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During the comedic whirlwind of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Oregon, we had the chance to take a break from the entertainment onslaught and hang out with stand-up comedian and performer, Joe Sib. The Los Angeles-based renaissance man could not be any more amiable as we shot the breeze for the better part of an hour.

As an entertainer and creator, Joe Sib has had many lives, most notably, as the lead singer of ’90s pop punk rock band WAX. Sib’s rock showmanship would later translate into another musical project, the punk rock supergroup, 22 Jacks. As his high-energy rock performing life tapered, he transitioned into the music mogul business, co-founding the successful independent record label SideOneDummy. It’s a label that boasts such big talents as Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello. But even with the success of SideOneDummy, Sib still yearned for the buzz of being on stage. At the same time, he was over the demanding lifestyle of being a rocker.

This hunger for live performance was satiated by starting his one-man multimedia show —California Calling: A Story of Growing Up Punk Rock. The numerous residencies of his critically acclaimed one-man show soon evolved into a stand-up career. Sib now regularly hosts comedy shows at his home turf of the Laugh Factory. Did I also mention that he has an occasional radio show? All of this happens while maintaining a happy family life. The man is running on all cylinders and clearly loves it as he seems to be filled with gratitude.

We hung out at the bar/restaurant of Hotel Fifty, the hotel of choice by most out-of-town comedians that week. We conversed about the similarities between music and comedy, magicians, the art of live performance, discovering comedy by way of a George Carlin record, and balancing it all. At one point, his friend and colleague, Greg Behrendt, dropped in. Coincidentally, Greg’s name had just come up in the conversation at the time. We capped the afternoon session with a casual photo shoot with photography by Nathan Sanborn.

I can say, Joe Sib is a cool dude. Cool in his mellow demeanor, cool in his unpretentious swagger, cool like artists can be, cool in the way he’s driven to get the most out of life. Here’s what Joe Cool had to say…



TONY TRINH: We were just talking about how you’re only doing two shows this weekend.

JOE SIB: It’s the sheer fact that when I got asked to be a part of the festival I didn’t realize that you could be here for the four days and I just assumed…I was thinking like a band, like I’m gonna come up and do your show and split and then Andy and them were, “No, come up on Thursday and stay til Sunday,” and the promoter in Seattle had already put together a show for me and I didn’t wanna bail out on him and so and then Andy and everyone at Bridgetown were, “You know, we’ll put you on two shows on Saturday,” so I was stoked.

TRINH: You know, they seem very accommodating as hosts and co-founders. I was talking to Braunger and Wood, the other night, and they seem like cool people

SIB: Dude, Braunger is the best!

TRINH: Portland people, Man.

SIB: Andy and Matt’s one of my favorite comedians. We actually met…I met Matt about a year and a half ago at this Jubilee Comedy/Music Festival and another comic, Iliza Shlesinger, curates, and we were both on the show together

TRINH: She’s a funny gal.

SIB: Really funny, yeah.

TRINH: And easy on the eyes too.

SIB: Yeah, not hard. She put me on the show that night and we just kinda hit it off and he’s just been a really good friend. Solid guy.

TRINH: I mentioned before that you were the frontman of Wax.

SIB: Frontman of Wax, 22 Jacks.

WAX backstage at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. 1995.

TRINH: 22 Jacks still going?

SIB: No. We just stopped doing shows.

TRINH: In 2009?

SIB: Yeah, you know, we stopped, I wish…we did a reunion show, maybe 2007, something like that, but we stopped doing shows. It was right around the same time period that was SideOne and everything kind of growing there. It’s just hard to keep the band together and Steve Soto, he’s in The Adolescents, he’s in Manic Hispanic, he has his own solo project. He has The Black Diamond Riders, so he’s just so busy. Our drummer Jose (Medeles) actually was in The Breeders. He lives here in Portland.

TRINH: Oh really?

SIB: He runs a drum shop called Revival Drums, so it just got to a point where kinda doing the shows became more and more…harder. It started to turn into more of a hassle.

