Joe, you're in France today for the Blues Festival in Le Creusot.
Joe : Yeah
AM : What are your first impressions ?
It's a beautiful place, very nice architecturally.......... and it's a
very warm sunny day so it seems perfect.
AM : You're lucky
Joe : (smiling) Yeah.
Do you prefer to play in big festivals, stadiums or in small venues ?
I think I prefer, I like a club gig, I like the atmosphere of the club gig, it's
quite intimate, sometimes in festivals you know the sound gets separated and people
are on their way. I just like playing really...I don't mind but if you give me the
choice I probably say clubs, it's sound a bit strange to a lot of people...
You're the youngest musician of the band.
Joe : I am yes
AM : Is it an advantage or a drawback ?
I don't think it's either. I think it is just the way that everything works, fine, but
maybe it's an advantage for the dynamic of the band, the way it works, it's quite unusual
you know to have someone so young from a different generation playing with guys so much older,
so you get an interesting interaction, yes it's probably an advantage I suppose, in that respect.
What Woodstock Festival represents for you ?
The Woodstock Festival...For me, I watched it when I was in my early teens, I was very
inspired by it, I just watched it for the music, I like the bands on it, it seemed pretty
like an amazing festival. But I wasn't really aware of what it was about politically or what
was happening at the time, you know, but I think for me it was just about music, some good music
and a lot of my early influences played during the festival, I was really inspired by
those performances, from Hendrix and bands like that.
You have replaced Alvin Lee after 1997, can you develop ?
Yes. They were looking for a new guitar player, they wanted to reform. I think Alvin was
doing other things and didn't want to really reform. So they were shopping around, looking
for a guitar player, then I heard through a friend they were looking for a guitar player, so
I sent them a demo CD, it kind of went on from there, rehearsed, we did a couple of gigs and
there we are...5 years later.
Can you talk about your live album called "Roadworks" ?
This was recorded a couple of years ago I think now. It's a collection from live tracks
from four shows I think that we did. We took on the best ones, we sort of captured what
it was all about, it's very hard for live recordings to capture the energy of the gig,
specially with a band like Ten Years After, which is very spontaneous and it's very much
kind of interaction with the audience. So to catch it that well was difficult but we
tried to do that. It's got new material from the "Now" studio album we did and older
What is your favourite song on this album ?
My favourite song ? I don't know if I have a favourite song. My favourite songs change all
the time, night to night, it depends how we play them and whether we come up with something
quite exciting or new, but you know I like them all.
Where do you find the inspiration to compose the songs ?
It can be so many things. It can be through experience, your own life, your personal
life, it can be something you see on TV, something you read in a magazine or in a newspaper
or just a line, you know you might hear a line. There are so many things that can inspire
you but just the way you feel can inspire you to write a certain type of song, you know.
I'm an instrumentalist anyway, I'm not a big songwriter, I never have been. To be honest
for the most part I would write just instrumental music because for me that holds more than
lyrics. I can appreciate a well written song but really music and melody that is what
kind of drives me to be honest.
What kind of music do you enjoy to hear ?
Oh so much, I mean I listen to all kind of music and I get a kick out of it all,
I mean like jazz, classical, rock, metal, just all kind of music.
AM : Do you prefer old bands or new bands ?
Not necessarily. From a guitar playing point of view, the great guitar players have
inspired a generation. I listen to them and I still love them, and I am blown away by
how innovative they were, guys like Hendrix, Frank Zappa, this stuff, composers, but
there are so amazing musicians now, modern new young players, it's incredible, they are
all great to listen to.
What do you think of the Internet ?
Joe : The internet ?
AM : Yes
Joe : I think it's good and it's bad, you know, it's good for so many things
especially good for music and things like that...obviously there are negative aspects
to the internet, it brings together good things and it brings together bad things but
I would like to say either way.
Do you like to tour in France ?
Joe : I like playing in France.
AM : Why ?
Joe : I love...the culture, I love the audiences. I've always come to France, there's
always been a hell of an affinity for France, my mother lived in France and we used to
come here a lot when I was young so I probably feel there is a connection to it more so
than when I was young but I really do love French audiences generally I think they are
the most compassionate.... and vocal audiences and that's good.
AM : Do you speak French ?
Joe : No, not really...I speak a little bit...but not very much.