Hey there guys DJ Dizzy here & sat down with The Joker on his little project as he spoke on his humble & musical beginnings.
How'd this get started?
The nickname, Joker, originates back to my school days where a few people (most notably my sister) referred to me as Joker. At that time it really didn't have any relevance to the music I was making, but I did come up with the happy face with square eyes and pointy teeth at that time. As you know, Dizzy, I am the founding member of the band Eden's End where I have been writing, singing, and play bass since 1985 as well as playing some guitar. Fast forward to about 2015-2016 or so, after an extended period with writers block ended, and I became much more prolific as a writer again, I started to think that there was some solo material in me as a singer/songwriter. The music that is written and played within Eden's End has some parameters that limit what can be done to some extent. Eden's End music has always been formulated with drums, bass, guitars, and vocals. Further, I need to have the ability to sing live while I play my instrument part within the song. In some cases, that makes me keep things a bit more simple than they might otherwise be. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot that can be done that really kicks ass within the Eden's End band framework and that won't be going away at all, but I couldn't help wondering what I might come up with if the fences were taken down. For a few years, it remained just a lingering idea, but still nothing was actually happening. Well, the thoughts didn't go away. In 2019 a lot of things changed in my world that made me think more about mortality and the need to get things done. The other thing that The Joker Project allows is the ability for me to collaborate with other like-minded artists. In fact, it was a collaboration project with melodywhore (This Broken Home) that ultimately pushed The Joker Project into becoming a reality. This Broken Home wound up being the second thing released since I thought my first release as The Joker Project should be a solo work rather than a collaboration, but all this gave me the push I needed to write, record, and release my debut single Calm Before the Storm. That's how things were set in motion.
What's the main goal of this project?
A good question and a tough question. I would probably have to say growth and exploration of songwriting is the main goal at this point. This is not a performance project. This is a songwriting project. I really want to see how far my songwriting skills can grow. Music has always offered an escape for me and a way to decompress. It has never been about making money or seeking fame, although I can appreciate those things. After all, a little validation or supplemental motivation isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's certainly not primary. I would have no problem writing for another performer or possibly doing some soundtrack work.
Who are your inspirations?
These days I am probably most inspired by the indie community. There are some very hardworking and talented artists in the indie community who deserve far more recognition than they receive. Sadly, the industry is very saturated. There are also many established artists who influence what I do. Certainly Joy Division and early New Order, The Cure, and Ultravox have influenced what I've done so far. I mentioned earlier that Eden's End is guitar oriented. With influences like REM, 54-40, and Collective Soul, you'll definitely see some of that inspiration at some point, but you'll also see experimentation with other instruments and synths. My musical taste is really quite broad and I want to traverse genres.
How do you set yourself apart?
I think that letting the songwriting guide itself is a differentiator for me. I don't aim to release songs that all fall into a certain genre or category as many other artists do. Quite the opposite actually. This time the song might be dark and moody, next time it might be upbeat punk, after that maybe it will take influence from country, and then over to industrial or really raw rock. I want listeners to be surprised with each release and hopefully in a good way. I try to view things I've not done before as progress. Though it isn't always easy, I try to stop my own personal listening tastes from getting in the way much. I might start out with an idea for a certain kind of sound or vibe, but it often lands somewhere else …and that's just fine.
Any other new projects for the future?
In May, Whims of the Goblin King was released. It is a second collaboration with melody whore. Admittedly, the summer has been slow on the music front, but yes! In the not so distant future I will have a few more collaborations and another solo release. After that, I am toying with the idea of releasing an EP or album. I have far too many half written songs in the queue, so The Joker Project will be going on for as long as I can keep it going. If anyone wants to check out my releases, they can go here: https://songwhip.com/the-
Special thanks to him for doing this interview & best of luck in his music so until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!