TRINH: It’s so time consuming. It needs your full attention.

SIB: I just wanted to figure out a way to get back onstage because being in a band I was the singer and, at this point in my life, how am I gonna figure how to get back onstage? So you know, comedy seemed liked the easiest way to do it because I didn’t have to move any gear.

TRINH: Your answering questions before I get to ask ’em. I was gonna ask how you transitioned into comedy and why? It’s very unique (this transition)? Was it just a love of performance? A craving? Is it the adrenaline thing? Sharing?

SIB: Totally! You know what it is, Man? For me, when I was a kid growing up, I mean the first rock star to me, the first person that I was just in awe of was Houdini. I was a full on magician nerd kid.

Harry Houdini

TRINH: I was too! I actually did a presentation about Houdini in 3rd grade and did the slicked back hair, bowtie. So I definitely understand the magic nerd deal.

SIB: I was so taken in by the mystical mystery of who he was and the whole thought of him dying on Halloween. You know, the whole thing.

TRINH: And the pageantry.

SIB: Absolutely. Also, as a kid watching The Great Houdini, the Tony Curtis movie, that was one of the movies that I watched as a kid and I just loved the performance part of it, so I’m doing magic as a kid and then, at a certain point, you realize that magic isn’t the coolest thing with girls.

(I laugh)

SIB: If I do wanna get laid I gotta put away the scarfs and the silver rings and…

TRINH: Unless you do shit up like Criss Angel and David Blaine.

SIB: There’s no Criss Angel, and plus, I don’t wanna do that many sit-ups.

(I laugh)

SIB: At a certain point, I wanna be a magician NOT a jazzercise instructor. What ended up happening was I got into music. That just filled that whole void of being onstage. I was in my first band and I was the bass player, then I went from the bass player to being the singer. And when I was the singer for the first band, we toured relentlessly. I mean, I was on the road, I started going out on the road when I was seventeen years old. First tour I ever went on was with Circle Jerks7 Seconds and my band Frontline. And we would go out on the road as far east as Salt Lake City and far north as Portland and Seattle and Canada. And we’d go to L.A. and I’d just immersed myself.

01 Joe Sib © Nathan Sanborn, The Superslice™

TRINH: Like early ’90s or late ’80s?

SIB: This was late ’80s. I was seventeen.

TRINH: Mom and Dad were cool with that?

SIB: Totally cool.

TRINH: Really? What’s their background?

SIB: My mom and dad, their whole background, they met on the East Coast, my dad being from Queens, my mom being from Philadelphia. Irish, Italian, Catholic

TRINH: Working class?

SIB: All working class. They met, they got married, they wanted a change of pace. They wanted to get out from underneath the…I think, the idea of “you get married, you have kids and raise ’em a certain way.” And it was the late ’60s/early ’70s. I was born in ’67. So they headed out to the West Coast and their whole thing was they wanted to raise a family in the mountains, and around horses, and five acres of land, and chickens, and wells, and goats, and that’s what I originally grew up and my whole…because I wasn’t a country kid at all. I wasn’t down for the horses and the chickens. And there was this little patch of cement, it was probably thirty by thirty (feet) and I used to…I had a skateboard and I would skateboard on that little patch of cement. And my full savior and what would get me through living in the middle of nowhere was my mom and dad had a record collection.

TRINH: And you’d go through that?

SIB: All the time. That’s where music really became a large part of my life but in that record collection there was one record in there and on the cover, I’ll never forget it, there’s a guy with a jean jacket, no shirt, torn Levi’s, and it was George Carlin‘s Live at the Santa Monica Civic. It was a turning point for me because I was looking at the cover of this George Carlin record and it has the seven swear words that led to the bit on there.

George Carlin - Class Clown - LIVE at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

TRINH: That’s a great introduction into comedy, right?

