Interview: Ernie Joseph
My two brothers and I, and my sister, grew up with it. I remember my mom and dad doing their gigs up and down State Street in Santa Barbara, California. We were about six or seven years old. Eventually, when our sis was born, my parents gave up the live gigs and got behind our musical dream 100 percent.
All musicians are asked about their first instrument. How old were you when you got yours?
I was nine years old. I got a Stella guitar.
Do you still have it?
Yes, I do. I got it out of the attic a while back and polished it up. Now it means a lot to me.
How did you come to the realization that music was going to be your life’s work?
It was a blessing that our parents’ dream made us happy, and music was a big part of it. This kept us together, and we knew we were in it for the long run.
Who would you say was most influential in your life as a musician, and why?
My parents and Ray Estrada. Ray was with the Cordells and played Ventures music. He was also my best pal since 5th grade. We played football together and he got me to play music with him. He later joined the band, War, so that was cool. Just an all-around good guy, always looking out for people.
Of all the people you've worked with, who impressed you most both as an artist and as a person?
Wow, that’s a hard question for sure. Tim Bogert, Floyd Sneed, Cornelius Bumpus, Peter Rivera, Chuck Wild, Kenny Cetera, and Malia Mathis.
Who have you not worked with, but would like to?
SK Waller, Pat Benatar, Blondie, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Robert Plant, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
When you’re not working on music, what do you like to do?
I bike, play basketball, and work out.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Mostly Classic Rock. I like energy music, but I'll put on some jazz once in a while.
How important is it for musicians to adapt to change through the years?
It is very important to keep up with all the tech stuff. It never ends.
Is there anyone relatively new who excites you?
Right now I'm working in the studio with Brian Wise, and a band called ICU. That's pretty exciting.
What would you say was the most exciting moment in your life as a musician?
This has to be the Love Valley, North Carolina Music Festival. 100,000 people, plus. We played with nine other acts, including Duane and his younger brother Gregg Allman, also my friends Wet Willie and Kalabash. Brian Faith turned twenty-one that night on July 19th.
What are you most proud of?
Keeping our family tight and helping others to follow their dreams.
What instruments do you have, and which is your favorite?
I have two Fender Strats, a Les Paul Kustom, and a Martin-28 dry box. One of the Strats has a Floyd Rose locking tremolo system. I can really do the whammy dive bombs on it and it stays in tune.
Any last thoughts?
Life is very short, so let's all try to make a difference in making the world a better place. Always keep the Faith and enjoy the Good Times!