QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE DRUMMER - JOEY CASTILLO
“Then, a couple hours later, I’m learning my first Queens [of the Stone Age] set. Now the pressure is on me - now I am replacing Dave Grohl.” - Joey Castillo, drummer, Zakk Sabbath, Bl’ast!, Trash Talk
ON EPISODE 14:
On this week in Science, the origins of life itself are in question. The oldest fossils ever found have been revealed in Canada and they could push back the origin of life millions of years while confirming ancient life on Mars. Dustin and Jeff then talk about knowing who you are and being confident in what you do on the What Fuels You segment. Finally, the World's Strongest Coffee Company is poised to partner with some other incredible businesses, and you can hear all about it on the update.
ABOUT JOEY CASTILLO:
Joey Castillo has been drumming professionally for a while and has lent his talent to some iconic bands. He joins the podcast this week to talk about his start and what it was like playing for Wasted Youth. Then he gets into an amazing story about how he was the drummer for Danzig, and had to quit to then immediately go on tour with Queens of the Stone Age! Plus he talks about becoming friends and bandmates with Zakk Wylde, and some of his current projects including Zakk Sabbath.
Jeff: For our listenership, how many projects are you involved with currently right now?
Joey: Well, officially, it would be Trash Talk, which I recorded the last record and I do whenever our schedules permit on both ends, theirs and mine. So that would be kind of one. That would be one of my main ones. Obviously Zakk, the Zakk Sabbath thing. A band Blood Clot that I do with John Joseph of the Cromags and God Youth and Nick Albery. Then let's see Blast, Trash Talk ... Oh, the Obliterations another kind of band I do, which, again, it's with people from other bands. So it has Steven from Black Mountain, myself, Sam Velde who was in Bluebird, and then my buddy Austin who was in the Saviors. So that's kind of another thing that we do, but that's, again, it's with schedules permitted. But great band.
Then me and Nick do Blast together. Me and Nick Albery do Blast together when we can, which we're going to be doing a record I guess in the near future.
Jeff: That's exciting.
Joey: Yeah, yeah. Then, like I say, then I just do ... Thankfully, there's just a lot of stuff that comes up. So whenever I can fit anything in, that's ... Time permits and it's reasonable for me to get into it. So, like I said, just that ... The Bronx is coming up in April, the first weekend in April for about two weeks, and then I got another kind of side project thing I do with Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman from Rancid. So we've been working on that for on and off again between schedules and stuff. But we got about ... We're about a record and a half or so into it. So we're just kind of figuring out how we're going to finish.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Dustin: Dude, yeah. You are everywhere, man. That is crazy.
Jeff: It's great to be busy.
Joey: Yeah. It's weird because I've always been busy my entire career, but I've always been very committed to my bands singlely. If that's the right word, or solely I should say.
Joey: During the Danzig days, it was pretty much strictly Danzig, a few things here and there, and then obviously Queens took up a lot of my time. The Eagles of Death Metal between Queens and Needles. It was like one finished and then the next one started and vice versa, back and forth, for about 11 years. So it's like the one thing that's kind of cool about I guess not being so committed to one thing is I get to play with so many great people in so many great things. It's kind of just ... It's a big, open playing field right now, which is cool. I just kind of if something comes my way and I dig it and it's cool and I got time, I'm down.
Jeff: That's the right attitude to have, especially in this type of business. Speaking of your career, I'd love to go all the way back. You started off basically with the iconic band Wasted Youth. I want to talk a little bit about what it was like playing music back then, back in the '80s, back in that punk scene as opposed to what you're doing now because you're so busy doing all these projects now. But like back then, you were just cutting your teeth on stuff like that.
Joey: Yeah. Yeah. The truth of it is it was a really different time in the sense for myself being that I was learning as I was going really. In all fairness to myself and everybody else involved with a lot of those bands and that time, there was no real kind of roadmap or anything, you know what I mean? It was like it was just kind of happening. Obviously the punk rock thing and the hardcore thing, whatever it was ... I think the motivation behind that was it was young kids getting involved, kind of doing it their way, which they understood best. Kind of just really taking direction from other kids and/or ... I mean, really, fanzines and record covers and kind of putting things together about it looks like they may have done it this way and it sounds like they could've done it this way. Then you just do it.
