|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Not just another bunch of Joes
By Sara Falconer
In an industry filled to the brim with swelled egos, the modern punks of Another Joe have no illusions of grandeur. "The simplicity of the name is the significance of the name," says lead singer and guitarist Jon. "There are so many bands in Vancouver. We're just another one out there doing our own thing."
Their "thing" is a little above and beyond many other groups, he admits. "We're fun to watch but we work hard at what we do and that makes us stand out. We see so many other bands that never practice or anything. We take this seriously."
Stalkers will be disappointed to learn that members of Another Joe also take their anonymity seriously, using only their first names in their liner notes and newsletters, although they don't seem too shy about having their butts photographed.
Jon formed the band three and a half years ago with his friend and drummer John. They found Alison, who plays bass, through an ad in the paper. Since then, John had to quit because of financial difficulties while touring and was replaced by Richie.
Jon writes all of the music and his material tends to be very personal. However, Another Joe does not have a dominant philosophy as a band. "I don't try to tell people what direction to go in," he explains.
His inspirations include the Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Pennywise and NOFX, but he also has more eclectic tastes. "I like swing music and even Sarah McLachlan. Listening to just one type would be boring."
In 1997, Another Joe released a split CD, Ass Seen on TV, with fellow punk rockers Gob. They met up with Gob a few years ago through Alison, who went to school with several of Gob's members and they play together frequently.
That's not unusual for the Vancouver punk scene, says Jon. "It's a tight little group. That's how it works, everyone helping each other out." Another Joe plans to give other bands the same chance by bringing them along on future tours.
Such a community spirit is essential, he says. "Without that, the scene would die." He feels that in general the Canadian industry is supportive, but audiences here are a bit snobby. "There are lots more Tragically Hip and Our Lady Peace listeners than punk fans."
Another Joe have a new album, entitled Cran-doodle Daddy, which is in stores now. Still, they are happy to be on the road again. "Recording is a lot of fun, but we're definitely a live band," Jon maintains. They are embarking on an extensive Canadian tour in May, then going to the U.S. for a couple of weeks. By the end of the summer, the band intends to have a new video made. Their first video, from the debut CD Pee Against the Wind, was for the single "Eat at Bernie's."
Although Jon hopes that Another Joe will have continued success and even tour Europe sometime soon, he remains appreciative of the band's humble beginnings. He, Alison and Richie still play basement shows and promise to personally respond to every fan letter.
They will bring their simple, not-so-serious sound to the Embassy tonight.