Hi, my name is Joey Cape. I am the singer songwriter for the band Lagwagon. I also play in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Produce records for my label One Week Records. AMA!


Comments: 337 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

Pennwisedom23 karma

Hey, I am so glad you did this AMA, I realized I've been listening to Lagwagon for probably about twenty years now, which is a long time. Lagwagon (along with NOFX) was one of the reasons I got involved in a band with friends back in High School. There's probably about a thousand questions I could ask you.

So in that vein, Were you and the rest of the band inspired by any earlier punk bands, or other types of music?

And, what's your favorite Fat Wreck band (that you're not a part of)?

Joey_Cape20 karma

Definitely. For example my favorite records when I was a kid were Decendents "Milo Goes To College" and Ramones “Road To Ruin”. I think both those bands among many others, metal records included, were hugely influential on my songwriting. I actually like so many Fat bands it's difficult to name a favorite. I'll go with Western Addiction for now.

chriswilkesbooth18 karma

Hi, Joey. Thank you for your contributions to music. Your songs enrich my life immeasurably. I have lots of questions, but I’ll only bother you with two if that's alright:

1) What is your favorite brand/model of acoustic guitar?

2) Have there been any songs you proposed for the Gimmes to cover that your bandmates struck down and why?

Joey_Cape17 karma

I like Martin 00016 small body guitars. They seem to suit my hands. I love the sound of many other guitars. Gibson's have a more woody sound that is good for the slower one's. The Gimmes strike down many of my suggestions but plenty get through. We all make suggestions and some don't make the cut. In particular, I remember "Valentine's Day" by Steve Earl. That won't hurt

Plague_Engine15 karma

Hey Joey,

I'm the guy from SB who has your face tattooed on his arm. Here's a picture of you and the tattoo from the very first Bad Astronaut show http://imgur.com/JCMmnWu

Okay, okay, questions:

How do you determine what color the vinyls for your albums will be?

Any progress on getting the Bad Astronaut LPs on vinyl? Or is this even a possibility?

How stoked are you about the 2014 World Cup? Please phrase your response to this last question as an animal (ex: "Tiger", "Sloth", "Squirrel", etc.)

I really appreciate all of your music. Thank you SO much for sharing it with (and opening yourself to) the world. I hope you have been able to get a sense of how much your works mean to people.

Joey_Cape16 karma

It's tough to choose but, I usually choose a vinyl color that works with the album art. Bad Astronaut LPs are in the works. I promise. Nice Tattoo

headpool18214 karma

Joey, HUGE FAN, I love your tribute to Tony through International You Day. Do you have any stories about Tony that you haven't really shared? Any stories about Derrick Plourde?

Joey_Cape20 karma

I have many stories of both guys. Too many to tell here. But I will say this. Having known them has greatly enriched my life. I miss them both daily

jun2san12 karma

Cool! I set my alarm for this AMA. I'm a huge fan. I've been listening to Lagwagon for over 15 years now and have seen you perform a dozen times, with bands and solo.

Why don't you guys ever play Choke live? That's one of my all-time favorite Lagwagon songs.

Joey_Cape23 karma

We used to play it all the time. Maybe it's time to bring it back!

Moker229 karma

Joey! Long time fan from Toronto here. Two quick questions

1) what inspired the songs "Grey Suits" and "Best Western"? Two of my favorites in the BA catalog.

2) your vocal style transitioned gradually from rough/aggressive in the early Lagwagon days (Duh) to a more melodic sound (Hoss-era). I've always wondered why you chose to change your style at that time.

As always, love your work. Can't wait to hear the new Lagwagon album!

Joey_Cape13 karma

Grey Suits was just your typical reaction to being screwed by the suits. At the time it had to do with a band I was working with that had signed a major label deal and the people at the label seemed less concerned with the band's happiness and music than the industry protocol and the band's financial success. Best Western was inspired by an overdose in Adelaide, Australia. A sad story I read at 7 am battling jet lag. I think I have always been torn between Punk and Metal dynamic and pop melody. I love all but the songwriting changes naturally with mood of the era. The new album is aggressive like the early records and has some pop but is definitely leaning towards intense dynamic

batter1599 karma

Hi ! I'm a huge fan of Lagwagon since I heard your song on Short Music for Short People. Can't wait for the new album !
My questions:
Why wasn't Blaze included in the boxset ? (It's my favorite album)
Will you ever release the Blaze It demos ? Maybe on a rerelease... ?

