I'm sitting outside SideoneDummy Records' offices with co-founder Joe Sib. As he sips his coffee, I soak in all of his accolades (it takes awhile). Aside from starting the label nearly 20 years ago, Sib has played in punk-rock bands his whole life. Joey Ramone was at his wedding, for fuck's sake.
But people age, and for Sib, that meant throwing in the towel as a musician. After some time away from the stage, he yearned to find a way back behind the microphone. In addition to hosting the radio show Complete Control, which airs every Sunday night in seven cities, including Los Angeles (via FM 98.7), he toured for three years with his successful one-man show California Calling. But comedy has always been a passion for the punk rocker, so he gave standup a whirl. He has appeared around the country and started the monthly variety show Bare Bones Show, currently held at Hollywood's Hotel Café. On Wednesday night, Sib will co-headline the Irvine Improv stage with Jason Collings. From the minute he opens his mouth about it, it's obvious he couldn't be more stoked
OC Weekly (Katrina Nattress):Was it hard to transition from performing music to standup?
Joe Sib: I really love comedy and standup because when it's going great and you get up onstage and connect with an audience, it's so awesome, and it's no different than that feeling I used to get when I would look out at the audience and see a whole roomful of kids singing along. The flip side to it is you're out there by yourself, and when it's not happening, you feel it more than you'll ever feel it in a band.
What type of material do you generally write?
One night, I got up at Largo in Hollywood, and the MC was like, “I just want you to go up and talk about what's going on in your life.” So I just started talking about me: I've been married for 22 years, I have two kids who are 8 and 12, the fact that I'm somebody's parent trips me out every day because I raged against the authority all my life and now I am the authority. Putting that all together in 2013 was the material that connected the most with the audience, so I started writing more and more about that.
Talk to me about the Bare Bones Show.
It started out of complete necessity. I wanted to get up and do more comedy, but I didn't really have a relationship with any of the people putting on open mics. So I kind of went back to my roots with the mindset of "If I'm not able to get on those shows, maybe I'll just start my own show.” I brought in comics I loved, bands and magicians–I'm a full-on magic nerd–and did it myself. I've never waited around for someone to help facilitate my goals; I've always done it on my own or with groups of like-minded people.
You recently signed comedian Erik Griffin to SideoneDummy. Is this going to be an ongoing trend?
Totally. We're talking to a couple of other comics I'm really excited about. Erik was our first comic, and that came together from us performing shows together at the Laugh Factory. What I love about him is he's not afraid to talk about anything and everything under the sun. Some people get uncomfortable at his shows, and I love seeing that. But he's also the guy who has people crying and buckled over because he's that funny. We had one meeting, and two months later, we were recording the album. He's like a band–he tours his ass off. Also, he lets me open for him. It was in the contract.
Joe Sib performs at Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Dr., Ste. 841, Irvine, (949) 854-5455; irvine.improv.com. Wed., 8 p.m. $15. 18+.
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