It was, for me, it was a really important thing to see and be a part of that because I remember the first time I literally ... I think I was in about eighth grade when I went to my first real gig, and that was in like '80. It was before I was even ... I was really just kind of ... I wasn't even like ... I wasn't this kid who ... I just shaved my head and went to a gig. I went out of curiosity with a friend of mine's older sister who knew I was really into this music. But I wasn't even old enough to drive. So it was like she's like, "You want to go to this gig? We're going to Whiskey." I was like, "Oh yeah. Okay. Cool." I went and it was X, the Gears, and the Blasters.
Jeff: Oh, hell yeah.
Joey: It was like, for me, it was completely life-changing because it opened my eyes and my ears to something that was really still pretty foreign to a lot of people. That was the '80s so it's like it still was in some people's eyes ... It was already well into the whole scene kind of thing happening. But still very, for kids my age, which were on the cusp of we weren't old enough to be around in '77 and '76 at gigs and seeing people like the Pistols and all that kind of shit. But it was this kind of new branch of punk rock that was now starting, which was a little more aggressive, a little more hardcore. The Germs were the thing for LA.
Jeff: Oh yeah.
Joey: It was like Black Flag was starting. So it as something that was like ... But at the same time, dude, it was like X and the Blasters were on this bill and they were really roots Americana music. You know what I mean?
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Joey: It was something else that I was going like ... Because I remember the first time I heard X too and it was just like I was completely blown away. It was like listening to Rodney on the weekends, Rodney Bingenheimer Show. It was just totally just like, "Oh my god. I found my thing." Now, again, like I said, I was just now starting to get into the real kind of getting someplace to see it but had to figure a way. The only way to make that ... The only way that that was going to ever happen was to meet other kids that were into that because the kids that I went to school with and the kids that were actually my age were not into that. A lot of them were really kind of pissed off at that whole punk rock thing. It was tough in the early days. People getting beat up by just random dudes because your hair was to short or they didn't like the color of your sneakers and shit. You know what I mean?
My life at that point too was the typical West Coast, California kid. It was skateboarding, punk rock, and just looking into all these things and finding these things out that were all kind of going hand in hand.
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Joey: Like I say, it was a really different time. The way I started playing drums just to begin moves, a friend had a kit and I started learning on that. My ear just lent it completely at that point I knew I wanted to play and it didn't matter what it was. I didn't care. I just wanted to play the drums. So we sat and banged around a garage and then my buddy moved and I didn't play for a long time. But when I started playing with Wasted Youth, it was I knew those kids and them from being around before I was involved. They were South Bay kids where I was from for the most. Alan the drummer and one of the other kids. But it was a band I loved. They were my friends. So when Alan had left the band and they kind of went back and forth between a couple other guys, I had run into Chet I think at Motorhead at the Civic or something. He was just like, "Dude, you want to play? I heard you play the drums." I was like, "Yeah. Okay." That's how that started.
The next thing I know we're recording and we're going on tour. My first tour ever. It was, again, jumped in a van all of us. We had no clue about where we were going or how we were going to do it other than we took Chet who was the guitar player, his brother was Lucky Lehrer the drummer for the Circle Jerks.
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Joey: So we had a little bit of a kind of old itinerary, something they gave us to kind of map off.
Dustin: Just like a trail map to follow of punk shows to follow.
Joey: Yeah. I think it was my first year technically out of high school because sadly I didn't finish because I just was like as much as I loved school and enjoyed it and obviously learning and in my school at that time was not a very happening place to be. It was like I was learning more seriously and I was taught more just from my friends that I had met outside of that. I was actually ... My parents were obviously like I said, they were a bit frustrated and not back in that whole idea of not finishing school. But it was just like they already knew that okay, he's got the bug for music. This is what ... He's not breaking the law, and he's not ending up in jail. There's no drugs and this kind of shit involved. He's not ... I'm actually getting out of doing it.
It was crazy to actually get their support and do that. To know that they trusted me to kind of follow through on something because it was weird. I tell most people this and I don't mean it in a way not to go after something, like a dream or something. But the way it all laid it out and kind of just happened for me, it was never about like I want to be famous and I want to be ... I want to do this and do that. I want to be ... It was just like I love music.