Joey_Cape3 karma

With the boxset we focused on the first five releases, mainly because there were so many out-takes. I'm not sure about those demos. Seems like people already have them. Haha

imgonnabutteryobread9 karma

Hey Joey,

Is Cape an abbreviation for some crazy Italian name? How many gallons of coffee do you and Bill Stevenson go through when recording at the Blasting Room? Is Laggy still going to be on Fat now that you have your own label? When's the new Laggy coming out? Any east coast tours later this year?

Thank you for all the kickass jams you've shared with us over the years. Never stop what you do.

Joey_Cape11 karma

Cape is a Celtic name. An anomaly in the family lineage. Bill and I usually share a gallon of coffee but as we get older, we have to pee a lot more so we may be weaning

orangejulius8 karma

What inspired your song "Stokin' the Neighbors"?

We have a mutual (and awesome) friend. ;)

Joey_Cape9 karma

Dave Hanecek and Chris Shiflett. A crazy drunk drive through the homes yards of Goleta and an abandoned vehicle

shaving8 karma

Hey Caper! Been a huge fan of all of your work since I was 6 years old (I'm almost 21 now) and your music has played a huge part in shaping who I am as well as helping me through literally all of the tough times I've faced in my life so far, so just thought I'd thank you for that. I'll be taking a 15 hour bus ride to Montebello Quebec for Rockfest next week and can't wait to see you guys kill it there. Anyway I have 4 questions and you don't have to answer them all (or any), I'm just tossing them out there into the ether of the interwebs.

  1. What kind of sound can we expect from the new Lagwagon album? You guys have always been pretty diverse going from shredfests on Trashed to beautiful melodies on Feelings and crunchy riffs on Resolve, so what's next?
  2. While prowling the internet one day I heard you weren't a fan of the "Older Brother" EP. Is this true? I think all of those songs are some of your best work, although I am a sucker for some slower, melancholy jams and I guess they were kind of a departure.
  3. Any chance you guys will start playing songs from Blaze and Resolve again?
  4. Is the name of your (awesome) song "It's Always Sunny" based on a certain comedy that may or may not be the greatest TV show ever conceived?

See you next week in Montebello!

Joey_Cape6 karma

Thanks for the kind words about "Older Bro". I liked it. It was just that we rushed it a bit and I'm not sure it was the right record at the time. I think I already said this but Hang, the new album is very riffy and intense. Don't worry, there's still a few pop songs. Those are in my blood. I did love "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" and when I came up with the chorus had entertained briefly the idea of sending it to someone in hopes of a theme jingle. Instead I changed a word and wrote the rest of the song. Haha. Good call

jahwoofums8 karma

Hi Joey, long time fan first time redditor. I signed up just for this. Here is my query:

Did anyone ever have that smoke for The Caper?

Joey_Cape17 karma


Joey_Cape23 karma

Too many

debtsnbooze7 karma

Which Lagwagon album was the most successful?

Joey_Cape13 karma

Yeah, I think it was Double Plaid. But that had more to do with the industry than the records in my humble opinion.

laggingthewagon7 karma


You seem to be a big fan of demos (as am I), so some demo related questions: why did "baggage" change so much from demo to final recording?
whose (questionable) idea was it to drop the sweet guitar solo from the demo of "give it back"?

Joey_Cape6 karma

Yeah, I have mostly loved the demos that I received over the years sometimes more than that major production that follows. They are sometimes more honest and have a vibe that can't be reproduced. Those changes from our demos were most likely my fault. To err is human..

beernerd7 karma

What's the worst advice anyone ever gave you?

Joey_Cape23 karma

Take this. It will make you feel better

jeffreyonfire7 karma

Hey Joey

Long time fan. Love the new Gimmes record and I can't wait for new Lagwagon.

Was starting a record label something that's been on your mind for a while and how did working with Chris come about?


Joey_Cape9 karma

Yes. Things of been going poorly for so long in the music industry. It just seems like the only solution is this kind of record label. To sell events rather than single songs. You can sell them less money. it's not as big of a production. You can’t overproduce the record when you don’t have time. And you guarantee the vibe when a person has to play predominately live. Ultimately, I started one week records because I like music and I want to be involved in any way I can in it’s production. I have always enjoyed being in the studio involved in the creative process. I love to produce records. I think it's my favorite aspect of the creative side of music.

Call_Me_Jimmy6 karma

Hi Joey!

