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Interview | Joey Cape | Lagwagon

Lagwagon touches down in our country this week and its been a long while between tours. JD took a moment to chat to front man Joey Cape about touring, album writing as a multi-band touring artist and One Week Records. You can still get tickets to some of the shows so hit to secure yours.

Friday, 13th March - Metro Theatre, Sydney

Saturday, 14th March - Triffid, Brisbane

Sunday, 15th March - 170 Russell, Melbourne

Wednesday, 18th March - UniBar, Adelaide

Thursday, 19th March - Capitol, Perth

Saturday, 21st March - Galatos, Auckland

Sunday, 22nd March - San Fran, Wellington

Hey Joey, thanks for joining us. Last time you were here with Lagwagon was for Soundwave in 2015. 

Yeah, I think thats right. I mean, i've been down there doing my solo shows as well as a couple of times with Me First and The Gimme Gimmes. It's funny how bad it gets where i'll forget what band im in. But yeah, 2015 would've been the last time we were there as a band. 

I saw you guys at that Soundwave and that was just a phenomenal show and i thought "I hope these guys get booked for a headline tour". How have the Australian shows changed since the late 90's?

Well, i mean, not a lot. You know, the funny thing about being in a band like Lagwagon is that it's consistent.  We play a lot of really similar venues but sometimes we'll graduate to bigger venues. But we didn't really get that big there until, i think 96-97. Which us a long time ago but still doesn't feel like that long ago. 

Time flies when you're having fun i guess?

Yeah, definitely. And we've been having plenty. 

So both yourself and Chris Raun have been touring with the Gimmes for a few years now, doing Download and a few headline shows. How do you go writing an album collectively as a band when the majority of said band is out on tour? 

Generally, Lagwagon, we take our sweet ass time making records. A lot of us just make a living by touring so yeah, it's not easy. But very occasionally, the stars align and everything just falls into place. It's actually harder for me to make a solo record. Or even solo touring for that matter. Lagwagon is actually really good as we get 'first writer refusal'. But that's a band that has, in some cases, over 30 years of knowing each other. It's hard to take a lot of time off tours to focus on writing. Sometimes it's like, "OK, OK, let's write an album". And you can have February to write it and I'm like "what the fuck man? I can't have that much time off touring". But i'm getting more used to that. And i like that with 'Railer', I wrote it in about 3 weeks, and it's the most fantastic album I've written in my life. I didn't overthink things, i just let it flow. It, to me, sounds like a punk essential Lagwagon record. 

I mean, i loved 'Hang' and thought it was a great return to form. When 'Railer' dropped i was just blown away and i remember thinking "THIS is what i remember Lagwagon to sound like". But you can also hear the evolution of the band and how you've managed to merge that old sound with the modern punk sound. It's fantastic. 

Oh thanks man. I've heard that a bit which is, of course, great to hear. I mean, i feel the same way about it. It's a trip. To write such an album, it has to be done quick, but it has to be done right. And as a band we have to bring that same feeling to our live shows. I say that as my point of view but if there's not that chemistry then it doesn't really flow, you know? But i'm really enjoying this album and what goes along with it. 

With touring, comes support bands. There's a lot of the new Fat Wreck Chords bands that are touring with you. Are there any favourites or stand outs for you personally?

Make War. They're not that much younger than us but I was hanging out with the singer the other day as they're doing a few shows with us and what not. But they're just really nice dudes. But, you know, i like all the bands that tour with us. And there's a LOT of great bands. It's like that question of a favourite kid, you don't answer that. There's so many I like so it's hard to choose a favourite. 

Now, onto something that's dear to you, One Week Records. You've got solo albums with Zach from Pears, Chris from Flatliners and even the Gold Coast's own Laura Mardon. Are there any collaborations or future tours we can look forward to from OWR?

Yeah! I love Laura, she's amazing. I don't know about a tour at this point, only some US east coast dates with Zach and Chris. And there are only a handful, like 8. But it's like i said before about the solo time, records and the like. Especially when it takes over the whole calendar year. But yeah, this year we'll be doing the bulk of the touring for One Week. With OWR it's a tough job man. Like, you have to get a 10 smtrack album out in one week. In some cases, you're working 120+ hour weeks. You don't sleep and you know me, it's just so much coffee. But they are really fun to make and i want to do more. 

The whole premise of OWR of turning out an album in that time frame is insanely amazing. You're last solo album was fantastic. 

Thank you, well it's a brutal process at times but still a blast. As long as you don't have any technical difficulties, like, with Laura's record, she got here all the way from Australia and on the very first day, my speakers blew up. Then there was other tech issues, and that was the first 2 days. So when we got everything working, we had like 5 days to do it. It's certainly a labour of love in some cases. 

Thanks for chatting with me today Joey, it's very much appreciated. 

No problem man, it's been a pleasure, thank you so much. 

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