Joey: I just wanted to play. I was the youngest kid in the band at that time, Wasted Youth, and I had the least experience. But I just knew that I just wanted to play. Whatever was happening, wherever we were playing, wherever we were going, I'll be there. Weirdly, my career's kind of been that way too. It's always ended up okay and I've always ended up in the right place and doing the right things with the right people. I'm really grateful for that because I've never ... Like you were just saying, wow that's the way you should be. That's how you should do it. It's like it's just ... It sounds corny man, but it's just been my life and I've just let it kind of unfold like that. I've been really stoked for the most part. Obviously, there's been ups and downs. It's been very difficult at times. We all struggle and we all go through that.
Joey: But I never let those things really get in the way of me loving what I still love to do and playing and being creative.
Jeff: That's lead to a career that you like you just touched on, you've been able to do some incredible stuff. I mean, after ... We'll fast forward like 10 years after that, you're now drumming for Danzig.
Joey: Right. Yeah.
Jeff: You're going from being a punk band who's like going on the punk circuit, and now I'm sure you're doing world tours and stuff like that.
Joey: Yeah. That's what happened. It was weird because, for me, it was after the Wasted Youth thing kind of died out and we did our whatever, played, and it ran its course. I didn't really play for a little while after that because LA was really a strange place at that time. As far as the scene goes, I wasn't ... There was no nothing that I really wanted to be a part of as far as like just ... I wasn't like that anyways. I checked everything out and I went to see bands from ... Didn't matter. I mean, I went to see ... When I was a little punker, shaved head kid, it was at Disneyland watching Buddy Rich play. Then hopping fences at the Queen Mary in Long Beach to see Miles Davis. It was weird because it was just, as we all know, music is bigger than all of us. So that was my driving force. It's like that's what really kept me motivated and as far as going after what I loved to do, which was just playing.
So to jump ahead, like you say, the Danzig thing. It's like I'm playing in a band that was signed. This band Sugartooth, and we did a bunch of ... We played around and toured and worked and worked and worked. But the next thing you know, I'm at an audition for Danzig replacing my hero Chuck Biscuits. Who I think is still to this day the greatest ever. When I got that call, I thought it was a joke first of all when I got the call for the audition, number one. Number two, I didn't even want to do it at first. I was just like, "Ah. I got a band. I'm cool with my band."
Jeff: You were in Sugartooth at that time, right?
Joey: Yeah, yeah. It wasn't because of anything other than I was just in a band. I wasn't looking to leave my band.
Dustin: Yeah. Trying to stay loyal. Yeah, I get I.
Joey: That and we had a record deal. We were on a label. They were my bros. It just was kind of like that. But then yet at the same time, it was kind of like a friend of mine was like, "Hey, man. You really have to think about this." Then I was kind of like, "Yeah. Okay." I was the last guy to go in to audition and they were already on callbacks and I knew a few people going out for it. The next day I get a call from Glenn and his manager, and they're like, "Hey, man. Here's the deal. You got the gig. This is what we're doing. There's a gig next Tuesday. Then the records coming." I was like, "Whoa. Okay. I need a second." They're like, "No, dude. You got to make a decision right now."
Dustin: That must have been a little bit bittersweet having to actually go through with that like telling your guys, "Hey, I got the job with Danzig. I'm moving forward now." Was that tough?
Joey: Well, here's the situation. Yeah. Honestly, I mean, eventually, they understood. I did the thing like I ... Upon getting that call in the morning, the managers literally put it to me very bluntly because they had ... The weird thing about that whole thing was Glenn's managers at that time were actually trying to manage my other band, Sugartooth.
Joey: Then it was weird because that's where we met and Zakk had this weird connection because Zakk was on the ... We were both on Geffen Records at that time, and we were supposed to do a tour with ... It was supposed to be Pride and Glory, my band Sugartooth, and I think the Obsessed or something. It was some crazy tour that we were supposed to do all together back then. Then all of a sudden everything changed. I think like Zakk said he was like not on the label anymore. The Obsessed guys had a beef with their label. Then that's when I got this weird call from the Danzig, and then I call my lawyer at the time was Abandler, and I said, "Hey, I just got wind that we're getting dropped. I'm the only one that knows this because these managers from Danzig just told me. They're dangling this in front of me." He was like, "Listen," he was like, "Guys aren't getting dropped but there's definitely not going to be the second record for a minute. Okay. With that said, you, as your lawyer, I'm telling you-you need to do this and you should try to discuss it with the guys about staying around and maybe ..."
