Joe Cotela: Be A Light In The World For Right Now

Joe Cotela is the lead vocalist for the nu metal band DED. He seeks to be a light in the world through the music he creates and the positive messages they carry.

In his mission to make a positive impact on the world, Joe isn’t afraid to let anger play an important role in his music and he isn’t begging anybody to like his music.

In this episode, we chat about:

  • What sort of role anger plays in DED’s music
  • Why Joe doesn’t think about his legacy
  • Why he writes songs about anxiety and depression
  • The reason Joe isn’t on a mission to get every person on the planet to like his music
  • Why Joe and his bandmates intentionally hide the window to their souls
  • Being aware of how many people we’re inspiring or hurting at any given time
  • The power of music to create impact and affect change

You can check out DED’s music video for their recent single “A Mannequin Idol (Lullaby)” here

Transcript with Joe Cotela

Tim 0:53
Today I’m joined by Joe Cotela. He’s the lead vocalist of the band DED, whose debut album Misanthrope came out in 2017. And since then they’ve done a ton of touring with bands like Korn.

Tim 1:07
Joe, I was gonna introduce DED as a new metal band. But I hesitated because I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure what new metal is. And it’s the first time I’ve heard of that phrase. Can you give me that the primer here? What What is officially nu metal?

Joe Cotela 1:24
Um, well, that’s probably you know, just like any genre, I’m sure it’s kind of up to debate but usually new metal wood could kind of consist of bands like corn or limb biscuit or something in that realm Deftones or something, but then, you know, it’s arguable what the if those bands are actually new metal or not, but that kind of era.

Joe Cotela 1:47
And I definitely, you know, we get lumped in with that and there’s kind of like a resurgence of new metal I guess of bands using influences from those bands. And I guess we do have influences from those bands, but obviously in a modern way with a lot of lot more influences thrown in. So

Joe Cotela 2:00
But that’s pretty much what new metal is. And there’s a new term called New core, which is new metal and hardcore. And people call us that too. So it’s kind of just a way to kind of, I guess, you know, when people use genre names, it’s a way to kind of just tell people around about idea of what they might expect when they listen to you. Yeah, that makes sense. Nucor that’s another one I hadn’t heard of. So one of the things I wonder the most about me, I guess, new core and new metal. I remember limp biskit from back in the day, I love the best kit. And

Tim 2:35
I listened to you know, DED and DED reminds me of, I think you might have played a show or two a good friend of mine, Ron DeChant, and he’s in with Dustin Bates, Starset.

Joe Cotela 2:46
Oh yeah, definitely know those guys.

Tim 2:47
Yeah, yeah, it sounds very, not very similar. Like you’re not the same band, but the same sort of music. But when I listen to your music, and maybe it’s the visuals too, because you have like your music videos and a very what’s the word for it not a gothic now almost Rob Zombieish, I get a Rob Zombie feel from it.

But I get a feeling or I listened to it and I, it feels like there’s anger in there, but there is like when you listen to the music, it’s not like Angry lyrics or it’s not angry, like a message coming through. So I’m curious, like, do you feel anger in there? Or is that a different emotion coming through?

Joe Cotela 3:33
I definitely feel anger in there. But um, you know, I think, you know, I’m a big fan of, of, I guess the, you know, one of the terms is clarity through suffering and in some of the fan of like, portraying that suffering and that anger and that misery and all that stuff. And the dis just taste for, you know, whatever the topic might be, but with with a sense of hope and a sense of positivity and strength.

Joe Cotela 4:00
Which I think, you know, again, speaking about new metal A lot of it was very, you know, very dismal like, like, like, you know, there’s no hope in it was just it was just everything sucks and I hate everything and blah blah blah yeah and I guess like a comment from coming from growing up maybe in a bit more of a punk rock background and listen to like hardcore music and things like that there’s a big fan The lyrics are very strong to me in the sense of like unity and power and being positive through anger.

Joe Cotela 4:31
And I think that you know, all metal and punk and whatever it was rock and roll. You know, it was always very growing up it was always it made me feel good when I felt miserable and it made me feel like I could release my energy in kind of a positive way through art.

