Jim Sullivan covered some of our earliest shows in Boston. He was at T.T. the Bear’s when the band decided to lead the crowd in a parade out of the club, down the street, into the Middle East (where a different band was playing) and back. And he was there many years later at the Paradise, standing next to Tim’s mom and feeling a bit uncomfortable as the band cursed up a storm.
Anyway, we consider him a pal, so it was a treat having an extended discussion about our new album with him, conducted over email and the phone.
Tim says you should read all the way to the end, as Jim got him to explain what the band does and why in the most romantic manner he’s ever managed.
The new album has been completed. Donors to the IndieGoGo campaign that funded its creation have already received digital downloads for their generosity. Everyone else has to wait till March 19th, when it’s officially released. But you can pre-order it now, as a digital download, or a CD with a lyrics/credit booklet, or a vinyl LP, also with a lyrics/credits insert. There’s even a VERY limited edition version of the LP that comes with an autographed dust sleeve and a bonus download of 8 outtakes from the sessions. All orders unlock three tracks from the album now, and will unlock another single when it comes out in early January. Get yours here.
We’re pretty proud of the results — not quite sure how or why, but something about the rage and frustration engendered by the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns resulted in a flood of new material that we’re pretty sure measures up well with anything we’ve done in the past.
But we’ve also got a more momentous announcement: we’ve been having so much fun recording again, and have found the process of writing one or two new ones for each old one we revisit so inspiring, that we’ve decided to record a complete album that way.
Yup: we’re working on our first album of new material in almost a quarter of a century. It’s tentatively titled Last Century, because half the songs were written in the literal last century, and half the songs are being written in this, which sometimes feels as though it might be humanity’s last.
You can hear the latest fruits of that approach on August 7, when we release “Pong,” a brand new song, backed with the long-overdue studio version of “Hey Merlin!,” a tune we demoed for Cereal Killers but never officially recorded (though the original, live-to-two-track demo has surfaced on the fan-club only single Dr. Seuss is Dead, as well as the Gods and Sods compilation.
We’ve set up an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund the recording, so if you want to pre-order a copy of the album before it officially exists, you can do so there for $10, or you can contribute even more in exchange for various perks.
As bored as everybody else while self-isolating in June, Too Much Joy decided to see if they could complete a couple of songs in time for the next Bandcamp First Friday.
The result is New Memories, a 3-track EP. New Memories parts 1 and 2 were written and recorded June, 2020. Snow Day was written in the early ’90s, but never recorded till now.
Sandy and Tommy laid down the rhythm tracks at Riverworks, with the patient assistance of Matt Noble. Bill added his parts in his home studio, Jay recorded his with the help of his son Leo at home in Los Angeles, and Tim added his vocals at Anu Kirk’s home in San Francisco.
Bandcamp has been waiving their commission on the first Friday of every month, so TMJ is celebrating by making some rarities more widely available. Go to our bandcamp page to get the following goodies:
Dr. Seuss is Dead, a fan club 7″ from 1994 with three songs we promised we’d never make available in any other medium. Oops.
Mystery Limousine, a song we wrote in the early-’90s but never recorded until the aughts, originally released as a free download in Christmas, 2009 on this site
The Lost Album, which is all the songs we wrote after Mutiny but before Sandy left the band. Most of them came out on Gods and Sods or the Crack reissue, but it includes Sandy’s original bass and vocal parts on 5 songs that came out in slightly different versions on …finally, all sequenced as they might have been if it hadn’t taken us four fucking years to get another record deal.
Oh, looks like Topspin media, the company we used to power all the free streaming on this site, has gone out of business. So there are now just empty spaces next to all the old albums, and in a lot of random posts that used to have media players attached. Bummer. It’s gonna take us a while to swap them all out using some other solution, so please bear with us in the meantime.
A couple months ago, Sandy was lamenting that the band had never really done justice to “Death Ray Machine,” a song we’d only ever recorded live to two track. Since Tim was going to be passing through NYC the following week, we decided to book some time in a studio and see if we could bang out a version that had the same energy as that live recording, but could finally be mixed properly.
So that’s what we did. Matt Noble recorded the basic tracks in New York, Johannes Luley captured some more in Los Angeles, and, since we were harking back to olden times, our pal Michael James, who produced Son of Sam I Am, mixed everything together with his customary aplomb (you can follow his exploits on social media using the very descriptive hashtag, #MichaelJamesProducer).
You can hear how it came out below (you can also buy it at Bandcamp, if you’d like to help us pay Michael James what he deserves, and/or persuade us we should do more of this type of thing).
We’re so pleased with the results, we’ve been discussing what other songs we wrote but failed to record might benefit from a similar treatment. Here are four contenders. If you have a preference, let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.
Two Februaries ago, Bill, Jay, Sandy, Tim, and Tommy spent a night at The Loft, the recording studio in Bronxville, NY where Too Much Joy first started recording. We were there to bash out a cover of “We Are The Clash” for a tribute album to Cut the Crap, the Clash’s worst record, which came out on Record Store Day, 2017. Four bottles of wine later, we’d not only finished the Clash tune, but had written and recorded a new, more realistic one: “We Are Not the Clash.”
We always figured they belonged together, and thanks to Matt Flood’s Asbestos Records, now they are, on a 7″ single with very fitting cover art. You can order it now from Asbestos for just six semolians.