Interview with Joey Duenas from ANew Revolution
Joey Duenas from Anew Revolution May 2, 2008
MI: What happened with you and Unloco?
Joey: Uh, you know, it was a marriage that fell apart. We were a band that had the same goals, at the very beginning of it all, and then as it got bigger and bigger, like, those roads started to tree off and go in different directions. When that happens you start losing site of what it’s really all about. You start fighting more, and stop talking to each other and the communication just breaks down and before you know it, you are walking away from each other and that’s basically what happened.
MI: I figured that’s what happened, I figured that…
Joey: It took a really long time, but it was funny, me and Pete were the ones really battling each other and we hadn’t spoken in such a long time, and it’s funny because now he and I have put aside our differences and we’re able to sit down and have beers together again, and just kind of reminisce and talk about the old days…it took us a while but… we’re back to being friends again…
MI: You’re at least back to talking, and that’s the most important thing. Who came up with the name ‘Anew Revolution’?
Joey: Uh, the band, we kinda all fell into it, you know. We thought of like, as times are changing and things become different – especially within our own organization and structure, you know, what we needed was a revamp of everything, some sort of a revolution. A new taste of blood, you could say, so we just kind of tag-lined it and made that our mantra – everything from the beginning, from scratch, you know and let’s go full forward.
MI: So who are the new band members?
Joey: Well, I have Shawn Stockton on guitar, and Frank Silvatgio on bass, and Robert Erbani on drums.
MI: And you’re happy with them all?
Joey: Oh yeah, totally.
MI: And you’re the main boss over there?
Joey: (laughs) Well, we’re four bosses. We have equal parts in this. Everything is split 25% across the board. Two of the guys in the band also used to be in another band that was signed, and they kind of went through the same thing my old band did. So now in this band we know what problems arise when it comes to fame and money and crap like that. When you keep it split across the board, everyone’s happy and there is no need for arguments.
MI: So tell me how did my baby Joey end up on Koch Records?
Joey: Oh man, well, just touring our asses off for the last three years unsigned, and then opening up for a band called Dope, like three times on three separate tours, and Dope actually ended up getting signed by Koch and told the new Vice President of Koch, Scott Givens, about us and that he thought we were a great act and it turns out that Scott Givens had signed two of the guys in my band, back in the day, to Divine Records. So he was their old A&R guy! So he got back in touch with us, came out to see us play, and was totally blown away and the next day offered us a deal. So here we are.
MI: Do you think that Koch will eventually offer you your own label with Anew Revolution?
Joey: You know I wouldn’t mind! That would be great. We could really hone in on our marketing and our A&R direction, but I mean, they do a great job, a fabulous job, regardless.
MI: What were you doing in between the time when you and Unloco separated and Anew Revolution began?
Joey: Well, I knew at that time that I was done with music for a little bit, and I kind of separated myself from it a little bit, you know? By the time I got off Ozzfest, I went home, you know, when you are out on the road for like a year straight, you don’t have a place to live or anything – the road is your home. So, I think I went back to my parents house and locked myself in my room for like a month and tried to get my head straight about what it was that I wanted to do because when you do something for eight years and it’s all you know, and all of a sudden it’s over, you’re kind of confused of what’s the next step. And there is nobody that’s gonna tell you what to do. And it’s funny because David Draman had called me up and was like, “Hey, my buddy in Filter is looking for a singer, and he started a new band and I told about you.” So I got in touch with Gino from Filter and flew out to Chicago an d we wrote a couple of tunes here and there and worked on a lot of stuff for about a month, and all we did was sit around and bitch about our old bands (laughs) there wasn’t a lot of work being done, and I knew that wasn’t the thing for me. So I came home, back to Austin, and got in touch with Rob and Frank and then we started really hammering down. That was when I knew I couldn’t do it like that, that we had to start from scratch, like a clean slate.
MI: So you go meet up with your old friends and it was like a hen fest with old ladies (laughing)…
Joey: (laughing) Exactly, you know who needs it, you can’t build something on shit. You can’t do it.
MI: tell me something, on the album work, I know you did the artwork, is that your arm?
Joey: No it’s not; it’s the guitar player Shawn’s beautiful arm there.
MI: That is the most excellent cover I have seen in a long time, inside and out.
Joey: Thank you! You know, a lot of people have told me that. Thank you very much. That’s awesome.
MI: What does Bristol-Meyers have to do with you?
Joey: Bristol-Meyers? (laughs)
Mi: Yes, I saw it in the liner notes...
Joey: Well, it’s not the company Bristol-Meyers! It’s actually my legal attorney.
MI: (laughing) Wait until you read my review of your cd – at the bottom of it I ask you “What does Bristol-Meyers have to do it? Joey, what happened?” But it’s your lawyer!
Joey: Nooo, it’s my legal attorney. I got in some trouble awhile back. (laughing)
MI: Who did most of the writing on the new album?
Joey: Pretty much all four of us. We’d go home, come up with some kind of structure or idea for a song and come in the studio and everyone would add their own flavor and taste to it and make it what it is. You know, tear it apart and build it back up again and go from there. So it was all a collective process. We stayed inside the studio for like eight hours a day and thought of it like a job, you know. It was our job to write music.
Mi: Is there any specific song that you love off the new album?
Joey: I really love the way “Love To Hate” came out, and I love the way “Enemy” came out. I think that those are two really creative songs that me personally, as a writer had never done before.
MI: Is there a message you are trying to send out to the world, especially your fans, with this album?
Joey: Don’t take shit from anybody! (laughs) Whether it be relationships, politics, financial stuff, whatever, you know? You can’t find yourself being beat down; you’ve got to really kind of rise above everything and move right past it.
MI: It’s been a long time since we’ve talked, Joey, so tell me how the death of Dimebag Darryl affected you and the band?
Joey: Oh man, I was really crushed. I had actually had the opportunity to play on stage with Dime and his brother a couple times at some Ozzfest shows, so to see that happen was just fucking heart wrenching. Anybody who had ever met Dime, whether you met him for two minutes or knew him for twenty years, he was one of the coolest, nicest people in the world. When it comes to someone like Dime, or even old Dave Williams, those are people that are irreplaceable and there will never, ever be anybody like them.
MI: Exactly, Exactly, now, are you taking more security measures at the shows because of this?
Joey: Um, me personally, no. But it does weird you out a little bit. The other night we were playing a show and I noticed that someone had made it past the barrier and was standing right in front of us – and it was a girl- but at the same time, my tech was saying, you know, any time that happens, get them away from the thing because you just never know. People are just psychotic sometimes. You trust the clubs to have the best kind of security available. We’ve actually played the Villa a Rosa a couple of times now.
MI: How does it feel?
Joey: It’s a club, you know, people come out, shows are always sold out. We never really mention anything about Dime onstage, because everybody knows what happened, and it’s a little eerie feeling, but…
MI: Do you feel him there?
Joey: Yeah, and the security there, they’ve always got a guy now on side stage and at the back door, whereas before ANYBODY could just want in and out. Some clubs that you go to, the security guys take their job a little too seriously and fucking throws YOU out (laughs).
MI: But you did feel him there, didn’t you…
Joey: Oh yeah, totally. It’s got this eerie, weird feeling like something bad happened.
MI: Do you feel more emotionally closer with ANR than you did in Unloco? Do you feel more secure with them?
Joey: I feel very more secure with them.
MI: The new album is a masterpiece in my eyes. I believe it should be nominated for a Grammy this year. How does that make you feel?
Joey: Accomplished! (laughs)
MI: Because guess who is on the board of the Grammys? I’m a Grammy Associate, darling.
Joey: Are you really? Nice.
MI: And who am I going to pick for New Metal Band of the Year? Or Best New Rock Band?
Joey: Hopefully, you’d pick me.
MI: Of course I’m going to pick you. Who the fuck do you think I’m gonna pick. I even put it down in the goddamn review, “This album deserves a Grammy.”