SIB: And when I’m looking at it as a kid, you know, I’m like, “Wow, Man, this guy looks rock ‘n’ roll,” and I thought it was a band. I thought it was the singer and it was George Carlin. That was the first record that I heard and I was, “Wow, Man, this is cool,” that thing that all of us feel — whether it’s with Chris RockEddie MurphyRichard Pryor, it was the same feeling I got from Houdini, when I was seven and ten, to the same feeling, I got later in my life with The Ramones or The Clash or The Damned or The Sex Pistols. These comics to me were…really felt like rock stars and then the rock stars I was into or the people I got into, musically, there was real connection between all of that. So throughout my life it was always these people, whether, like I said, Houdini or George Carlin or David Vanian from The Damned, that all came down to one germ — being onstage and having the connection with an audience. Joe Strummer is such a charismatic person. You know, Richard Pryor, charismatic, smart. Joe Strummer, charismatic, smart. And that really started to become like an ongoing, I think…story.

TRINH: That whole process of the live vibe of sharing with the audience, it’s a communal type deal, right?

SIB: Yeah, Man. I think for me, the thing for me at the time, with comedy and stuff, I loved…what I love about comedy right now is it really reminds me of the early ‘80s punk rock scene where you can go see a comic like Kyle Kinane, or you can see a comic like Matt Braunger, or Dave Chappelle can show up at the Laugh Factory and there can be a bill of all up-and-coming comics or comics that are happening in Los Angeles and Dave Chappelle just slides into the mix and just gets up onstage. Why? Because that’s what he loves to do. And that’s what I love about punk rock growing up. There was no difference and ALL of the bands were so important, we were all the same person. The only difference between them were they were on stage for the twenty minutes and we would all go see them and soon as they were done they were out in the crowd. And I feel right now in music; comedy and music are just colliding head on. I also feel that comics…a little bit of the danger, and a little bit of that energy that I loved about rock ‘n’ roll, it’s getting harder and harder to find. As we all watched with Sound CityDave Grohl‘s film, as much as technology has helped music, as much as technology has helped people meet each other to start bands, start the Facebook page, have the Twitter account, get the fans. With all those great things with technology, there’s also a lot of people that shouldn’t be in bands that start bands. You know? And it’s made it easy for those people where as…

TRINH: There’s not much quality control now.

SIB: There’s not much quality control!

TRINH: It’s so saturated.

SIB: That’s the downside but it’s also allowed an even playing field for comedians, for musicians, which I do love.

TRINH: There’s a meritocracy now, right?

SIB: It just feels like right now there’s so much opportunity, but with opportunity comes the pluses and the minuses. And I love right now that there’s so many great comics out there and it feels like there is a wave of greatness out there and I feel like it’s the beginning of the wave. I don’t feel like the wave’s crashed. Maybe in the ’80s all the comics just blew up and there were just too many of ’em.

TRINH: And everybody was getting their own television sitcom.

SIB: Exactly! I’m sure we’ll see that ’cause we always fuck it up anyway but I think it’s a really great time right now.

TRINH: You mentioned influences like George Carlin, was there a mentor or a buddy who was a stand-up who held your hand into frigid, sometimes biting, waters of comedy?

SIB: No. You know what? I never had any…to say…first of all, influences for me, the people I love, I could never consider George Carlin an influence or any of these great comedians because they’re like…I love Steve Martin and their greatness is so great and they’ve only influenced me in the sense of, “Oh my God, they’re so awesome, I’d love to try that.” It’s like watching Kelly Slater surf and you’re, “Oh my God, I was watching Kelly Slater pull into these huge barrels of pipeline. I’m gonna go surfing.” Yeah, you’re never going to pull into a barrel like that but you will paddle out on a longboard and those comics have influenced me in that sense. I love ’em so much and they’re so great. I would say, what’s helped me with comedy, like I haven’t had the guy that’s sitting there with me going over bits but I’ve been really fortunate for Greg Behrendt, he has been very…

TRINH: Supportive.

SIB: Very supportive, very helpful. Dom Irrera. Very supportive, very helpful.

