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INTERVIEW: MIA JOY, The Joy Evelation – May 2015

| 15 May 2015 | Reply

INTERVIEW: MIA JOY, The Joy Evelation – May 2015
By Shane Pinnegar

Mia Joy 01

The Joy Evelation release their latest EP, Stain, this Sunday, 17th May, with a show at the Oddfellow in Fremantle. Singer/guitarist Mia Joy tells SHANE PINNEGAR how they came to be recording in the city of angels, L.A.

“That’s the wonder of social media,” she explains enthusiastically. “Probably 2012, through Facebook I connected up with Dino Maddalone. He’s a Grammy award winning producer and a really good drummer. He’s done lots of stuff over in L.A. and has his own studio. He also has a TV program over there for Warner [The Ask Dino Show]. He heard that we were coming out to L.A. the first time and wanted to put us on his show, which he did. From there we grew a friendship. When we were in L.A. we went out with him so we stayed friends.

“The next time we went back to L.A. our original band members didn’t want to go – they pulled out at the last minute. I had a tour booked and everything, so I rang him up. I said ‘Dino, you’ve got to help me out – these guys can’t come. If you know any new blokes that would be interested…?’ He said, ‘well, I’ll do it, and I’ve got a really cool bass player’. I’m like, ‘okay!’

Joy Evelation - Stain EP

“We went over [and] rehearsed for about an hour and a half and they were amazing. I was blown away. I was like a bunny in the headlights. I was like, ‘oh my God. They know my songs better than me. I’m having my ass kicked right now’.”

That bass player was Dig Lewis, a veteran of many tours and recordings with the likes of John Mellancamp, Stevie Wonder, Boz Scaggs and another of Joy’s favourite acts.

“Tina Turner – who I really love,” she enthuses, “He’s like royalty, [and] he’s so humble you’d probably never hear about. He’s done a lot of Motown stuff. He’s done an incredible amount of stuff and has his own production company now. He’s an amazing musician to the point where I’m like I don’t even know how I got to play with him, but he’s got a really good music company. They’re great contacts to have over there.

“We’ve got our own studio in WA and can pretty much do it all. It was more just a friendship connection thing and it just evolved. It wasn’t something that I specifically went out and said ‘I want to go and record in L.A.’ It just happened.

“Actually, going into his studio,” she continues, “I even did some voice over work for his TV program and stuff like that. It’s just an incredible experience. They’re got really good gear and they’ve been doing it for years. You know how when you go in with new people you learn lots of stuff. They give you their secrets and you swap secrets. It’s just a great experience all around.”

Joy Evelation 01

After recording the rhythm section in L.A. and her and musical partner Rob Garnett back in her own studio, Joy is beside herself with excitement about the new material.

“[The songs] are quite different from what we’ve done before. We’ve got a whole new lot of material which we’re going to bring out as an album in October, and we’re venturing [into some] different areas. I don’t know where it’s going to end up. I love rock, blues, soul… so, I don’t know. I’ll let it grow and see what happens.”

On their trips to Los Angeles The Joy Evelation have managed to play at iconic rock venues on the Sunset Strip such as The Whiskey A Go Go and The Viper Room.

“We played there originally in 2012,” explains Joy, “and then went back last year and played with Gus G from Ozzy Osbourne’s band. That was interesting. We also played at The House of Blues. That was really cool too.

“Actually, it sounds ridiculous,” she continues, “but [playing the Whiskey] is actually one of the pinnacles of me ever doing anything in music. It’s just incredible that you’re in a venue that is so iconic and has such a history of the people playing there.

Mia Joy 03

“I think the good thing is with social media now you can get contacts all over the world. I’ve made some amazing contacts in L.A. and would love to make the most of them and just get back over there and do it.

“I love L.A. I want to get back over there. What’s good about over there is you can just play shows. If you wanted to you could tour pretty much all year. I’m really interested in that because out here you haven’t really got those opportunities. You know in Perth you could play once a month or once a fortnight, but you sort of burn out your audience because there’s just not the people.

Joy goes on to muse aloud about packing the band into a van and travelling the U.S. on tour for months at a time.

“That’s half the fun of it. I’m really into the roots of music and meeting people and talking to people and talking to musicians. I’m actually more into music – like talking music, talking guitars, talking amps – than being… how can you say it? Being Madonna, you know what I mean?

“So I would love that. I would love to just get in a van and see what happens. That’s the plan after our next album comes out is go and do some touring.”

Joy Evelation 02

For now though, Joy is one busy lady. There’s dynamic new Stain EP to launch this coming weekend, they’ve just been announced to support the Baby Animals and Superjesus ‘She Who Rocks’ tour on Friday, 22 May, and there’s the album to finish. She’s also recording an acoustic album to be released under her own name, but that is “on the back burner of the moment while we’re doing all this.

“I’m too busy. I don’t like it but, oh well that’s okay,” she shrugs, “Some time to actually play would be nice. That’ll come around I’m sure. It’s pretty exciting. I’m really looking forward to launching the EP and then shopping it around for a distribution deal.”

Joy Evelation 03

In addition to singing and some voice over work, Joy has also dabbled in acting and says she wanted to be a performer from as young as she can remember.

“I’m really shy. which can come off as being snobby or arrogant,” she explains, “but on the other side, probably from when I was 1, I was standing in front of the TV and singing and dancing and saying ‘don’t you watch the TV, watch me’!

“That’s a bit embarrassing,” she laughs, before continuing. “I grew up that way because my dad was actually a musician. They won battle of the bands and all that sort of thing over in Sydney before I was born. He came over to W.A. and I grew up with that. My first memory of playing drums and playing guitars [was when] I grew up being a groupie of my dad’s band. My first major gig was in his band and we supported Paul Kelly. I was 16 then, so it was just genetic – it came from my Dada.”

Category: Interviews

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