Interview: Joey Cape (Lagwagon, Bad Astronaut, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes)

Why bother hiding it, the 15 year old in me is freaking out.  I got to chat it up with Joey freaking Cape.

I have been a fan easily for over 20 years now with everything Cape has done.  From Lagwagon to his solo material, I have always appreciated what Cape has brought into the music world.

Recently I heard about a new project Cape has created called One Week Records.  You see, Cape decided to turn his home into a studio where he….you know what?  Let’s just have Cape explain it.  Trust me, it is a hell of an idea…

One Week Records

BHP: Let’s talk about your all new project called One Week Records. To my understanding, this is a label you created where you invite an artist to your home to record an album in a week, right?

JC: Yes. That’s it.

Where did you come up with this awesome idea?

It is an idea I had a few years back and have been considering how to do it since.  It stems from my love of the honest production and approach of demos. Also, I am not a fan of the fact that albums and their romance are pieced out into single tracks falling into the shuffle of a chosen device. I believe an album should be heard as a whole and in the intended sequence of the performer and producer. That is why we sell them as one event and the reason we do not own certain mainstay editing tools such as pitch correct plug-ins.

How does your family like you turning your home into a bed and breakfast of sorts?

Haha. Yeah, My girls are cool with it. It allows me to be home with my wife and daughter and also marries my 2 very different lives, Home and tour. For many years I did not enjoy the thought that my wife did not know so many of my long term friends and my daughter may never know them. One Week allows me to bring these people to my home. They have meals and morning coffee with us and it is exciting for my daughter especially. She doesn’t know the difference between Chris Cresswell and Iggy Pop, so in her mind these famous people are coming to stay. It’s sweet. I’m careful not to invite anyone I do not know well enough of course. So far so good.

That is great.  Is One Week limited to just one artist at a time?

Yes, but some people choose to bring accompaniment

Cool.  So is the goal to record a song a day? Would you ever surpass the 7 song mark or would that defeat the purpose?

It’s actually 10 songs in 7 days with a One Week Record and 5 songs in 3 days with something we are calling a One Weekend record. The limitations are purposeful. There is not enough time to second guess everything and because of this there is a more raw and true outcome I think.

Brian Wahlstrom’s session is absolutely amazing. In fact, I encourage anyone reading this to go out and download it right now. I know he was part of a side project you worked on called Scorpios that sadly went on a hiatus due to the loss of a great man (RIP SLY). Did you pick Wahlstrom to debut on your label because of this?

Brian is a very close friend and incredibly talented. He is my latest musical soul mate. We work on everything together now. We co-wrote much of his record and he even worked with me on the new Lagwagon album. I knew he would make a great one week record first because we had such a great report. There was little pressure and plenty of chemistry and I love the idea that One Week gives me the opportunity to expose songwriters that many otherwise would never hear.

Chris Cresswell also released an album through One Week that is just incredible. How did he become involved early on?

Well, I have toured with Chris a bit with the Flatliners and I played an acoustic show with him and loved his voice and songs in that setting. Chris is one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever met. I can think of no one more pleasant to be around. Honestly, I was just as excited for him to meet my family than to record but, yes, I am very proud of his record. He is such an amazing song writer and has an exceptional voice.

Do you have anyone out there in the music world that you really want to record?

The list is endless. I have a sort of faith that these people will come to me like in Field Of Dreams. “If you build it, they will come”. Hahaha. I’m really biting my tongue and hoping for some of them to reach out. It’s better that way. I don’t ever want to solicit them because as friends it puts them in a position where they might feel they are disappointing me if they are not into it.

So how does someone become considered in being a part of this project?

Well, I have to really love the music. Otherwise, I don’t feel I would have much to offer other than engineering and that results in a poorly produced album. I met a few of the people I am doing records with on the road. For example, Brian and I ran a sort of contest. Don’t like that word. We chose a person in each city we played over a year to join us on stage during our set and play one of their own original songs. It’s better than an opening set because often people are not in the venue earlier to see the performance. This guaranteed them and their respective cities to meet. I loved each and every night we did it. People submitted YouTube videos and this was in the end a cleverly disguised and more so unintentional sort of scouting for One Week. So far I am recording three of the artists I found this way. I just finished a record with one of them, a guy named Jo Bergeron from Quebec City. He is amazing I think.

Hell yeah.  I can’t wait to hear what is created.  So, who is behind the artwork on each of the releases?

Each artist is asked to draw their own cover. Black sharpie on white paper. For better or worse it continues the emphasis on the individual personality of each record. I love it. If I every did one it would be really bad. I can barely write my name. Haha.

Ha. Will this strictly be online or do you think maybe one day you might put some of these songs on vinyl?

Each artist is allowed to print vinyl with anyone they choose. It’s kind of a joke but the contract reads that the artist simply has to give One Week one copy if they press. I collect vinyl and love it but I really just want to focus on the creative side of things and not physical manufacturing or the marketing of those things.

I like that idea. Win, win. So I have to ask… What happened to My Records? I was a huge fan of the only release on that label.

Wow. Well that was something completely different. I just found it to be too painful trying to distribute physical merchandise though the channels. too many middle people and when those people didn’t respond to the albums the way I did it was sad. One Week Records is B2C (business to customer). No issues here. If somewhere here’s a song streaming or whatever, they just buy it and again, they have to buy the entire record which is nice for both the artist and consumer I think. The events are inexpensive due to the low cost of producing them. I’m certain there is and will be many more labels doing this sort of thing in the near future.

Speaking of Nerf Herder, any chance Parry Gripp be recording anything with you soon?

He just might be on my list. Hehe

Do you have long term expectations with One Week Records or will you just take each week as it comes?

The latter. I have learned to simply enjoy the process and not set your self up for disappointment by having goals and expectations. My only goal is to make great records with great people.

I have the feeling that is going to happen over and over… So, what’s next for Joey Cape?

Lagwagon has a new album almost complete. So lots of touring I imagine and One Week Records in the in between tours whenever possible. Still, have my day job. Haha


Joey Cape is currently in the middle of recording and all new Lagwagon album that should be dropping later this year.

Check out One Week Records.

Check out Cape talking about his project:

Chris Cresswell and Cape cat:

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