TRINH: Yeah, I didn’t mean your in-house coach or anything but a peer who gave you tips?

SIB: No, no, no. Yeah, but you know what though? You know, Greg Behrendt, Dom Irrera, people at the Laugh Factory. Those would be the friends that have given me opportunities to perform. And those experiences have continued to lead to other experiences. And that’s been the best but doing the comedy thing, though, at the end of the day, you have to do it by yourself. It’s hard for me to get over because I’m so used to being in a band.

TRINH: Well, let’s talk about that, about live performances. What’s more challenging? With music, you kind of build this muscle memory, you perform your songs, you do your reps and everything. And each time you get up on stage and do your stand-up…

SIB: I think it’s similar.

TRINH: I would think that comedy would be tougher because you have to be more sensitive of the room and crowd and it’s more personal, I think.

SIB: Yeah. For me, personally, I feel that I only have past experiences to pull from and the experiences I pull from are being in a band. Even when I think of stories or jokes or whatever I’m gonna tell I still write it out like a set list in my head. “You know, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna go there, I’m gonna riff on this. I’m gonna jam on that,” I use those terms with describing what I wanna do in my head and I can only pull from being in a band. So I really only know those experiences. To compare what’s harder, Man, I mean, when you’re on stage and you make a room full of people laugh, it’s awesome. The only thing I can compare it to is when you’re on stage with a band and you look out in the crowd and you see that pit, and you see people dancing, singing your songs and those experiences are amazing and I can only compare that to when I was in a band and I would look out into the audience and see people singing our songs. Now for me that same high is when I say something and people laugh and I’m, “Wow! That was really cool.” I wrote that idea when I was running in my neighborhood, jogging. Wow, that little joke came from what I wrote on a napkin, on a Starbucks fucking bag. And I love that and that’s such a great thing. I love it.

02 Joe Sib © Nathan Sanborn, The Superslice™

TRINH: Let’s talk about the comedy scene in Los Angeles. One of the best things about the scene down there…for example, the last time I was at a club down there, was Largo, I was there to see Sarah SilvermanKightlingerDana Gould and out of nowhere Louis C.K. shows up and does an hour. You host the Bare Bones show at the Laugh Factory. But didn’t you start at Largo?

SIB: The first guy that gave me my break was (Mark) Flanagan at the Largo. ‘Cause I had this one-man show I was doing.

California Calling

TRINH: Great club.

SIB: I sent him a clip of this show I was doing and he was, “Mate, you gotta come and do your show here,” and I went in there and did the show and then I was doing this one-man show and it was all about stories and I had photographs and music and we were going back and forth and I was doing it there every month and one night he said, “I really want you to do stand-up,” and I kind of thought, “Yeah, I kinda am, aren’t I?” And he was, “No, you’re not.” And I was like, “Really?” He’s like, “Come back next week and I’m gonna put you up in our bar and I want you to do a twenty minute set but don’t bring any of your photographs. You can’t bring any props,” and I remember I went down there and I kinda outlined some things and it was probably terrible but when I got done he was like, “Okay, yeah, you can do stand-up. You’re a stand-up now.” And I was like, “I am?” And he was just…anyone that knows Flanagan, he’s just very to the point, no-bullshit type of guy. So, definitely someone else that’s helped me out a lot.

TRINH: I always hear that Laugh Factory always has a great crowd. And everyone says The Comedy Store is a hard room. Do you find that to be true.

SIB: Very hard. I only did The Comedy Store a couple times. I was doing the Belly Room and then I did the Main Room with my one-man show and I just, you know, I never really had that hook-up with the promoter and the person that knows you and I could never, as of now, work into getting into that room. And once I started doing shows at the Laugh Factory…I started doing a lot of stuff at the Melrose Improv. My home club is the Laugh Factory. And that kinda ended up being the place that…you know what it is? The Laugh Factory just gave me a lot of opportunity and they gave me some…

TRINH: There’s a loyalty there.

