1) Would you say your name is more closely related to a want ad or positive hope?
The name itself comes from a handmade poster someone had put up back in college looking for a roommate. It had 'Ask For Joy' followed by a smiley face across the middle, and something about it just stuck with me--the do-it-yourself nature of the sign, the handwriting, the smile. (I think I scanned the poster back in the day and used it as a logo long since forgotten.) But it does strike a hopeful tone too, that all one need do is just put the request out there and somehow be rewarded with happiness in return. I like that thought.
2) Could you somehow get a bunch of other really good bands together and make a shoegaze tribute to Tom Petty? Aside from the obvious “Free Fallin”, I bet a shoegaze version of “Waiting” would be awesome. Or better yet, would you ever consider doing a six or eight song EP of all Tom Petty covers?
I'd be up for such a project--both of them, actually! I know a few bands who might be interested in donating to something like this. And if I can't have 'Free Fallin', I call dibs on 'Room At The Top' and 'Good To Be King'. Now that I think of it, I believe there's a cover of 'Stop Draggin' My Heart Around' out there by one of them other shoegaze outfits. Tom Petty is the absolute balls. He just seems like a genuinely nice motherfucker. When I was a teenager, I had, ahem, 'acquired' an issue of Playboy magazine from 1983 that had a full-length interview with Tom Petty. I remember he was asked what he had in his pockets, and he had like $4 and two guitar picks. And he was fighting with his record company to keep a recent price increase from affecting one of his releases at the time. Good guy Tom. And he can write a song!
3) What is your safe word?
It's gotta be 'pizza'. Or 'kitty'. Probably 'kitty'--if there is one thing that can divert my attention away from even the most concentrated of focus, it's a cat.
4) Who do you feel is the must see band at SXSW this year? (It is okay to say “I don’t care about SXSW”)
I have some seriously mixed feelings about SXSW. I am happy for the bands that got into SXSW. It seems like a ton of fun. But I also feel bad for bands, so excited to get a coveted showcase slot at often great personal expense if they're coming from around the world, only to be overshadowed by an established artist flying in, throwing a huge non-SXSW last-minute show and sucking up all the attention and coverage. SXSW started off as a little festival for bands trying to break out and year after year it's oversold and over-sponsored and it doesn't feel like it's about the little guys anymore. Now all this being said, I saw Ulrich Schnauss at SXSW a few years back and it was awesome to be so close up watching him orchestrate a Live performance in real time. And Resplandor are adorable, like little Peruvian ponies. I want more experiences like that. I want the whole festival to be about those intimate, revelatory experiences and helping talented up and coming bands, not enrich the wallets of established garbage pop artists who fill stadiums and column inches by cashing in on a festival that is ostensibly supposed to be about new, unexplored bands.
5) If you were on Wheel of Fortune as a “Before and After”, you could be “Ask for Joy Division” if first in the puzzle, but what would the solution be if you were second?
'Don't even Ask For Joy'?
6) Final thoughts perhaps not about Tom Petty or Pat Sajak
The '$25,000 Pyramid' is the greatest game show theme song of all time and will never be surpassed. Also, I am nearing completion of the recording phase of a new EP called Pins And Needles and I have to say that I am so. fucking. ecstatic at the way this is coming along. I try not to brag, but even at this stage I feel it brings some serious shoegaze fire. Any gaze/dreampop labels interested in an early sample?