Dustin: So it made the decision a little bit easier.
Joey: It made it easier, but it made it very difficult because I now have this in my back pocket. I wanted to tell the guys like, "Hey, man. There's word going around that we're not going to be doing a second record." But it wasn't for sure and stuff. So when I sat down with them, I was just very honest. I said ... They were bummed. They felt a little bit I'm sure they were mad. They were pissed. They were hurt.
Joey: But at the same time, man, this Danzig tour started one week later. I was now I went from playing the small club scene, and my band tearing balls and kicking ass and touring with a lot of great bands. But I went from that to headlining Irvine Meadows the following week and having the tech and on a bus.
Joey: And flying to gigs.
Dustin: Next level shit.
Joey: Yeah, next level shit. Then for me, again, there was this added bonus to the whole thing, which was Glenn and Chuck and Eerie were all from the punk rock scene from the Misfits on down to Chuck being DOA and everything else.
Jeff: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Joey: Circle Jerks and ... There was this connection there that I really was like proud of and stoked to be a part of knowing that these were people that I looked up to and admired their ways of growing as players that I was now a part of. So that was huge. Th was rad for me and super ...
Jeff: Yeah. I mean, you touched on this a little bit and I feel like we got to talk a little bit about Zakk Wylde because he is so near and dear to the hearts of all of over here at Death Wish Coffee.
Jeff: So you met him back in those days, but now you're playing with him with Zakk Sabbath.
Jeff: Did you guys when you kind of met ... Did you basically become acquaintances and did you think you were ever going to be playing with him or did that ... How did that kind of ... How did you guys kind of like start playing together kind of thing?
Joey: Oh. I think the mutual connection between Zakk and I would be Blasko.
Joey: As we all know, Blasko's awesome.
Jeff: Also very near and dear to our hearts. Yes.
Joey: Yeah. He's got that thing, which I've known about Blasko because Blasko played at a short time with Danzig with me as well. But Blasko has that thing where he really ... Sadly, I hate to say it, speaking for myself, if a band calls me that literally has no chance in hell of ever doing anything other than just playing to themselves and here and there and I love them, I'm stoked. I'm like, "Yeah, I'll jam with you guys. Hell yeah. I'm in."
Jeff: That's awesome.
Joey: Blasko has that thing of going like, "This is going to do something and I really know you would be good for this." Or, "This person and this person I know can make something happen and make it viable and people want it and enjoy it." So when they called me to do the Zakk Sabbath thing, I was out with Scott at the time. I was out with Scott Weiland still. When he called me, I was kind of like, "Really?" I was like, "I don't get it? I mean, I get it because it sounds amazing, but you're going to do this Sabbath tribute thing?" It's like, "Yeah." I was confused. Is it going to be like the Ozzy versions of Sabbath because of Zakk or does it have to do with Zakk?
He's like, "No, dude. It's going to be traditional, straight down the fucking middle of what Sabbath is." A big of how we would play it. You play aggressive, Zakk plays aggressive, but yet very capable of keeping it in the lines and respect of what it should be without taking it ... I was like, "Oh, hell yeah. I'm into this." It was weird because when he called me, I think it was still early on. It was still months away from when it was actually going to happen because I think it actually went down in 2013 or '14 of October.
Jeff: All right.
Joey: So from when we were going to get together. Oh, wait. Maybe I'm wrong. Might have been '14 I think. So anyway, I forgot about it. I never thought that Blasko was going to follow up with any of this. He just called me and he was like, "Joey, are you into this? Would you be down?" I was like, "100%. I'm down." But then didn't really hear nothing. I was doing my thing and Zakk's out doing Black Label and the Hendrix thing and this and that. So obviously we follow each other. So I would see him and okay, cool. Then next thing I know, Zakk's like or Blasko's like, "Hey, dude. We got some dates booked and it's going to be around October. Then we're going to follow up with Nam and this." I was like, "Okay. Cool."
Jeff: So wait. So wait. So they booked dates. You hadn't even played together yet and dates are booked.
Jeff: Fans going. Wow. Holy shit.
Joey: That's what I was going to say. The next thing was I, again, man, I did not know at all what to expect at all. You know what I mean? It's like they send me the songs we were going to do, and I'm going like, "Okay." I'm listening to everything going like, "All right. So we're going to do these, but I'm just ..."
Jeff: What are they going to sound like?
