Hey everyone! I had the opportunity to interview The Joint. The Joint is a 4-piece Rock & Roll band from Whitby, Ontario. The line-up consists of Jon Tyler Smith on vocals and guitar, Aaron Tymec on guitar, Tyler Hodgkinson on bass guitar, and Warren Gies on drums.
1. First of all, how are you all doing?
All: Good. (Except for Jon)
2. I understand that The Joint has had a few different line-ups in the past, so could you give me a bit of an explanation of the history of The Joint? Like, the formation, and how it came to be what it is today?
Aaron: It’s a long story, but here’s a short version. It started out with Jon and I back in high school meeting through a mutual friend, and it started out with us two just writing a few songs and jamming. Technically our first gig was at our high school, which was an event called “Cause To Rock”, and we recruited a few friends to play with us. Warren’s other band played that as well. We had someone else playing drums, bass, and vocals at the time, and everyone knew that it was just a fill-in gig, like a guns for hire kind of thing. Basically over the course of the few years afterwards, Jon and I were trying to find a line-up. Warren joined about 8 months after Jon and I started the band, so it was three of us for a long time trying to find the missing pieces. We had a singer and a bass player that we were playing shows with for a while, but they ended up bailing on us and it kind of fell apart, so Jon ended up taking up singing duties while staying on guitar, and then we got Tyler on bass. So since the beginning of 2010, it’s been the four of us, and you know that once you have the right, reliable people, you have your actual band.
3. How long have you four known each other? Did you guys all know each other before you were all in The Joint, or did some of you just meet when joining?
Jon: -laughs- That’s an interesting question.
Warren: I’ve known Aaron since I moved to Whitby, so when I was 11, he was 9. Jon dated my sister for about 6 years, so we knew each other.
Aaron: Up until about the time that Jon and I met, Tyler and I were in a band.
Jon: Pretty much, we all knew of each other, but we didn’t know that we all knew each other, if that makes sense.
Warren: Jon and I were in a metal band together, actually. –laughs-
Aaron: Warren and Jon were friends for a long time, and Warren and I were friends for a long time, but then Jon and I didn’t know that. I was friends with Tyler because we were in a band, and Jon and Warren saw us play together at another Anderson gig. So Warren, Jon and I were all friends at the time that Ty and I were friends also.
Jon: I knew who Tyler was for a while, but we actually didn’t meet until our first show together. We had gone through many bass players, and Aaron told me that he had found a bass player when I was in Mexico, and I actually really sceptical about him because of how many we had tried, so I actually said no initially, but when we got back we jammed a few times and he learned the songs, so we had our first gig about a week later, and everything went smoothly.
Tyler: It’s a pretty long, but interesting story.
4. You guys have a new full length on its way, entitled Young Essence. How long have you guys been working on this?
Jon: Well, we’ve been working on the songs since the beginning of the band, and before actually. Some of the riffs are things that Aaron and I had by ourselves when we were kids before we knew each other. So overall, I’d say that in total about eight years.
Aaron: Really, we wanted this album to be the first batch of stuff we had as a band, because we’ve moved on and made some new stuff, but we wanted this to be all of the original stuff.
Tyler: The actual recording of this album we’ve been working on it since August of 2011, and we’ve been recording at Chalet Studios in Claremont. We’re currently finishing up right now, it’s just being mixed and mastered.
5. Would you say that you guys have changed in sound from your EP until this album? If so, in which ways?
Jon: Well, the EP is very similar to Young Essence because a few tracks from that EP are actually rerecorded on the album, it’s just a bit more raw. The material stayed the same essentially, the album it’s just a more polished up version pretty much. We may have changed now, but the reason that it may have changed is because we’re more comfortable together since we’ve been playing together for longer, and now that we have our full line-up, we’re writing for us.
Aaron: Since some of the songs are from Just A Taste, our previous EP, I’d say it’s probably a little better now that we’re more comfortable and we’re more used to those songs now. And really, this line-up right here is what I consider to be The Joint, and this album feels like it’s our first real release because it’s the four of us writing together as a band.
6. What have you guys been up to this summer so far?
Jon: We’ve played the odd show here and there, but nothing too big. We played two shows on Canada Day, so that was a lot of fun. But overall, we’ve just played a few things here and there locally.
Aaron: We’ve really just been rehearsing and wrapping up the album. Gigs will be much more plentiful very soon though.
7. What’s the song writing process for The Joint like? And is this a long process, or do you guys find that you can come up with songs pretty quickly?
Jon: It seems to be different for every tune. Some songs take half a year to write, and some songs it seems to take 5 minutes to play it, and show everyone, etc. Aaron and I co-write a lot a lot of the songs, and some of the tunes have been written alone and shown to the rest of the band. It all depends on the mood you’re in, it’s not really something that’s planned out.
Aaron: The writing as a full band seems to take longer than songs that are written individually. If someone writes a song and shows everyone else, it goes reasonably quick, but typically Jon and I write together, and then we go instrument by instrument for the rest of the parts, which usually takes quite a while.
8. Who are all of your primary influences?
Tyler: This is a question that we get a lot, and we’re usually quite reluctant to answer it, but I guess we have to eventually tell it, -laughs-. I’m glad you asked this individually, because we’re four different people and people don’t usually understand this when asking. I’m more into theatrical artists, like Elton John, Kiss, you know, those types that are larger than life. Foxy Shazam, Styx, and I feel like that shows in my bass playing, and playing live.
