Self-bio! I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. We grew up poor, living in shelters and subsidized housing, but my childhood was happy. I wouldn't want to have grown up any other way, it taught me to appreciate what I have and be fair and just with all people.
Fate and circumstance pushed me towards creating music and also a career in policing in my hometown. I was fortunate to have a circle of friends in my youth who were very talented musicians, many of whom have since gone on to professional careers in the arts. The pull from songwriting has always been strong with me. I find I have a hard time communicating my deepest thoughts in any form other than song.
From my early teenage days shutting the world out with a set of headphones and some Beatles albums on, to the unexplainable joy of jamming with good buddies in a room and knowing that you're making some really kick ass tunes...it's a part of my life that will never go away. That being said, even though I was usually the vocalist and main songwriter in bands I was in, I lacked the true confidence in my message to really put it out there with my name on it, and not a band's! If people didn't like it, it wasn't ALL my fault right?
As I have grown into fatherhood, adulthood, and a man with a profession and serious responsibilities, fate has pulled my music in a different direction. I reach deeper now than I ever have before, and I feel as though I'm at a point where my heart and soul is in plain sight for people who listen to my music. It's a liberating feeling, but scary as hell. People might not like what they hear, but I don't let it phase me. I have confidence in what I'm trying to say, and I truly appreciate the help of the muse in giving me skills and abilities in songwriting to put that message out there.
It really started with my good friends Matt Ouimet and Steve Boudreau who coaxed me into making 'Modern World', my first album in 2011. I was a little bit lost musically, and it was exactly the slap in the face I needed to get back on track.
After I gained some confidence there, I took on a pretty big undertaking, trying to write an album about life as a street cop and the emotional battles we face. I was given grant support from the Ontario Arts Council, and I had a lot of great friends help me work through the ideas in song. It's a dark record, but I think it has a message of hope as well.
I don't know what's next, but in the meantime I'll continue to record and play with my band, The Guilty Minds. In any event, it will surely be an adventure!
Thanks for listening! JOE