Features Joe Bendik

Published on April 23rd, 2016 | by admin


Joe Bendik Interview

We’ve been provided with a backlog of content from the old antifolkonline.com website. This is our first of what will be many republished interviews, a classic interview with Antifolk stalwart, Joe Bendik, carried out by Brad Willis.

Brad: Joe

Joe Bendik: Brad

Brad: Yep

Joe Bendik: Greetings in the name of Jah

Brad: Greetings all the way from NC

Joe Bendik: My brain has been baked by the sun all day. It’s like 100 degrees

Brad: I hear ya-   it is hot and muggy here-   We are gunna have a forth cookout tommorow

Brad: My new apartment has a huge pool

Joe Bendik: Cool. I’m heading up to Grey & Patsie’s then I’m playing at 11:00

Brad: Tell them I said hi-  I would love to get a patsy page on here PLus I hear that her Cd is really good

Joe Bendik: I’ll ask for a copy tomorrow

Joe Bendik: so shoot

Brad: Ok- could you tell me about how you first got into the antifolk scene

Joe Bendik: Back in 86 when I moved to NYC, I had that romantic notion of playing where Dylan got his start. Dylan’s always been the man. So, in the Middle Village, where there used to be all of these clubs, were now just tourist traps. I didn’t know that & had a very hard time getting gigs. At one of the open mics, a place called Speakeasy, I met Roger Manning, who told me about Lach. Back then, the Fort was at Sophie’s Bar, an old man’s bar/dive.


Brad: Were you in a band then or solo?

Joe Bendik: Well, like now, both. My band was called Folk You.

Brad: I like the name

Brad: Where did you move from-   Midwest like Dylan?

Joe Bendik: Pretty much. I’m from South Western PA, near the West Virginia border.

Joe Bendik: It’s close to Carter Family land.Brad: I am close to Randy Travis land.   What was antifolk like back then I didn’t hear of it til 94 when I heard Roger Manning.

Joe Bendik: Antifolk was a lot looser, a lot drunker, a lot roudier & took itself less seriously.

Brad: you think it is analyed to much now?

Joe Bendik: I think the artists themselves want to be analized so much for the most part. It’s a community, then it was chaos.

Joe Bendik: I’m not saying it’s better or worse.Brad: When did teh change take place? Was it gradual or Quick?

Joe Bendik: Maybe over the last few years. It got cute for a while, then it got serious about being cute

Brad: hahah

Brad: Have you changed your outlook on music since you first started?

Joe Bendik: Maybe I altered it. I’m more positive now if you can believe that.

Brad: More positive in what way?

Joe Bendik: I show love to the haters and masterbaters

Joe Bendik: I don’t want to turn into Peter Tosh.

Joe Bendik: I wanna be Bob

Brad: Hey us materbaters need all teh love we can get (even self-love)  JK

Joe Bendik: That’s why I show love my brother

Brad: Who is the current line-up of the Heathens?

Joe Bendik: Julian Rozzel-skins. Ben Marsh Bass. Pretty new band.

Joe Bendik: We played one gig like thatBrad: was that the Friday after I was in town

Joe Bendik: Yeah. It rocked. There will be more

Brad: Hey you rocked solo at the hoot-  I can’t imagine how crazzzy it would be to see you with a band

Joe Bendik: This is a band with no mercanaries. We’re like a gang

Joe Bendik: It goes up about 5 notches

Brad: I believe

Joe Bendik: We jam too. These guys don’t play with anyone else. It’s the 1st time in 15 years

Joe Bendik: –to be in a situation like that.Brad: You have you own recording studio too-  You guys record?

Joe Bendik: Only solo so far, but I’m working on it. It’s a small space

Brad: ok

Joe Bendik: We play Jah music

Brad: Explain –   Jah = Reagge?

Joe Bendik: spiritual, from the voice inside

Joe Bendik: We’re more into putting across the feeling to move people and ourselves. That sounds fucking lofty as hell

Brad: You guys playing any of the tracks that made it to the Cds?

Joe Bendik: A mixture of stuff from the last 5 years. Most salt Dough Recipe of the new stuff is there, plus newer things & weird covers

Brad: Weird covers like who?