So I really try to always have the sense of empowerment mixed with the the anger and the aggression and a bit of sarcasm and hopefully some sort of a higher kind of message underneath all of it when you dig into it. That’s kind of, you know, I enjoy that. So I guess I should just do it, you know, kind of innately.

Tim 5:07
Yeah. What is that higher message that’s trying to come through?

Joe Cotela 5:11
Well, I guess you know, whatever it goes song to song, you know, there’s songs about you know, a lot, a lot of songs that I write or maybe about, you know, anxiety and depression and dealing with things like that and overcoming your yourself. I think, you know, we’re usually our biggest enemies.

Joe Cotela 5:29
There’s really nobody greater than enemies we are to ourselves. And so I think that’s a big thing as well as you know, our newest single American Idol is definitely kind of taking a shot at the music industry and taking a shot at at film and just just anything really that that we digest, that is kind of nonsense, and you know, what we identify with?

And do we actually really identify with these things? I mean, do we stop? Do we stop and take a moment to think about what we support and what we consume and in all aspects of our lives, and so there’s just a lot of different topics, but um, you know, it’s just an for instance.

Tim 6:04
That’s interesting. I love what you said about clarity through suffering I love but also about how you spoke about almost like harnessing, you know, a little bit of anger and kind of guiding it into something greater than just, you know, almost like saying anger on its own, it’s just useless and kind of a pointless thing. But if you can harness that and guide it to somewhere greater than maybe there’s something there, which sounds like what you’re sort of goal with with DED’s music is.

Joe Cotela 6:33
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s definitely what it is. And it’s something that I feel like was really powerful for me. Growing up you know, you think about when you’re a kid or going through high school times and you’re confused and you know, these you were the world on your shoulders and you don’t know what the hell to do with all this you know, angry you’re realizing that that you know, you’re realizing that people are terrible and you know, I some some are, you know,

Joe Cotela 7:00
You really shouldn’t come into you know, you realize there’s war happening you realize the government it doesn’t really have your back and racism and all these things, classes and everything but you realize you’re like, Why Why? Why are people like this? So I had no idea this was even happening, you know, and, and so all those things were frustrating for me in music.

Joe Cotela 7:17
I feel like really, you know, or girls, you know, finding, you know, getting your heart broken, whatever it is, you know, so, music was always just a safe place for me to jump around my room and trash it and headbang and scream and do whatever I wanted to and then, you know, eventually I just learned how to write my own songs. You know, I guess organically happens.

Tim 7:38
So kind of like an escape it sounds like it was for you. Absolutely. What were you escaping from? Was it just I mean, typical, teenage, angsty and aggression or was it something greater?

Joe Cotela 7:50
I would say that I would say typical, typical. You know, like I said, realizing the world was the way it was and you know, wanting to change things. When knowing how to you know, and, and that’s still something I’m still dealing with, you know, and just trying to do my part. That’s a tough thing to think about. Yeah, is how how do I be individual?

Joe Cotela 8:13
I want to create positive change, but how do I as the individual do that? And it sounds like, you know, for you, you said, Hey, I, I know music, I have a talent with music. Maybe that’s my, my path. Yeah, absolutely. That’s a big part of it. And, and I think, you know, it starts with an individual, you know, it starts with one person, it starts with everybody.

Joe Cotela 8:36
A lot of my lyrics I think, are self reflective. And I think and hopefully that that resonates with people. Again, when they dig into it, you know, you can you can look at music from a from a, like a face from like a surface level and, and it is what it is, and that’s cool, but when you dive into it, a lot of it is challenging people to to recognize themselves and how even you know, I include myself with the problem. I

‘m not perfect, you know, and but it really is, it all starts with us as individuals and you know, you do something positive and it reflects, it might inspire somebody else or you we have no idea who we’re inspiring or who we’re hurting all the time by the things we do.

Joe Cotela 9:13
AndI guess my general rule of thumb is just always try to be a good dude. And always try to do what feels correct in my, you know, in my gut, and I feel like, you know, suppose you’re trying to be a good person, you’re trying to do the right thing, and I think you’re on the right track, you know, as far as I know, anyway.

Tim 9:30
I think that’s a very safe thing. I would agree with that, I think the best you can do is try and hopefully succeed.