Ive been a huge fan of Lagwagon since my childhood and i was lucky enough to see you guys in Malmö, Sweden back in 2006.

I have a couple of questions

  1. I remember listening to violins and being able to relate to the song when going through a bad break up. So
    Ive always wondered if the lyrics come from a chapter of your own life or if its just made up.

  2. Is there a particular reason that you chose to turn down major record labels after you released Trashed since it felt like it would have been the right time with other punk rock bands making it to the mainstream around that time.

  3. Is there a song that you and the guys from Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have not yet covered but would like to?

Thanks for bringing me joy throughout the years with your music and i hope to see Lagwagon live again in the future.

Joey_Cape13 karma

Yes, all of my songs are inspired by direct issues in my life. I'm sure Violins was a letter to a girl who broke my heart. Can't remember which one. Haha. Major labels were doing terrible things to my friends and their respective bands at the time. And Fat was a perfect fit for us. We are more than a band and a label, we are friends. The people that work at Fat are the same friends I go out drinking with at home. Why leave that? Especially when it allows so much freedom and they are such a great label.

bumS_lie6 karma

Hey Joey! I'm a huge fan of Lagwagon and your solo stuff. I've seen both full band shows and acoustic shows of yours throughout the years. You are easily my favorite punk rocker who is still alive...

With that said, I am also a huge Sublime fan, and with Bradley Nowell gone (R.I.P), I always try to find out as much new information or memories about him as I can. I was too young to see Sublime.

Do you have any specific memories about Bradley Nowell, or these dates you guys played with Sublime?

09.03.1995 - Concord, CA - Warped Tour (Ziggens + Lagwagon, more played the side-stage)

09.04.1995 - Irvine, CA - Warped Tour (Ziggens + Lagwagon, more played the side-stage)

09.05.1994 - Redlands, CA - Looks like an awesome punk rock show w/ Lagwagon, Sublime, Ten Foot Pole, ill Repute, White Kaps, and more.

Joey_Cape8 karma

He was a great singer. The Warped tour shows are more difficulkt to remember because there are so many bands. We played a show with Sublime at a venue called the Galaxy in orange county. I briefly met him that night. Seemed like a cool dude, although admittedly, I did not know him

The_Bongo_Man6 karma

Hey Randal,

Any updates on that b-sides Bad Astronaut album?

Also, super excited to be hearing a new Lagwagon album and I was curious if working with Joey Rapone has made the writing/recording process very different.

Thanks again!

Joey_Cape5 karma

We miss Jessie but Joe is a great replacement. The only one plausible really. He is a tryly gifted musician and is having a huge influence on the bands sound. Taking us back to the riff days. It's weird, there is so much shared history that chemistry was instantaneous.

DolanPlz6 karma


On the Fat Wreck Peepshow DVD, there's a clip of what appears to be a very intoxicated, very Southern dude yelling "Lagwagon" at a gas station. Where did that lovely interaction take place?

Joey_Cape8 karma

Can't remember but I know it was in the Mid-west U.S. somewhere between towns we were playing. Hilarious clip!

brastein6 karma

Hey Joey, I loved Lagwagon growing up. My first CD ever was Trashed. Loved the shit outta that, it's still my favorite Lagwagon album. Saw you guys once or twice in San Diego too. Good times :) But actually my question isn't related to music...

What's the number one thing bugging you about the state of the world today?

Joey_Cape21 karma

Lack of empathy. We have to care about each other to survive.

kogeliz6 karma

What were you like in high school?

Joey_Cape12 karma

I was obsessed with music. Didn't care mush for studies other than History and Literature. I was the guy who made mixed tapes for everyone based on some idea that I knew what they would like better than them. Haha

TheEvilBassist6 karma

I'm huge RKL fan.. I've read somewhere that at the beginning you were supposed to be their guitarist, how come that never happened?

Joey_Cape5 karma

I was playing with Jason Sears in one band and fooling around with Bomber and Chris in another setting. I introduced them and they hit it off. Truthfully, I was grounded by my Mom most of my childhood. I think those guys realized they were better off with a dude who could get out at night. Haha

BadAstroknot6 karma

Hey Joey,

I'm a longtime fan of your music - thank you for writing awesome tunes, they have been a big part of my life.

When writing songs (for any of your fine bands) do you prefer to write on the acoustic guitar or electric guitar or some other instrument we don't know of? And then orchestrate it for your band?


Joey_Cape8 karma

Acoustic has always been the tool. It's quieter and you can hear the notes better in the chords. Piano would have been best but I didn't learn

BoothaFett6 karma

Why did Shawn Dewey leave the band?

