Interview wtih Papa Joe Aviance

Papa Joe Aviance is a dance music performer best known for performance with Lulu on the track “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”. His current song is working its way up Billboard Dance charts. Media Mikes had a chance recently to speak with Papa Joe about his music and future plans.

Adam Lawton: What made you first want to get into music?
Papa Joe Aviance: I have been passionate about music all of my life. I grew up playing the violin and I was also in the marching band. Music is something I have been around all of my life. When I first experienced club music it was like church for me. Feeling the grooves and beats was very magical and I fell in love with it. Music in general is something that I just really love!

AL: How was it getting to work with Lulu on “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”?
PJA: Amazing! I had danced to her tracks many times in the clubs and to have the opportunity to work with her was a blessing in disguise. My demo had been sent to Kult records and that day was the same day the originally rapper on the track was fired. They liked my voice and if would mind doing the rap on the track. Next thing I know its number 6 on the Billboard dance charts.

AL: When you were working on the track did you think it was going to be as big as it turned out?
PJA: Not at all. When it did get as big as it did I saw myself on the video and I knew I had to change my appearance. I knew I just couldn’t look like I did. I remember going to a local sports bar and hearing that song on the juke box. I just couldn’t believe it. From there I really got the motivation to lose a bunch of weight and was the next big thing to happen to me after that song was released.

AL: Can you tell us about your new track titled “Live For Life”?
PJA: I had Willy Sanjuan at a music conference about a year and a half ago. I was there promoting “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”. He and I had been communicating through email and through the process of my weight loss I started writing this track. We recorded and submitted it and now it’s being promoted everywhere. I am really happy and proud of the track. This really is my very first solo track.

AL: How was it going into the studio by yourself for the first time?
PJA: It was fun and exciting. I love being in the studio and getting to brainstorm material. This new track is kind of about being passionate and doing what you love.

AL: Can you tell us about Papa Joe Network Productions?
PJA: That sort of came into play about 2 years ago. I had helped with some things on the “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” video. During my weight loss journey I decided to document it. From there I started working on other projects besides my own. I like trying to help people get their message out.

AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
PJA: I am currently working with a few charities right now filming their events. Besides filming for those groups I am also involved heavily as a member. Next year I am planning to do a Walk Across America tour. I am planning to visit 10-15 cities to promote not only my new song but a healthy and active lifestyle. I plan to document the whole thing and submit it to festivals when it’s all done.

For more info on Papa Joe Aviance you can go to his website @ www.joejoenow.com and you can view some of his production work at www.youtube.com/papajoeaviance

Film Review “The Last Rites of Joe May”

Directed By: Joe Maggio
Starring: Dennis Farina
Distributed by: Tribeca Film
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 103 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I was originally asked to review this film to prepare for a review with star Dennis Farina. So I had no idea what it was or what to expect and I was real happy I watched this film. It is quite the gem and Farina is a one man show that plays one of his best character roles to date. The film is yet another recent gem from Tribeca Film following recent films I’ve seen “The High Cost of Living” and “Janie Jones”.

Joe May (Dennis Farina) is a guy who gets out of the hospital finding that his life is turned upside down. His apartment is re-rented, his belongings are gone, his friends have forgotten him. Joe is an aging short money hustler, who has been looking for his big break around every corner. With his health fading and options running out it is Joe has one last chance to achieve greatness.

Dennis Farina is known for playing the tough guy…someone you don’t want to mess with but this role was made for Dennis Farina. Dennis is vulnerable but still tough and he still kick an ass. The roles I can recall for Dennis Farina have him in a supporting role and this one really gives him a chance to shine. The role was pretty physical as well and I give him a lot of credit in fact. Overall it is a very tight drama with a great story and notable performances.

Interview with Elephant Mountain’s Joe Altier

Joe Altier is the former front man of the Syracuse based hard rock band Brand New Sin. Joe has a new group called Elephant Mountain which features former Brand new Sin guitar player Brian “Slider” Azzoto. The group has just released their first CD and Joe took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with Media Mikes about the release.

Adam Lawton: What led to your decision of leaving Brand New Sin?
Joe Altier: There were a lot of reasons for me leaving Brand New Sin but without a long winded answer I was unhappy not just with my position in the band, but with myself in life. A lot had happened in 2007 leading up to my departure good, bad and, ugly. Basically I hit a turning point where I was re evaluating my life. I decided the best thing was to leave the band and let them move forward. I needed to fall in love again with myself and with music.

AL: What was it like writing songs again with Brian “Slider” Azzoto?
JA: Writing with Slider again was surreal. He was my compadre in Brand New Sin and when we kicked him out, I felt I lost a little bit of myself. He and I didn’t talk for a few years but after reconnecting and becoming friends again, I knew that we would eventually work together again. Next thing I know we start jamming again and we picked up right where we left off. We have a great bond not only as friends but as songwriters as well.

AL: Was there any reason you guys decided to release the Elephant Mountain album independently?
JA: We decided to do it on our own because honestly there are no record labels anymore. It was nice to write at our own pace and with no outside influences or deadlines. Also who is going to sign a bunch of guys pushing 40! (Laughs) We had the means to record and release it ourselves so we did! We won’t ever do any extensive touring with Elephant Mountain but we just want to make good music and have fun.

AL: Do you have a favorite track off the new album?
JA: My favorite track off the Elephant Mountain album is “Pray”. That song was written about my late father and the traumatic events of the day he passed. That song is the most soulful, personal song I have ever written.

AL: Can you tell us about your other two projects Just Joe and Aylyst?
JA: Aylyst which is my cover band that plays mostly classic rock and heavy metal tunes. That project really kept my chops up while I was waiting for Elephant Mountain. As of right now it is on hiatus as I have been busy with Elephant Mountain and Just Joe. Just Joe is what keeps me the busiest these days. I am playing 4-5 days a week with a song catalog of close to 2000 songs which range from Frank Sinatra to Metallica! Just Joe also is an outlet for my “lighter side”, “country side”, “soulful side” and so on. I have released an EP and a full length in the past year and am working on another EP and album as we speak!

AL: 2000 songs is a lot of songs.
JA: I am busting with songs! Some of them were written over the past 10 years and were never used in Brand New Sin or they were something I just kept to myself. I live, breathe and eat music!

AL: Other upcoming projects or plans?
JA: Well I play to release a Just Joe EP at Christmas time and a full length album by summer of 2012. Elephant Mountain is knee deep in writing a new album and we have about 5 songs written far. We probably will finish writing and recording that over the winter and release that in 2012 as well!

To find out more about Joe Altier and to hear some of his music click on the links below. Also be sure to read our review of Elephant Mountain’s debut release, here: