Joey Cape: angry and kind

A more introspective solo album arrived in July, a well-packed Lagwagon punk-rock song that was released in October: in a tight deadline, singer and guitarist Joey Cape had the opportunity to explore diametrically opposed shutters. his creativity. Now he is about to bring all of this to the scene of Envol et Macadam, where he will offer an acoustic show Thursday before editing the volume with his group Friday.
At theend of the line, the Californian laughs when it is pointed out to him that his recent periods of creation seem to have channeled two versions of himself. Inspired by uncomfortable reflections on the state of the world, Joey Cape “The Adult” reaches out and calls for kindness on this summer’s Let Me Know When You Give Up . On the other hand, the juvenile energy that can be heard on Railer , Lagwagon’s next offering (released October 4), suggests that Joey Cape “the former teenager” then paid for the milking and offered a good release session.

“I see a kind of antithesis or reaction, he confirms. When I wrote to Let Me Know When You Give Up , I wanted a positive attitude and a message of hope to underlie the whole. I was in this state of mind for a year. I gave myself permission to say certain things that I thought were necessary. I wanted to tell people that it’s OK, it’s okay. ”

Contrary to what one might think from the outset, the notion of abandonment mentioned in the title is not negative, says the singer-songwriter. Instead, he sees a call to let go of what can not be controlled and to do his best to improve what can be improved. A bit like that layer of white paint that Cape applies to the vandalized walls of a public toilet in the visual of the album.

“It’s like saying,” Let’s have a conversation over a drink. Let’s spend time together without worrying about all those things that make it hard to live in this world, which can be brutal. ” I think it’s important to hang on to simple things. Always look forward to something, simple pleasures. You have to focus on what you can control. Being good to each other, showing compassion and living by some kind of code in our relationships is something you can do and control. The abandonment of which the title speaks is to let go of things that can not be controlled: everything that goes in circles with politicians, corporations and all that … ”


By his own admission, Joey Cape is someone who thinks too much. Anxious to really polish his message and the music of his solo album, he invested a lot of time. So when it came time to tackle the next chapter of Lagwagon – training that has been playing the punk-rock card for thirty years – the deadlines for creation and production were tight. The veteran says that he has lived two weeks of intense writing where his pen has flowed naturally.

“After Let Me Know When You Give It Up , it was more like throwing gloves: we’re coming back to Lagwagon, I’m angry again!” He laughs. The observation is made with good manners, but for the father of the family, it is not less anchored in reality.

“I’m sorry for real! We live in a crazy world! My country offers a daily dose of disappointment. So yes, I arrived in Lagwagon’s album in a more aggressive and direct way “, explains the one who considers as” a good exercise “the condensed writing period he has imposed. An urgency to deliver that ultimately ended in a sort of homecoming for the punk-rocker.

“I spent less time wondering what to write and more time telling me it sounded like Lagwagon,” he says. Halfway through, I thought, “Shit! It sounds like an old Lagwagon record. ” When the band started working on the new songs, I realized it was really that way. ”

Joey Cape will perform Fleurie Island at Envol et Macadam on September 5th at 9:45 pm. Lagwagon is expected at the same place the next day at 21:30. Details and complete programming at

Accustomed to the festival Envol et Macadam, Joey Cape is looking forward to reconnect with the site of the annual meeting, which has chosen as the main rallying point Ilôt Fleurie, under the ramps of the Dufferin-Montmorency highway.

“It’s almost strange as a place. It’s like breaking the rules. It’s as if a gang of young people had gathered and said, “Hey, we’ll go under the highway and we’ll do music until the police come in,” “laughs. he said before adding: “Of course, it’s better organized than that. But that’s the kind of atmosphere you feel. ”

On September 5, the singer-songwriter holds the headliner solo before returning to service the next day at the mike of the old Californian punk-rock wolves of Lagwagon.

“I do not know how the acoustic show will turn at this festival, he asked. In general, the folk acoustic guitar side is not found on the big stage. I play more often on the secondary scene next to the toilet, if you know what I mean … ”

To achieve a musical hat trick, Envol et Macadam could have reprogrammed the punk-rock super-band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, in which Joey Cape officiates as a guitarist, including alongside NOFX’s Fat Mike. Even though Cape did not seem to hold on so much …

“It has happened a few times that a festival programs the three projects, he notes. But it’s a little strange. It may be too much. It’s enough to make me feel as if I have a disorder of multiple personalities! ”

Expected at the beginning of October, Lagwagon’s next album is entitled Railer , an epithet straight from the childhood of lyricist Joey Cape.

“It’s from a guy named Scott,” says the singer. I do not remember his last name. It goes back to 1977, I was 11, everyone was skateboarding. He was the kind of guy who said anything and we thought so, because it made sense to us. ”

If the word “railer” has a pejorative significance linked to an idea of ​​cheating or deception, the playful (and nostalgic) intention is undeniable.

“Over the years, it has spread: in my city, in my county, in the state. And it has become a word used in my group and in other groups. He appeared in a Lagwagon album on Blaze , in the song Falling Apart . And now, there are Germans who come to talk to me and say that such thing is railer! My god, it’s so cool to see that this word started from an idiot I admired when I was a little boy! ”

When it is stressed that it should now find a French translation to “railer”, Joey Cape has his special requests: “It must sound funny! It must be in one word, with at least two syllables … “That’s the order. Suggestions?

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