By bushy

MARK: Hi Joey. How’s it going? Where are you right now?
JOEY: I’m good. I’m in Santa Barbara at home.

MARK: Congratulations on the new album. How pleased are you with the finished product?
JOEY: I am very happy. It is a relief and I am pleased with the record.

MARK: It’s been five years since your last studio release. Why have you made us wait so long?
JOEY: I think we lost our chemistry, our moral and then our soul. When a band has been together as long as Lag Wagon has it can happen. I’m just happy we finally over came the lull and got our shit together.

MARK: After your musical affairs with Bad Astronaut and the Gimme Gimmes, how does it feel to be back in your long-term relationship?
JOEY: It’s great. It was a good move to start B.A. because it gives me an outlet to express myself in a different manner. I was able to ditch the demons and move on with Lag Wagon but I’m not finished with Bad Astronaut. The Gimme Gimmes is always a pleasant release. It’s just a guilty pleasure.

MARK: ‘Blaze’ has to be your most mature album to date; yet it also features reflections of what has come before. Was this a conscious decision in the writing process, or something that occurred naturally?
JOEY: Thank you. We have never been successfully calculated in our sound. It’s too much a collaboration to be premeditated. I think ‘Blaze’ reflects where we are as a band. It’s pretty simple I guess.

MARK: “We’re already bogus. We’re already fading. We’ll never be The Rolling Stones.” Self-parody, or your real feelings?
JOEY: Self-parody I guess. We all wrote those lyrics together in a panic. That was a first. We just thought it was funny.

MARK: On a similar vein, a number of readers of our site would love to know if you consider yourself to have a good voice?
JOEY: I think I have fairly good pitch but my voice doesn’t allow me to convey what I hear. I really just fake it.

MARK: A couple of tracks on the album, ‘Burn’ and ‘Divider’, have changed noticeably from earlier incarnations. What have the changes brought to the songs?
JOEY: We weren’t happy with ‘Dividers‘. We felt the bridge was cool but the rest of it sucked. So we fixed it up. We made it more of a hardcore song. I like it much better now. ‘Burn’ hasn’t changed that much. I changed the melody a little and we added a guitar solo after the first verse. We just gave that one a pick-up.

MARK: Do you have a personal favourite track from the album?
JOEY: I really like “I must be Hateful”. I also like “Max Says”. I don’t really have a favourite. I need more time away from the record. It’s too fresh.

MARK: How does it feel to be releasing ‘Blaze’ at a point when punk music is more popular than it has been for a decade? Has this put any extra pressure on the band in terms of higher sales, or is that something that is secondary to the music?
JOEY: Fortunately I don’t think that sort of thing has any effect on Lag Wagon. We don’t really respond to charts. They make very little difference to our sales down here on the ground. I’m content with that.

MARK: I had the pleasure of seeing Lag Wagon at deconstruction in London last year. Do you have any plans to return to the UK in the near future?
JOEY: Yes, we will be there in September. We are looking forward to playing a
relatively smaller show. That last one was a bit intimidating.

MARK: How much emotion do you feel when performing live? Are you a band that likes to rotate their set list, or do you have a collection of songs you prefer playing?
JOEY: We rotate the set a lot. We interchange songs and move three packs around.
Just when you get used to the vibe that one set provides someone gets bored. It is good and bad.

MARK: How has your relationship with Fat developed over the years?
JOEY: It’s simple. We get the best of both worlds. They are very professional and they are very close friends. Without the working relationship I would still socialize with everyone there. They have never disappointed us and we have no reason to leave them. We are happily married.

MARK: When you were growing up, what inspired you to become a musician?
JOEY: My brother and later a little band called Rush.

MARK: What bands are getting the most airplay on your stereo at the moment?
JOEY: Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Logh (Swedish band on Bad Taste Records) and
Jackson (Chris Shiflett’s solo Band).

MARK: Lastly, you’ve come so far with Lag Wagon over the years, how much further do you think you can go?
JOEY: I don’t know. I know it sounds cliché but I am comfortable.

MARK: Thanks for your time Joey. Anything you’d like to add?
JOEY: Let’s be nice all the time.

Photograph of band courtesy of Jay Blakesberg

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Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]