INTERVIEW: JOE KENT (THINK SO JOE MEDIA)

Joe Kent is a content creator we can be proud of here in the Buffalo area. He goes by ThinkSoJoe Media, and has a very active podcast and YouTube channel. Joe also plays guitar for local punk rockers, THE LIVING BRAINDEAD, who recently lost their bassist and highly respected member of the community, Brian Muller (RIP).

Joe’s podcast and segment (ThinkSoJoe) on ALL WNY features a lot of the local music talent in WNY, and also discusses a lot of our local scene happenings, much like WRETCHED SOUND.

YouTube: ThinkSoJoe Show

Joe’s other channel is called “Things You Might Not Know With ThinkSoJoe” and covers a variety of topics, most of which aren’t even music related, but it’s all still super interesting.

Youtube.com/c/ThingsYouMightNotKnowWithThinkSoJoe

As for his musical pursuits, Joe told me recently that he almost “left the stage” for good before being dragged back kicking and screaming and forced to hold a guitar. The results have been tremendous, and punk rock fans are urged to check out THE LIVING BRAINDEAD’s latest single, “Never Fuck with Catgirls”. For now, however, let’s dive into the interview and see what Joe’s been up to. When we last checked in with Joe here at the zine, we were working on a memorial piece for Brian Muller. Now, however, the mood seems to have lightened a bit.

1. I thought we could have some fun and not talk shop the whole time. You’re one of the biggest wrestling fans I personally know in the city. What were your thoughts on WrestleMania this year?

I think WrestleMania this year showed that WWE can put on a fun show when they want to. If we’re being honest, I don’t know that I’d still be watching the weekly programming if I weren’t working for wrestling news channels on YouTube. Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch stole the show, Cody’s return, despite being wrestling’s worst kept secret, was pretty exciting, and even to this day, everything Steve Austin touches turns to gold.

2. How’d you get back into playing live music back before The Living Braindead? Who twisted your arm?

It’s January 4, 2019. I’m sitting on my couch watching TV when I get a text from Nick Lucido of Exham Priory. “Hey Joe. How are you feeling about guitar lately?” At that point, I couldn’t tell you the last time I picked up an electric guitar. They were looking for someone to fill in on guitar for some shows as their guitarist was dealing with some health issues, and Nick wouldn’t take no for an answer. So I went to their guitarist’s house, he taught me all the songs, my fingers were bleeding because I hadn’t played in so long. Eventually that guitarist was removed from the band; not my story to tell so we’ll leave it at that. The boys were very up front with me throughout the whole thing. I was going to play May 4th with them because it was a show that was very important to me, as it was an MS benefit being thrown for my partner at the time, but they were still auditioning for a new guitar player. I’d told Nick that if I wasn’t the right guy for the job, to pick the right guy for the job, but that either way I was hooked back in and was going to keep playing music. Quite frankly, the direction they went was the right one as Thom Petersen has been a great addition to that band. We played May 4th, and on May 5th I put the word out that I was looking to start a punk band, and The Living Braindead was formed shortly thereafter.

3. When did you start your podcast, and how did you go about becoming a content creator in general? What inspired it?

Growing up, I’d always wanted to be a radio DJ. Went to school for communications and media arts and everything, but dropped out during my second semester when a local rock radio station basically gave away a DJ job in a popularity contest at the Erie County Fair and realized I was wasting my time. How I got into podcasting was one night my previous band were guests on a local music podcast that no longer exists, when the co-host basically got fired in the middle of the show. I volunteered for the job, and started the next week. I’d expanded into hosting a pro wrestling podcast that got a little bit of traction, which is when I started building a studio in my apartment. Shittiest mixer I could find, using RadioShack karaoke mics. I had a major falling out with the guy who hosted that local music podcast, who also happened to be the owner of All WNY, an internet radio station focused on Western New York bands, at the time. I was actually considering starting a competitor to All WNY with a 24/7 music stream and occasional shows, including one of my own. However, I later saw Scott Leffler change his profile picture to the All WNY logo – which a lot of people think is the logo for my show; it’s not, the Buffalo in the headphones is All WNY, which is where the show started and still airs – and after confirming that the other guy no longer had anything to do with All WNY, I volunteered to host a show on the station. I grabbed the late Brian Muller to be my first co-host, and here I am six years later still doing the show, still on All WNY, but expanded out to a live stream video on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch every week. The goal is to get ears on bands or artists that some folks may not otherwise listen to. The show exists for the sole purpose of showcasing the incredible amount of talent we have here in Western New York.