SIB: Totally, Man. I mean, the Laugh Factory definitely has given me the time and place to work on whatever it is that I’m working on.

TRINH: You’ve got SideOneDummy, where do you find time to work on everything?

SIB: I drink a ton of coffee. I don’t sleep. I haven’t slept since ’96. No, I mean, for me, it’s all about balance.

TRINH: And you have a family.

SIB: And I have a family. It goes: my son, my daughter, my wife. Your family is your first band and my wife and I, and my daughter, and my son, are priority number one and that’s…

TRINH: How old are your kids?

SIB: My son is eight and my daughter is eleven. So, all that matters to me, is that everything is cool with them. With them, they are priority number one. And then priority number two is everything that has to do with SideOne. Without SideOne, I wouldn’t be sitting here with you today. SideOne is everything to me. I love music. I love working with musicians. I love creating records. And I love the opportunities that I get to work with all of the great artists that we have. Right now, SideOne is at a stage I feel we’re finding new bands. We’re recreating the label right now.

TRINH: What are some of the upcoming bands on SideOne?

SIB: Skinny ListerTitle Fight, those are the bands that we’re really excited about. A band called Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band…Greg Behrendt, right now, coming in!

(Comic Greg Behrendt walks into the bar/restaurant of Hotel Fifty where we’re talking)

SIB: (Joe to Behrendt) Dude, I just gave you the raddest props.

TRINH: (me to Behrendt) Walking the Room, love it.

GREG BEHRENDT: Thank you, Man. How are ya?

TRINH: Is Dave (Anthony) running around also?

BEHRENDT: Yeah, he’s here. We’re running over to do our show. You guys doing an interview?

TRINH: Yeah, Man, you wanna jump in?

SIB: Jump in on this!

04 Joe Sib © Nathan Sanborn, The Superslice™

BEHRENDT: I just wanna watch Sib do an interview, that’s all.

SIB: I was CRUSHING this interview, Dude.

BEHRENDT: Were you?

(I laugh)

SIB: You know how everyone says to each other? “You know, so-and-so, crushed it last night,” I wanted to send out tweets like (in blasé tone), “Saw Greg Behrendt he was cool,” and you say, “Saw Joe Sib and…”

BEHRENDT: (matching blasé tone) “…he was all right. He was…I mean…”

SIB: “…you know. He tries hard.” Pound (hashtag) “trying hard” (#tryinghard).

BEHRENDT: How about that? (as a tweet:) “Saw Joe Sibb…MISS.”

SIB: You know how everyone’s just so positive? Everything’s EPIC.

BEHRENDT: People are crushing things. Everyone’s shit is destroyed.

TRINH: Killing it.

SIB: Yeah, killing it. You know what, sometimes it’s just OKAY. My wife and I were joking around because we were on Facebook and it feels like all of the families are doing the most insane, “Took the kids down to Malibu, had a quick run on the beach, now we’re heading back,” every weekend! What happened?! Why doesn’t anyone ever post like, “Daughter woke up throwing up, wife doesn’t want to talk to me…”

TRINH: Yeah, the mundane, dirty bits, right? California, Man, the music video. It’s one of the best of all time.

SIB: Thank you, Man.

TRINH: If it’s not THE best video of all time. It’s at least the best Spike Jonze joint, right?

SIB: Yeah.

TRINH: Was that all Spike Jonze or did you guys have input?