Joey: Thank you. No, seriously, we’ve worked so fucking hard on this record, and really tried to make it something that wasn’t already out there. When everyone was trying to be brutal and heavy, we were trying to be honest and true. When we recorded it, we decided we weren’t going to put any samples on it; everything on the record has a microphone on it.
MI: Now here we go with the stupid question, okay? Last time I saw you, 5 years ago, you said to me that you saw the band getting older and getting more broken bones, you were laughing. Now tell me, where do you see ANR in the next five.
Joey: In the next five years I see us still touring. I see us being an established act. Not necessarily an act that’s like multi-platinum fucking superstar Britney Spears kind of shit, but a band that is a steady, consistent selling act that we can hit any city and play in front of a thousand people and treat our fans with the utmost respect like we’ve done since day one. That’s where we see ourselves and I hope we stay that way.
MI: What is the first video you plan to release for the album?
Joey: “Done” actually. We are flying out on Monday to go shoot it.
Joey: Yeah, we’re flying out to New York City to go shoot it.
MI: What part of the city?
Joey: New Jersey. We’ve got Dave Nabroski doing the video. He’s done like Sworn Enemy and Soilent Green, bands like that.
MI: Well, do me a favor, have you ever been to Jersey? Remember when you are driving through Secaucus, hold your nose.
Joey: (laughs) Dude! There is an awesome bus terminal in Secaucus, next to the Holiday Inn for two dollars you can hit the city, it’s awesome. That’s where all the bands stay. There are always two or three tour buses there.
MI: A lot of bands are on Myspace, both local and national bands, do you see Myspace as a good thing or a bad thing?
Joey: I see it as a good tool for publicity, but it also can add a false identity to somebody. Because any band can get a player adder program so it shows you’re doing like, two thousand plays a day, but then you go play a show, and there’s like two people there, it doesn’t translate.
MI: Are you also on Facebook?
Joey: Yes, we are on Facebook, we are on Myspace, and we don’t have players or any adders or anything. All our shit is natural. And it shows, because when you see a thousand plays a day, you’ll see a couple hundred people at our shows. And that’s what’s really important. I think it’s really depressing that a label will sign a band because they get like two thousand hits a day but they’re not selling shit. It’s false. You can be whoever you want to be on Myspace.
MI: So how is your personal life going? Tell me about Nicole Thomson. When’s the wedding date?
MI: Oh, yes, Joey, I did my homework on you baby boy. So you know I’m shooting the wedding, Joey.
Joey: Well it was supposed to be in October, but we had to postpone because of the record deal and the push for the record. (To Nicole -) When are we getting married, babe?
Joey: (laughs) She says tomorrow.
MI: Tell her I’ll be there. With all three cameras, I’ll be there (laughs).
Joey: You’d come out and shoot my wedding? That would be awesome. We’re trying to relocate out to LA, and hopefully after we get settled out in Los Angeles, we’ll get married.
MI: You’re vocals have got much stronger since the last time I’ve seen you. What have you done differently?
Joey: What have I done? I quit smoking.
MI: You quit smoking? You were smoking like a tree last time I saw you.
Joey: Yes, I was smoking like a tree last time you saw me (laughs). So I quit smoking and you know I actually think I grew up a little bit? I matured a lot more.
MI: So let’s say Unloco was a stepping stone?
Joey: I would say it was a good stepping stone. It was a great, gigantic stepping stone into this next thing. But the thing is also too, with the vocals, I’m working with some really good writers who, the guys in my band, they know music, they know theory, they know notes, they know chords, they know everything and so it makes it a lot easier to come up with better vocal melodies and song structure.
MI: Okay, now we’re going to get political. With the new presidential race coming up, are you going to be voting?
Joey: Yeah, I am.
MI: And who are you voting for?
Joey: Do I have to say? (laughs) I haven’t made my decision yet!
MI: How do you think Bush has handled the last four years since we’ve talked?
Joey: Well, driving around the United States, and getting to see people from across the country, I think he’s really fucked this place up.
MI: If you could tell Bush anything, what would it be?
Joey: I would just say, hey man, go away. Go far away and let everybody else deal with his mess. (laughs) I think a lot of bad decisions were made. He let a lot of his friends come in and pick this country clean, in terms of big business and stuff like that, cuz the little man is hurting pretty bad, you know?
