Joe 90 Talks Soundtracks, Playing (Ball) With Lit

The Los Angeles-based psychedelic popsters of Joe 90, no strangers to the "This show featured the music of..." tags found at the end of almost every TV series of late, can now add two studio movies to their ever-growing screen resume.

While spending the last five months on the road touring in support of their current LP, "Dream This," the band has witnessed no less than six different songs from the album appear in six different shows: "Party Of Five," "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," "Felicity," "Popular," "Time Of Your Life," and "Sports Night."

This summer, Joe 90 will debut a brand-new song in the film "Boys And Girls," which stars Freddie Prinze Jr. The track, "Arrive," was only recently worked up by the band while on tour, and Miramax Pictures took the new song for the film and its accompanying soundtrack.

"The producer of the movie knew of us and said she wanted to do something," Joe 90 drummer Adam Hamilton told MTV News from the road. "We said,

'We've got this new song,' and we played it for her, and she said, 'That's great, let me have it.' It was that easy.

"Now there's talk of making a video and making 'Arrive' the single from the soundtrack," he added. "We were getting ready to release a new single from 'Dream This,' but now we'll probably wait."

Recently, for New Line Cinema's "Final Destination," the band, which includes Hamilton along with Chris Seefried (vocals, guitar), Gary DeRosa (keyboard, vocals), and Craig Ruda (bass), was asked to record a song specifically for the closing credits.

"The producer really wanted us to do the credits and wanted a remake of the old Laura Nyro song, 'And When I Die,' that I think Blood, Sweat & Tears had a hit with years ago," Hamilton recalled. "The original had a kind of foot-stompin' groove to it, but we wanted to do it our way, so we gave it a kind of Happy Mondays-U2 kind of vibe. It ended up coming out really great, and the movie did pretty well, so

we were pretty psyched about that."

"Dream This," Joe 90's album on E Pluribus Unum Records (Adam Duritz of Counting Crows' label, for those taking notes) has been the focus of the band's energy for the last year or so. After the album's release in October, the band has been steadily on the road, opening two tours for the Counting Crows, crisscrossing the country on their own, and most recently doing radio shows with the likes of Third Eye Blind and Lit.

"We'd like to play some more with Lit, although they broke our singer's finger," Hamilton said, laughing. "We were playing football right before this festival we played in Spokane with them, and we were trying to show off, show we have a little bit of athletic skills, and Chris got his finger smashed. So he's playing with three fingers, trying to get by. We got [Counting Crows'] David Immergluck to fill in one show when we thought we might need him, but Chris is holding up pretty well. He re-learned the songs with three

fingers."

The origins of Joe 90 go back to New York where Seefried, DeRosa, and Ruda were childhood friends, and their high-school bands evolved into God's Child, who made two records for Qwest/Warner Bros. Records in the mid '90s. The band moved to L.A. and picked up Hamilton for the tour for the second God's Child album. After returning from tour, the four musicians settled into a new sound and feel that became Joe 90 (named after a '60s British children's show) almost by mistake.

"We wrote a song called 'Sleeping Pill' for an Album Network Christmas sampler. It was the first time we ever really collaborated," Hamilton explained. "The sound was different from God's Child, so we decided to stick in on the sampler under a different name. Before long, some people in the music business were asking, 'Who's this Joe 90?' So we went with it."

All the touring and soundtrack work seems to attracting the band a solid fan base across the country, including one radio-sponsored

show in Portland, Oregon, which took place on April Fool's Day.

"A local radio station [KINK-FM] had the news media downtown saying The Beatles were playing on [the station's] roof, doing the 'Let It Be' concert, to open up for us," Hamilton recalled. "But it was just us in fur coats up on the roof in downtown Portland, stopping traffic and causing a commotion. The coolest part was about 30 of our fans, who keep in touch with each other on our Web site, got wind of the event, and they all either flew or drove hundreds of miles in and were up there with us. We have some great footage we want to incorporate into our video."

Although the members of Joe 90 are getting "a little burnt," as Hamilton put it, the band plans to keep plugging away on the road and getting its music heard through soundtracks and TV, as long as the fans keep building.

"Continuing to do anything to help build the momentum, you know," he concluded. "That's what it's all about."