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Las Vegas, NV | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Las Vegas, NV | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Duo Alternative Soul




"Las Vegas Band Pure Joy Exclusive Interview"

Audio Addiktion had the pleasure of interviewing Las Vegas band Pure Joy, a fabulous indie rock/blues duo that plans to conquer the world. (with their music) This pair is definitely worth checking out! Read about Pure Joy Island, what inspires their lyrical content, and how traveling has shaped their sound.

When did Pure Joy first come together as a band?
It was October of 2013.

What inspired you guys to start a band?
PJ: “We met through music and went from there. We had both been in other bands, and when things did not work out we decided to get moving and do our own thing.”
Rob: “We had some great people that we were working with at the time, but it’s difficult when everyone has their say in how things should be done. And over time that gets stressful. If it’s not a really special situation the band will probably not do too well in the long run.”

Did both of you guys start singing and playing instruments at a young age?
PJ: “I started singing at a young age, not professionally or anything …just singing in the shower. I then joined choir in grade school and then started playing instruments at age 13 or 14. I didn’t have money for music lessons, so I looked at chord parts and I guess the rest is history.”
Rob: “I started when I was 15 for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to “be cool,” and get more women interested in me and with a bass in your hand it kind of does that. But then my point of view changed, and I wanted to play for all the right reasons. I fell in love with playing as well as playing with other people. I’m still good friends with the very first people that I ever played with.”

Who were your music mentors growing up; musicians that you looked up to or aspired to be?
PJ: “Incubus, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner…there are so many great ones.”
Rob: “Red Hot Chilli Peppers were a big influence on me. When I started playing bass, I looked up to Flea because his bass style was really really different.”
PJ: “Another band we both really like is Jamiroquai (Virtual Insanity). And we like Cake. Cake the band and cake the food. (laughs)”

How would you describe your sound?
Rob: “Rock and Roll with a funk/soul/blues mix on an island.”
PJ: “Rob loves that description. He wants to put everything on that island.”
Rob: “Pure Joy Island. You can take a cruise and just hang out on our island. (laughs) That’s kind of how we feel. We want everyone to enjoy our music and soak up the sun (metaphorically).”

Are you guys Bob Marley fans?
Rob: “I should have mentioned him before…”
PJ: “…And Jimi Hendrix!”
Rob: “My very first concert was of a reggae band. I was going to a boarding school, and this crazy awesome reggae band did a show for a graduation. I wasn’t even supposed to be at the graduation because I was too young. But they let me in anyway, and I was on the shoulders of people all night just rocking out to the reggae music. At that time, I hadn’t even started playing music or thought I had a musical bone in my body. But that was definitely an unforgettable moment in my life.”

Where has Pure Joy previously performed?
Rob: “We have played Las Vegas, California, Maryland and North Carolina.”
PJ: “We both have always listened to all types of music, but upon visiting North Carolina that part of us had been reawakened. That’s why we are incorporating it more into our music nowadays because it was like, “’Oh yah, we like that stuff too!’”
PJ continued, “The night we got there, I found out my grandmother had passed away. We did this Open Mic thing and it was a bit weird because everyone there was so positive, and there was a light rain which was kind of calming. So it kind of felt like my grandmother was there with me saying everything was ok.”
Rob: “The next night we played at an Open Mic Blues jam and when we left, we brought some of that music/vibe home with us. I can see how bands that tour the world really evolve and watch their music grow because they are experiencing so many things and seeing them from a different place and different point of view. Seeing the world really opens your eyes, especially from a lyrical perspective.”

