,I first heard of Joie Blaney (Dead Blonde Girlfriend) about 10 years ago on Myspace Music. I bought his albums, learned all the lyrics to his catchy punk songs and quickly became a devoted fan. I met him about 6 months ago at a local open mic in Bay Shore, New York. Meeting him was a highlight of my life. I look up to him so much because we have been through similar struggles and music has helped bring us to the other side of those struggles. As a songwriter myself, I sat down with him to get more insight to his writing process and his love for music.
What are some of the struggles that music has helped you through?
When I was younger life didn’t make any sense. People didn’t make any sense. I didn’t buy what parents teachers and friends were selling. When I first heard rock n’ roll I heard freedom. A way of life that made sense to me. Whether it was Bob Dylan or Ozzy. It was the first time life made sense. I felt alone and an outcast or misfit. Songs comforted me through life. I didn’t feel alone. It put words to the feeling I was going through. Whether it was heartbreak or feeling like a weirdo. I knew I wasn’t alone. It inspired me to write songs and to live a life that I wanted. Not this dream that family or society wants or thinks is the right way. But freedom to be the highest form of my spirit and soul.
When did you first starting writing songs?
I wrote stories and poetry in high school. I never showed anyone. I kept it pretty private. I am very cryptic in my writing. When I played with my friend Cranford Nix in a band he asked me if I wrote songs and I showed him some stuff. We recorded one of my songs together called “Mood Swing.” I wish I had a copy of it. He encouraged me to keep writing.
What did you write about?
I write what I feel see and wish for. Writing to me has always been a way for me to communicate with the outside world. I feel better when I write. I look at songs as magic spells, incantations and wishes. Also, they are my version of a certain situation. I write from my heart. I love writing more than performing. The topics of the songs are mostly about alienation lost love found love. I get inspiration from my interactions with people and connection. Lost love is a running theme in my songs. Also I write about things I desire in life. I have had songs played on MTV I put that in a lyric years ago. I write about my family like in letters home. Self destruction and self discovery is another topic. I do believe in love and write about that a lot. What the ideal partner would be for me. A writer lives what he writes and writes what he lives. I wrote this new song called she is the girl. It is basically her life story. It is my perception of what brought her into my life and how we can’t make it work. She is an amazing songwriter and the love of my life. But we can’t seem to get it right, right now. I wrote about the relationship years before I met her. I believe a writer lives his songs or writes his own reality. It a very spiritual process for me. Almost like meditation. Tapping into the higher self. I get chills when I know I am on to something.
Do you write on paper or on a computer?
I have this iPad rig that reminds me of the days of four tracking on a Tascam. I always used to write on yellow legal paper. Now I use my phone to get lyrical ideas down. Print them out and edit them. Sometimes I cut the printed paper into strips to move lines around faster. I heard David Bowie did the same thing so I know it must me a good idea.
What style is your music?
I try not to make it sound like anyone else. I have some great influences but you really can't hear them in my songs. It's the attitude in the writing, the communication with the world and to my self. Writing songs has saved my life and have been told it has helped other me through some hard times.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
I love writing lyrics. I will put out a book of all my lyrics someday. To me melody lines and cool hooks are great. But finding that write lyric to put the feelings into words is the best. To open up my heart and soul and display it out to the world is extremely vulnerable. And you need to be brave because people will judge and critique you. I write for me. I want to leave behind a legacy of songs. I like to create. Make something out of nothing. to me it is the only way to live and love, like a song.
What’s your purpose in writing?
To connect with a higher power the universe and people. It may be channeling or divine inspiration. It makes me feel alive to write. I connect to myself and get a better understanding of a world I really don't understand or even fit in.
What's been the hardest struggle you have gone through and how did music play a role in overcoming that struggle?
Probably a broken heart. There is no cure for it. It's the weirdest thing falling in love. Ending a relationship is like a death. So to write about it is the best way to heal it. When two people come together with hopes and dreams and try to be together with a connection and a passion for living it can get messy. The best songs are the broken heart-ed songs. They help you heal and grow.
Keep up with Joie/Dead Blonde Girlfriend: