Joey Vela

Joey Vela

BandJazzSinger/Songwriter

Joey Vela is a crazy but talented cat who can make you feel and make you think, simultaneously. His music is funky but spiritual, visceral yet cerebral.

Biography

The story begins in the mid-80's with a weird but talented kid with perfect pitch splitting time as a guitarist/vocalist with 2 bands at Willowridge High School in Missouri City, TX, the hard rock-inspired Infinity, which featured guitarist Gary Rogerson and drummer extraordinare John Chupin (Moses Guest), and the R&B-inspired 7th Wave, which featured the amazing talents of bassist Mike Meade (Slop Jar Junior). A diverse group of influences were gathered along the way, everyone from Rush to Prince. Well, better make that 3 bands because it's also worth mentioning that during his time at WHS, the kid was a gifted classically-trained percussionist, one of the best in the state of Texas in 1986.

The story then shifts to the late-80's, where the kid is now sitting in with a couple of cover bands around town. If he never played another bar of "Taking Care of Business" or "Shooting Star", it would be too soon. With a creative drive bordering on insatiable, the kid sought out his first "all-originals" band, the neo-psychedelic group Warm Electrics in 1989, featuring former Hates member Lawrence Kenray, former Lips & the Trips bassist Steve "The Pope", and drummer Jay Isham. It was during this time that the kid would learn the art of songwriting. As a guitarist, he learned the invaluable principle of texture and tone over technique. The kid has now become a man. Garnering little more than a cult following, this band of crazies decided that a name change might do the trick, and in the summer of 1989 they offically became Think Tank. Shortly thereafter, they split up. Now the story takes us to the spring of 1990, and Joey's former bandmate Jay Isham has officially 86'ed his Simmons electronic drum kit from the Think Tank days in favor of a Pearl acoustic drum kit. Enter the kid's childhood friend, bassist Gary Rogerson, and Daisy Chains are officially born. The sound is markedly heavier than Think Tank, but the atmospheric sonic textures are still at the forefront. Despite predating grunge by over a year, Daisy Chains' following remained rather small although dedicated. A year later, they were no more.

Disillusioned by the Houston music scene, Joey eventually retreated back to classical music and performed with the Houston Civic Symphony as a timpanist/percussionist from 1994 - 1998. However, the creative fire to produce original works could not be extinguished. In 1999, with the help of his longtime friend and former bandmate Gary Rogerson, Joey recorded an early demo version of "Open Door", and the rest as they say is history. Since then, Joey has been hard at work getting his songs recorded, but most importantly, getting his songs heard. His music has a sound that is a culmination of all of his years of his musical experiences and influences, feeling equally at home with rock and jam bands as with soul and acid jazz groups. The visceral and cerebral appeal are on equal footing. The rhythms, the textures, and the lyrics all tell sonic tales of the view of the world through the eyes of a one weird but talented kid who has grown into one weird but talented man .

Lyrics

The Call

Written By: Joey Vela

Wild mustangs run
As beasts of freedom
It was my dream
To live just like them
To gaze into the eyes
Of Smiling Destiny
To be all I am
And all I can be

There is no looking back
Keeping facing forward
Lest I get turned into
A salted pillar
Leave all history
Where it remains
Just try to learn from it
And be not the same

And we shouldn't expect anything more
Than what was meant to be
And we shouldn't expect
For life to imitate
That old West Texas town
With the same old main street
That hasn't changed since 1973

The will to learn
With a mind that hungers
The will to grow
To be much better
The will to change
To show you how
You never knew me
And you still don't now

My call goes out
To all who'll listen
I break my bottle
To newly christen
A brand new day
A new beginning
Nothing can stop me now
Again from winning

And we shouldn't expect anything more
Than what was meant to be
And we shouldn't expect
For life to imitate
That old West Texas town
With the same old main street
That hasn't changed since 1973

Open Door

Written By: Joey Vela

Friend, you call me friend
But can you say with a straight face that I am
Just a friend?

'Cause would you really let a friend
Hold you tightly in his arms
Feel your sweet caress
Taste the sugar from your lips
Again and again and again
Oh yeah

You say that you are spreading yourself too thin
You leave me on the outside looking in
Yet you insist that you're my friend
Would you really know a friend?

You locked me out
Even after you told me
That the door was open
It's obvious that you want me out
Would you really know a friend?
Would you really know a friend?

Friend, you call me friend
But can you honestly say that I am
Just a friend?

'Cause would you really give a friend
So little and nothing more
Than hello, how are you, goodbye
I'm busy then; no I don't know when
I'll see you again, but I'll try
Bullshit

You say that you are spreading yourself too thin
You leave me on the outside looking in
Yet you insist that you're my friend
Would you really know a friend?

You talk a lot
Always saying a bunch of
We'll do this, or we'll go there
But like all bullshit
Watch it rise
Would you really know a friend?
Would you really know a friend?
Would you really know a friend?
Would you really know a friend?

Discography

My music is available for streaming and download at http://www.soundclick.com/joeyvela