Joe Cotela 9:37
Right. It takes practice.

Tim 9:40
Yeah, yeah. So growing up, you mentioned your parents. Listen to music a lot. They? Yeah, like Black Sabbath, Joan Jett. I was reading the Beatles, elton john, that kind of thing. But you, you kind of felt like that. That was good music, but it wasn’t like yours, not your music kind of their music type thing. Right? Why did you find Why did you need music to become something that was yours? Was it like, You didn’t? You didn’t want to be like associated with your parents or just an identity thing?

Joe Cotela 10:15
Well, I guess not an identity thing. I guess it’s more of a retrospective, you know, their music that it still is my music, you know, because I love it. And it’s been a part of my life. It’s been part of the soundtrack to my life, you know, which is such a cool thing. Yeah, but, you know, I wasn’t around for their music. You know, it was something that that I was too young. I wasn’t really there to be a part of any of those scenes, and I wasn’t there to go see those concerts and all that kind of stuff.

Joe Cotela 10:42
I just listened to it on the radio, and I listened to it because they kind of exposed me to it. And yes, of course, I enjoyed it. But then I feel like at a certain point, when I became old enough, I started going to my own concerts and writing my own songs and being a part of a scene and and I feel like that’s my music, you know? That’s it.

Joe Cotela 11:00
My era that’s my time and I’m still, you know, still in that now and it’s an ever changing thing. But, um, so I guess that’s, that’s why I look at it that way, but it’s really all you know, music is for everybody and it still is mine. But you know what I mean? Like I just I wasn’t right. So it’s it’s just, it’s, it’s not necessarily mine, you know, in that in that sense.

Tim 11:20
I totally know what you mean, I think about what my dad like he is nowhere near as much into music as I am. But he always loved the Beatles and stuff. And I mean, I enjoyed the Beatles and stuff like I could never Connect, you know, especially if that’s like one of the single acts he likes. I could never connect with that and the way that he could because I just like you said I wasn’t around and it wasn’t my time.

Joe Cotela 11:42
Yeah, and I could say that I could say that about you know, about the Beatles, like some of the best songs ever written and they have a place in my heart and you know, imagine by john lennon to me lyrically is maybe the best lyrics ever written in any song ever. Yeah.

Joe Cotela 11:58
But you know, again, like you said, I wasn’t there and there was something happening during that time that he wrote that, that it made it so just, you know, so important, you know. And so anyway, that’s, you know, again, just a different time, but I still respect and enjoy it, you know, from afar, I guess.

Tim 12:16
Yeah, definitely. You mentioned earlier that a lot of your songs have been about depression or anxiety. Why, why those two topics?

Joe Cotela 12:29
Um, I think they’ve been very prevalent for me. I mean, they’ve been things that I’ve dealt with, you know, in my 20s, I started having, you know, really dealing with those things. And I think that it was something that, you know, was very was very heavy on me. And, and I and I, you know, with it happening to me, I, I educated myself, I read a lot about it, and, you know, millions of people, almost everybody really that’s ever alive deals with those things in some way, shape or form.

Joe Cotela 13:03
Some of us have it worse than others. And it’s something that’s just important to me. It’s something I deal with every day. I, you know, I’ve gone to therapy, and things like that for it. I’m cognitive therapy. And it’s just something that you battle with every day, you know, you haven’t one of those slumps, you got to push through it and all that kind of stuff. And it’s just something that some days are better than others.

Joe Cotela 13:27
But it’s, it’s something that, I guess it’s fascinating to me with the way that our brain is, as opposed to who we actually are, you know, our brain this this machine that thinks all the time but, but we’re actually separate from that brain where this living entity, this lightness, energy inside of this body, and we aren’t our brain, and there’s something about that where, you know, through reading and things like that.

I just I find it fascinating and I find it interesting that I don’t know, I wasn’t awake to that until went through this and I know other people go through it and maybe it’s not bad enough for them to even worry about educating themselves about it or whatever it is.

Joe Cotela 14:07
And so it’s just something that’s very strongly in the forefront of my day of my life. A lot of times, even if it’s subconsciously, really because you know, you’re so busy, you’re not stopping to think about things, but it was something that really impacted me heavily. And I think that it’s something that’s very universal for all humans. And so it just kind of organically comes out.

