Did everyone just get together and say they were going to release music on April Fool’s Day? With many others, Also Joe released “Nevermind” April 1, 2022. The song is his first release this year.
“Nevermind” opens with a brilliant guitar riff with organic sounds. There was a familiarity to it–probably from growing up in the 90s and early 2000s. Those were the days of Smashing Pumpkins and Counting Crows and so many more. Also Joe seems to have pulled from this time period. Nostalgia. It’s real with this song, so if you’re a kid from the 90s like me, you might enjoy it. It really is a fun song.
Also Joe says “There’s a juxtaposition to this song. Almost as if the verses are at odds with the choruses.” And I can see it. The singer spends the first verse trying to convince someone that everything is fine. That quickly blows away with the chorus. “Nevermind, it’s been a little while since I have felt alive. I thought things would be easy, ‘at least you and I will be alright’, that’s all I need to hear you say”. Then, in the second verse, it’s a deep dive into the anxious mind. “There I was on the floor of your dorm hyperventilating.”
Also Joe has been on the music scene since 2019 when he released his album, Beach Flower. The album featured “Two Straws”, a song that has over a million streams on Spotify. You can follow the now San Diego based singer on his socials linked below.
Q&A with Also Joe
Q: “Nevermind” reminds me of my days in high school and what I would listen to loudly in my room. What was the inspiration behind it?
ALSO JOE: My inspiration for “Nevermind” was definitely early 2000s culture. I’ve been really into that “coming-of-age” feel that those years seemed to have. One of the things that I’ve been saying a lot about this song, is that, to me it feels like: lying in bed, staring at the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling, and band posters all over the wall. But I also wanted the song to have a modern twist to it, so I used some “bedroom pop” production (boy pablo, mac demarco ish), especially for the chorus. I found a sample that became the “home base” of the song, to which I wrote the dreamy vocal melodies and harmonies for.
To be completely honest, this is the first song that I’ve written in a long time where I let go of all expectations that I set for myself and just had fun with it. I learned so much from all of this.
Q: Can you walk us through what your creative process is like?
ALSO JOE: I think the main idea behind this song, was to make something that brought people to create this nostalgic, imaginary world that people could really feel. That being said, I knew from the very beginning what I wanted the song to sound like. I knew that it would have that familiar guitar riff in the verses, I knew it would be dreamy during the choruses, I knew it would have a subtle distortion that gave it a cassette-like feel.
This song was really unique, in that I wrote/recorded/produced this song in three different places. I recorded the main acoustic guitar riff at my parent’s house with my sibling, I came up with the chorus when I was in Manhattan (again, with my sibling), and then I finished everything in my home studio. I think the change of scenery helped me be more creative.
I was also able to let go of this idea of doing everything myself – I recruited two of my very talented friends to help me flesh out the song. Ryan Muskal (of the band Odd Elbow) helped me write the verse melody and Julius Tunstall (solo artist) contributed some crunchy 90s guitars and background vocals.
As far as my overall creative process goes: every song for me is different. Sometimes I’ll start with a voice memo that I recorded on my phone while I was driving. Sometimes I’ll start with a guitar part. Most of the time I probably just play some chords and mumble random words until something feels right. I don’t know if I’ve found what works best for me. Maybe it’s just the spontaneity of my process.
Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided you wanted to be a musician?
ALSO JOE: I’ve always wanted to pursue music in some way. I’ve been singing since before I could talk. I taught myself to play the guitar when I was like 13 or 14. I wrote a ton of bad and stupid songs until I was about 21. It was around that time (2018) that I wrote and recorded my song “Two Straws”, which now happens to be like my most popular song.
The funny thing is, it only started getting popular 2 years after its release, in 2020. My music started hitting streaming algorithms – more and more people were listening. My confidence was bolstered by this, and I realized “hey, maybe I have something special”. I continued to write music and perform, and in 2021, I quit my full-time job to seriously pursue music.
Q: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
ALSO JOE: Honestly, I have no idea. There’re so many artists that I LOVE. But there’s a big difference between appreciating someone’s art and wanting to work with them. Besides that, I want to work with people who understand me.
Okay, let’s see. If I had to pick, though, I would choose boy pablo (or at least their producers – those people are amazing) or Tyler, the Creator. I know Tyler is like a weird choice but hear me out. That dude knows music better than like… anyone in the world. And I think he’s just so himself. I really appreciate him as an artist and an icon in general lol.
Q: What is the music scene like in San Diego?
ALSO JOE: So, I only just moved to San Diego like two weeks ago. But from asking around, it seems like it’s in an “off-season” right now. Which could work really well in my favor. Maybe I’ll have a chance to ride the wave and be at the forefront of the next swell.
Q: What are three must have songs for road tripping?
ALSO JOE: Jeez, this is tough. I’ve been really into MGMT again. I could listen to Oracular Spectacular on repeat, forever. I’m also a mega fan of Rex Orange County – been listening since “bcos u will never b free” was popularized. Let’s go with this:
* MGMT – Time to Pretend
* Rex Orange County – Television / So Far So Good
* boy pablo – Sick Feeling
* (BONUS) Also Joe – Nevermind
Reviewed & Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan
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