Brad: Abba?Joe Bendik: Leadbelly, Wailers, Cash

Joe Bendik: We kill Take This Hammer (leadbelly)

Joe Bendik: We’ll do a Dylan tune too

Joe Bendik: I’m too old to like Abba

Brad: I was just unpackin all my Cds and forgot how many Dylans I had

Brad: hahahaha

Brad: I am too young

Joe Bendik: But you have much Dylan, that’s to be commended

Joe Bendik: He is the MAN

Brad: I believe-  I joined DylanTree.org for a while and got like 10 bootleggs

Joe Bendik: I’m an active rmder myself and now have about 30 boots

Brad: Actually more cause then people on there would give me more

Brad: Get em

Joe Bendik: I wanna join dylantree it’s so cool

Brad: I need some Antifolk live shows too!!

Joe Bendik: I have been putting together a live Heathens comp. It’s a slow process

Joe Bendik: I’m mastering & burning things, but still trying to decide what to use

Brad: retrospective?

Brad: You like workin in teh studio

Joe Bendik: more or less. The band has never really been documented.

Joe Bendik: I like and hate working in the studio

Joe Bendik: sometimes i love it too

Brad: Which parts?

Joe Bendik: I hate the technical shit. But, when I’m in that zone, that’s better than fucking

Brad: Oral too\

Joe Bendik: Well, I don’t know about that

Brad: Did you work on the Pro-Choice on Mental Health?

Joe Bendik: I produced and played all of the backing instruments (besides piano mainly). It was hard

Joe Bendik: Peter would come in on a Saturday morning with all of this sheet music Argfhhhh=

Joe Bendik: He knows his shit

Joe Bendik: You gotta hook up with my brother in Charlotte. He runs a 24 track there & is putting together a band

Brad: I have a pal-   Mad’s brother that has a studio and is a drummer in town.    Lets talk about that DIY thing that was on the OJ board-   what does DIY mean to you.

Joe Bendik: It’s an old Peter Gabriel song

Joe Bendik: There is no real DIY. You always need help

Brad: right

Joe Bendik: I like the idea of being independent, but currently lack the financial resources. Instead of getting pissed though, I’m gonna get off my ass and work harder

Brad: The positive spin coming through…..

Joe Bendik: Going back to DIY, in the broader sense, it means doing it without a label. Has anyone done that?

Joe Bendik: I mean, when an artist gets to a certain point, they sign. Without that step, their gonna be on that treadmill forever

Brad: What do you hope to get done w or w/o a label.

Joe Bendik: To make my living solely through playing my music.

Joe Bendik: To do that though, means me having to make enough money to provide for my family, and that is pretty darned hard

Brad: Do you have children?

Joe Bendik: I have a daugher who will be 14 on July 21st

Brad: 14 –  It could start to get rough for you

Joe Bendik: She’s a great singer, actor, comedienne. She’s done much stage stuff & has gotten accepted into the esteemed LaGuardia HS for the Perf Arts (Fame).

Joe Bendik: Man she’s like a woman now.

Brad: Wow-  looks like she got some talent

Joe Bendik: The funny thing is, she doesn’t like rock. She’s into Broadway. Sondheim!!

Joe Bendik: She’s not too impressed by my Play Dough Recipe soundBrad: well- she is your daughter

Brad: Did you like your parents music?

Joe Bendik: This is true.

Brad: To rebel-  she went to the broadway sound

Joe Bendik: My dad liked Johnny Cash, My mom liked the Beatles

Brad: My mom liek Micheal Bolton

Joe Bendik: To rebel- oh yeah. That’s when I started turning u the amps.

Brad: My dad likes 50’d oldies

Joe Bendik: Mine liked Julio Igleasieasss

Joe Bendik: My dad played polkas

Brad: my dad has never heard of polka

Joe Bendik: That’s too bad

Brad: He lives in Hong Kong now

Joe Bendik: It’s like ska

Brad: Trw

Brad: true

Joe Bendik: How is Hong Kong these days

Brad: Chineese-    I have never been.

Joe Bendik: Me either

Brad: I think i  might though before he moves back

Brad: You should come to Charlotte and visite your bro-

Joe Bendik: You should. It’s Chinese now, so look out

Joe Bendik: I’ll be coming down in maybe a month or so when his baby is born

Brad: Wow-

Brad: Uncle joeJoe

Bendik: Uncle FUckin Joe

Brad: hahaha

Brad: email before you come and lets see if we can meet up somehwere

Joe Bendik: For Sure!

Brad: Maybe you can play on North Davidson street or tremont

Joe Bendik: Cool I would love to spread the good word

Brad: that would rock this town to its fabric

Joe Bendik: I love the south too. Beautiful place. Heaven on earth

Brad: Did you ever get an intern?