Where do you guys get most of your inspiration for the lyrical content in your songs?
PJ: “It’s really from all over. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting here and I will come up with a song. Sometimes it will come from a dream, or from what someone says to me or from a personal experience.”
Rob: “Sometimes the best songs come from turmoil. We’re human, so sometimes we go at each other and then write about it. Or it could be us observing a situation that occurred with a close friend or family member.”
PJ: “It is a bit like therapy. I actually started writing before I began singing. I would write short stories and poems, and then I started singing and realized that I could sing the words I was writing. There were a couple of songs that started out really negative, sounding like Disturbed or Metallica and then it would end up sounding like Pure Joy.”
PJ: “Oh, and we are revamping our song, “Stories.” It’s still going to be around the same theme, but we are just tweaking it a bit here and there and making it better.”
Rob: “It will be a Bluesier version and more to the point lyrically.”
What are your goals as a band?
Rob: “Creating content that is constantly out there. Recording more songs, filming new videos and putting out music that is quality that our fans (and new listeners) want. Lately, I’ve realized that people don’t just want new music, they also want a connection to the band they are listening to. People are looking for musicians with personality, and to feel like they have something in common with the band members. If they find that connection, they might have a band they follow for life. These are the steps that we want to take.”
PJ: “We plan on doing more out-of-town shows too. In August we will be going back to California and are looking to schedule some shows in Arizona and Utah as well. We are also trying to figure out our own identity as a band. We are constantly trying to rediscover ourselves as a band and evolve our sound to make it better.”

PJ, I know that you recently decided to pursue music full time. What made you decide to take such a leap of faith with your music?
PJ: “Rob and I had talked about this about a year ago and I had mentioned it casually and Rob nearly had a heart attack. Then, several months later we had this opportunity that we had to pass up because of work. And it could have resulted in a record deal. And I had a moment where I said to myself, ‘Why am I waiting for something to happen?'”
And after talking about it again, it just felt right. We talked about it and it just made sense. We might struggle a little bit and eat ramen noodles, but I can take care of my baby (music) and put my all into it.”
Rob: “The only way I’ve seen it work in this town, is to just quit your job and to focus on your new job. (Your music) Everyone has their calling, and they have to do what is in their heart.”
Where do you see Pure Joy in five years?
PJ: “Definitely touring nationally.”
Rob: “Every successful band from Las Vegas has toured outside of Sin City. (Imagine Dragons, The Killers, etc.)” Getting signed is not something that we are looking at yet until we build our brand, fan base, and have something more to offer at that level.

How do you think your music has positively impacted others?
Rob: “We have a close friend that has been going through some struggles in his life. He came to one of our practices and he just had a great time and was able to let go of his worries for a moment. When we talk about Pure Joy, that is what we want to give back to the world.”
PJ: “I think it is also about the friendships and the relationships that we have built.”
Rob: “There is a connection. The people we reach out to with our music are searching for that connection. And what we believe that is, is Pure Joy. We are all looking to belong somewhere or that place or that experience to give us absolute joy.” - Audio Addiktion

"The Bunkhouse Has Risen Again"

The Bunkhouse Has Risen Again
By: Editor-in-Chief
Michael M. Humel

The Bunkhouse hosted a show on January 17th that showcased new songs, surprise guests, and a fitting tribute to a fallen musical

Pure Joy took the stage at the beginning of the night, and at first glance, they didn't seem to have the energy they have displayed at previous shows, especially the last one at the Bunkhouse, which proved that Pure Joy could be a powerful and exciting lead singer.
Their first song, "Shut it Down," had a dark Little Red Riding Hood vibe, and the song would have been more enjoyable had it not been for the lack of energy. "Shoes" is an older song with a reggae feeling to it. A faster pace with heavier drums delivered energy to the crowd, as well as Pure Joy getting deeper into the show. The band seemed very much at ease when they started performing "Catches Up to You", an upbeat pop-driven party song that I could see listening to on the radio. The highlight of the band's set came on "Mantis." Pure Joy slowed the night down by telling the crowd a story, and then playing a slow, soft song with moments of power. Rob Hau's high point came on “Mi Guapo”, with a dark, funky bass. The song also gave Pure Joy her best vocal of the night.
A friend of the band joined them onstage to play harmonica for their last song, "Rock and Roll", and the feel of the collective musicians onstage seemed like an all-star jam. According to Hau, “His name is Paul Messinger. We met him through my Aunt Tia. We played some shows on the East Coast and met him a year and a half ago. We did a video with him a few months ago, and we'll be heading to North Carolina to record several songs with him in late February.”

Next onstage was the Dirty Hooks. The band's set consisted of new songs they are currently trying to get recorded for a new record, and older songs off their 2012 album “Electric Grit”. The mingling of new and old songs showcased a combination of slow grooves and fast, punchy and shredding guitar, bordering on heavy metal. "Midnight Runaway" is a slower soothing track, and when it kicks in, it explodes. The eclectic nature of the song and the changing tempos ensure you will be engaged the whole way. “Badland Saints (Medicine Man)” is a real life story, and gave Jenine Cali her best drumming of the night. "Lye Down When I'm Dead" almost feels like a southern rock song and shows how well the vocals between Bobby McCall and Jenine Cali can meld together. "No Good" combines the fifties with a modern times hard rock sound. One of the most exhilarating and present moments of the bands set is when they played a cover of the Beatles song, “I Want You (She's So Heavy)”.

Same Sex Mary is an experimental band with a slightly different vibe than the ones who came before them. "Get High" is a fun rock song with an unusual combination of different sounds. Guitarist Brian Cantrell was a standout in the song. It felt as if he was in another world. "Do No Good" has a mixture of harder and softer music. The experience gave an impression of the calm before the storm… and then the storm itself. Hassan Hamilton joined them onstage for a new song with the vibe of an eerily mischievous country song. The sensation of the song mixed with Hassan's spitting lyrics fused well together. James Howard Adams asked a friend, Megan Wingerter, to sing with them for a hauntingly beautiful tribute to David Bowie.
"The moment I heard of Bowie's passing I thought of Megan Wingerter. While he was obviously an inspiration and an influence to many people, I've met few people who have matched her enthusiasm for 'the Man Who Fell To Earth'. Of course, we were all so surprised by the news that we didn't have any time to prepare anything ëproperí with the full band. We decided we still wanted to pay our respects, and wanted to try and make it special. With the steel pans and Megan's voice, I feel like it helped bring the room together for a small but fitting tribute," concluded Adams. - Culture of the Senses

"Love Vendetta Rocks Backstage Bar and Billiards"

By: Michael M. Humel

Backstage Bar and Billiards hosted a night of rock music that displayed many different influences within the talented acts. A two piece with vocals and guitar with a little percussion mixed in Rob and Pure Joy and Jesse Pino a hard and soft rock front man with a talented back up band opened for Love Vendetta on December 7th of last year.

The strong voice Pure Joy in the duo of Rob and Pure Joy is what first drew me into their set. She is a strong female vocalist. The slow, soothing “Mantis” was the sets most enjoyable moment. The chanting vocals on “Mess” accompanied by Rob playing percussion showed a darker side of the groups performance. Pure Joys most soulful and powerful vocal came on “Stories”. Her vocals reminded me of Alanis Morissette. Jesse Pino took the stage next with his hard and pop rock set influenced by Green Day and the 50’s. The 1950’s rockabilly song “I’m falling” had a slow under stated energy. Moments of his vocals reminded me of Tom Petty. By midway through the song it sounded like it came from late 90’s radio. A hard pounding drum beat drove the song “Spark” and reminded me of the lighter side of the band Foo Fighters. An amplified ballad of longing “Father Come Home” was his best song of the night. “Lady in Black” had quick riffs and country influences. My first thoughts were Johnny Cash meets Billie Joe Armstrong.

The originality and confidence of vocalist Charles Earland drew me to Love Vendetta. His stage presence is strong and unmistakable. An electronic, rock, emo influenced band Love Vendetta oozes The Cure. When listening to certain bands you can’t help but be waiting to hear the background vocals that help carry the song. Vocalist Mary Kryah is a powerful and important voice within the machine of Love Vendetta. Between her vocals and the programming by Nathan Geving, “Moths” is one of my favorite songs by the band. The two of them together are also the highlight of “Wire.” The strongest vocal by Earland came on “Prepare.” His words were like a melodic speech to his followers to ready themselves for battle and it seemed to give them energy that carried into their next song “Big Boys don’t cry.” The band has a video for their last song “Dream Machine” which is one of their most up lifting and energetic songs. - Culture of the Senses


Rob and Pure Joy – “Stories” [Video]

Alternative rockers Rob and Pure Joy just dropped the video for “Stories” earlier this month. The song, off of their debut EP Chapter One, is straight-up rock ‘n’ roll with roaring guitars and fierce vocals from frontwoman Pure Joy. The Mark R. Johnson-directed video features live performance footage and library shenanigans. - Vegas Seven


Leslie Ventura Wed, Apr 6, 2016 (4 p.m.)

BALCONY LIGHTS High up in the winding hills of Hollywood last summer, indie bands were jamming on a stranger’s balcony surrounded by sunshine and palm trees. It was the set of BalconyTV, an online viral music show that features bands and musicians performing original songs on balconies with breathtaking views. On this particular day, the stunning landscape of LA set the filming session apart as the shimmery synthesizers and electric guitars floated over the houses below.

Over the past 10 years, the Dublin, Ireland-based company has expanded to more than 50 cities around the world, including Budapest, Barcelona, Cyprus, Tel Aviv, and now, Las Vegas. No matter the location, BalconyTV’s concept, to film local and touring bands free of charge, has been the same. In Vegas, it’s a way for musicians to get direct exposure (Ed Sheeran and Mumford and Sons were featured before they were famous) while showcasing the city’s ever-growing community of talented artists to eyes and ears all over the world.

“They’ve done all of the footwork to get people involved,” BalconyTV Las Vegas producer Courtney Davis says about the online show. “We don’t have to start from scratch—the platform is there.”

Davis moved to Las Vegas from Chicago after high school and spent years cutting her teeth on the local music scene, getting to know bands and going to shows every week. The producer then moved to LA, where she worked for AEG Live and Goldenvoice, until she recently decided to move back to Las Vegas to bring BalconyTV here.

“I was going to the Boston, the Huntridge, always seeing shows,” Davis says. “I’ve always been the kind of person where I have to be more involved. It’s not enough to just watch the show … I know that there are a lot of other projects happening with Punks in Vegas and 11th Street [Records], and I really love the growth that I’ve seen here.”

So far, BalconyTV Las Vegas has partnered with Hard Rock Live on the Strip to feature Vegas acts Cameron Calloway, Pure Joy and Jessica Manalo, plus touring reggae artist Matisyahu. Plans call for episodes with Vegas outfits Mercy Music, Rusty Maples, Bee Master, Sonia Seelinger, Jesse Pino and Black Camaro to air in the future. balconytv.com/las-vegas - Las Vegas Weekly


Still working on that hot first release.



Pure Joy is Rob Hau and Pj Trasmil, an (unlikely) meeting/collision of two worlds built from the ruins and the rubble. Rob is a native Las Vegan and a veteran musician.”Realtor by day, Rockstar by night,” they say but really, he’s always a rockstar. Period.Pj was born in California, raised in the Philippines, and has now been a long time Vegas resident. Just like Rob, she’s been in a few bands herself ranging from gospel to acoustic soul to rock. She’s been dubbed, “The little girl with the big voice.”

They met on Craigslist (no, really). Pj was singing in cover bands for a short while and decided to go back to her roots which is writing and singing original music. She “took a shot in the dark” so to speak and auditioned to be the singer for a band Rob was in. She got the job on the spot. The group went on to do great things.

Eventually, the members went on to pursue different projects. Rob and Pj’s happened to be Pure Joy.

Describing their sound is like describing red bean ice cream: the taste is different for everybody. Here’s a short list of their influences: Incubus, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, Bjork, Massive Attack and many others!

They’re constantly working and experimenting with their sound. Collaborating with their friends and other musicians is a thing they do on the regular basis. The goal is to live, find, and spread Pure Joy even if the process is painstaking at times because one cannot feel pure joy without knowing pain.

Band Members