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An Interview With Joe Billy

A blistering new single from Joe Billy hits the punk rock sweet spots and brings on a gritty and attitude riddled alt-rock backbone that thrashes with gusto and a youthful energy and seems to really come from someplace real and genuine as you hear him passionately belt out how he feels to brunching riffs and open chords that smash on.

"Piece of Mind" is a track that many can relate to as we are all looking for our piece of mind rally and it feels good to hear a song we can understand and feel where it's coming from.

We may not all be able to let it out the way Billy does, but it still feels good to be understood.

The track features killer guitars, pounding punk drums and its vocals that give off an authentic feel and it reminds me of bands like The Offspring in their earlier days.

The track hits like whiplash and has plenty of edginess and attitude but still comes off with all the heart in the world.

It's excellent to hear that come through like that. To hear a song that hits the aesthetic it was supposed to and keep its true meaning throughout the aggression of thrashing guitars.

This was quite an impactful and real song and with its release, we wanted to have a chat with Joe Billy to find out where this actually came from and what may be next for the artist.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with "Piece of Mind ". This track has an outstanding hard rock feel and some punk attitude that comes with it! Where did this single come from? So I actually wrote this song pretty quickly. I had this one day a while back where I was just having a really negative existential crisis and I felt totally lost and aggravated. So I started writing the lyrics, and it definitely felt like it needed a dark, high energy feel to it. The progression was actually one I had in my back pocket for some time now, and found I was able to use it for this one. As usual, it started on acoustic guitar, and I eventually added the other instruments. Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you? I’ve had a love for music ever since I could remember, and I’ve always wanted to be a frontman. When I was about 13, my parents bought us RockBand2 for Christmas, and I was ecstatic. We all had our fun with it, but I ended up being the only one able to play the drums. So overtime I got good at playing drums on RockBand2 and figured, why not try out real drums and see if I like it. So in 2010 I started taking drum lessons and it just stuck! Of course I still always had a love for singing and took part in that whenever I could.

To this day, I’m primarily a drummer and still play with and work for various bands and artists.

In 2016, after a few years of attempting to keep a consistent punk band going with no luck, I decided to try my hand at solo music to fulfill my need to express myself with my own words and my own voice. I picked up my family’s old acoustic guitar, learned a few chords, and wrote an album. It’s funny, I never really planned on this being a legitimate thing, just something to do for fun, but folks ended up liking it and supporting it, and here I am several years later. Buzz Slayers: What inspires you to write a song? Oh, plenty of things. Typical inspirations for my lyricism include political or social issues, corporate greed, bigotry, mental health, self reflection, societal norms, human conditioning, and stuff like that. Or you know, sometimes Spiderman haha. Buzz Slayers: What are you performing on this track aside from vocals? For this song, I actually played all of the instruments. The drums, guitars, bass, vocals, everything. That was a lot of fun to track. I even did the artwork for it myself too. Had a little DIY photoshoot for it. Buzz Slayers: This track has some great styles! Can you give us some of your top musical influences? Frank Turner, Mischief Brew, AJJ, Against Me, Days N Daze, Anti-Flag, Flogging Molly, to name a few. Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music? As of late, I’ve been playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2 haha. I love that game, and I’m currently experiencing the Online version of the game. It's a lot of fun.

Aside from that, I’m trying to go on more hikes, I enjoy hiking and being outside. And just trying to make time for friends and family.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now? Some bands heavy on my rotation right now are Alkaline Trio, Suicide Machines, and Slipknot. I’ve also been listening to my friends in The Schwam a lot lately, I actually got to fill in on drums for 2 of their shows recently, that was so fun. Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now? Always gigging! The winter months are typically a little slower, so I don’t have many live gigs lined up right now, but you never know! Definitely hoping to tour again in the spring if things work out! And if I get the time again, I may do the occasional Twitch stream. Buzz Slayers: This single feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there? If there’s anything I’ve learned through the process of this album, it would be to trust the process and be patient. As cliche as it sounds, follow your heart and your passion, while at the same time being open to other options and possibilities; especially the possibility that it will take longer than you expect, because most of the time it does. I had this whole intricate plan for how this album was going to go, and between 2020, new release strategy suggestions, and many other hurdles, almost everything turned out different! But I’m still super happy with how it came out and how it’s going, so I really can’t be upset about it. Being true to myself, and being an open minded person, as well as supporting the people around me who also have passions for creative things, has all contributed to where I am and who I am now. Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future? Well, I’m still releasing new singles every 3 weeks until my full album, “Fissure”, releases on all streaming platforms in February. But until then, I’m always playing shows, and you can find plenty of awesome merchandise INCLUDING my album available for purchase at!

If you want to stay up to date on anything and everything I do, you can join my email list through my website, as well as follow me on socials @joebillymusic. Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music? Honestly, thank you. If it weren’t for people supporting me, it would be hard to keep this going. This music is important to me, and it’s my passion, and all I ever want is to create things people can connect with and be introspective with, and it means the world that people are finding something within my art. Whether you’re a new fan or have been here since my first album, thank you, and I hope you continue to find enjoyment and purpose in my music. Here’s to what’s to come!

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