Tim 14:32
I would agree that it’s universally something I think so many of us experience like you said, to some degree or another. What did you learn from educating yourself on that? I mean, having starting to experience a little bit of each of those and then starting to educate yourself more. Like what did you learn about yourself through that process?

Joe Cotela 14:55
Wow, I guess a lot you know, it’s hard to remember how I felt before? I knew, you know, it’s like, how did you feel before, you know, there were cell phones, I can barely remember how that felt. You know what I mean? So yeah, long enough now to where I don’t even really necessarily know how I felt before I’ve I’ve been cognitive of what I’m talking about.

Joe Cotela 15:26
But I guess I learned a lot about the way that I am. And then I can see it in other people. And I think it helps me to help other people as well. Because a lot of other people haven’t done a lot of research on it, or they haven’t, I guess really dissected what a lot of it is.

And so I feel like it’s just maybe more aware of differentiating between worry and incessant thoughts and things like that and separating myself and like I said, I feel like, to me, it makes sense that there’s the thinker, which is the brain and then there’s me, which is who I actually am.

Joe Cotela 16:06
And really what I actually am is this experiencer inside of this body, I’m something that experiences things. That’s, that’s what life is I am life. What is it I? And then And then also, I think, therefore I am and so utilizing your thinking, rather than letting your thinking utilize you. Just those are things that came very apparent to me.

Tim 16:30
That’s a great statement. I never actually thought about it that way. Using Yeah, letting a thinking Are you using the thinking instead of thinking using you? That, really just even hearing you say that really kind of changes my perspective. That’s, that’s fascinating.

Joe Cotela 16:47
That’s cool. I would suggest reading some some Eckhart Tolle, if that hopefully I’m not butchering his name, but he has some great stuff like the power of now and things like that, so to speak some great books about things like that. So if that’s something interesting, if you read those would be some great books to read.

Tim 17:05
Yeah, I’ve recently been getting back into reading. I used to be such a reader. And then I like to joke that the internet killed my, my reading habit, but I’m trying to get back into good old fashioned books. So I’ll check that out.

Joe Cotela 17:18

Tim 17:19
What would you say? I love you know, it’s so great that for someone like yourself who, you know, really wants to create a positive impact on the world and has a talent decided to use that talent in you know, try and spread positivity that way. What would you say your kind of legacy is or what’s the legacy you’re shooting for? if any? I mean, some people don’t even think about legacy.

Joe Cotela 17:47
Yeah, I don’t think I think about legacy. I think that it kind of just happens. And I really don’t worry too much about it either. You know, I don’t know how many of us are really going to necessarily be remembered, you know, For how long will will we be remembered? I don’t know. You know, like two people even know who, you know, Beethoven was. I mean, some people do that a lot, you know, I mean, so like, how long will you be remembered for?

Joe Cotela 18:13
I don’t really concern myself with that. I feel like that usually falls into kind of like ego a little bit thinking of that. And I’m always trying to differentiate and separate myself from ego if possible. I don’t mean that in like, a way that people usually say the word ego, I mean, it just really just for exactly what ego is and what our ego is, and it’s this thing that just is worried about identity all the time.

Joe Cotela 18:40
And it’s always worried about the depth of your identity and oh my god, you know, what if what would the world do if I wasn’t here, you know, which is just it’s very funny, how special we try to make ourselves feel about ourselves. But what what I what it is to me is to just do the best I can be a light in the world Right now, if people remember it, I’m sure some people are impacted by me. I’m sure many people aren’t. And, you know, whatever that is, is fine.

Tim 19:10
I love that. I mean, as a musician, as someone who is, you know, performing recording albums, getting their music out there. You know, one would think that your sole goal is to get in front of or get your music into the hands of as many people on this planet as possible.

And I’m not putting hope I’m not putting words in your mouth, but it’s seems to me you’re suggesting that like, those that will connect with what I’m doing will connect with what I’m doing, but I don’t have to connect with all 7 billion people here if that’s not what’s gonna happen.

