Jerry Joseph: I’m F***ing Happy
“I don’t think I have personally, in my heart of hearts, conceded,” says Joseph. “I tell people, ‘Ya know man, it’s not about being successful anymore,’ I always say that, ‘It’s just about being grateful that I have a job.’ But fuck that. In the back of my head I’m like, ‘Maybe this record is the one.’”
And he’s not the only person who believes fame could arrive at any moment. For as long as Joseph has been in the game, someone has been dangling the carrot of success in front of him. To this day, when he wants to make a record, he doesn’t have to use Kickstarter and if he wants to tour Southeast Asia (as he did last year) or the Middle East (as he will later this year), someone funds it.
There are still people in Joseph’s corner and many of them, including him, thought that Stockholm Syndrome would be the breakthrough. But after two albums, including 2011’s Apollo, which barely made a blip on the music radar even though it was very good, and several tours later, the band fizzled out.
Schools was busy with Panic, Louis with Mule and McFadden and Ingram had a lot going on as well. But Joseph put almost all of his eggs in that basket. He gave the band excellent material, put The Jackmormons on hold and stood on a soapbox screaming, “This isn’t a side project.” But that’s exactly what it turned into and the toll on Joseph was heavy.
“I think everybody thought it was going to be fucking huge,” he says about Stockholm. “Watching that fuck up—I don’t want to admit it—was probably as difficult for me as anything. All this money, all this effort and it’s all gonna go down the fucking tubes. Why?”
It’s a question that Joseph has asked himself countless times: Why? Why not me? But something has been happening during the past few years. Friends of Joseph’s see it in his demeanor and fans hear it on the new album in songs like “Thanks and Praises,” “Mile High, Mile Deep” and “Temple of Love.” Joseph seems to be finding a bit of peace and compassion in his later days. Maybe it’s the Bikram yoga, AA or the bond with his family, but he seems to finally appreciate what he has instead of longing for what he doesn’t.
“I haven’t had to suck anybody’s dick to play my own music and I get paid for it,” he says with a smile. “I’ve got three beautiful children and a baby on the way. I love my wife and she’s gorgeous and seems to love me sometimes. I have some really good friends around the world. I’ve seen a lot of the world and I’m OK. It’s turned out fine—or more than fine.
“Who would have thought that at 50 is when I’d finally figure it out? Life’s short and it doesn’t mean if you say the wrong thing to me I’m not gonna break a fucking bottle over your head, but at the same time, it’s a fucking gift. It’s this big gift and I need to learn to say, ‘thank you’ more.”
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
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The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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