Copyright © 1998 All Rights Reserved.
by Mary-Lynn McEwen
Sunday, July 12
When punk rock player Joe Sib moved to Los Angeles seven years ago, he knew he was journeying to music biz Mecca, not only as a player in the underground band WAX, but also as a fan of all that the dirty underbelly of the city stood for. And after meeting other pilgrims there, getting a chance to hook up with members of Weezer, the Adolescents, and face to face to form 22 Jacks, and collecting a plethora of his own fans along the way, Sib remains in awe of the mysteries of his Mecca.
"I've lived for seven years smack dab in the middle of Hollywood. The best thing is you get to see every band - every band will come through here. Last week it was Billy Bragg, then Shane MacGowan and the Popes. On my way home I ran into Nikki Sixx hangin' out in a record store," Sib gushes, an exclamation point in his voice hammering home every sentence.
"I love the fact that I can go and see someone at the Palace two miles away, and they'll end their last song and I'll be back at my house kicking back while they're still loading their gear."
Such impeccable influences have been sweet fertility for the two-year-old band, whose second release Overserved collects 10 melodic tracks that stagger and weave between dirty power punk and pure pop homage, including remarkable covers of the Police and Smoky Robinson. When pressed about his influences, Sib is forthright.
"Sometimes I think 22 Jacks is guilty by association. Our only pure association with punk rock is that three of the members come from quote/unquote punk rock bands, Steve Soto from the Adolescents and me from WAX, or Kelly Lemieux from Fear. But I don't really consider this a punk rock record, 'cause to me, punk is the Clash or the Damned. I don't really know what the hell punk is in the '90s any more.
"If you listen in our van you'll hear everything from Motown to Cherry Vale, Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash. With this record, we wanted to let people know we were into different things, whether it's Steve singing 'Tracks of My Tears' in a very straight Motown kind of way, or our version of 'Message in a Bottle.' We souped it up a bit, went in and put some of us into it, took a little bit of them (The Police) out of it, maybe, and it turned out really cool."
The band rounds out its cover version festival with none other than Joey Ramone singing Cheap Trick's "I'll Be With You Tonight" on the seventh track.
But even Mecca and it's homage to musical sainthood sometimes grows tiresome to a pilgrim of Sib's stature, and then he has a ready remedy: the demon Las Vegas. "When I've had enough of LA and the industry, I escape to Vegas. You can live like a king on $300 - stay at New York, New York, gamble, eat a lot of food and swim in the pool, drink more than you should and act like you've got a body made of steel."
And as long as such sins give pilgrims like Sib more fuel to return to Mecca and repent at the altar of rock, the disciples and listeners should be appeased.
Back To This Issue Table of Contents
Back To Main Index