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Articles Home » Interviews » Wood, Joseph Lee - 2003 20 Questions With..
Wood, Joseph Lee - 2003 20 Questions With..
INTERVIEW: Wood, Joseph Lee (Jul 2003)
20 Questions with JLW..
Thanks go to Washington State AORster Joseph Lee Wood, for participating in GLORY-DAZE's 'Epic Questions' segment..

WRITTEN BY: Gdazegod

Some of you may remember from last year the fantastic pure AOR of Joseph Lee Wood. He released an album that was thirteen years late, and confounding pundits by giving us a style last seen from the glory daze (some would say gory daze!!) of the long lost hair-swept decade that was the eighties. Joseph is working on a brand new album, which will be out in the next two months or so. More on that later next month. In the meantime, we fire July's 20 'Epic' Questions at Joe, for your visual appetitite!

For all our uninformed readers out there, how about telling everyone a little bit about Joseph Lee Wood?
I grew up in Eastern Washington state and was mainly an athlete in high school and junior college. I always plunked around on guitar and piano but never played seriously. This guy heard me playing piano and singing and asked if I wanted to join his band. I thought it might be fun so I did. I played local clubs and dances and these guys from Seattle heard me. They invited me to come to Seattle so I moved up to play with them. They were ex members of the Ron Gardner Group (MCA Records). I went through a few bands and met some good players so I formed Baby Gunn. A great band but egos broke it up on the way to L.A. to do an album.

Flew to Chicago and played with Lois Lane, a great band but more egos. I went back to Denver, Colorado and engineered sound for a while and then joined The Jocks. They sounded like The Outfield but were three years earlier. They were produced by Jim Mason (Firefall, Bad Company etc.) Also did some vocal tracks for Bloodrock's keyboard player and got to work with Beau Hill (Ratt, Warrant, Winger). I then moved back to Seattle and started 24K and we did tapes in Vancouver at Mushroom Records studios with Keith Stien, Loverboys engineer. I then met Norman Ratner (707, Hues Corporation, The Leaves). He, Marty, and I co-produced the JLW album.

You were an active participant of the late great eighties. What were your best recollections of that decade?
It was more wide open and seemed to have a lot more energy. Bands were in better shape and a lot more competitive. The nightclubs were like concert halls and the show on the smaller scale were bigger.

Who is your all-time favourite melodic rock artist?
Mickey Thomas.

You lived in numerous locations throughout the US. What was your fave place to live, and also your worst.
My favourite place to live is where I live now, Olympia, Washington. I have a nice home and studio in the woods. Worst is Chicago. So Cold!

Best place you've holidayed at? (Vancouver or Portland Oregon is not an option here)
Aspen Colorado. Beautiful.

You are originally from the Pacific Northwest area. What was the 1980's Seattle scene like for you? (Queensryche, TKO, Q5, Fifth Angel etc)
They were all good bands but I thought that some of the really good bands fell through the cracks. Queensryche really grew from their early days into something great. Heart really expanded into world class.

Conversely, grunge emanated from the same area. Any comments about that scene?
I never was into grunge so I can't really support it. It killed the working bands and turned the business into pay to play. Musicians stopped making a living so in essence it killed the industry by taking the power out of the musician's hand and gave back to the industry. These acts were signing their lives away for pennies on the dollar.

What do you think would have happened if your debut album managed to become a hit for you in 1989?
I think I would have had a very good future. I had signed with big people but they just dropped the ball. A very common story in this industry.

Were Record labels and A&R types really that bad back in the eighties?
I think more confused than anything. They didn't even know what they wanted but they said they would know when they heard it. I had one president of a label tell me on the first demo he received that he didn't hear a hit, then on the second one he heard 4 hits but that he wanted us to do something dangerous. That's confusion at it's finest.

3 favourite albums of all time?
Whitesnake, Tall Stories, Journey's Greatest Hits

3 best movies you've ever seen?
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Star Wars, Eyes Wide Shut.

If you could sing for one group, who would it be?

If singing wasn't an occupation for you, what would you have liked to have done instead?
I can't think of anything else I'd rather do but I also co-write and produce other artists.

Worst moment on stage?
We were playing this club and the drummer did a fire show. We looked behind us and the back of the stage was on fire. Lots of extinguishing going on. Man that drummer was the best show drummer I ever saw! (whoa, that tale sounds very familiar. Have you spoken with Jack Russell about this? Ed)

Worst ever song you've heard?
Bobby McFerrin's 'Don't Worry be Happy'

Is AOR Music dead and buried in the USA right now?
It is actually resurging a bit. A lot of the small concert venues are opening up to it and Bon Jovi's 'Bounce' has helped a lot.

Who would you rather go and see live: April Lavigne or Vanessa Carlton?
APRIL LAVIGNE in a blink. Much deeper artist.

Who would you rather go see play: Seattle Supersonics or the Portland Trailblazers?
Definitely the Blazers. The Sonics can never get it together and the Blazer fans are more into it.

Should bands like KISS, Styx and Aerosmith retire gracefully once-and-for-all?
I think they should rock till they are 80. They just keep getting better like a fine wine. Just like in Opera your voice matures the most after 35.

Name 5 people (any people, any era, any timeframe) you'd have as dinner guests.
Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Bill Clinton, Steve Perry and Pete Townsend. (I take it no women ie: Heather and Hilary are allowed?, nor children.. Pete?)

Any parting words of wisdom from JLW?
George, thanks for your patience and support. It is always great to be appreciated by the press and all I can say to everyone is this: DON'T LOSE YOUR DREAM because if you do what you love the money will follow. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE.

Thanks go to Joseph Lee Wood for participating in 'The Epic Questions' Column.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 20 2017 21:14:58
I remember a decade ago, wanting to run with this segment for GDAZE called 'Epic Questions'. The term 'Epic Questions' originates from the Pagans Mind album 'Celestial Entrance', voted in as my favourite album of the 2000's decade.

Thanks to Joseph for playing along.
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