MI: If you had a million dollars, what charity would you donate it to?
Joey: there is actually a foundation in Austin, Texas called HAAM, and they supply musicians like myself with free medical insurance.
MI: I was just reviewing Nikki Sixx’s book, The Heroin Diaries, and he talks about founding and funding a program through Covenant House called “Running Wild in the Night” for kids on the streets to have an artistic outlet. Do you see yourself undertaking something like this in the future?
Joey: I would love to. I would donate to that organization or there’s this other foundation that helps musicians that have drug abuse problems or that need some sort of psychological therapy and can’t afford it.
MI: It’s funny that you bring that up because I was interviewing Chris Barnes when Chuck Schundler died – he had no medical coverage.
Joey: The majority of us don’t., you know?
MI: When is the next ANR album coming out, my darling?
Joey: Well this is in its first cycle so hopefully maybe next year. Hopefully we’ll come home and start writing in the fall and get ready to release something next year.
MI: …and you’ll be married.
Joey: …and I’ll be married, that’s right. (laughs)
MI: How would you say the music industry has changed since the last time we talked?
Joey: Well, it’s changed in the fact that nobody buys CDs anymore; it’s going more the way of digital, which is fine. I think when they can get people to stop downloading stuff for free and just buying songs for a dollar, I mean, you can’t even buy a gallon of gas for a dollar, but you can buy a really cool tune for a dollar.
MI: Now, supposedly vinyl is making a big comeback. If you had a chance to release your CD on both CD and vinyl, would you do it?
Joey: Oh, absolutely. It would be great to have in on vinyl and have everything else online, you know?
MI: I recently saw on the news that the immigrant workers are still being treated as slave labor for our major corporations. Do you believe that since they are doing America’s dirty work that they should be offered a proper living wage and access to healthcare?
Joey: I believe that if you want to work here and live here that you should try to learn the language and be citizens. You know I’m actually Hispanic, and my parents came across the US when they were young, illegally. But my parents ended up going to school, getting an education, and you know my dad’s almost got his masters, he’s an accountant. My mom is the VP of a company. So they made something of themselves, but I believe you should come to this country and try to better yourself.
MI: How do you feel about the illegal downloading of music and how has it affected sales of your album?
Joey: well, it’s funny, I was talking to Evil Jay from Otep about that the other day and he was saying that they sold 20,000 records their first week, but they also had their record illegally downloaded over 60 thousand times. Even when someone like Radiohead offers their album for free, people still go to Limewire and download it illegally. So, I mean…it’s one of those things that I just don’t understand. I think people still have the misconception that if you have a record deal that you have a lot of money, you’re on a tour bus…but they don’t see the dirty work behind it, where it’s like, no, we DON’T have any money. We DON’T own a tour bus, and it’s the equivalent of digging a ditch, and someone is going to pay me money for digging the ditch, and then someone just comes along and takes my money.
So I dug the ditch for free. The thing about it is that it’s just the wave of the future; it’s just where things are going. The thing about is that the major labels like Warner Brothers just put their fingers in their ears and decided that “nope, there’s nothing wrong and we can still charge like, 18 bucks for a single.” And it’s not that way anymore, so they’re getting a big slap in the face. It’s their job to come up with something to make it fair for everybody. I think the industry needs to catch up with what the future’s done.
MI: When are you coming back to Atlanta?
Joey: I think we might be coming back to Atlanta sometime in July. We’re supposed to be hitting the road with Kitty and Dope.
MI: If you and ANR could have lunch with any three people, living or dead, who would it be?
Joey: (repeats the question to Shawn)
MI: Oh, now we get the whole band? (laughs)
Joey: Well, we are on the way to Houston. I would say, Lane Staley, who else…Shawn would like to have lunch with Freud….and who else…Nicole said Oprah. (laughs)
MI: If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and what would the theme song be?
Joey: hmmm…well, I’m going to think very highly of myself and say that Johnny Depp would play me and the theme song would be Rocket Queen, fucking Guns N Roses.