Joe Cotela 19:45
Yeah, exactly. And I’ve really always been a fan of, of polarizing music. I mean, I love all music. You know, I love the most popular thing in the world sometimes, and sometimes I won’t, but yeah, for me, yeah. It’s like if if it works, you know, this is what I’m doing this is I look at music like, like it’s a meal and I put the ingredients in that tastes good to me. And if it tastes good to me, then that’s the first thing that’s the first step.

Joe Cotela 20:11
You know, it has to be something that I’m proud of that that, that when I listened to it, it affects me and it makes me feel a certain way. And then once it goes through that process, and it goes out into the world, then you know, other people are humans, we’re all we’re all humans, we all have the same makeup.

So I imagine if it resonates in me, it will resonate and in others and so yeah, it’s just, there’s like, no begging for anyone to love me and my music, you know, if you don’t get it, if it’s not for you, that’s fine. Like, I’m cool with that, you know, like, cuz I don’t like plenty of music, you know, but, um, you know, so, of course, I want people to like it. But if they don’t, that’s fine. You know, like, I’m not, I’m not too worried about that.

Tim 20:55
That suggests to me that you have a confidence, you know, within you real self awareness and confidence that, like you said about the ego, you know, you’re okay if if people don’t, you know, if your ego isn’t fulfilled in that way, or if like you just said, if people don’t like your music, that’s totally cool.

Like, I feel like that’s, that’s doesn’t come easy, like that kind of confidence and that kind of understanding of what who you are and what it is you’re doing doesn’t come easy. Did it come easy for you? Or you’re always that confident in sure of what’s going on? Or did that kind of take time?

Joe Cotela 21:34
I would say took time, I think when, you know, when, when I was first starting out, you know, and I’ve been playing music in different bands and different capacities for, like 15, 20 years now. Um, I think in the beginning, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re young and you’re just fresh and it’s just fun and exciting at that point.

I don’t remember feeling too worried if people liked my stuff, but that at a certain point, I do remember it happening where I was more concerned. You know, if someone didn’t like it, it would, it would piss me off. And I’d be like, well, they don’t know what they’re talking about whatever. But really, it’s just them and they can do whatever they want.

Joe Cotela 22:13
Yeah. Like what I made, you know what I mean? If they don’t like, you know, same thing with me, and I’ve also turned, you know, I feel like I used to say, you know, I hate this, and I hate that. And I think it’s an interesting thing that, you know, I heard Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray, a long time ago. It was, you know, whether you like them or not, and I like them casually, you know, who doesn’t like a sugary song or something.

But, um, I remember him saying that somebody wished this you know, he sees people say like, I hope he died when they were popular. You know, I hope Barbie rap dies. And he’s like, I just make music. Why do you want me to die? You know what I mean? Like, and I thought that that was interesting because I used to say stuff like that I hate because you’re just so passionate about it.

Joe Cotela 23:00
Because you love music and you identify you don’t identify with, for instance Sugar Ray like or Nickelback or something, you know people love to hate them too and, or whoever it is and you know, you’re so passionate about it you say I go pick die, you know, like, why he’s just a guy making music you know, and so it’s just.

It’s just not that important if for someone to like me and think that what I’m doing is cool with them, you know what I mean? It’s not and and so I think over time, you know, and having a lot of I guess my idols and things like that, validate you is a very positive thing to work with.

Joe Cotela 23:41
A lot of people I grew up listening to that were inspirations to me I either got to tour with them and work with them in songwriting some capacity. There’s just those things I think they happen along the way that validate you to the point where you can say all right, I’m not kidding myself. I’m I’m not you know, this isn’t, you know, I’m not on the road, I’m not doing the wrong thing, you know. So at some point, yeah, you just become confident in the sense of like, I might not be for everybody, but I’m not cheating myself either. I do have something to offer.

Tim 24:11
That’s such a great feeling to when you, that validation, I imagine of just, hey, this idea I had of what I can do what I can be. I’m not the only one that believes in that. And now I feel like I’m capable of everything.

Joe Cotela 24:26
Right, as well as you know, as well as just going through the rounds of playing shows and you know, your fans and things and, you know, so yeah, at some point, you just reach a point where you’re like, Alright, you know, again, I’m not kidding myself. I know, I know, that I’m doing amongst some sort of a right track here and you know, but also not letting that go to your head and saying like, Alright, I’m awesome because, you know, I don’t know, you know, there’s always someone better than you.

