Who am I. I have no idea. Ask a thousand people and they’ll all tell you something different. But basically (and please pardon any puns here) I am a bass player. Over the years though, I’ve donned the working hats of Producer, Engineer, Director, Guitarist and Gourmet Cook.
Some bands I’ve played in and recorded with include Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Tribe After Tribe, OSI, Anthrax, Chroma Key, Seven Witches. There are more but that’s the idea. And don’t get me wrong, I see myself as something other than just a bass player; there are many other aspects to my humble self that make up the sum of “who I am” but that’s for another page.
I started out in 1982 with my first band Armored Saint. We released a self titled EP in 1983 on Metal Blade Records which led to a contract with Chrysalis Records in 1984. We then made 3 records there – March of the Saint, Delirious Nomad and Raising Fear. We then went back to Metal Blade to release a live CD called Saints Will Conquer (which by the way, we did not) in 1988. During this time I wrote a bass player column in the then popular Rock Magazine called Circus. (So, you can add Journalist to my list if you like.) In 1991 we released Symbol of Salvation to much acclaim but not much in terms of sales (then). We called it a day in early 1992 when our singer left to join Anthrax.
The following year I made my first solo CD simply called Joey Vera – A Thousand Faces and that got released in 1994 on Metal Blade. I actually put a band together and did some shows with myself playing guitar and singing. Yeah, kinda like a front man. I hated it. It was interesting though. We opened a show for Fates Warning one night and a few weeks later opened for a band in a small club in Phoenix, Arizona who supposedly had a buzz. Some band called Korn.
By 1995 I was fairly disillusioned and went ahead and joined various different cover bands playing Classic Rock, R&B and Funk, Top 40 Pop and the like. Then I joined an 11 piece African Group which played original pop music from West Africa. Most guys were older and studied players. I was neither but I began to study theory for the first time. It was an eye opener for me and I learned quite a bit from that experience.
In 1996 Fates Warning approached me to replace Joe DiBiase as the bass player in the group. I gladly accepted having been friends for quite some time. We shortly went in to record A Pleasant Shade of Gray. I’ve been in the band since and am still an active member. I’ve recorded 4 records with Fates and made several videos; DVD’s and I even directed a full length live concept video for APSOG. God damn, this is sounding really dry isn’t it. No apologies, I think resumes ARE dry and excruciatingly boring.
Along the way, I started engineering around 1996. Since then I’ve worked with The Plain White T’s, Ridel High, Anthrax, Mother Superior, Fates Warning, Armored Saint, Steel Prophet, DC4, Seven Witches, Engine and so on… oh yeah, and I produced and engineered my new opus A Chinese Firedrill. I own a small mixing studio and I work in Pro Tools. If you’ve read this far and I’ve got your attention and curiosity, you must check out my website for all details including Discography’s and what not. Go to: www.joeyvera.com – duh.
Also along the way, I’ve been hired on occasion to play on records or demos. This has been really cool as it’s afforded me the chance to play with some really great folks. Kevin Moore, Mike Portnoy, John Arch, DJ Bonebrake, Scott Travis, Scott Ian, John Tempesta, Brian Posehn, Lizzy Borden just to name drop a few.
A Chinese Firedrill “circles” was written, recorded and performed by yours truly from May 2005 – June 2006. I perform all of the instruments and vocals with the exception of the drum tracks. The music on “circles” was conceived out of a desire to pull influences from the past and subject the writing process to an “experiment in arrangements and instrumentation”. Ooooh doesn’t that sound intelligent? Well it’s the truth none the less.
In November of ’07 I did some extended remixes of 3 of the songs which are only available for download at Minddawn.com so please visit the A Chinese Firedrill page here on the left for more info. The remixes are really cool.
I believe it’s OK to site what your influences and inspirations come from. It’s really nothing to be ashamed of. So, this record draws from my early influences such as Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Rush, and from more recent influences such as Tool, Porcupine Tree, King’s X and OSI. There, I said it! I am now signed to ProgRock Records and I’m honored to be a part of their family.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’d be glad to accept any questions you might have. Just keep in mind this place gets busy so give me some time to respond. Thank you and have a nice year.
– Joey Vera