Getting to know Matt Joyce.

Hey everyone! I thought it was about time I chatted with the one and only, Matt Joyce. I’ve known Matt for many years now and he is not only a fantastic musician, he is a really great guy! We’re all really lucky to have Matt right here in Madison! Read on to see what makes Matt tick. Enjoy.

Matt Joyce pic by: Matt Joyce

1. What is your name?

Matt Joyce -AKA- Em Jay – AKA – J-Man (depending on the political climate of our dear state).

2. Where are you from and where do you live now?

Born and raised in Madison, educated in Stevens Point.

3. What bands have you been in and who are you playing with now?

Bands of the past include: Chemical Imbalance, The Teenage UFO’s, The Shivers (one V), The Daisy Bangs, The Grizzlies and last but certainly not least, The Honey Slides (ya remember that killer band, eh?!?!)

4. You’re a really great musician. What are some of your first musical memories? Anyone or anything in particular get you started?

Thanks Heather, that’s a really nice compliment! I have a terrible memory, but I do remember driving through Chicago in the summer of ’87 – It was super-hot and I remember the digital bank thermometer reading 101* while the Huey Louis song “If this is it” played on the radio. My dad played a lot of Sly and the Family Stone, Neil Young, Beatles and Antonin Dvorak when I was growing up, but I think Uncle Neil (and maybe an early nineties mélange of Urge Overkill, Cracker, Pumpkins and Nirvana) really got me interested in playing music.

5. Tell me about your songwriter series you have going on at Mickey’s. How did that get started? What can we expect?

I used to do singer/songwriter shows at Mickey’s many years ago, but those shows were always just me and my idiocy trying to get my friends to sing with me in front of an unsuspecting audience while consuming too much booze. After I went to college in Pointski for 2 ½ years , I realized I was out of the music loop and this songwriter series is my way of getting reacquainted with the talented artists of Madison and, soon, Wisconsin. Expect diverse artists who may or may not have played in a stripped down “singer/songwriter” style to perform at Mickey’s every second and fourth Tuesday of the month! I also test out new songs at these gigs, so feel free to come down and judge them accordingly.

6. Who are some of your favorite bands??

Where do I begin? I guess I’m kind of out of the loop, as I said earlier. I like to play loud and fast, but if there isn’t a catchy hook, I lose interest fast. I also like country and folk, R&B and Soul. Birdcloud out of Nashville is a pretty darn good irreverent country folk duo. I’ve been digging what I’ve heard from Royal Headache. Then there are the classics which I probably don’t need to mention but will: Buzzcocks, Damned, Soft Boys, Kinks, Beach Boys, Zombies, Conway Twitty, Roger Miller, Fuggs, GBV, etc… My Favorite regional bands of late are Phylums and Proud Parents.

7. You’re a big outdoorsman and fisherman. What are some of your favorite Wisconsin places to visit or fish at, without giving too much away? I know some spots must be secret.

When I go fishing for trout, I go west: when I target warm-water species such as walleye, bass and musky, I go north. When I go west, Richland county is a favorite and when I go north, I tend to fish in Vilas county….That’s all you’ll get outta me! I’m also available to guide free fishing trips for musicians who are so inclined; I can’t guarantee fish, but I can assure clients will enjoy the scenery*
*Clients will be approved at my discretion and must pay for half of the gas.

8. What are some records you’ve been listening to lately??

Phylum Phyloid, Sharon is Karen and whatever the latest Royal Headache album is called, oh and Courtney Barnett.

9. What can we expect from you musically in coming months?

The Midwest Beat is finalizing our 4th studio album which will be released within the year, hopefully. I’m also working on my solo album, man! Haha, but srsly?…..

10. Lastly, you’re hungry. If you could have a pizza sitting in front of you, what would that pizza be, dammit!?

First- it’s gotta be Neapolitan – get that oven hellishly hot; were talking 850*! Second – it’s gotta have a good, chewy, crispy, slightly salty crust that is no thicker than 3/5”. Third – put some prosciutto de parma, artichokes and porcini mushrooms on it. Sauce must be tangy, but not overpowering; cheese should be whole milk mozzarella… I wanna find one of these mythical pizzas, Damnit!!!!!!!


Thanks to Matt for taking the time out and answering these questions!

Check out The Midwest Beat here:

Check a Honey Slides song here: