Joey Cape Bio:
On Joey Cape’s debut full-length solo album Bridge, he cuts the sonic flowers that potentially would have come to fruition as his band Lagwagon’s punk anthems and presents them in a more subtle state; as bold and vibrant as they are fragile and clinging to life.
Written, performed, and recorded by Cape himself at his home studio (The Crank Lab), Bridge is the glorious outcome of two years of false starts, fatal hard drives, and possibly a lost mind. Equal parts solo record and labor of love in the truest sense.
Cape on his solo experience, “Sitting alone in a room for hours on end brings out true expression; either that or insanity!”
Drawing inspiration from the candle lit emotion of Kill Rock Stars era Elliott Smith and an upbringing steeped in acoustic acts such as Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens; Cape’s acoustic efforts stand up on their own and finally introduce him as a promising addition to the pantheon of great American singer-songwriters.
Pulling up his roots from the tried and true genre he helped establish and nurture over the past 20 years as front man for influential modern punk pioneers Lagwagon; Cape’s work is apparently not even close to being finished. As he digs into this new landscape a fresh sensibility is revealed that’s been covered in loud fast and stunted by preconceived notions for far too long.
Cape says, “Both (punk and acoustic music) share certain intensity and integrity. Dynamically, they are very different…but they are similar in that they are both very honest approaches.”
Joey Cape has always been drawn to diversity. His compulsion to try new things is evident in the side-projects he’s done along the way: the experimental indie-rock of Bad Astronaut, all-star party/cover band Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, power-pop combo The Playing Favorites and his work as a producer for bands such as The Ataris and Nerf
“I am a musician, I don’t have that gang-mentality. I make music and life is short. I want to create as much as possible before I lose my muse”, says Cape.
While he remains dedicated to each of his projects, Cape is that rare artist who seems to be able to move with diplomatic immunity between contrasting genres. His sheer refusal to be held captive by regulation and expectation is, after all, punk at its most basic premise. Bridge may simultaneously be the most AND least punk record of his career.
Cape finishes, “You definitely get a different insight into the songwriter on an acoustic recording… I think most people who enjoy what I have done will appreciate my acoustic recordings.”