MI: If you were God for a day, what would you change?
Joey: Gas prices. (laughs)
MI: On your Myspace page, do you and the band handle it directly and can your fans write you there? And your Facebook?
Joey: Yeah, totally. We handle our Myspace page, and all our pages are linkable.
MI: You have done so much for your fans over the years – if they could give you anything back in return, what would you ask for?
Joey: Just support. Just keep doing what you’re doing! That’s all we ask for. We don’t need food, or any of that shit, you know? Just, if we play a show, come out. Buy a t-shirt.
MI: Do you believe in psychics?
Joey: I do believe in psychics, yeah.
MI: Have you ever had a reading?
Joey: No, I never have.
MI: Well, you must come see me, my boy. Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Joey: Uh, yeah, just the other day actually. I was in Allenstown, PA, at the Crocodile Rocks and I ran downstairs into the basement to grab my wristbands because we were about to take the stage, and my intro was still playing, and as I was sifting through my bag, I heard someone calling “Hey” to me, like really loud but right next to me, and I looked and the whole place was deserted.
MI: What has been your most memorable moment from this tour with Otep?
Joey: Uh, I would have to say when I jumped into the crowd in New York City and nobody caught me and I feel all the way down straight on my back.
MI: Oh, that is FUCKED UP!
Joey: (laughing) I fell right on my fucking back.
MI: You’re stuck on a desert island, and you can bring one book, one CD, one person, and your favorite bottle of booze. What do you bring?
Joey: Nicole, of course. Damien Rice ‘O’, because being with a woman you have to chill, you can’t have, you know, crazy metal all the time. And my favorite book, it’s a toss up between two, either the Motley Crue book, and or this Henry Rollins book called “Smile, You’re Traveling”
MI: Is Anew Revolution getting enough airplay in your eyes?
Joey: It’s a work in progress. We’re nailing down stations as we go. We’re not doing it like the big labels are doing it, where they go for the huge ads to get every fucking station locked in that first week. What they’re doing is working it old school style, like fucking Elvis Presley, back in the day when they were shipping 45s and basically they would get like ten stations and lock down those stations, and then ten more. What we are doing is build, build, build, build. Because what happens when you throw a pebble off a mountain? Before you know it turns into an avalanche.
MI: Tell me a dirty joke.
Joey: How do you make a girl scream twice? Fuck her in the ass and then wipe your dick on her curtains.
MI: How do your mom and dad feel about the new band?
Joey: They feel good about it. They’ve always, since Unloco times, just seen me as being a musician and knowing that’s what I do for a living. My parents are like 65, so theyre not into the headbanging shit. They know I rock out and that’s about it. (laughs)
MI: So mommy’s not the merch booth lady…
Joey: No, not at all. My mom is very much the Mexican lady who listens to Clink Black and shit like that. I think she’s bought like two CDs her entire life.
MI: Does the band have a street team yet?
Joey: Uh, no the band does not have a street team yet. We rely, basically, on our Myspace, man. We send out a bulletin and say, “Okay, we’re coming to town, can anybody do this?” and people will do it, you know?
MI: How do you like working with your new PR, Monica?
Joey: Oh, she’s awesome.
MI: Because she loves you.
Joey: She’s cool as hell. We try to make her job as easy as possible.
MI: Do you feel you are getting enough press coverage with this album?
Joey: Oh yeah, totally. She’s doing a great job. We just did Metal Edge, which is awesome too, you know?
MI: Aside from everything else, how’s life been with you?
Joey: Life’s been good, you know? No complaints. It’s been steady, it’s not like it’s zooming out of control or anything like in Unloco days because that was like the hard grip of reality. But now it’s just like, we’re on the road, we’re touring, we’re making money, you know. Paying our bills, lights are on. My wife’s at home, waiting and very supportive.
MI: So give me all the sites where your fans can find you, my love.
MI: Give me your favorite quote of all time.
Joey: My favorite quote of all time would be from Henry Rollins where he said “Be careful when you meet your idols because there’s always the chance of being disappointed.” (laughs)