Born in Southern Louisiana’s Atchafalaya River Delta (southwest of New Orleans), music has been a way of life for Joe Richardson for many years.
At the age of 6, his grandfather gave him a guitar from a pawn shop and by 13 he was playing in the clubs of South Louisiana. These years of stage experience, experimenting with different musical genres, allowed him to develop his unique and unorthordox style of writing and performance. The death of 2 band members from his band at the time prompted a move to Austin, Texas where Joe is now based.
His current outfit, The Joe Richardson Express, has released 4 CDs: ‘Way Beyond The Blues’ (2001), ‘Somhelgisfel’ (2002), ‘Stripped Down’ (2003), and ‘Non Stop’ (2004), and has toured the US & Europe (supporting Chuck Berry). Joe is an important part of the Austin music scene and was given an honour by the mayor, Will Wynn. ‘Joe Richardson Day’ falls on the 28th September and the band play regularly in Austin’s famous 6th Street.
Q. What are your musical influences?
A. Just about everybody and every kind of music. I listened to everything I could get my hands on up until about the age of 25 when I pretty much quit listening to music altogether and concentrated on developing my own thing.
Q.How did you come to be involved in Recoil?
A. Well, the true story is quite funny to me, rather like a TV show or movie. I was sitting at the computer one day when an email popped up. It was from Alan Wilder. It was very brief, stating that he liked my songwriting and singing and wondered if I would be interested in a collaboration. I couldnt open the Recoil site but replied to Alan that if it was a musical collaboration I’d be interested. He responded and asked me to try it again, which I did. This time it was successful. Wow! IT KNOCKED ME OUT! ….. really cool !!
Q. Had you heard of the project or any of Alan’s music before?
A. I had heard of his name but couldn’t remember from where.
Q. What did you feel you could contribute and did anything about the music interest you immediately. How did you feel your style would suit the project?
A. I liked the darkness but not in the typical sense of heavy, go kill yourself, but rather in the sense of real darkness that almost envelopes you in its velvety fog. I love it and I’ve been accused of leaning too much toward the darker side of things. I thought it might be a cool collaboration.
Q. What about the way the project works? Was it enjoyable or uncomfortable adding vocal parts to music already written?
A. Actually it was quite a lot easier than I anticipated. Alan had some rough ideas of tunes recorded without lyrics or a vocal track and I just listened to them and wrote words and melodies that suited the mood he had already created. He didn’t pull the reigns in on me in any way so I was completely free to do whatever I felt. This made things really easy creatively. Truthfully, I hadn’t had that much fun in a studio in a long time.
Q. Tell us a bit about the tracks and some of the ideas you had for them.
A. That would be hard to do because the process by which we did the creating and recording became so amalgamated. It’s hard to put a finger on who did what, and when. So much was done in the studio on the creative side and the recording side of things that it all just became one big ball of clay that everyone molded into shape.
Q. How did the recording process go? Was Alan good to work with or a hard task master?
A. It all went so easy and so quickly that it seems almost like a dream. Alan made the whole thing a real pleasure and the whole process couldn’t have been more fun or easy. He’s a creatively gifted person and a great person to work with, and just an all around nice guy!