Joey: We've never played together.
Jeff: Yeah, right? Yeah.
Joey: It was no real like, "Let's just get in a room and jam and see what happens." It was like, "No, dude, shows are booked." Okay, cool.
So the first place we met was at Nate's rehearsals, man. We're doing full-blown rehearsals for a gig. I had seen Zakk here and there I think at ... I bumped into him. I think the last time I actually saw him though I was still in Queens. It was one of the last tours I did with Queens and we were at Nate's together. Zakk was telling me. We were getting reacquainted with a bunch of shit. It had been awhile. He was telling me that he was sober now and doing all ... We were just kind of talking. I think it was me and then Josh outside was kind of catching up. Because at the time before that, I think the last time I saw him was when we did the Rock Honors and the Queens did a tribute to Sabbath. There was this weird beef with Josh and Sharon at the time. It was just this really weird thing. It was bizarre.
But anyways, yeah, man, so we get in the room over at Nate's and we seriously we just started playing the first fucking song, which I think was Into the Void, man. It was just like we stopped and it was just like, "Holy shit." It was like that was fucking awesome.
Joey: Just obviously dynamically it was a perfect fit for the three of us played and we just ... It was, of course, awesome because you're fucking playing Sabbath, but I'm getting ... In my brain, I'm playing it with Zakk and Blasko. It's just we're fucking rocking Sabbath.
So anyway, it just happened and it was easy and everybody's, our personalities were completely compatible and there was no weirdness at all. It was immediately just ... You know how Zakk is too, man. When you know him and you're his bro and you're on that side of him where it's like he's one of the best humans around, man. He's just fun and he's hilarious and it's just Zakk.
We all know how he is as a player.
Dustin: He's a maniac.
Joey: He's a fucking maniac.
Dustin: You're all fucking maniacs that's why it's so awesome.
Joey: That's the thing too. It's like those bands and those things and those people that bring that out of me, that's when I know that I'm doing something that I love and what's right. Because I feel that thing as well. We went out and did those first three shows, which were here in LA, and there were just blown out. People were just freaking the fuck out. Then we were just kind of like, "Oh, okay." We did Nam and that kind of sealed it. Afterward, Zakk's like ... Zakk and Blasko called me and they're like, "Hey, man. We're getting some offers for some tours," which crazy enough, none of us really can believe. "Are you into this?" I was like, "Hell, yeah. I'm into it." It's like I love it and it's a great time. I want to keep doing it. I'm stoked to just be a part of it.
Shortly after that, I think we did a couple more shows. One or two here and there, and then we ended up doing a Clutch run.
Joey: Which, again, was unchartered territory for us about actually going on the road and doing this. So we were kind of, again, when ... Especially because Clutch are my bros and I've known for really a long time. They're fucking amazing.
Jeff: They're so ...
Dustin: We're pretty huge fans.
Joey: Yeah. I mean, so you know, dude, it's a really amazing thing to be a part of when they welcome you into their world as well. So we were kind of like, "Okay." I was kind of the same thing. Like, "All right. This is kind of weird but it's pretty badass and I can see it being fun and a great time, but what's the audience going to think of us doing Sabbath covers?" But then again you got the guys from Clutch who know exactly what it's about and they're like, "No, man. We want you guys here because it's not just ... You guys aren't just a cover band." I mean, technically, yes we are. But there's a thing that happens when we do it. It's kind of like I don't know. I don't mean it in a disrespectful way. But if you can kind of own it a bit and make it a bit of, kind of ... Zakk kind of make it his thing, and I make it mine but then still keeping it within the lines of where it should be and never disrespecting it hopefully. It's like that's pretty amazing. From what I gather from people and friends and other players, that's kind of what we do. So that's been the amazing thing about it.
Jeff: That's really great. I want to go back a little bit again because we were talking a little bit on it. You've done stuff like what you're doing now with Zakk and talking about filling in for Biscuits and doing Danzig for so many years like you did. But you are also known to so many people in the world were a humongous part of Queens of the Stone Age. Both D-man and myself are incredible fans of your work with that band and that band as well. Is there a difference in something like that whereas ... What I mean by that is like you're playing with bands like Danzig that are in a sense already established, that have already been out there, but you're the drummer on Queens of the Stone Age with one of my personal favorite albums, Lullaby's to Paralyze, and that's kind of when that band broke. Is there a difference as a career musician like you are for something like that, or is it all just kind of just riding that wave kind of thing?