So that’s what I will when I hear certain albums, I’ll listen to gojira. Or I’ll listen to whoever and I’ll be like, yeah, they’re better than me, you know? And that’s just my opinion, you know, so it’s just, but that’s, that’s, I think that that’s healthy competition with art and things like that. That’s all it really is. You know,

Tim 25:16
When you listen to an album like that, and you think to yourself, they’re better than me. Does that ever become motivation or fuel for you? Are you the type of person….

Joe Cotela 25:28
That’s what I mean when I say yeah, I don’t mean it. Like, yeah, I mean, it mostly kind of in a joking way where you’re just you’re just so you respect it so much that you just you go like, cool, like, this is this is, you know, it’s like you hear a song and you go, I should have written that, you know, that thing where it’s inspiring. I don’t mean it in a in a super negative way at all.

Tim 25:48
Oh, no, I didn’t think you did. I just wasn’t sure if you were suggesting that. Like, they’re better than me. I know that I’m gonna do my thing or they’re better than me. I’m going to use that as motivation to continue improve my craft and you know if I happen to get closer to their level cool if not, at least I’m continuing to grow.

Joe Cotela 26:06
Right. And then that’s just my interpretation of it, you know, because there’s other people out there that that like my music more than their music you know and so it’s just really just me just like I said, just having fun with it, just say a statement like that is just because music is really kind of arbitrary. Anyway, it’s, it’s, you know, what, what is perfect? You know, what is the Word Perfect? Like, it’s an opinion, you know, so whatever music you like, is really just an opinion. And there is no perfect really because it’s different for everybody.

Tim 26:36
Yeah, music’s gotta be one of the most subjective thing I guess art like, like, most music is art, but I’m thinking like an art gallery is another subjective medium to Yeah, with music, though. I love nothing to me beats live music being you know, and especially during COVID here, you know, that’s one of the biggest gaps I felt is not being able to get that true.

Live music but what is it? For me? I’m If I were you in your shoes, I think it would be the live music part and connect with the fans. But I’m curious for you, what is kind of that true fulfillment that you get out of, you know, being in dead or whatever band in the past and just being a musician and making music? Like what is the thing that just lights you up from all that? Why do you get up tomorrow and do it again?

Joe Cotela 27:28
I think I think it’s kind of an all inclusive thing. I mean, I really, you know, I just love music and I’m fortunate. Well, you know, yeah, fortunate to have that gift of being creative. But I guess your gift is your curse too. You know, so you’re kind of stuck with it. When you’re, you’re good at something you kind of like Alright, this is what I’m doing.

But it would almost be cool. Just be really good at math and, and like have like a, like a, an engineering job. And you know if that made you happy and you know, whatever, but anyway, um I guess all of it really I love the creative I love making something out of thin air. I love the feeling of writing something that’s cool.

Joe Cotela 28:18
My lady who’s in a band Maria, she’s in a band called In This Moment, we were discussing this the other day and we’re staying together and we’re, you know, we’re together during the whole quarantine and stuff. And we’ve had a lot of time to hang out and work on music and things and discussing, we’re talking about the feeling of, of writing a song and sometimes you’ll write something that’s so great.

And then you’ll be like, Wait, is this is this someone else’s song is my song and that creative process of putting lyrics to melodies and just really creating something that’s, I guess, tangible that wasn’t before in some way and you’re like pulling magic out of the air, I guess in some sense. You know, and and it’s a different journey for everybody.

Joe Cotela 29:04
I really love that creative aspect and making something that didn’t exist before that, that says something to you and hopefully to other people, you know, and that’s amazing. And then yeah, and then taking that and playing it for people live and having them respond and sing the songs back to you. There’s no feeling like that. It’s such a rush to play in front of 2.5 100 people that are passionate and then to play in front of 10,000 people that are passionate, I mean, they’re both special in their own ways. And that’s an amazing thing. So it’s, I think, for both of those reasons are pretty, pretty amazing.

