FlashWounds Interview: Get to Know 7Horse’s Joie Calio

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We introduced you to 7Horse back in May and thought that it would be great to get to know a little bit more about the band, this time in their own words.  Joie was brave enough to take us up on the offer of an interview and we’re very glad to now be able to share it with you.  When you’re done reading what Joie has to say, make sure to check out the band’s sites and their music.  

W: Which group or artist would you personally like to induct into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame?  And if you were to earn the honor of being inducted next year, whom would you want to induct you?

JC:  I notice that Eric Clapton is in on his own but not Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page. Both are massively influential outside of their groups and deserve individual recognition, as does Clapton. I would also say Sonny Boy Willimson ~ one listen to Bring It On Home at volume and you will see why.  Of course I would be honored to ever be considered for such an esteemed award ~ and  Keith Richards would be my choice to bring 7Horse up to the podium.

What’s the strangest gift any fan has given…or tried to give…you?

A matchbook full of long used fingernails with a different picture of me on each one.

Which do you find more difficult/intimidating ~ performing for a comparatively small audience (especially one that you know includes family and/or friends) in a more intimate venue or for a huge [faceless/anonymous] crowd at an enormous stadium?

I guess smaller is harder than bigger. But some small crowds can be great. Too large is tough to get everyone’s attention but it’s fun to try.


Do you have a collection of vinyl or cassettes?  If you have vinyl, which is your most cherished album?

I always hated cassettes. I do have some vinyl 12″ and 7″. Probably my original The Rolling Stones 7″ picture sleeve of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” on Decca is one of my favorites. Have some cool 12″ including Billy J. Kramer, Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.

If you ever decided to do an entire album of covers, which songs would make the cut?

“Train Kept a Rollin” (Johnny Burnette), “Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley),” “Baby Please Don’t Go” (Them), “Little Red Riding Hood” (Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs), “Sweet Little Rock ‘n Roller” (Rod Stewart), “On The Road Again” (Canned Heat), “Branded Man” (Merle Haggard)

Any musically inclined siblings?

7H-My siblings are all much smarter than me but I got the music gene. My father and grandfather both had musical talent. My mother had the art gene. I got a nice blend of the two. Don’t have a great grasp on quantum physics though.

Do the two of you in the band have nicknames for each other?

They’re top secret.

Are there any causes/organizations that are particularly close to your heart that you would encourage the public to support?

There are so many great causes but I am partial to fighting cancer and hunger.

Do you [pardon the phrase] have the balls to do what the Red Hot Chili Peppers did and perform wearing just tube socks?  And if your answer is yes, are you willing to have your photo taken in those “outfits” and shown to FlashWounds’ readers?

It doesn’t necessarily take “balls” per se, but it’s been done now and is sort of their trade mark. We took a chance and gave ourselves over to the fantastically imaginative Portland artist/photographer Smith Eliot for the cover art and package of our new record Songs For a Voodoo Wedding. We let it all go and when she said, “Take it off,” we went with it and showed a little skin. I love how it all turned out. Not quite Chili Pepper-esque, but it’s not like anyone else’s cover either.


Gear Review: 7Horse Guitarist and Backing Vocalist Joie Calio Talks Guitars, Guitars, Guitars!


When he's not busy writing a sick track ("Meth Lab Zoso Sticker") for a Martin Scorsese blockbuster like The Wolf of Wall Street, guitar virtuoso Joie Calio is tearing up stages with his musical partner Phil Leavitt in the rock band 7Horse. While Calio also provides backing vocals to Leavitt, it's his fret work that truly allows him to shine. Just how does he get those crazy tones and bad-ass rhythms you ask? Dude, he has SO much gear that he'll have to tell you himself! What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound? Calio: I am a gear freak - there's no denying that. To say that there is one piece of gear that I use as a signature sound would be tough - I have a few guitars (7 that I'm touring with), lots of pedals, a couple amps, and we record at studios that are a vintage gear-head's dream. But, having said that... being the rhythm and lead guitar (without a bass player live) forces me to play a certain way, as well as my fingerstyle and slide playing. Having one of the greatest drummers in the world - Phil Leavitt, helps too. Using great amps and guitars (vintage and new) in general is a big part of my sound. Also really like Curt Mangan strings - they sound great and are super high quality. What about it makes it so important to you? Calio: I can tell if someone has used good gear, or cool gear when they record. You know when a guitar player cares about his/her tone. I strive to be that guy.

How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album? Calio: I have a Bogner Shiva 20th anniversary (KT88) amp that I got just before 7Horse started our second record - Songs For a Voodoo Wedding - that sounds amazing; it has a plexy vibe. I combined that with a '58 Bassman or 1965 Fender Vibroluxe or 1965 Fender Deluxe. Also used a Fender a Bassbreaker in the mix for a song.

How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set? Calio: I use a lot of the same gear I record with for our live show. As I mentioned I have a Bogner Shiva 20th Anniversary paired with a Bogner 2x12. I also have a Matchless Clubman paired with a Matchless 2x12. I run both rigs at all times. They do a great job of getting my studio sounds live. Although I have been eyeing a Metropoulos GPM 45 Bluesbreaker 2x12 combo for a possible 3rd amp live. Same Curt Mangan strings as well.

What are the major pros and cons? Calio: The pros speak for themselves. The cons - not cheap! Although I do get help from Gretsch, Bogner, Matchless, National, and Curt Mangan. The guys at Wildwood Guitars in Louisville CO help me out immensely as well.

Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what? Calio: The fact that've have 2 amps with 2 x12 cabs live means I have a back up right there. My goal is to have a back-up head for each rig and of course - more guitars.

How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it? Calio: I started collecting my gear at the beginning of 7Horse. First I got my Fender '51 Tele Nocaster Custom Shop. Then I got my first National NPR. I already had my Gibson j-45 which I used on the recording of "Meth Lab Zoso Sticker" - the song used for the Scorsese movie The Wolf of Wall Street, along with my Gretsch Silver Falcon. Then because we started using a few different tunings I needed to have coverage live so I wouldn't need to retune all night long.

Any final thoughts or comments on the gear? Calio: At the moment I have 3 Gretsch Guitars - 6136 White Falcon/6136 Silver Falcon/G6139 Black Falcon Center Block Double Cutaway. A Fender '51 Telecaster Custom Shop. A Gibson ES 330 VOS. 2 National NRP resonators-Green Burst/ Silver. A Fender Telecaster Baritone. And my trust Gibson j-45. Along with the Bogner, Matchless, and a nice stash of pedals... I'd have to say I'm living the dream!