Joelistics on returning to the solo world, becoming a father, and playing Queenscliff Music Festival

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Joelistics on returning to the solo world, becoming a father, and playing Queenscliff Music Festival

Credit: Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore
Words by Benjamin Lamb 

Rarely would you find an artist as prolific as Joelistics.

The multi-instrumentalist wears several different hats: producer, songwriter, performer, among much more. We’ve seen his work in groups like TZU, a few solo albums, and behind the desk for Mo’Ju’s popular release Ghost Town. 

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Joelistics is back on the road for the Queenscliff Music Festival, which is back after a few years out of action. Alongside Joelistics, the lineup features many great names across different genres, including Andrew Hansen, RVG, John Butler, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Sam Teskey, The Bamboos, Felix Riebl and Sam Buckingham, to name a few. 


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While it feels like we’ve all been back at it for a while now, there is still something in the air when it comes to festivals. Bands and artists are still getting back out into the live music world, and festivals are on the horizon with a little bit more confidence. 

“I’ve had a big break from playing live,” Joelistics says. “During the pandemic, I became a new dad too, so there was no live music for two years. 

“This is the first festival I will have played since coming back, I’m super excited.” 

The pandemic was a catalyst for change in much of our lives, especially for those in the creative world. On top of having a kid, a lot changed for Joelistics, causing some major changes in the direction of his sound. 

“I’ve come from hip hop, and since becoming a dad, I’ve started writing folk music.

“I’ve been playing in a band with a drummer or a keyboard player, and another guitarist, and it’s such a classic format. That for me, it’s new and exciting and a step away from playing with a DJ or working in that.”

On top of playing what’s sure to be a killer gig, Joelistics is returning to the recording studio. After a few years of recording and producing music for other people, he’s coming back to the solo world. 

“I was rusty. When I’m working by myself, I can just kind of move ideas around and not finish something. I often feel like when I’m working with other artists in the producer role, I’m the person helping to pull something together or finish it, and I needed that from someone else in a way.”

Joelistics will be hitting the stage with some solo tracks this November when he’ll appear at Queenscliff Music Festival and perform to a fresh crowd who are ready to get down to all different types of music. 

Unlike a regular solo gig, festival performances require a different approach from artists. You could almost compare it to speed dating: there are no preconceived opinions and you’ve got one shot to make the most of it. 

“With festivals, you front up with your best stuff and your best set and you need to do that because you’re playing to a fresh audience.

“The band Regurgitator always said ‘festivals are like the Olympics, and your own gigs are a bit more like backyard cricket’. It’s not a competition, but there’s a bunch of people who’ve never seen you before and you want to connect with them.”


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With lots of talk about festivals being unsafe or unsuitable for people of all ages, that’s where Queenscliff Music Festival sits apart. Here, anyone can attend and get something out of it, even families with great kid-specific events including a live Bluey interactive experience and music from kid bands the Teeny Tiny Stevies and The Beanies. 

“It’s great to know I can bring my family (to the QMF) and we’re going to have a great musical weekend and get to see so many acts. 

“I just get really excited. I love seeing all the other acts, it’s going to be great.”

Joelistics’ set will feature songs new and old, and for anyone who hasn’t seen Joelistics before, or is a longtime fan, he notes what to expect from his live show at the Queenscliff Music Festival. 

“It’ll be a lot of warm tones and storytelling but also solid gibberish. So new people who see me will still get their head nod on.” 

Queenscliff Music Festival is happening from November 25 to November 27. Find out more here