Joey: Well, the thing about with the Queens thing, which was, again, there was a bit of history.
Jeff: A little bit, yes.
Joey: Prior to me joining, which was when I was in Sugartooth, Josh and ... Was still doing Caius. We played around a few times and we were friends with Mario Lalli who was a big part of writing with Josh and Queens. [inaudible 00:30:45] stuff like that. So we went out and did a few of them generator parties out there with those guys. So there was we knew who each other were and we were always cool with each other when we saw each other. So we knew there was that thing that happened. Then I was always a fan, you know what I mean? I really, really just to this day one of my favorite records is still the first Queens records.
Jeff: Oh, hell yeah.
Joey: It's just to me ... I know a lot of people differ. Probably Josh himself, but I think it was the timing of that record and I think the space he was in as a writer was still yet to be surpassed. You know what I mean? Even me being a part of it for so long with Lullaby's and with Era and the half of the last record. Then the touring, coming in right after Grohl and then touring all of Def and it was ... Especially at that time with Def coming in like that because I had went ... The thing was people don't know is me and Josh kind of go reacquainted with each other as players was when I went to Europe ... Sorry, went to the UK with Goat Snake opening for Queens. That was on R and it was their last run that they were going to be doing before they started Def.
So we kind of got, like I said, we were all friends. We were kind of always knew what one another might have been doing but not really. So that was kind of the door that got opened again like, "Oh." Apparently, that's when they kind of were tossing around with giving me a call. I guess they ended up going with Grohl to do the record because they had some issues with other people and things. That thing, the way it came about was so typical fashion of how things happen for me, man. It was like, "Okay. Here's the situation. Grohl's not doing the tour. Tour starts this date. Blah, blah, blah. Can you do it?" I was like, "Okay. Well, give me the stuff and I'll start working on it. We'll play." Within a day of that happening, Josh calls me and is like, "Bro, it's just not going to happen. I've had a death in the family and I've got to go back to handle some biz with my folks." I'm like, "Dude, handle your biz. Don't worry about it. I get it. No problem."
That goes a day goes by after that and he's like, "We got to try this because if we don't try this, it's going to bother me forever that we at least didn't give it a shot. Can you come down on Sunday to at least play?" I was like, "Dude, I've had no time to learn the new stuff," which was no one ... It's like the new record. The CD that they sent me at that time, it didn't have titles so I was learning songs by numbers, and there was confusion on that because the record had so many commercials in between. So the songs all went into one big song basically.
So he was like, "Doesn't matter. Let's just do it." I'm like, "Okay." So I literally had no expectations whatsoever. Then just going in and maybe rocking a few songs that I loved.
Mind you, dude, I knew what they had already been going through because they had been auditioning a bunch of players. I knew the guy who apparently had the gig. He was telling people he had the gig. That's another reason I was kind of like, "I don't think this is probably going to happen."
Dustin: That makes it a little bit awkward, huh?
Joey: Yeah. It was like that. Again, I had no expectation. I went down, went to a rehearsal room on a Sunday and it was just me and Nick. The only person that did know about it other than ... I mean, obviously, Lanegan knew about it because I think Lanegan actually called me at one point and said, "Would you be willing to check it out after all?"
Joey: So when I get down there, it's me, Josh, and Nick setting up. They had still even been rehearsing up until the night before with the guy because they were leaving on Monday to start this run.
Dustin: Oh, man.
Joey: So I kind of felt weird too because I was like, "Man, am I just being that ... I don't want it to be weird. I don't want these guys to feel weird like I'm fucking ..."
Dustin: You don't want to take a dude's job, especially if you like him.
Joey: Take a dude's job and then know how hard that these dudes have been working trying to find a guy and they were going back and forth between two other dudes. It was a lot. The only reason I know this was because, like I say, I heard it about it from a few people, and then Josh kind of telling me what was happening.
So we went in and I think we started playing the first song I think we did I think may have been No One Knows or something. We got through that. We got through it and they were like, "Cool. That was rad. Let's do something else." I think we did Avon.
