BIO – Joe Normal®
"Blue Collar Superhero!" -Bluesbunny (Glasgow)
"Authentic, underground, glam rocker with a storyteller heart."-Aquarian (NJ)
Fleeing the sooty factories of Elizabeth, New Jersey for the grimey alleyways of London and Los Angeles, Joe Normal® started as a founding member of 90's sunset strip glam-pop legends The Zeros, co-wrote the title track to Sammy Hagar’s “Not 4 Sale” album, and even recorded with punk icon Stiv Bators & Lords Of The New Church.
Before moving to England in 1985, Joe’s band The Double “O” Zeros reached the top of New Jersey’s music scene when they recorded a popular theme song for Howard Stern, who at the time was still only a regional sensation on WNBC AM Radio in New York. The band went on to record demos for Atlantic Records future big wig Jason Flom and ultimately released a vinyl EP on New Jersey’s Mountain Records titled “Be A Zero,” which has become a widely sought after cult classic among glam rockers, and may arguably signify the beginning of Glam-Punk, a sound and style which now spans two generations of bands.
After returning to the States in the late 80’s, Joe and crew shortened their name to The Zeros and relocated to Los Angeles where an exploding music scene catapulted the band to the top of the Sunset Strip where they dominated with their exciting purple hair, cartoon-like stage personas, and cross between glam, punk, and rock ‘n roll. Enigma Records would scoop them up and release two records on their offshoot Restless Records between which they would join the ranks of label mates The Smithereens, Poison, Social Distortion, and They Might Be Giants.
The Zeros befriended fellow New Jersey rockers Dramarama in Hollywood, California’s legendary “Rock ‘n Roll Ralphs” supermarket checkout line on the heels of their KROQ hit “Anything, Anything,” and would later appear in Drama’s “Haven’t Got A Clue” video alongside DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, members of New York Dolls and Blondie, and go on to join the band for some regional tour dates.
Parting company with The Zeros in 1992, Joe would venture out as THE HUTCHINSONS with drummer brother Jimmy “Mr. Insane,” releasing their defining anthem “Elizabethtown” a gritty ode to their hometown hailed by both New Jersey’s Aquarian and Los Angeles’ Weekly publications, drawing comparisons to Jellyfish, Urge Overkill, and Redd Kross.
Changing his name to the singular moniker HUTCH, Joe went solo for the first time between 1999 - 2009, during which time he would appear with celebrity Chef Bobby Flay representing the Los Angeles music scene by providing the soundtrack to an episode of Flay’s “Food Nation” program, performing his songs acoustically on camera, attracting the attention of the “Red Rocker” and former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar.
HUTCH signed on with fledgling power pop label Smile Records / Image Entertainment along with The Knack, Supremium (feat. members of The Romantics + Adam Ant), and Wondermints (of Brian Wilson fame). The album “Turn It Around” was released in 2002, garnered a placement on The WB’s Dawson Creek, and HUTCH would appear as a support act for The Smithereens and again with Dramarama in Southern California.
Around 2006 when Joe’s son Drayke received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, he temporarily stepped back from the Rock ‘n Roll life to begin his Children’s Music project THE CONDUCTORS, a train themed family friendly band that combined Drayke’s passion for trains and Joe’s love of songwriting and recent parenting status as a way to uplift similar families in the Special Needs Community. Releasing two critically acclaimed indie records that employ a gentle acoustic rock, folk, and rockabilly style, The Conductors boast being the only rock band to have an actual smoke-puffing locomotive drum set!
In 2013 Joe toured and performed a headline show at New York’s Webster Hall with his Goth-abilly Horror-punk supergroup Cold Blue Rebels, comprised of members of Sunset Strip rockers The Zeros, Jetboy, and Glamour Punks, who brought their history of over-the-top glam-rock theatrics and humor to the Psychobilly genre, eventually releasing two albums and singles on Horror High and Cleopatra Records. The band toured the US numerous times supporting Wednesday 13 (Murderdolls) along with rockers The Biters, and supported Psychobilly legends Mad Sin, The Meteors, and The Quakes.
As an artist ever evolving and exploring musical styles, Mr. Normal’s journey would change once again in 2016 when he put together his explosive band The Anytown’rs. Joe ’s new direction would bring many of the scenes, characters, and places of his New Jersey home into the mix, including the song “Into The City Tonight” which is a hooky garage-rock / power-pop tale that takes the listener for a ride through the neighborhoods of his fabled Elizabethtown across the bridges and tunnels of New Jersey into Manhattan to escape the doldrums of Garden State suburbia.
Between 2017-2020 Joe hooked-up again with Dramarama, this time through Anytown’rs / Dramarama drummer Tony Snow to play large American and UK Festival Tour Dates, with his final appearance as part of the Light of Day Benefit Concert at Asbury’s Paramount Theatre with Bruce Springsteen, Joe Grushecky, Jesse Malin, and Willie Nile. Joe would join Bruce Springsteen, friends, and the entire cast and crew onstage for a moving and memorable “Thunder Road” sing-along and tribute to Bob Benjamin, Founder of Light of Day Foundation.
In a span of 30 + years Joe has shared stages with rockers and folkers alike.
Namely Guns ‘n Roses, Dramarama, Elliott Smith, Jesse Malin, L.A. Guns, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, The Dogs D'Amour, Faster Pussycat, Gene Loves Jezebel, Willie Nile, The Smithereens, Tonic, Gin Blossoms, Joe Grushecky, and has appeared on TV and Radio alongside celebrities Howard Stern, Peter Noone, Eric Estrada, Loni Anderson, and Bobby Flay.
Along with these solid Rock credentials, Joe Normal is now recognized for his own personal style and artistry, combining Americana, Folk and Glam Rock roots into a sound that he calls “GLAMERICANA.”
Joe Normal describes himself as a “late bloomer,” saying that he’s finally found his true artistic self, and thus will continue his journey in solitary fashion. Writing relatable songs and anthems about working class life, its struggles, its people and themes, he strives to always leave his audience with a sense of hope to keep going for one’s dreams.
His latest effort “Public Works” draws its inspiration from working class life in the Northeast. “Public Works,” pays homage to his hometown Elizabeth, New Jersey, a place known both for its importance in Revolutionary American history and industry, and for its notorious struggles with environmental issues, crime, and more. As such, there’s a similar dichotomy which runs throughout Joe’s writing, a seeming glorification and condemnation that the artist simultaneously exhibits, sometimes humorously, and sometimes with great pathos.
A skilled producer, performer, lyricist, singer, and guitarist, Joe is an adept showman and storyteller, whether he's playing acoustically or electrically alone, in the studio, or in pub-to-stadium sized fashion with his explosive band The Anytown'rs.
With comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, Paul Westerberg, and Tom Petty, Joe Normal balances his own blue collar Rock 'n Roll roots with a genuine storyteller heart that owes a debt to classic British Pop, Folk Rock of the 60’s and 70’s, and early American Rock 'n Roll, while remaining excitingly refreshing and original.