SIB: All Spike Jonze. I’ll tell you a little story right now. We were signed to Interscope Records. We were dropped. We made a record for Virgin and we turned that record in and it was (the time) before Offspring, and Rancid, and Green Day had blown up on the radio and we were all about pop punk. But at the time, what’s blowing up, the bands that were happening were Smashing PumpkinsPearl JamNirvana, so what we were doing wasn’t all like that. So we get dropped from Virgin. We spend a year…I’m holding the band together with duct tape, cheap beer, cable, guitar strings, just trying to keep the guys together. And we get this record done and no one wants to put it out and I end up getting it added to the L.A. radio station KROQ. They started playing that song California. And all of sudden, we’re back and everyone’s like, “Whoa, what’s up with this band Wax?” ‘Cause back at that point, you had a song on the radio, it made a difference. It can still make a difference now, but back then, it was just insane to even comprehend that (any) band could get a song on the radio because you would see it overnight (the change). Your shows would go from 150 people to 300. So, all of a sudden, we get signed to Interscope and one of the deals was…Spike said, “You know, if you guys ever get back up and running, I’ll direct your video.” Well, at that point, he was one of the biggest directors out there. Called him up, we got re-signed, he said, “I’ll do the video for sure.” And we went into this point we were trying to talk to him about what he wanted to do but he was, at this point, in his career where he really didn’t have to tell anybody what he was gonna do. He was already there.

TRINH: He was already established.

SIB: He was established but he was SO his own guy doing whatever he wanted. Every record exec was so excited that he would sign on to do anything with us. And I remember, seriously, I’m calling him and I’m dealing with the president of the record label and he keeps saying to me, “Hey, Man, check it out, he’s (Spike) asking me for this crazy amount of money and we can’t write this check until he tells us what we’re gonna do for the video,” and I’m like trying to go bro-style (with the Interscope president), “Don’t worry. Dude, it’ll be cool.” I remember we were (going to start) shooting the video on a Saturday morning and he called me on that Thursday, Thursday night, “Hey, wassup? I just finished doing this Firehose video,” and I was such a Mike Watt fan. And we all knew Mike Watt. “Oh, Dude, we filmed fire and I loved it and it looked really cool when you make it slow-motion,” and I’m like (in a concerned tone), “That’s cool. Enough about Firehose video what are we gonna do for the Wax video?” And he’s like, “I wanna do something with fire.” And I was like, “Okay. Do you, kinda, have any idea of what you wanna do?” ”

(Some handlers show up for Behrendt to wrangle him for his next show)

SIB: (Joe to Greg) You’re out? When am I gonna see you?

BEHRENDT: Bagdad, right now. Later on at the Hawthorne.

SIB: What time are you at the Hawthorne?


SIB: I’m gonna go there after I do my 8:30 show. We’re gonna see each other.

TRINH: Nice meeting you, Greg.

SIB: I can’t wait to hear the record.

BEHRENDT: (Walking away) Oh, Dude, you’re gonna be so stoked!

SIB: Later, Bud! And what ended up happening was I called up the record owner and said, “Look, you just gotta trust Spike Jonze,” and he (Jonze) showed up and said, “We’re gonna light this dude on fire and then film it.”

TRINH: What’s crazy is that it was a really controversial video at the time. Did they think dipshits were going to light themselves on fire?

SIB: Totally! Totally!

TRINH: I guess it WAS the Beavis and Butt-head era, so…

SIB: It was full Beavis and Butt-head and that was their favorite video. It was the first video where they had to play a disclaimer, “Please don’t try this at home.” That crew, Spike Jonze and some of the crew in the video, was the first original crew of that whole Jackass thing.

TRINH: Loomis (Fall) was a part of that? Loomis is a nut, right? Loomis is a crazy man?

SIB: I dunno about a crazy man, but he’s definitely a unique individual. I wouldn’t call him a crazy man because he’s…you know what it is? Loomis is cruising around in a different universe. He’s here but he’s not here.

TRINH: As a comic, what do you get out of these showcases and festivals?

SIB: Seeing friends. Hanging out with guys like you. Talking to people. Meeting people. Seeing great comedy. To be honest with you, this might sound cliché and sappy and…here’s the deal, I’ve been getting onstage since my first band when I was 14 years old. Okay? And I love performing. And when I was in my bands, right around 31 (years old), I was, like, “You know what? If I’m not gonna be in a band, I’ve had a great run with music and it’s been awesome. But I don’t wanna continue playing music unless it’s at that level and I feel like I continue to grow.” And right around 32, I felt like my glass of music creativity was empty. I walked away instead of doing it just to do it.