Warren: Since I’m in a rock band, I feel obligated to list off my rock influences, but I listen to a ton of different music. As far as rock goes, I like Sam Roberts, Jet, The Eagles, Tom Petty, and I’m probably leaving someone out, but I also like Alexisonfire, The Holly Springs Disaster, Gypsy Kings, Justin Timberlake, (Tyler: It’s funny, because it’s not a joke.) and I guess I’ll stop there.
Jon: I like Tom Petty like Warren, I also like Sweet, and a lot of old school music. I also like Cheap Trick, AC/DC, Aerosmith to name off my old influences. I also like stuff like Sloan, Blink-182, and really whatever I grew up with.
Aaron: Well, my standard three-band answer since I was 12 years old has been Guns N Roses, Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band, and Aerosmith. Slash is my fucking beyond idol, -laughs-. As Warren was saying, I also branch off into a bunch of different music. As for guitar playing, it’s solely blues.
Tyler: We get so frustrated when people try to lump is in with a classic rock band, because we do really like new music, and at least to me it sounds new to me. We love the old stuff, but we love the new stuff also.
Jon: As much as we like the same bands, we also hate bands that each other like. There’s at least one band from all of us that the other guy doesn’t like at all. We can go on with feuds forever, but we just keep who we like to ourselves, really. All that matters is the influence and the drive, you listen to whoever you like, and it doesn’t matter what others think of it. But when you bring your own stuff to the table, and you’re influenced by those bands you take a new start on it, then you hear something fresh and new that the rest of the band will like, and to be honest, that’s all that matters. We’re writing new music for a new audience.
9. Do you guys have any guilty pleasures for music? Like, any bands that you’re pretty ashamed that you listen to?
Warren: Justin Timberlake, the genre of disco, The Jonas Brothers. (Aaron: I got in his car one time and he had the deluxe edition of Saturday Night Fever)
Tyler: I think the one I get the most shit for is Lady Gaga. But that brings in the whole theatrical part of it, it’s the spectacle I like.
Aaron: I guess I’ll start with this: It’s not that I sit around listening to them, but if it comes on I’m not going to change it, Abba is fantastic. But otherwise, you’ll always see a great song by a shitty artist, so I wouldn’t really consider those songs guilty pleasures.
Jon: You can throw Abba in my collection too, but I don’t know if I have any guilty pleasures. (Tyler: Shut the fuck up, yes you do) No but really, I stand behind everything I listen to. I don’t really have anything that I can think of, but I might like something embarrassing that I don’t know of yet.
10. What is your favourite place to play?
Warren: Ottawa for sure
Jon: I think with Ottawa, it was just a lot of fun being able to get out of the area, and it kind of opened our eyes that this area isn’t the only place that can make or break us. If you don’t have luck in Toronto, it doesn’t really matter because there are other places you can try. The venue was also really great.
Tyler: To be honest, I think my favourite one was the 50th anniversary show at Anderson. (Aaron: Well of course you’d think that, you had a bunch of screaming girls in front of you the whole time). Aaron had screaming guys in front of him.
Jon: I also really liked our gig at the Tattoo Rock Parlour. It was really fun, and just a great show.
Aaron: I really liked The Mod Club as well, as well as venues around Whitby and Oshawa.
10.5: And have you had any terrible experiences at any venues?
Tyler: We played the downstairs of The Hard Luck Bar for some contest, and they put us in the basement with no monitors or anything, and we weren’t very rehearsed.
Warren: The fans were supposed to be directed to what bands they wanted to see because it was a two-floor show, and the promoters told our fans that we were playing upstairs, so everyone missed our entire set. So the guy came up on stage and made us look like shit by announcing “To all three of you” to the crowd, when really all of our fans were upstairs. There were no refunds or anything too.
Jon: And to top that, I lost my voice in the middle of the set too.
Aaron: Early in the summer, we had a terrible, terrible gig in Oshawa at Murphy’s. Jon’s guitar cut out in the middle of the opening song, and what sucked the most is that we had a lot of friends out there too.
Warren: I actually enjoyed that gig, because I played with the next band afterwards, -laughs-.
11. Do you guys have any plans in the near future aside from the release of Young Essence, or involving the release of the album?
Jon: We’re really just focusing on getting the album out, and writing always continues.
Aaron: We also plan on getting a music video out soon, and we’re going to self-release a few singles.
Tyler: And we’re always writing, as Jon said. Really, our plan is just to stick together as a band and see what happens with the album.
Jon: We also have more of a business plan for this album than we did the EP, like we’re shopping around to radio, and more promotion plans.
Aaron: College radio is one that we plan on doing more of as well.
12. Have there been any local bands that you’ve really liked, and that you’d like to play with again in the future?
Jon: All of the bands we really came close to liking have broken up, unfortunately.
Aaron: We’ve played with a few bands here and there that were pretty cool.
Warren: We opened for The Gentleman Husbands in Port Hope, and although that wasn’t a great show, I really liked their stuff.
Aaron: We like to play with bands that fit our genre, because we don’t want an audience to sit through something that they don’t like at all because they’re there to see another band that they really like. My favourite band from around here were actually the Jack Rollin’ Dandies, but they broke up unfortunately.
13. Any last words for readers of Warborn Media?
Jon: We’re just going to be promoting the album, and touring it, and get back to places like Ottawa, stop by Kingston, and check out some other new places. We’re just going to keep working hard so you can all hear our music. You just have to keep your eye on the prize.
Aaron: The album will also be available at Wilson Lee Music Store. It will also be available on iTunes. We can’t really give a date, but it’ll be available hopefully soon though.
Thank you to The Joint for allowing me to interview them, and for being fun guys to work with for this! I’ll have more interviews and some reviews up within the next week or so, and again, if any bands want a review or interview, let me know!
Check out The Joint here!
And you can get “Just A Taste” on iTunes here!