Tim 29:42
I would totally agree. I bet the feeling of creating something from nothing, it’s just one of the most captivating experiences for me personally, I think. And you know, maybe for yourself, I mean for yourself as well, but maybe just any creative person. I wonder if that’s just What drives us is that feeling of I created this, you know, whether it’s a song or a book or whatever, a play out of, you know, some idea in my head, you know, it wasn’t written down. It’s amazing.

Joe Cotela 30:13
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s special.

Tim 30:18
It is special. I have to ask you one, one last thing. I’m laughing because I just got to know this. I saw a couple of different pictures of you. And I think it was dead throughout the years. Maybe recently. But you have these all of all of you in the band have these contacts that like having the note is that the pupil that’s missing? It’s like just solid white.

Joe Cotela 30:44
The whole eye, yeah.

Tim 30:45
Yeah, the whole eye and so it’s, it’s a I’m trying to think how to describe this. My first always a little disturbing, and it’s more so just because like, I think the human mind is expecting something in the eye and you don’t see it and so your mind is like what’s going on here? I’m just curious, What’s the story behind that? Is that just kind of like a brand thing like an identity thing? Or is it just kind of fun?

Joe Cotela 31:07
Yeah, so it really was okay. So initially, it really was just kind of fun. We started the band for for fun. This was like the first band I ever did. Where I wasn’t thinking of like, Okay, this is what we’re going to do to get this to get our, you know, to get our shows and a record deal and all that stuff. Like we just made this music and then it was time to play shows and you’re like, I wouldn’t want you know, like, let’s have fun.

Let’s have dresses, let’s do some shoes. So we used to wear like, black straight jackets with our eyes, with the context your eyes and we remember when we all did it, we all looked at each other and we thought it looked so creepy and really you’re blocking off the window to the soul.

Joe Cotela 31:49
The eyes tell so much. And it felt like that was really something that was you know, I guess it was powerful in a small But then it became powerful in a big way, in a sense, because it’s such a small detail. When you think about, you know, someone’s overall appearance, or overall, I guess, energy and everything. So that was just yeah, that was just something that we kind of did. We thought it looked cool. But then it also felt impactful when we looked at each other.

Joe Cotela 32:21
We’re like, wow, I feel kind of uncomfortable looking at you. And that’s good. Especially when we started, the music was even heavier than it is now, I would say, and we’re really going for something that was, I guess, more disturbing or more aggressive than then is turned into which is still very aggressive. It’s still whatever, but, um, and yeah, so.

So that’s all it was really, yeah, it just was part of adding to the feeling of the music, adding, you know, some sort of a visual aspect to that. And, and it was fun, you know, while we did it, and we might do it again, too. And there’s really, you know, there’s no rules, but we’re just not doing it right now you know again just don’t want to put ourselves in boxes to everyone.

Tim 33:08
Sure, the way you described as uncomfortable that’s exactly now like how you said window to the soul that’s exactly what it was is when I saw that it was this feeling of like uncomfortability but almost because of what you said about closing off the window for the soul I couldn’t see your expression I couldn’t see your how you were looking. But you could see Well, I mean like in the picture but you know, theoretically if we’re in person you could see me and it’s almost like I’m vulnerable type thing, right? Like I you closed off your your window there and I’m kind of freaking out. That’s very powerful.

Joe Cotela 33:48
Sure, yeah. It’s like It’s like baby when bodyguards wear glasses, you know, or Secret Service and I think there’s a reason for that. It gives you like a leg up on somebody else. They can’t read you the same way you can read them and I think that that was that’s part of the power of it.

Tim 34:02
That’s a really good insight. I think you’re right about that. I never thought about that, I guess that’s the same reason to wear sunglasses in poker.

Joe Cotela 34:09
Yeah, exact same. Exactly. You can. What did you call it a tell or something like that? Right?

Tim 34:13
Yeah. Joe, thank you so much for taking the time to chat. I really appreciate it. And I’m so excited to see you and dad continue to, you know, do what you love to do. And I think we’re going to need more music, more positivity and all of that in the near and long term future than ever before. So, thanks for being here. And thanks for all you do.

Joe Cotela 34:38
Yeah, thanks for having me on. And I really enjoyed this too. You know, after after all the technical difficulties, I’m glad we figured it out and got through it. So awesome. And I appreciate you having me on and thanks for having a nice, honest, chill talk. It was cool.