TRINH: Exercise another part of my brain.

SIB: Exercise another part of my brain, another muscle and that’s gonna be being the guy running the label. Being the guy with my partner (Bill Armstrong) doing SideOne. That’s when Flogging Molly had the success they’ve had, that was when Gogol Bordello happened. All of these great things started happening. But the whole time I was doing all of that, I was thinking about how I get back onstage because I never wanted to run a record label. I never wanted to be a manager. Those are just things I’m good at doing but I never had in my bedroom pictures of Ahmet Ertegun, “Oh wow, David Geffen!” I had fucking Ramones, Judas PriestMotörhead, THAT was what I was into. So at this point in my life, to be able to get onstage and do comedy for ten minutes, or 25 minutes, for people to be in the room — I know better than anyone what it’s like when you’re in a stage in your life where you’re not onstage anymore. And I’m so grateful for the universe, and God, and everyone allowing me, at 45 years old, to still be able to have a reason to shave, iron my shirt, slick my hair back, have a microphone and stoke some people out.

07 Joe Sib © Nathan Sanborn, The Superslice™

TRINH: Life is definitely not boring for you, right? You’re having the time of your life.

SIB: But I’m grateful for that moment because I know that…what’s supposed to happen is…you finish being in a band and then that’s done. And the fact that I’m able to get that opportunity and that high from getting onstage, I’m totally grateful and will not take it for granted. That’s why getting invited to Bridgetown…Dude, it’s fucking huge, Man! It’s not like, “Oh yeah, Dude, I’ll do Bridgetown heading back to L.A.” It’s more like, “Wow!”

TRINH: Is that musical phase of your life, for sure, done or do you still get that itch, once in awhile, to perform musically?

SIB: The only time I get the itch to be in a band is when I listen to the Bouncing Souls. I listen to the Bouncing Souls and I want to sing in a band again. And then I immediately don’t wanna do that when I go to a show and see everyone loading their gear and fucking…

TRINH: (I laugh) The labor of it?!

SIB: Aw, shit! When I was in a band singing, especially coming from the punk rock world, I was lucky enough to grow up in and be a part of, being a singer in a band is really physical. Like, as much as I was a singer and writing lyrics, it was also about the show and being physical. I think for me right now…

TRINH: It’s a workout. Guys like Springsteen get hip replacements.

SIB: It’s a workout. It’s hard on your body if you really take it seriously. And everything to me has been life or death. Either you do it a hundred percent or fuck it. And the thing I love about comedy is it really fills up all of those needs that I need as a guy, and as an entertainer, and that same kid who used to dance in the living room on Saturday nights to Jesus Christ Superstar, in front of his parent’s friends, is the same thing I get to do at the Bagdad and get some laughs. And when it works, it’s great. And when it doesn’t, you try to learn from it. I had a set the other night that for some reason didn’t connect.

08 Joe Sib © Nathan Sanborn, The Superslice™

TRINH: In Seattle?

SIB: No, Seattle was great. It was just this random show I did. I’m always harder on myself than other people but I was like, “Why didn’t THIS work? And why didn’t THAT work?” I love sitting there and looking at the puzzle of it and trying to figure it out to make it all work.

TRINH: I know you’re only doing two shows tonight, White Owl and Bagdad. Are you gonna get a chance to see other comics? What comics, that you know, are here you that you want to see?

SIB: Well, obviously, I wanna see Greg Behrendt tonight at Hawthorne at 9. I wanna see Matt Braunger. I wanna see Jake Weisman. Who else do I wanna see? I’d love to see Andy Wood. I wanna just mill about. I’m ready to dive into some beer.


09 Joe Sib © Nathan Sanborn, The Superslice™
Mandip Thapaliya is a versatile content editor and writer with a passion for crafting compelling stories that resonate with readers. With a background in digital media and a keen interest in celebrity culture, he brings a fresh perspective and creative flair to every piece he creates.


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