Joe Sib is a man of many talents. A pioneer in the punk rock world, Joe played in the band Wax (as well as in the supergroup 22 Jacks) and also co-founded SideOneDummy Records, which helped put a little band known as Flogging Molly, on the map. Joe has also taken on the title of comedian. From the Bridgetown Comedy Festival to FYF Fest to his newly released stand-up album, Nowhere Near the Top, it seems there isn’t anything Joe Sib can’t do. AXS wanted to find out more, so we took some time to chat with the comic.
Joe discussed the journey from music to comedy and told AXS, “It’s funny thinking about life before comedy because comedy was always such a big part of my life.” He credits his parents with introducing him to both worlds. “Those early years with their record collection; that really shaped my life,” he said. “It wasn’t just the music; they also had artists in their collection like George Carlin. To me, as a kid, George Carlin was so punk rock. He was just one dude that went out there all by himself and made people laugh.”
Joe went on to talk about life as a teenager after his parents divorced and what it was like making his move to a brand-new high school. “I came from this little surf town called Santa Cruz. And then all of a sudden I moved to San Jose. I was in the city. It was my first interaction with real punk rock kids.” That transition put Joe in San Francisco during punk’s prime and had him at shows to see groups like the Circle Jerks. “I was at the right place at the right time when punk rock hit the suburbs in the ‘80s. I saw every band from the Ramones to Black Flag and everything in between.”
After college, Joe made his move to Los Angeles. “When I got down here,” he explained, “my focus shifted toward being in a band, touring and writing. That’s when I started Wax. We got signed to Caroline, then we got signed to Virgin, then we were on Interscope. We worked with Spike Jonze. We worked with Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade; they had just come off making the Radiohead record. We made 13 Unlucky Numbers with those guys. All of a sudden I was just on this great ride.”
And the ride didn’t stop there. After the breakup of Wax, Joe put together 22 Jacks, which consisted of Steve Soto (The Adolescents), Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters), Jason Cropper (Weezer) and Matt Riddle (Face to Face). The all-star lineup, Joe says, “was just really made up of people I admired.” After being in a band and touring from the age of 15 to 33, Joe then turned his attention to the record label which he had started a few years earlier. “Once we signed Flogging Molly”, he recalled, “I knew, and my partner Bill Armstrong knew, that this thing could go far.” From a number of incredible bands to a Warped Tour compilation, SideOneDummy Records was on the frontlines to help usher in a new era in the music world.
Joe told AXS, “At the time I was managing the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the program director from Indie 103.1 and I got to talking. He put me on the air and I really fell in love with doing radio.” Soon, Joe found himself in the middle of another revolution; one that dominated the airwaves. He was in good company with the likes of hosts such as Steve Jones, Dicky Barrett and Dave Navarro, lending a voice to a new alternative rock platform. It was while he was doing radio that Joe Sib (and his fans) discovered his humorous side.
Joe eventually mastered the art of storytelling and landed himself at the Hollywood Improv. “That became the next seven years of my life; just trying to learn the art and the craft of stand-up,” he said. “I was so lucky, starting here in L.A. I got to be around so many great comedians. People like Chris D'Elia and Daniel Tosh. I was on the sidelines getting to watch them do their thing. You learn so much doing that. I just nerded out on it.”
As his life has come full circle, now married with two children; the entertainer co-hosts the popular podcast, “Rad Parenting,” along with advice expert, Anea Bogue. Just last month, he released his debut stand-up comedy album, Nowhere Near the Top, with 800 Pound Gorilla Records. It’s available digitally and on vinyl.
The comedian said, “When it came to making a comedy album, I wanted my record to be different than anything else that was out there.” Having always been authentic in all that he does, the performer of course stayed true to form. “Right now where I’m at in life, I’m a dude with two teenagers and I’m staring at 50 years old. When you’re a kid, 50 sounds like a relative who lives in Europe. Now, 50 is like a roommate in my house.”
So, will we ever see Joe back on stage in all his punk rock glory? “At this very moment, I have no desire to play music,” he shared with AXS. “But as anyone who knows me knows, that could change by the end of today.”
Be sure to check out Joe’s website to stay up-to-date on all the latest.