DATE OF INTERVIEW:
4th October 2011
METAL DISCOVERY: I read that you had a mammoth twenty five song ideas in total for the album – are any of the others ever likely to see the light of day, maybe on a ‘Revisions 2’ in a few years’ time?
JOEY: Possibly! But, yeah, I’d like to think they’d all see the light of day because I love all the ideas. In a way, when you finally have to say, “alright, just one record, you’re not gonna finish all these songs”, you’ve got to decide what’s gonna be on the record. The record’s almost an hour long so it was time to say, “you know what, let’s put this record out and the other stuff we’ll get finished at some other point”. There were a lot of really, really awesome songs in development that didn’t get brought to fruition yet. You know, there’s always the next record.
(Joey Eppard on what 3 represents and the lost Roadrunner deal)
"It’s almost the end of the mentality of labels like that and, really, I don’t think they’re gonna want to put their money into a band who’s sort of part of a movement to dissolve an old paradigm."
3 - uncredited promo shot
Interview by Mark Holmes
3 Official Website:
Paint By Number (1998)
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview
Summercamp Nightmare (2003)
Wake Pig (2005)
3 Official MySpace:
The End Is Begun (2007)
The Ghost You Gave To Me (2011)
Half Life (2001)
MD: So it sounds like there won’t be as long a wait for the next album then!
JOEY: Yeah, we’ve certainly got some material already there and there’s already some fans who’ve seen us play some new material live, you know, some songs that aren’t on ‘The Ghost You Gave To Me’. Part of the process of making a record is putting a collection of songs together that you feel really go together so we had to do that as well.
MD: You mentioned earlier about the Roadrunner/Metal Blade thing. Looking back now, is there any sense of a lost opportunity or do you think it’s all worked out for the better?
JOEY: At this point, all I can do is roll with the punches and make the best of the experience that we had. This record wouldn’t be what it is without us going through that. The way it went down, I’m just glad it all happened in a cool way. I mean, when the Roadrunner rep came around, you know, I’m not a shady person so I just called up Brian Slagel at Metal Blade and I said, “hey, Roadrunner’s been sniffing around and we’ve got a guy coming up who’s gonna take us out for dinner and stuff”, and I was like - “What do you think? What are your thoughts on what the right move would be for our career?” Because Brian, number one, is a fan of the band and a supporter; the point is to do the right thing for our career and the records that are on Metal Blade are always gonna be on Metal Blade and we’re only gonna sell more of ‘em if we can take the thing to the next level. So that was kind of how we felt going in. We were really enticed by their radio department because Metal Blade had hit some roadblocks with radio because people see the Metal Blade insignia and they’re just like, “oh, well this isn’t gonna be radio friendly” and, a lot of times, they don’t even listen to the music. So we thought maybe this could be our chance to do that so we signed a deal with Roadrunner and we were all very excited about it and, two weeks later, our A&R guy got fired. And, of course, the first thing I asked him when we got signed was, “how long have you been there?” He’d been there for eleven years and so I felt like he had some job security but it would appear not. So I don’t know if signing us got him fired!
JOEY: But I feel like, yeah, I should’ve known because, really, when it comes down to it, what does my band represent? It’s almost the end of the mentality of labels like that and, really, I don’t think they’re gonna want to put their money into a band who’s sort of part of a movement to dissolve an old paradigm. So we’re where we’re meant to be and Metal Blade was gracious enough to take us back and help us make this record.
MD: Good on ‘em! I know Brian’s into his prog because I met him for the first time in August this year and he was wearing a Rush t-shirt and thought, ah, that kind of makes sense.
JOEY: Yeah, he’s into his prog, yeah. He really likes what we do and just the fact that we’re about melody and stuff, he’s really into that.
MD: Cool. I read you filmed a live solo performance back in May this year for a DVD release – how did that go and has a release date been set yet?
JOEY: We haven’t set the release date just yet. When I get off the phone to you, I’m actually gonna go back to mixing! [laughs] It was an incredible night. I played for four hours and there were just so many songs. But, man, it’s taking a long time to go through it all! But, anyway, it’s coming out really great; the visual stuff looks awesome. It was really an experiment. I’ve never been able to tour as a solo artist so thought having a live DVD would be a great way for people all over the world to be able to kind of get in a room in an intimate setting with me doing what I do all the time in the localised area over here. That was the idea going in and we used Kickstarter to generate the funds and it was a huge success. It’s laid the groundwork for us to do it for 3 which we’re planning soon. It will help raise money so we can actually get back overseas and tour over there.
MD: That’ll be fantastic. Do you ever read much stuff about yourself online, you know, like feedback from fans and so forth?
JOEY: Yeah, I try to stay on top of some of that stuff.
MD: I actually read one thing when I was writing these questions on Amazon in a customer review of a 3 album, and someone said – “Joey Eppard is in the same league as any of the greats (Lennon, Zeppelin, Cobain). He's living proof of how screwed up the music industry is for not representing our generation's true talent.” How do you react to that kind of eulogy?
JOEY: Ah, man, well, it makes me feel pretty damn good!
JOEY: But, you know, it’s hard, man. Life isn’t easy but I’m happy. I don’t have a lot on a material level but, like I said, it’s a miracle every month I follow my dream and I get by. And I look around me and I’ve got a wealth of love in my life and happiness on that level. I don’t own a home and I’m not a rich person but that’s not why I got into music anyway. I’m here to make art and if that brings some much needed abundance my way then so be it, I definitely could use it but, the same time, I’m at a point now where I’m gonna do this either way.
MD: So any kind of financial success is just a bonus to creating your art with full integrity.
JOEY: Yeah, it’s vital to keep it up and running and you need some kind of success to be able to stay with it but I feel like, more than ever before, for example, if we didn’t even have a label we’d still be able to continue now with the tools we have at our fingertips. That’s a good feeling, you know.
MD: That’s a very humble attitude to have. So do you have any plans to tour the new album and, more importantly for us over here in the UK, are you likely to make it over here?
JOEY: You know, it has been so frustrating for us that we haven’t been able to go back. One of the main things when we resigned with Metal Blade was there was a promise that we’d be able to go back. But it’s so difficult financially and, sometimes, it’s just too much for the label to float the costs. That’s why we’re gonna try and take things into our own hands. We’ll get what support we can from the label and hopefully we’ll be able to raise enough money to get us over there on whatever…we might be on bicycles, I don’t know! We’re really hoping to do in next summer.
MD: The final thing I was going to ask is I read you describe ‘The Ghost You Gave To Me’ as the record you’ve always wanted to make. Do you predict that’s the musical vibe you’ll settle into now with future material or do you regard 3 as a band that will constantly evolve and progress with your style and sound?
JOEY: It’s always gonna evolve and progress. If we’re not evolving…that’s what gets me excited about music is doing something we haven’t done yet. To me, songs are little worlds, universes really, that you’re creating these things that didn’t exist before and that’s all part of the fun. But I think that, even though that’s our attitude, our sound has, in a way, become more and more its own thing as we’ve gone along and made records, and it’s just gonna keep doing more of the same. Like I said, there are a lot of ideas that are in this group of songs that didn’t get completed so you’ll have those threads running into the next record. I already have a bunch of ideas but, first things first, we need to get out on the road and tour this stuff and get really comfortable with pulling this stuff off live.
MD: Yeah, in the UK hopefully!
JOEY: Hopefully in the UK!
MD: At least a festival if not a tour.
JOEY: Yeah, it’s always been our dream to get over there and play a big festival. We’re working with some agents over there and trying to get something cooking but I don’t want to make any promises.
MD: Fingers crossed. Okay, thank you so much for your time.
JOEY: Absolutely man, thank you.
MD: And best of luck with the album, I hope it does amazingly well for you because, like I said, it is amazing, so I hope it sells hundreds of thousands!
JOEY: Right on, man! I hope so too but we’ll keep on keeping on either way!
MD: Right, cheers very much.
JOEY: Thanks for your time, take care.