In The Spotlight
Gary DeRosa (the keyboardist for Joe 90) offered to answer some questions of mine - so I took him up on it! Thanks Gary!
Kristi: Tell me a little about how Joe 90 was formed. I read on your web site that 3 of you came from the former band God's Child - were those 3 of you friends before you formed a band?
Gary: Yes. Chris, Craig and I all grew up on the same block. The band started in New York where we recorded the first Gods Child record "Everybody". We moved to LA to record "Aluminum" and then looked for a drummer to go on the road with which is when Adam joined the band. There were a lot of corporate problems at Warner Bros. at that time and we got out of our deal. We felt like the band had really grown and developed into kind of a new thing, so we decided to change the name to Joe 90 (which comes from a classic '60's British marionette show).
Kristi: Have any of the band members had formal training in music? For example, private instrument lessons as a child? Or even high school band?
Gary: Not too much. We've all taken some lessons here and there over the years, but not too much formal training.
Kristi: Have each of you always dreamed of being in a rock band, or did it just sort of happen?
Gary: Absolutely. Its basically all we've ever done.
Kristi: If you weren't in a band, what do you think you'd be doing career-wise right now?
Gary: Well, if I had my choice....(which I don't) I'd be playing center-field for the Mets right now in the Subway Series!
Kristi: Two of your songs have been featured on "Felicity" ("Truth" and "Look"). How exactly did that come about? Did you know ahead of time which of your songs were going to be played, and when?
Gary: Our publishing company, Peer Music, handles that stuff for us. We found out both times either the day before or day of.
Kristi: Have you ever watched the show "Felicity", even if just to hear your own song played?
Gary: I've only had a chance to see the two shows when our song was played. We've been on the road most of the last year and don't really get to watch too much tv. We were lucky to even catch the Felicity episodes. We've missed most of the other shows we've been on (Party of Five, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Popular, Roswell, Sportsnight, The Real World, etc) altogether.
Kristi: One of these days, I know that Joe 90 is going to be all over the radio and MTV. Are you anxious for that day, or are you enjoying things the way they are now?
Gary: Well, we're really having a great time right now, but obviously we look forward to more people being exposed to the band and the opportunities that will bring.
Kristi: What do you look forward to most about fame? What do you dread the most?
Gary: I never really think about that too much, either way. We just want to be able to keep on doing what we do, everything else will just have to sort of take care of itself.
Kristi: Be honest, have you ever practiced signing your autograph?
Gary: No, but I should have. My autograph stinks!!!
Kristi: Does any one person write all of your songs, or do you all contribute? How do you get inspiration for your lyrics? Do you write the lyrics first, or the music? About how long does it take to get each song written and ready to perform?
Gary: Chris writes all of the lyrics. The music most of the time gets generated by Chris and/or Adam and then we finish it as a band. Usually the music comes first and I think Chris gets inspiration from everywhere, just life in general. The length of songs can really vary from one day to several years, literally. Sometimes you work on a song and don't quite finish it until you return to it at a later time. Other times, it just flows right from the start and almost finishes itself. It really just depends.
Kristi: Even though Joe 90 is not quite a household name yet, you do have a loyal fan base. What is the strangest thing a fan has ever sent to you?
Gary: We haven't really gotten anything too strange. We get all kinds of great stuff from people. A lot of pictures especially.
Kristi: Do you picture yourselves doing this well into your 50s and 60s like some rock bands? Or would you rather retire gracefully after several years?
Gary: If we still felt like we had something fresh to say and were still feeling creative, than sure I'd love to do it for as long as possible.
Kristi: What other artists and bands inspire you?
Gary: We really get inspired by all different types of music. We listen to old stiff, new stuff, bands, solo artists, everything. We've always been into English bands. One of our favorites right now is Travis. But, really inspiration can come from everywhere even from artists that you wouldn't normally listen to.
For more information on Joe 90, visit their official web site at www.joe90.net
Joe 90's CD "Dream This" is available on Amazon.com