brother. That’s funny. That’s really great I hadn’t really thought about it that way.
Lanny: Well it’s the first thing that came to my mind I when I read it. I guess because I just turned 30, I am a little hyper sensitive about feeling old.
Joey: God you rule. I am going to use that one on stage (he did). You might have our new record, and by the way the title is not about us, it’s about you fucking people. You’re old too.
Lanny: Three years have passed since you wrote, recorded, and toured your ass off with “Resolve”. Now I think most people reading this are familiar with the tragedy that inspired the concept of that album. My question is has performing those heart wrenching songs night after night, city after city helped you recover from the loss of your friend?
Joey: I found making and writing the record was therapeutic for a while, but after a while it felt like I was reliving it again because it was so autobiographical. There was definitely a period where it got a little tough. But now we don’t play much from that record now. We just play a couple songs and its fine. I can connect to it for 15 minutes you know what I mean? But it got a little hard.
Lanny: I guess the album had its time and its period and that’s that.
Joey: Yes it’s the loss of a friend and nothing will ever change that.
Lanny: Now when I typed your name into wikipedia…well you have a list of credits longer then Tu Pac’s rap sheet. Does being involved in side/solo projects help satisfy musical cravings you can’t get done with Lagwagon?
Joey: The real question is if it’s longer than Chris Flippin’s (Lagwagon’s guitarist who couldn’t get into Canada) rap sheet? Oh ya, and all that other stuff, well; I mean… what was the question?
Lanny: Just the fact that you have so many unrelated side/solo projects, does it help you release creative energies you maybe couldn’t use with a Lagwagon song?
Joey: People that play in one band, and some of them have this sort of gang mentality about their band and I think that keeps most people from doing more things (creatively speaking). And then there are people that just don’t do a lot in their spare time. As touring musicians we do get a lot of down time. I don’t have a nine to five job like most people. This is what I do. I mean it’s a bit different now because I have a family, but when I am home this is what I do. It’s all I know how to do. I mean I know how to paint houses, but I am not going to start up some house painting company. Actually I would like to because it’s really fun. It’s prolific that I have enough output with music to satisfy different things. But also I have been in this band – next year it will be 20 years – and if this was the only thing I have done this entire time, well, I would be a lot crazier.
Lanny: In a time where a lot of bands from your generation have had to call it quits, how good does it fell to have been writing and recording pertinent music for 20 years? That is incredible!
Joey: It often feels like we just got a couple more years left. It’s like being a hooker actually. Just a couple more years on our back, and it’s all good. Of course that’s not true at all. I’m not really into self-recognition. It’s what we love to do; there is not much of a reason to break up any way. The thing about breaking up too is that all these fucking bands are breaking up and getting a few years between them and then back together. The Ramones are my all time favorite punk band of all time, and how many reunion tours did they do? Like five. Come on by the fourth tour I was like I am not going. I went to every Ramones show I could go to in my entire life, but that just got ridiculous.
Lanny: It seems to be happening so much these days too.
Joey: Tell me about it. Look at us sometimes it takes us five years to put out a record. Nobody… well people complained, but so what. Maybe we did break up.
Lanny: What is left to accomplish for Lagwagon?
Joey: There are a lot of things Lagwagon hasn’t done, places we haven’t played like parts of Asia. Music is pretty single dimensional and all of its aspects. Touring, writing, and recording so I think it’s a boring answer but every time we make a record I feel like we achieved something and it feels really great. If you go to a new place on tour that you haven’t been before and have a decent show you think “wow that was amazing”. But it really isn’t much deeper than that.
Lanny: Does it only feel half as good when you make an ep?
Joey: Ha ha let me think about that. No I think it felt better. We were just so in sync when we recorded it. It was awesome. We just got together demo, record, and done. And it was the most natural, organic record we ever recorded. And it’s fucking great making records in five days. I love it. I think it was Double Plaidnum – we spent months on that thing, and it totally sucks.
Lanny: Well that’s all I have for now thanks for doing this and have a great show.
Joey: No problem thanks.