Brad: I like it== the south

Joe Bendik: Someone called today for an ad min gig, but she wanted too much money

Joe Bendik: That caused quite a stir, that post

Joe Bendik: I didn’t like being defined like that, but maybe I didn’t make myself that clear at the start

Joe Bendik: Cyber RAGE

Brad: Everything there is starting to cause a stir

Brad: Even I had to Refute the Movie review

Joe Bendik: Yeah, it’s a good thing though. People are finally venting their shit. That’s good. It’s taught me some shit, Refute? Whaddya mean?

Brad: I though Minority report was kinda predictable after someone gave it teh best review ever

Joe Bendik: I gotta read more of that thread. Some of these cats are so angry

Joe Bendik: They should take it out in their music

Brad: It keeps the songs real

Joe Bendik: Yeah, like I said, it’s a good thing. Big ups to Matt

Joe Bendik: Big ups to Lach too, he’s the grandaddy

Joe Bendik: He’s given me chances when no one else would. God bless him

Brad: It was great to finaly meet him

Joe Bendik: He’s like a saint or something and I mean that as a compliment

Brad: AND everyone else that I got the opportunity to meet.

Joe Bendik: He’s got a zen vibe but an energy that just inspires

Brad: He has showed me a lot of new music

Joe Bendik: I like his new record. Kinda psychedelic for 02.

Brad: What kinda things you wantin the intern to do?

Joe Bendik: Make calls, put up fliers, deal with paperwork, maybe some light cleaning. I’d offer a percentage higher than a manager, and soon, an actual wage.

Joe Bendik: I have tons of information and NO TIME

Brad: What kinda things are you into besides music?

Joe Bendik: Meditation, Streches, Weights, and other things that I shall not mention

Joe Bendik: I read too

Brad: Has meditation helped you?

Joe Bendik: Immensely. I do it twice a day plus before every show. It frees me up without having to get fucked up.

Brad: How long have you been into it?

Joe Bendik: About 10 years

Brad: wow

Joe Bendik: That’s when I started to really learn about perfomance. I channel shit when I play. It’s all the same thing.

Brad: Oh wait— I wanna know about teh Pseudo thingee since I didn’t get to see it and as far as I can see it is not archived yet-  How was it?

Joe Bendik: I loved it. It felt like the old Fort days of the 80s. We just came in there and took over. I loved everything I saw. Playing Star Spangeld Banner was maybe my favorite moment in my performances. I kicked out my cable, turned into a R&B singer and rocked it accepella.I hope they do it again, & can’t wait to see it.

Brad: ME either

Joe Bendik: Lach is the man

Brad: Sounds real cool and I hope that they do it again

Joe Bendik: Postive

Brad: I heard you did Dance on my grave too.

Joe Bendik: I mean positive

Joe Bendik: Yeah, Tim Dark is great. I loved the vibe. I’ll ask him to do some stuff with the Heathens soon too.

Joe Bendik: He raps from the heart

Brad: When do you usually write songs?  and what kind of process do you go through to get them?

Joe Bendik: It runs in cycles. The process ranges from hearing the whole thing at once, or piecing together bits. These days lyric & music are running a parallel race but somehow converging. Sometimes it’s random too. I have to hear it first though & I can’t “Sit Down To Write”.

Brad: Is anything your muse?

Joe Bendik: Mostly my ex wife. That’s a situation that just cries out for songs

Brad: hahaha –  love songs?

Joe Bendik: Then other things too, shit that affects me and I feel the urge/need to comment.Yes, love songs, nothing but love songs

Brad: Do you write a lot?

Joe Bendik: Just about every day

Joe Bendik: I would be far crazier than I am if I didn’t do such things

Brad: Do you ever just sit and think I fuckin rock?

Joe Bendik: Only when I’m depressed

Brad: Do you think that you are crazy?

Joe Bendik: It’s not a matter of opinion

Brad: Well you said”I would be far crazier than I am, ” so what is your opinion?

Brad: I mis-read

Brad: How so

Joe Bendik: If I didn’t have that outlet, then I would explode. I’m beyond type A, I’m type triple A. Putting something to music & feeling better about it aftrwards is what keeps me sane. That & my daughter (and not necesarrily in that order).

Brad: ahhh

Brad: How would you describe yourself as a father?

Joe Bendik: I think why I gravitated to the Who, and then Punk was that need to expend that aggression.

Brad: The who just lost somebody

Joe Bendik: A father?

Brad: To your daughter

Joe Bendik: Yeah, Enwhistle, I did one of his songs at the hoot.

Brad: just curious

Joe Bendik: It’s the hardest thing I ever did.

