Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Joe D. Foster - Unity / Ignite part IV

Joe Foster neck deep in the Pacific, Photo courtesy of: Joe Foster

Joe D. Foster returns for part 4 of our ongoing interview with him. In case you missed the previous entries, here you go:

Part 1:

Joe Foster Part I

Part 2:
Joe Foster Part II

Part 3:
Joe Foster Part III

Dig in! -Gordo DCXX

Joe Foster, bottom left corner, 1987 Morey Boogie Bodyboard division top 8

Outside of hardcore, you were involved with bodyboarding and modeling over the years...where did it all start with that stuff, what did you do specifically, and what about today?

LOL, yeah, bodyboarding and hardcore was what I was into growing up. I'd say I had an equal passion for both. I was doing Unity and competing as a pro bodyboarder at the same time. Longrie used to get so mad. When the waves were good and I was late to practice he would call my mom and tell her I was out of the band, LOL.

I did the bodyboarding tour until '87 and finished 5th in the world that year. Kinda reached a personal inner satisfaction and guess was open to whatever else the world had to offer….I separated my shoulder one day getting slammed into the sand and couldn't surf for awhile so I was just hanging out with my friends. One night we all went out to a night club and I was scouted by the owner's wife of some modeling agency. Went in and met with them the following week and then within one month I was living in Paris. It was kinda through this I picked up photography too. I would always buy a cheap acoustic guitar and write music while I was gone.

Where did modeling take you and what was that whole world like?

As far as places went, I lived in Paris for about 2 years, Italy for a year, and then numerous stays, meaning months, in Spain, Germany, South Africa, Greece, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.I found that once the mystery of travel was gone and the whole modeling job was reduced to just what it was, I started looking for other things to keep my interest. I would watch photographers set up on my modeling jobs and try and learn what and why they were doing things. I also focused on languages. I got pretty good in Italian for awhile.

Some of the jobs I did were Giannfrance Ferre, Emporio Armani, Levi's, Peirre Cardin, GQ magazine, 17 magazine (one time with Cameron Diaz), Details magazine, millions of catalogues and fashion shows, and also danced in Madonna's Express Yourself video. The job itself probably caused unexpected problems for me down the line. You deal with a lot of rejection at a young age. I never thought of myself as a model, seems so self-glorified, conceited etc…it was an opportunity to see the world for free and that was what it was all about for me. Little did I know I would go back to all the same places with Ignite.

Joe Foster, Versace ad

How did Unity officially end, and what type of connection did you have with hardcore between that time (1988/1989) and when you started Ignite (1993)? Had you gotten out of HC? What type of tabs did you keep on the scene in OC and how did it change to you?

I never got out of hardcore, just America and hardcore's eye. I always wrote on the road and always loved the expression of the music and the freedom of expression. I would hear the music style changing when I would be back in town, and eventually missed the old sound so much that I started Ignite.

Joe Foster, early Unity, Photo courtesy of: Joe Foster

How exactly did Ignite come to be, and what was the whole idea? Tell us about the original line-up, and how you came to write those early songs.

One day I was in my apartment in Japan and just miserable. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed asking myself when was the last time I was happy. The answer was when I was surfing and playing hardcore. I shaved my head that night and walked into the agency the next morning. They freaked out but I told them they could keep all the money. I just wanted on the next flight home.

When I got home, I called Brett and told him my idea. To bring back a certain sound of hardcore, not for any other reason except that I wanted to hear it. We practiced in my garage to a drum machine for few weeks and then went out to find members. We got Casey pretty quick which was great. The singer thing was hard. Nelson at first, then Randy who I really liked, Gavin ended up in the band for awhile too and though him, we got Zoli…I'll never forget that. Brett called me and said we had a singer…I show up to practice and see this guy with hair down to his ass wearing cop glasses and sitting in some old VW van. He's like, "Hi, I'm Zolton." I was like, oh my gosh, did you just say Zolton??? So funny.

Anyway, guess the rest is history on that. To me, Zoli could have sang for Journey or any huge rock band. Such a pure beautiful voice. The songs came easy, Brett had a really melodic bass style that I grooved to real well. I loved writing with Brett.

What was the reaction like when Ignite started up? Why the line-up changes with singers early on, and what worked/didn't work with Joe and Randy before Zoli came in? What did you want to do with the band?

Really didn't have any plan with the band. Maybe play some local shows etc, but it was primarily to just play and hear that style of music again. No For An Answer was on tour in Europe and the owner of Lost and Found Records asked Dan how to get ahold of me. Guess he wanted to release the Unity You Are One 7" on cd. I get this call one day from them and he also asked what I was up to with music. I told him I had this new band called Ignite. He asked me to send him a demo. Three weeks later he got back to me and said he wanted to release the first Ignite album and asked if we would like to go on tour with Slapshot for three months in the summer. Things kinda just took off from there...

Joe hangin' with the Les Paul, Photo courtesy of: Joe Foster


i'm not hatin' said...

blue steel...

The Snake said...

This is one of the best and one of the funniest posts on DC! Dancing in Madonna viedo, wtf!?! :)
I only wish that Joe would answer the whole questions, not just some parts. He didn`t answer why Unity broke up and why early Ignite vocalists left the band.

David said...

Here's info on a Christian hardcore band he was in awhile back. I would love to hear this, and that UC practice tape Joe mentioned he had...


Anonymous said...

So good
Love unity so Much

mugatu said...

joe... so hot right now... joe

Anonymous said...

cool as ice in that body board picture. to the extreme

Anonymous said...

good one!

Anonymous said...

Rad dude!

ShayKM said...

The final picture is of an ESP-LTD, not a Gibson Les Paul. Notice the active pick-ups, and the volume-tone pot arrangement. Very nice guitar.

B Aggro said...

Lol At this guy. Fucking versace Ad LMAO