Joey: They asked me, "What do you want to do?" I just said, "Hey, dude. Let's just go for something that I know and let's do Avon." We started it and we clicked it off. The thing that happened in the room at that moment and I know it sounds fucking corny as shit, but it happened. We all knew it happened.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Joey: It was like and Josh literally I think stopped me before the song was done. He said, "Okay. Cool, man. I need five minutes." I didn't know that I got the gig. I thought maybe, "Okay. Cool. We know now. They don't need to do anything else and this and that." So I'm kind of packing up my shit and Josh comes back in. He was like, "Okay, bro. We leave tomorrow, man. We got to do this." I'm like, "Dude, wait a minute." It's like noon on a Sunday. He goes, "We've got to do this. I just fired the drummer." I'm like, "Dude, no. Man." It was like, talk about pressure. I'm like, "Fucking tomorrow." He's like meet him outside now. He goes, "Let's talk some quick business." Same thing, dude. Those kinds of guys, when they know, they just ...
So I was like, "All right." So at the same time, the four of us get back in the room because Troy's now there, and he's like, "Let's regroup in a couple hours. You go handle what you need to handle. I need to go do what I need to do and do something." So again here I was in this thing. So I had to get on the phone and call Glenn, which didn't go over well.
Jeff: I can't imagine that phone call.
Joey: Yeah. It was a bummer, dude, because ... Mind you, me and him are, we're gold now. He's my bro and I love him and I get it. I spent a good six/seven years with him. I stuck around from Eerie and John no longer in the band to all the different versions of it. I loved him, man. Because Glenn always ... He's my bro. I still to this day he always treated me fairly and he treated me great. Despite all the horror stories, I never had those kinds of run-ins with him ever. I just didn't.
So I called him and I tried to make it as smooth as I possibly could. He was pissed. I understood that. I said, "Well you know ..." When we hung up I was like, "I hope we can get past this at some point, but I understand." He was like, "Whatever." So we hung up and then it was I was in there a couple hours later, man, trying to learn a set, a Queen set for the first in-store we were doing, which we were playing, which was up in San Francisco at the Bridge Mega Store. Then we were coming back to do I think it was Amoeba or it was San Diego and then Amoeba.
Now, it was the pressure was on me now. Now you're replacing Grohl.
Dustin: Yeah. Not only do you have to step into David Grohl's shoes, you have to do it tomorrow. You got a couple hours to pack up. That's wild, man.
Dustin: And you have to quit Glenn Danzig's band at the same time. Hold on. Let me put myself in your shoes for a little bit. You've got a whirlwind going on. You have to quit Glenn Danzig's band. You got to fill in for Dave Grohl. You've got to fill in for Dave Grohl tomorrow with Queens of the Stone Age, which who you totally at this point you already know that they're awesome and you get to be part of this awesome thing. What fuels you to like do what you're doing? What is it that really makes you tick to do all this awesomeness?
Joey: I think, again, and it's funny. I have to say, bro, you nailed it. I never even thought about it that way until you just put that into words about what I had to do at that given moment. My whole thing I think really is I've never really looked at myself that maybe handled things well under pressure. I just handled things as they came my way, okay? Now, with that, I'm not going to say, believe me, I'm not fucking going off in my own head about things. But the one thing that I will say about coming into the band after Grohl, and this is what me and Josh spoke about. He said, "You know, Joey, that's ..." I remember him saying to me, "I believe other than the fact of your capabilities, that that is the reason why you've been here." I was there for so long was that when I was asked that question over and over again, I said to people, and it was in all honesty, "I'm not only coming in just after Grohl." No disrespect. I love Grohl. He's a great ... We all know that. But I have two other drummers, three other drummers in front of him that were in that band that I have to come in and ... Who did great work as well that I need to come in and do what I do yet still be me but respect those things.
It was the same thing when I joined Danzig coming after Biscuits. It was like he's my be all end all. People who know me know that. That was part of the reason why I didn't want to do it because I was like, "I don't ever want him to not approve of what I do or I don't want him to think that I'm not doing a great job." Whatever. I just didn't want to know those things. But at the same time, it was like, "Okay. I just have to step up. I have to do what I do. I have to try to own what I do, but yet still retain who I am. And still, at the end of the day, besides try to do a great job is have fun doing it." Because I've been in a couple situations now where I had to do a gig or something that I didn't particularly like or didn't maybe fit or didn't feel but I had to do it. I don't mean in any kind of way to disrespect anybody that makes a living because we all have to do it I guess. Up until that point, I never had to. It was something I had to really kind of ... I understood how you can see where some people just are playing something because they're just there playing something.