Joe Bendik: I don’t know how much I’ve succeeded, but she hates drugs, gets straight As and is going to Laguardia. That’s on her own terms though. I respect that.

Joe Bendik: She’s really independent and is now at summer camp and I miss her dearly.

Brad: My wife wants to have kids soon

Brad: I am just tryin not to kill the dogs

Joe Bendik: It’s the greatest thing in the world. It makes anything else look so small.

Joe Bendik: Dogs can be problematic, as humans

Brad: Mine has been De-barked, I wish I could do that to some humans

Joe Bendik: Don’t get me started

Brad: sorry nsync

Joe Bendik: I don’t mind that shit. Or Brittney. I loathe sanitized punk. It’s the worst

Brad: Sometimes I wish that the musicians I like would (could) sell out so I wouldn’t have to hear what has.   Sanitized punk like who?

Joe Bendik: I heard (actually judged for New York Press in a Battle of the Bands) a great band called Hurry Up Offense. They won. Amazing hardcore gone crazy.

Brad: the first Punk I got into was 7 seconds

Joe Bendik: I didn’t mean the last thing in reference to sanitized punk

Brad: I didn’t think so

Joe Bendik: 7 Seconds rule. I played hardcore back then & opened for Husker Du!

Brad: get em

Brad: I love 7 seconds

Brad: Kevin seconds

Joe Bendik: All of that early 80’s American Hardcore is so original

Joe Bendik: You could tell each band by the first few notes

Joe Bendik: Today, it’s mostly sanitized. Everything has that same sound

Brad: Hey someone strikes oil you don’t dig far away

Joe Bendik: That’s far more offensive than Destiny’s Child with their 3 24 tracks on tour with them

Joe Bendik: Well, that’s true, that’s also why the well runs dry

Brad: You think Bad Religion started teh turn towards sanitized when they started to break?

Joe Bendik: I have nothing bad to say about Bad Religion

Brad: I like em but the punk community has it out for em or at least Brett

Joe Bendik: community? I have a new song called Conformity Community

Brad: hahah- what is it about?

Joe Bendik: You have to conform to a certain extent to belong. The most outlaw communities conform within themselves. It’s a fucking paradox

Brad: By conforming to little things do you change “who we are” though.  Or is that mostly in thought.

Joe Bendik: Little things lead up to more little things. Eventually you’re left with a bag of things. By that’s good too, but you have to be aware that this is what’s happening. Otherwise, you’re sucked into some fucking vortex

Joe Bendik: Spelling: By = But

Joe Bendik: A community is a good thing. I love being in the antifolk tribe. It keeps me alive. It keeps me in check too. That’s a good thing. The song makes no judgements.

Brad: Ok take me-  In order to get an MBA i had to “conform” to some things that I would otherwise not be into for example-  I am not a huge fan of ties, but I am still pals with the same groups of people I was before and generally like the same things as before I got an MBA

Joe Bendik: Yeah, so much of so called conformity is really playing the game. I wore a suit for years for my job. That’s cool. I think it’s kind of a noble thing to sacrifice certain things for the big picture. I’m not putting it down, just pointing it out.

Joe Bendik: Dude MBA?

Brad: I see-   Is teh antifolk community growing too fast?  The current poll on teh fansite asks when did you fist hear of Antifolk and over 50% right now say withinthe last three years?

Brad: MBA true

Brad: If anyone gets big I can be their financial advisor

Joe Bendik: You know, I’m glad it’s growing now. I’ve seen it from the early days, and no, after diggin it for 15 years, I’m glad it’s arrived. & yes, let’s talk about tha FA gig.

Brad: haha

Brad: I am glad it is getting bigger as well-  but I don’t see it as big yet.  At least not here.

Joe Bendik: Unfortunetaly you’re right.

Joe Bendik: I want it to blow up in USA. in NYC. It will.

Brad: But hey-  It could get there, just depends.

Joe Bendik: I guess it already did that in NYC

Joe Bendik: It’s gotta put aside a lot of bullshit.

Brad: Exposure covers BS

Joe Bendik: No, I mean internal

Brad: or converts it to something else

Joe Bendik: We have to be in a more united front state of mind and do a tour

Joe Bendik: Even if it starts from a local base, we have to go out and play

Joe Bendik: With all of the fragile egos, etc. involved, that’s hard to do. The minute you disagree with someone, they’re saying that your jealous.

Joe Bendik: We got to get our shit together first. Then go out and spread the word. It is spreading, but it’s got to get to the next level.

