Interview by Stuart Blythe
Guitar genius Joe Robinson has a list of credentials that would make most musicians three times his senior envious. Playing stages at prestigious gatherings like Bonnaroo Music Festival; being named Best New Talent in Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers Poll and making the Top 50 Best Guitarists list in Australian Guitar to name a few.
Life Music Media caught up with Joe for a chat.
LMM: Hi Joe, what first made you decide to pick up a guitar?
Joe: I think it was hearing Eric Clapton’s music. My parents used to always play tapes of Cream and other Clapton stuff from back in the day. I was pretty good at air guitaring the Layla solo.
LMM: Did your parents influence your musical talents?
Joe: Both my parents play a little and my mum was actually playing drums in a band while I was growing up. I think more than influence they encouraged me musically.
LMM: After picking up the guitar at age 10, how did you come to be touring with Australian Artists at the tender age of 11?
Joe: When i started learning the guitar, i found some kids at school to jam with and we formed a band. We were called the ‘Kaotic Penguins’ haha. After we started getting a few gigs around town, people kind of spread the word about us and it kind of snowballed from there.
LMM: How did this impact on your school work?
Joe: I was ok at school, but music was defiantly my passion. I used to do my homework on the bus so I could just play guitar when I got home.
LMM: What made you decide to go on “Australia’s Got Talent” in 2008?
Joe: I remember someone suggesting I enter AGT and I kind of just went along with it not realizing what a big deal it would be. I don’t think I even realized it would be televised at first.
LMM: Did winning “Australia’s got Talent” change your life in any way?
Joe: It was a huge jump from playing my little gigs to being in the public eye as a kind of celebrity. I was 16 during the first audition and I remember being shocked and feeling awkward each time I was recognized in the streets. haha
LMM: Who was your biggest inspiration or influence when you were younger?
Joe: I got to meet Phil Emmanuel when I was about 11 or 12 and he and his brother Tommy became my mentors.
LMM: Who or what inspires you today?
Joe: Anybody putting out interesting original material. I listen to everyone from Kanye West to Ani DeFranco.
LMM: If you were starting out as a musician today, what advise would you give your younger self?
Joe: Write as much music as you can, and stay true to what inspired you to pick up the instrument in the first place.
LMM: How does your latest EP “Toe Jam” differ from other albums you’ve made?
Joe: I think it’s a clearer insight into who I am as a person and artist, and the production is a little more interesting than on my previous albums.
LMM: Can you tell us a little something about “Toe Jam” that would make our readers go out and by the EP?
Joe: Its only 5 bucks on iTunes!
LMM: Is there anything you would like to say to your Australian fans ahead of the tour?
Joe: Expect the unexpected!
—- Quick Questions —-
:: What track changed your life ::
Hit the road jack. First song I ever learnt.
:: Favourite Quote ::
“I never practice my guitar… from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat.” – Wes Montgomery
:: Favourite bit of gear in your collection ::
:: Best piece of advice you’ve received ::
Don’t sell out.
:: Three words to describe the last few years ::
Write, Record, Tour
:: Three words to describe the year ahead ::
Write, Record, Tour!