Joey_Cape9 karma

I think sometimes we just get tired of eachother when we spend so much time in close quarters. He visited the studio yesterday and we briefly spoke about it. We are still very close.

Trevor51x5 karma

Joey, man, I've seen Lag a bunch of times over my young life. But my only real question is what is the new album gonna be called? Oh and have you ever heard of the band HBA?

Joey_Cape9 karma

Don't the band but, the title is "Hang"

marcisme5 karma

Hey Joey, and chance you make another trip to Asbury Lane soon? I always appreciate that you take the time to talk to the fans for hours after the show even if we are in drunken stupers. One of my favorite shows ever was the show you did with Tony there....and I again apologize for being that drunk guy at the show, but you were still cool enough to talk afterwards.

Joey_Cape3 karma

I am playing Asbury Lanes on Sept 22nd with Chris Cresswell and Brian Wahlstrom. Super excited. Love the people and place.

TheCrimsonFlask5 karma

Hey Joey, how supportive was Fat Mike when you decided to go with the awesome idea of One Week Records? That Chris Cresswell album was pretty damn rad! Stoked for the new Lagwagon!

Joey_Cape6 karma

I'm not sure he knows about One Week. Haha. I assume he would think it was a cool idea. We don't do physical release and it is, so far predominately acoustic so there really isn't any possible competition issues there. Fat is releasing the Cresswell record on Vinyl.

northborn4 karma

Caper! Thanks for doing this AMA, dude.

How's the new album going? It seems with every album you guys change it up a little, and always for the better, but keeping that same awesome Lagwagon feel. Is that pretty much what to expect with the new one?

Also I've been wondering for a while, is that Fat Mike's ex-wife Erin doing guest vocals on E-Dagger?

Joey_Cape4 karma

The new album is going great. We are getting close to finished. I am really proud of it

BoothaFett4 karma

You spent a lot of time in Australia last year touring for the Tony Sly Tribute, Lagwagon and BA. It seemed like you were over here a good couple of months. Did you go home at all during that time? What was your favorite city in Australia?

Joey_Cape9 karma

I was there for 2 months. It was a bit tough. I started missing home but, Australia is about as easy going and cool of a place to be hauled up. I have many close friends there. In particular my friends Tash and John in Melbourne. I stayed with them most of the time. Love that city

4redstars3 karma

Hey Joey, If you've ever had the pleasure to run into Matt Skiba, did you punch him right in the face?

Joey_Cape6 karma

I couldn't hit that pretty face. Plus, I kinda love that guy.

thewerewombat3 karma

Hey Joey!

Loved seeing you/Brian Wahlstrom in Adelaide, Australia last year, any plans for you guys or Lagwagon to tour down under again any time soon?

Also really digging both releases on One Week Records so far, what other artists are you planning on/would you like to release in the future?

Joey_Cape5 karma

The next release is a guy from Quebec named Jo Bergeron. He is great. Has a very interesting voice and style. After that Betty and the Boy from Seattle and then a girl named Laura Mardon from London who lives in Australia. She has the voice of a siren and sing songs like Billy Bragg or Frank Turner. Political but beautiful.

ForDaEpicWolf3 karma

Hello again, Joey! Describe a day spent recording an album?

Joey_Cape6 karma

They vary. Yesterday was guitar all day. Today Vocals. Have to start soon :) Tomorrow Bass. We mix it up a bit to keep it fun and flowing.

DocdoorPeePee2 karma

I moved to Wisconsin from the West Coast why does nobody here know how awesome you are?

Joey_Cape5 karma

Yeah. Why? Hahaha

stanleymack2 karma

Hi Joey, I was talking to you in London a couple of years ago and you mentioned you had recorded an acoustic version of 'everyone else' I was just wondering if it has been shelved or if it's going to be used for your next solo album?

Joey_Cape5 karma

Hi Stanley. I never finished it but I will try my friend.

pigdestroyer12 karma

i work with johnny puke at tin roof and am looking forward to seeing you in september. has johnny always been a turd since you've known him? he won't stop playing the cover "believe". anyways, see ya soon.

Joey_Cape5 karma

Hahaha. Johnny has always been fine with me but, I have seen evidence. Sorry about the song. See you soon.

sublimememories1 karma

Who was your favorite band / person to perform with or collaborate with?

Joey_Cape5 karma

Brian Wahlstrom