Brad: You would have to get noticed somehow, and these days it is not just by the music.  I saw the punk-pop Sum 41 got signed by sending a video of them destroying things to the label.  I think it is spreading too I couldn’t believe that there was not a more visable fansite before

Joe Bendik: We have to use that kind of thought as a weapon

Brad: Although one was on teh way from what I understand

Joe Bendik: Brad, you’ve done an immense and important thing. I am truly honored to be a part of it. For real

Brad: Mainstream music is ready for a change  i think.   Hey my wife really started the site 5 months before I touched it

Joe Bendik: Big ups to her!

Joe Bendik: Mainstream music will never be the same in a few years when the digital revolution comes fully in effect

Brad: Thats what I say every day!!! Then i started addin on and just wanting to have a place mainly to dispence info cause I found it hard to come by.   I miss napster

Joe Bendik: I miss Kazaa

Joe Bendik: Along w/ the nap

Brad: It could kill the record companies- but I don’t think that they will let it happen

Joe Bendik: I got the entire Basement Tapes from Napster

Brad: I got a couple dylan shows and some Giant sand and others

Brad: You got any questions fro me?

Joe Bendik: I think it would help. Being a huge Wailers fan, I downloaded about 50 songs from the 60’s – early 70’s. When I found nicely remastered versions of theses tracks for sale, I bought them. What is the problem?

Brad: I still bought tons of Cds as well

Joe Bendik: Yeah, how did you hear about Antifolk?

Brad: well what I could afford

Brad: Through the internet-   folk newsgroups actually.  It said to check out Roger Manning, Kirk Kelly, & Cindy Lee Berryhill, then while in Atlanta to see Jonathan Richman I saw a used Roger Manning LP and bought it-  DAMN!!!! I was hooked.

Joe Bendik: Yeah, great shit

Joe Bendik: I just saw Kirk last night. I was going to a gig & so was he. He rocks

Brad: I want to get him on teh site but have been unableBrad: I have two of his Cds

Brad: Goman Goooo

Joe Bendik: I’ll try to get a hold of him

Joe Bendik: Go MAN Go is a classic

Brad: I want to add some people from back them-  but missed a lot of tehm

Brad: Don’t look back, don’t feel sorry

Joe Bendik: So many of them have faded away. Enamel The Camel. That was some act

Brad: Never heard of that one

Brad: Billy Syndrome, Casey Scott

Joe Bendik: He sang childlike songs with twisted rhyme. Very Catchy.

Brad: cool

Joe Bendik: Billy is an old friend. I can’t believe I forgot to give this man a shout. He fucking rocks.

Brad: Shouldn’t he be on teh site?

Joe Bendik: Absolutely

Brad: I haven’t heard his stuff though

Joe Bendik: It’s so raw. It really pushes you to the brink

Brad: Cept on teh Joe folk stuff  I think he is on that

Joe Bendik: I haven’t heard that. What is that exactly?

Brad: Other people doing spoken word stuff to Roger Manning

Joe Bendik: WowBrad: Paleface, John S hall and Lach are on one of em

Joe Bendik: Roger always gave me a bunch of tapes. That’s all that I’ve listened to,.

Brad: I only have what is shown on teh fansite

Brad: Though I have to say he is still one of my Faves and hope he returns to music soon

Brad: You got any other questions for me?

Joe Bendik: Well he pops up every now and then when you least expect. I just saw him and played a gig with him a couple of years ago

Joe Bendik: I think I’m ready for my bass player session soon come

Brad: ok

Brad: quick 5 questions?

Joe Bendik: let’s go

Brad: What kinda guitar do you play

Joe Bendik: strat

Brad: How many have you been through

Joe Bendik: 5

Brad: What kind of breakfast foods do you like best?

Joe Bendik: non fat cottage cheese. good protein. and some pills

Brad: How would you describe your sound?

Joe Bendik: Lound soft Lound. Dylan meets Iggy by way of Marley

Joe Bendik: I mean Loud

Joe Bendik: Soft

Joe Bendik: Loud

Brad: Got any pets? if so what kind and their names

Joe Bendik: I had dogs in the past, but none now. My favorite dog was named Cedric. He was an Irish settor that lived to be 17. Such a noble creature.

Brad: Thank you soooo much for doing this-  I had a lot of fun and I hope that you did to!!! You rock and when you come to Charlotte next we will have to meet up.

Joe Bendik: THank you my man.Peace Tranquility and good will.See you soon

Brad: Say Hi to grey and patsy fro me and Be good

Brad: Thanks again-

Joe Bendik: You got it bro. Happy 4th

Brad: You tooo


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