Dustin: That becomes pretty soul-sucking though.
Joey: It does. It does. That's the thing where it goes back to where people were like, "What are you going to do after Queens?" I was like, in my brain, I was like, "What do you mean what am I going to do?" I played before I was in Queens. I'm going to continue to play. People who knew me knew that too, but obviously, that was a big departure for me. It is what it is. Queens is a giant fucking band. It's a big machine now. But I was ... Thankfully I was a part of it when it was still on the come up. I was a part of it and I thank you when you say a big part of it. It's something that I'm always forever grateful for and stoked to have been a part of.
But when I think the only way to tackle anything whether it's something like that or whether it's just somebody calling you, like, "We need you to do this." I have to put all things aside, my ego, everything else, and just focus on what I've been asked to do. I find seriously when ... Because I can easily talk myself out of going the other route, which is picking myself apart, picking the situation apart. But the moment I just let it all go like that kind of shit and just like ... Because believe me, man, it was when I was going in with Zakk as well, it was hard for me to be a bit open with my own self because I'm going like, "Oh, dude. Zakk's played with everybody. He's a guitar god."
Dustin: Yeah, you can't think about it too much. You can't psych yourself out. You just got to do what needs to be done.
Joey: Exactly. The thing that I find it is I'm going like, "Oh yeah. He asked me to be here. He knows who I am. He knows what I do." Again, like with Queens and everything else and even coming in, like you say, discussing after the Grohl thing and going down the lines. It was I just had to remind myself, man, that I'm there for a reason. I love what I do. I still believe that I do what I do well. Not to get stuck on that kind of shit because all that stuff as we know it can be fake news. You know what I mean?
Joey: I hate to say that but it's just people talking shit who want to dig into something and get something from something that really is bigger, again, bigger than all of us. It's music, man. If you love it and if you're the guy to do it, you're there for a reason. There's obviously there's a lot of things I know I'm incapable of doing, that I would never dream of getting myself into. But I just have to remember that who I am and why I'm there and that I more than likely have been asked to do this because I am capable.
Jeff: That's awesome. You have a great outlook on what you do and life as well. Honestly, just finally, I just want you to be able to tell all of our listeners what you can plug coming up for you. I know we talked about at the top of this interview all the different stuff that you kind of got your hands in, but like is there anything in the near future that that's coming out or that you're going to be ... Shows that you're going to be playing that you want to plug?
Joey: Let's see. Like I say, as far as a new project ... The new Trash Talk Records, which is called Tangle, which is free on iTunes and Spotify, everything else.
Joey: That just came out a few months back. I got a new record coming out with Blood Clot, which is Nick Albery and myself, John Joseph and Todd, which I think is coming out on Metal Blade. That is in July.
Joey: We're going to be doing, and it's hardcore. But it's with three great musicians and players who are all from big backgrounds of big band, the Cromags, and Warzone. Me and Todd played in Danzig together. Obviously, me and Nick played in Queens together and this and that. It's really great players and a fun band. So that's coming out in July. Then, like I say, I'm going out with two weeks with the Bronx in America and Canada. That's in April. I got stuff coming up. But obviously, I'll see everybody else May and June when I'm out with Zakk doing the states and doing some big festivals. Looking forward to that, which I know we start on the East Coast I heard. Two shows in New York, which is awesome. I think they're both sold out already.
Dustin: That's so cool.
Joey: Yeah. Yeah. So, again, I'm looking forward to all that. Anybody who doesn't know my Instagram is TheJoeyC. I usually keep a pretty good update of what I'm doing or up to on there.
Dustin: I feel like I could sit here and talk to you about awesome rockstar stuff for hours.
Jeff: Yeah. But thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.
Dustin: Yeah, man. Really appreciate it.
Joey: Thank you, guys. I really appreciate you guys having me. I receive all the amazing jet fuel coffee that I'm able to do things like this that you guys provide.
Jeff: Heck yeah.
Dustin: Well, if you come by this way with Zakk. I don't know exactly where the tour hits, but if you come by this way again, make sure to stop by HQ and we'll really load you up. Maybe we could sit down face to face and have another talk. That would be amazing.
Joey: Yeah, I'd love that, brother, for sure. For sure.
Dustin: Cool, man.