Ready to meet another person you’d be lucky to have in your arsenal of fans? Our newest Expert Fan has quite an eclectic taste and her love of music is absolutely infectious. Meet the lovely Joy Regen.
I met Joy via another Expert Fan, Trina Green. Yes, I like to think that us Expert Fans end up being drawn to each other via great tunes. I can’t remember which show I actually met Joy at, but I do know that we bonded quickly over our love of The Janks, Irontom, and The Diamond Light, to name a few. Joy is one of those people whose name exemplifies a large part of their character; she passes out smiles with ease and is one of the best people to shimmy alongside at a show. She is quick to offer up suggestions of bands to scope out, and is a huge advocate for the bands she loves, as all our Expert Fans are.
That being said, Joy is someone you should know. So, read on to get to know what bands she first fell in love with, why bands should play more live shows, and what makes a show great for her, aside from the music.
I guess mostly Orange and Cyprus (CA).
So, how long have you lived in LA?
I moved here last October formally, as in signed a lease, etc. But, I have been couch hopping here since last January.
Favorite bands growing up?
My first concert ever was Menudo. But, my first posters, well, I remember I had a toy closet. It had like Strawberry Shortcake shit and all my Legos and what not. One side of my closet was Boy George, the other side was Michael Jackson. They would face off every time I would open and close my closet. My Dad tried to get me into the Beatles, and there was a bit of Bowie thrown in there. Mostly, whatever my Dad listened to, to be honest.
But then, I want to say Junior High-ish, it became about all of the hard rock hair bands, Warrant, Poison, Motley Crue was our graduation song. We wanted to do “Youth Gone Wild” by Skid Row, but the school wouldn’t let us. So, we had to settle on a Motley Crue song, which was better.
So I was a Warrant girl for a while until my Bowie phase fully kicked in. Then I started getting into Japanese Rock. So, that was Dir en grey, which remains to this day. My license plate is an homage to one of their songs.
Jo: Oh, really?
Most people don’t know that. There’s two different meanings that people get from it, it’s either hardcore, because they misread it. Or, they think it’s an R2D2 reference, which I am totally fine with, because I’m a Star Wars fan. So, but its actually a Dir en grey song, which is funny, it’s R2D Core.
Best live show you’ve ever gone to?
Yeah, there’s like a top five. Oh, God. One of the highlights definitely is probably a combined show, but every time I’ve seen David Bowie live. I’ve seen him twice. The very, very first time was on a tour with Moby of all people. It was Blue Man Group, Bowie, and then Moby. Bowie wasn’t even headlining. But, just hearing “Ziggy Stardust” live in an amphitheater full of people singing it was like a super religious experience. I was just like, “Oh my God, this is insane. This is the most insane thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life.” That’s always going to be one of my favorite shows.
Probably my first Dir en grey show in Japan. It was awesome just because I thought I would never see them. It was a birthday show for the bassist, so the entire crowd was singing happy birthday in this weird Japanese accent. It was hilarious, and he came out on stage crying. It was really cute.
Every show is almost my favorite one, until the next one, because it’s always that high.
What makes a show great for you, aside from the music?
The energy of the band. Even Bowie, God, it’s Bowie, what can he do wrong? But if Bowie spent the entire time with his back to the audience and just whispering into his microphone, it would be slightly less religious.
Also, the capability of the band to interact with fans. That’s huge. Probably my comparison would be the Dir en grey shows, because sometimes the band is on, and you can tell that they are all on, they are smiling, they’re engaging, and the crowd responds to that. But, sometimes they’re just sitting there behind their instruments.
Engagement and energy make a show that much more than the music. The music will always be there. Also, crowd singing is huge when it comes to a band, but that kind of goes with the energy of the band as well. If they don’t give, then what’s the crowd going to give back?
What’s your day job?
I have a part time gig, Consulting Artist Management. So, that’s a lot of fun. I’m looking for either a full time gig or enough part time gigs to pay me full time wages. It’s kind of my in with music. Currently, I’m working in Hip-Hop, which is an arena I don’t have a lot of experience in, because I am more of a rock girl, but I love the artist that I am working with. We did conference calls with them twice this month already, and I love them.
Here’s a story for you. I was working a door at a club in Silverlake last month somewhere and there were two shows going on. I was in charge of a Hip-Hop show, which I was like okay whatever. This was before my Hip-Hop gig actually started so I didn’t know what I was getting into. The other show was the usual Indie-Rock type. The guys that really stuck out and were super friendly were the ones at my Hip-Hop show. So I was like, “Wow, this is a great intro into the Hip-Hop world…” I still keep in touch with a couple of them that I got to know. They were super nice and respectful to just the girl working the door. Which, a lot of bands are like, “What are you doing?” or whatever to.
Favorite venue to see music in LA?
In LA, the Troubadour. My new one, and I’ve only seen one show there, but I’m cautiously starting to like Mrs. Fish. I like all of the rainbow lighting. But, again I have only been there once. Sound-wise, vibe-wise, the Troubadour.
If a band member came to you and just asked you for some general advice as a fan, what’s a piece of advice you’d give to bands? What should they be doing? Have you ever been to a show and thought, “I wish more bands did this…”
Talk to your audience from the stage. You can disappear afterwards if you’re scared of your fan girls or what not, and that’s fine. I get it. You don’t want to be stalked. I mean, if you’re not that comfortable, whatever. But, connect with your fans from the stage at the very least. If you go up there and you don’t introduce your band until like the third song, they’re like, “What?” Any type of banter, any type of anything, make fun of yourself, whatever it is. Say whatever comes to mind. But, talk to your people. I realize if it’s like your first gig, or you know, you’re uncomfortable with the venue. Maybe you’ve never played there before, you don’t know the crowd, but they don’t know you either. So, this is your chance. If you bombed at your last show, it’s like, “Hey, now I’m a comedian.” And that’s how they’re going to know you. Every show is like a chance to re-invent yourself.
And if you can, stay and do the meeting and greeting afterward. It’s always good to connect with your fans. That hug, that handshake, that something, that, “Hey, thank you for coming.” That’s huge. And that makes the difference between me picking from the five other shows I could go to. If I know that this band will appreciate my being there, rather than this band who could not give a fuck if I was there or not.
Who are you listening to right now?
Okay, right now I am with like half the population of the world, listening to Wiz Khalifa. Just because I’m obsessed with “See You Again”. Partially because I just saw Fast and the Furious 7. I adore that entire franchise, I have a massive soft spot for Paul Walker. So, anything to do with that movie, especially that song, that emotional hit, yeah. That’s killing me right now.
Also high on my list of things I’ve been listening to over and over, is that Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye mash up. Because what the hell is that? It’s called “Four Five Seconds”. Other things that are on my radar right now, still Dark Waves. Basically I will listen to whatever I last saw live. So, The Janks are also in heavy rotation right now.
I listened to a little bit of The New Electric Sound going in before their show last night, a little bit of Moth and the Flame coming out of the show last night, but that’s…Hey bands, play live shows, because this stuff happens. You end up wanting to listen to stuff to prep for shows so that you know when to sing along, etc. Then if stuff sticks, after the show you end up with it on heavy rotation.