4. I like getting away from the metal scene for these interviews sometimes because I don’t know much about the other scenes in Buffalo. Who are some of your favorite local punk or rock bands to jam out with?

I often tell people my favorite local band is Shambles, and that’s not just because we now share a bassist. I love the dudes in On The Cinder, they’re good people and their music is just fantastic. OG Buffalo punk band Johnny Revolting has been really cool to us since we started. Definitely recommend The Barksdales, Wolf Tickets, The Clockers, Pissing Match, there’s Lucky33 out of Syracuse who are great, Working Class Stiffs out of Niagara Falls – I went to their album release at Goodbar and thought the floor was going to cave in because there was so much energy in that room while they were playing. Loving Kanuton, we’ve got kind of a mutual appreciation thing going on and keep trying to book each other on one another’s shows. Really looking forward to sharing a stage with Cardiac Cassette, want to eventually get on a bill with Pissing Match. Toy Box Brigade and the Abruptors are a lot of fun if you’re into ska and want to get out and skank. GumShoe is a great new band rising up right now. There’s so many great bands out there right now, we’ll be here all day if I keep talking about them.

5. What can your listeners/viewers look forward to on your channel in upcoming episodes?

As far as the ThinkSoJoE Show, I never know what to expect. I sit in the chair, the proverbial red light comes on, and we just wing it, and fortunately 99.9% of the time it all works out. I’ve also got the YouTube channel “Things You Might Not Know with ThinkSoJoE,” which I’m currently just coming up with topics, writing, and recording week-to-week, but always trying to improve. Really, anything I do I just tend to dive into without really thinking too much about it.

6. In what ways have you been challenging yourself as a content creator lately?

I think my best way of challenging myself is to keep trying to improve. Take a look at the aforementioned “Things You Might Not Know,” as an example. I started that in 2018, and man, those early episodes – all the way up to the point where I took a two year hiatus – sucked. I didn’t know what to do with my hands, the green screen was just terrible on them. I’m still working on becoming a better on-camera performer, especially in a scripted environment like that, but I push myself every time to do better than the week before. So that’s probably the best answer to that question.

7. You recently went to Metallica’s 40th anniversary shows, as well as their latest gig in Las Vegas. I know you’re an even bigger Metallica fan than I, so I’m curious how that band has shaped the content creator and musician you’ve become, and also how those shows rank in your all-time top life experiences. I can tell you after having seen S and M 2 live at Chase Center in 2019, that I’ll probably never go to a better concert for the rest of my life, but who knows.

I don’t know that I become a content creator or a musician if not for Metallica. I was into hip hop and pop back when I was a kid. I saw this band on MTV called Rage Against The Machine who used elements of hip hop in their very guitar driven songs and it kind of started to open my eyes a little bit to what was going on on this side of things. It was when my friend Greg introduced me to Metallica that I fully made that switch and started to think about being a musician. We’re not doing this interview right now if it weren’t for that.

8. Back to wrestling, how do you feel about Cody Rhodes’s WWE deal?

Man, have you seen how upset his return to WWE has made some AEW fanboys? Good on Cody. He wasn’t happy with his position in WWE, he left, he showed that he’s one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet and helped to change the entire industry while he was at it. For him to come back with that extra experience and credibility under his weight belt to settle some unfinished business, I think it’s great.

9. Plug any upcoming live events you have with Living Braindead, or any future events you have planned for anything else you do.

It’s been a little tricky for us to book shows given our individual schedules, at the time of the interview we only have one upcoming show announced, and that’s May 28th at the Walmore Inn out in Sanborn in Niagara County, opening for Cardiac Cassette on their CD release, which is also a cancer benefit. Really looking forward to that. I’ve also got a handful of dates I need to stop procrastinating and book at local venues, so keep an eye on the All WNY Facebook page for info on those.

10. Plug your online presence. Tell us where to find you.

Head over to thinksojoe.com for links to all of my various projects, be it the podcast, the YouTube channel, the band, my voiceover work, it’s all there. Thanks for the time, Mike, appreciate it!

RIP BRIAN MULLER

*Taken from our May 2022 issue: “One Cold Spring in Buffalo”

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