Joe Wilson has become somewhat of a sensation on the Internet. He has had over 75,000 downloads and plays of his music online, which is quite an accomplishment for an indie artist. “I would have to give the credit to the fans,” he says. “They have been along for the ride since back in the Welcome Home Travis and Feeling Left Out days, have stuck around for 10 years or so, and they have done an amazing job spreading the good word. So we’re definitely hoping everyone likes the new album and the new sound.”
The new album was just released and has gotten rave reviews thus far. To support it, Joe and his band have been performing extensively around their home base in Bergen County. They have also managed to hit many major venues in the surrounding area.
Joe is joined in his musical endeavors by some very accomplished players. Brett Algera plays guitar, Matt Meola is on bass and Casey Lee Morgan is on drums. Casey used to be in Lanemeyer, which featured Brian Fallon, who is now the frontman of The Gaslight Anthem. He was also in the band We’re All Broken with Joe a few years ago. “After I left We’re All Broken, I really just wanted to get some friends together to play music for the fun of it,” relates Joe. “It happened pretty quickly and the songs just started flowing, so we booked studio time and immediately started prepping to record the album last summer.”
Recording was a bit of an adventure, as Joe explains. “We recorded out near Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY, so it was always a logistical nightmare figuring out how to work around schedules to get out there to record,” he says. “While we were there, we went to a Mexican restaurant, or shack, that was quite an experience. No one there spoke English and they wrote our order down on a brown paper bag. It took about 30 minutes to make three burritos… but they were actually pretty damn good!”
Musically, Joe and the group play what could be described as traditional Americana rock and roll. “Usually with this band I’ll write the main structure of the song and take it to the rest of the guys,” he explains. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to take the reins and so far it’s been working well for us. Then the guys all write their own parts and give suggestions on structure and it’s a great creative, collaborative process at that point. It’s really productive this way, and instead of getting caught up on parts, we blow through them and end up writing new songs very quickly this way.”
Joe cites his influences as some of the classic Americana rock artists, such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Wilco, Hot Water Music and Frank Turner. But he brings an interesting element to the music, having grown up on a diet of fast skater punk rock bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, Propagandhi and Bad Religion. “I still have a soft spot for those bands and that style of music,” he adds.
The recently released album, To Build Or Burn, has a personal favorite of Joe’s in the song “Severed,“ which he feels translates well when they perform it live. But he also is busy with new material, and already has a stockpile of songs they plan on recording in the near future with Pete Steinkopf from The Bouncing Souls at his Little Eden recording studio down in Asbury Park.
Joe’s busy live schedule was temporarily curtailed, but he’s pretty much back out and once again tearing up stages. “I recently broke my left arm in a bike accident, which really blows, so we’ve had to cancel a few shows that we had booked and turn down a few more that I’m really bummed about,” he laments. “I hate having to cancel shows or turn them down, but my left arm is in pretty bad shape right now. But we’ll be playing by the end of summer and will be all over the New Jersey/New York area.”
While Joe is hoping things will continue on their upward spiral, he’s more than satisfied with where things are right now and is enjoying the journey. “I’m really happy with what we’ve accomplished so far,” he says. “Just getting together with these guys and writing music is rewarding in itself. These guys are all great musicians, and awesome human beings, so I enjoy any time we can get into a room and write music. I think this album we just released is awesome. It took six months to record and we all worked really hard on it, and I’m really proud of it. Of course, eventually I would love to hit the road and spread the good word all over the U.S., so we’ll see if we can get there!”
You can find out more about Joe and the band at joewilsonmusic.com, facebook.com/joewilsonmusicfeelingleftout, and twitter.com/joewilsonmusic.