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An Interview With Joe Barretta

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

A new single release from Joe Barretta takes on the form of a lush and almost cinematic rock single that blends a contemporary undertone with classic rock influence to build something that has its own atmosphere and is able to grab your attention and keep you right where it wants to.

"I Will" has a lot of power and its production and it's clear there was a lot of attention to detail during the creation of this song but even having said that it never loses that certain heart that it was born from in the first place.

One of the things I love about this single is that it has a sort of fantastical element about it, and I think that's probably why it feels cinematic to me.

There are guitars and notes floating around the ether of this track and it lets you sort of swim through it in a strange way, but it feels really good to do that.

Something I noticed right away about this song after its first listen, was the fact that there are actually several different guitar tones strewn throughout the course of the song and these tones give this overall element of lusciousness and full-bodied approach which helps the song take you to a different place altogether.

And this song certainly does take you to a different place as I mentioned earlier, it has that fantastical undertone and you're able to soak it in and really get into the groove of it.

This is one of those songs that you listen to, and you automatically understand that its creator has a true love for the craft and that is clearly evident with every note played.

You can sort of tell that his sweet spot is the creation and recording of his music which lets him be a little bit freer and lets him just get in his zone.

This track comes through with a certain vastness as well which makes it feel big and is one of the things that lets you get washed away with the soundscape of it all.

Joe's vocals are performed with this great dynamic balance and energy which allows the character to conform to the music and also lets you follow along really easily.

You do get a lot of elements of old-school classic rock but then you also get these sorts of mid-80s Tom Petty-style tones as well and those elements bring different attributes to the table that make the song feel unique.

You also get a great little element of escapism during this track so that you can step into a different world for a little bit and with the combination of that along with its soundscape, you get something genuine.

Now, this is a rock song as well, so we do get some of the slightly harder-hitting elements in there in terms of the guitars including a really great and Soulful guitar solo which is placed just in the perfect spot and performed with a tastefulness and the air of a seasoned musician.

After listening to this single, I decided to step into some of the artist's back catalog which is plenty by the way.

I was incredibly surprised with all kinds of songs that bring totally different feels to the table and show different sides of his songwriting.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that if you like this track, you'll like a lot of his other songs as well and you'll have some surprises along the way.

With the release of such a well-woven single, we wanted to have a sit down with Joe Barretta to find out where this track actually came from and what might be coming up next for the artist.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with "I Will"! This track had a colorful and honest feel to it with tones of classic pop rock! How did this release come about?

The song first started out with East Indian percussion and Sitar’s. I liked the dreamy atmospheric feel it had. Then I scuff to add electric guitar with Drums and bass guitar. Then the tune took on a new shape. I like the mysticism and the Rock and soulful elements now. As far as the vocals go, I always try to channel, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Marvin Gaye. I always like to stay close to the blues, if you know what I mean.

Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as an artist?

I got my first guitar at age 5. Born and raised around Detroit Michigan. It was such a great music town. There were great bands, and artist everywhere. I used to sit with my uncles been when I was around eight or nine years old. I would play wherever I could. A while later, I moved to the San Francisco Bay area. I was playing a bunch of shows and working in the studio is the guitarist. That’s when I really started to write music and try to develop my own thing. My first album titled Barretta. I recorded that in Nashville with a bunch of great musicians. A few of those tracks were used on the young and the restless several times. You can find that album and my 2nd album on Apple Music.

Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?

I like to have a great groove. I love funk, reggae, rock. Where the feel is undeniable. Lyrics, I’d like to tap into social consciousness, what’s going on in the world, injustice, love.

Buzz Slayers: This single has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?

Marvin Gaye, Peter Gabriel, Muddy Waters, Ben Harper. I also have the guitar side of me that likes, Eric Johnson, Frank Zappa, Hendrix, Derek Trucks.

Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

I like remodeling houses. I’m a Gemini and I like the Ying and yang of it.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?

Tame Impala.

Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?

Yes, I am in a band called The Vibes. We do a mixture of music. We do some of my originals thrown some Bob Marley Hendrix, Jeff back. It’s a mixture of psychedelic rock and funk. We have a gig coming up on, 10-8-23 with Big Brother and the holding company at the state theater in Modesto California. And we play other venues around Northern California.

Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio, or do you have a home studio set-up?

Are used to record a big studio. Of course, things have changed I believe for the better. I have a home studio and a lot of times I will do all the parts produce and record it. My bass player in the band Steve Ashman, he’s very well-known in the Bay Area. He comes by and helps me out on some of my tracks.

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

I’ve been trying to put out, one track a month. I have a lot of music on SoundCloud and other platforms like Spotify Apple Music and there’s more to come.

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

Yes, indeed. I appreciate everything and every listen every like every share. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Everyone out there, including me have so many choices of entertainment. If I can touch people with my music and make their day better, that’s good enough for me. I just want to say thank you and keep checking in and I got more music to come.

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