INTERVIEW: Guitar World

'I'll Have Some of That!' — Joey Sykes Talks Babys Reunion and Working with Wally Stocker | Guitar World

With a string of hits including "Isn't It Time," "Every Time I Think of You" and "Back On My Feet Again," the Babys' brand of classic rock/power pop played a huge part in the musical transition of the late Seventies.

Following their breakup in 1981, members of the band went on to achieve continued success — Jonathan Cain with Journey, Ricky Phillips with Styx and original singer John Waite as a solo artist and with Cain and Phillips in Bad English.

Now, after more than a three-decade absence, guitarist Wally Stocker and drummer Tony Brock have reformed the Babys and will release a new album, I'll Have Some of That! June 24.

Originally brought on just to contribute songs for the project, guitarist Joey Sykes’ wizardry and work ethic impressed Stocker and Brock so much that he was asked to sign on as a new member of the band along with bassist/vocalist John Bisaha. The two musicians add a new dimension to the Babys and bring with them a style that works well in tandem with Stocker and Brock.

I recently caught up with Sykes to ask him about the Babys reunion, the new album and more.

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Big, tight and massively hooky pop/stadium rock hooks abound, but it`s just stellar, shining power pop. Echoes of Tommy Keene, The Churchills, Owsley(we miss you Will...), Rooney, Rick Springfield, Kyle Vincent at his most rocking and amplified, The Elms and Tal Bachman(remember him?) - the list goes on.

Listen to the soundbites here. Wait for the choruses. Smile. Repeat. Each track has a warm complexion and soft coloring that maintains a commercial pop/rock appeal. Instrument parts are thinly tiered so the listener`s attention is drawn to Syke`s vocals.

It`s all a shot of pure pop oxygen for smoggy musical times. Bottom Line: each song snugly fits into the ear canals filling them with pure pop pleasure. An uncanny combination of pop smarts, soaring melodies and deft guitar work which has been years in the making.

Oh Yeah: Extremely Highly Recommended.

Joey Sykes Interview with The Social Magazine, by Amy Dren

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and musician. Those are just a few of the words that can be used to describe Joey Sykes, as well as to describe what he spends most of his time doing. And, he does it all very well.

Sykes has logged over a thousand live shows ranging from the Staples Center to Madison Square Garden and around the world, sharing the stage and making music with the likes of Collective Soul, Don Henley, Jeff Pilson (Dokken), Paul Stanley, Meredith Brooks and many more. Joey got his first real taste of the music industry as a member of the band Boystown, and then as lead guitarist and co-writer for the band Coward. After moving to California, Sykes served as guitarist and musical director for Capitol recording artists Tommy Henriksen, whose first single was used in the motion picture “Blast From the Past”, and Meredith Brooks (“I’m a Bitch”), before he went on to create his first solo album under the name New English. With the release of his latest, the self-titled “Joey Sykes”, he has embarked on a solo journey that is proving to be one of his greatest achievements so far. The song “Human, Being Human” from the “Joey Sykes” release is featured on the Soundtrack for the movie “Daddy Day Camp”. Social The Magazine had a chance to sit down for a chat with Joey Sykes about his music and his new record.

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Joey Sykes is not the biggest star around but he makes music like a star, Joey played guitar with Elektra artists Coward that released one album in 1996. He also played with Meredith Brooks who had a major hit with "I´m a bitch" plus was involved in Ken Andrews band On. Joey also managed to get Roger Manning of Jellyfish as a special guest on his new solo album, we´re talking powerpop with midwest rock tendencies here and the sound is warm where Joey´s vocal performance bring thoughts to both Butch Walker and Swirl 360. There aren´t any fillers from the strong opener "Loveless crowd" to the Eagles cover "Try and love again" that closes the album, highly recommendable!


Brand new release by ex-Coward/New English singer/songwriter/guitarist Joey Sykes.

A real shame this gifted songsmith/musician is not better known.

His debut CD under his own name comes in a magnificent digipack, complete with booklet including the lyrics and band's line-up in which I was pleased to see the presence of Roger Manning on moog, piano and synths.

There is not a bad song on it and the best ones contain very moving lyrics about the human condition, as some of the song titles may suggest: 'Just a Human, Being Human' or 'I Love the Love We're in'. The former includes the following lyrics:
"I can't lie, I'm good inside, I even cry, sometimes
I'm too real,
Just a Human, being Human, being real
Just a Human, being Human, being me"

The closing track is a tasteful cover of an Eagles song called 'Try and Love Again'.

I could only find fault with the fact that there is a kind of 'emo syndrome' on this solo album, which does not detract from the overall quality of the songwriting. I just wish the production was less intrusive and did not occasionally bow to the prevailing patterns of music fashion in the USA. Still, as the producer is Joey Sykes himself, I guess nothing was imposed on him, so I wish him all the best with this brilliant record.

ALBUM REVIEW: Kool Kat Music

WOW!!! We absolutely loved his New English project release from 2008, gushing about it then as "one that has tons of shades of Adam Schmitt, Three Hour Tour, Rooney, Badfinger, The Who, Matthew Sweet, and 'fill-in-the-blank here' power pop influences written all over it!" Like its predecessor, the self-titled solo debut album from Joey Sykes is brimming with a canny combination of radio-friendly, Matthew Sweet-inspired, hook and harmony-filled pop smarts, soaring melodies, and lots of jangly guitars! He has assembled a group of able sidemen (including Roger Manning of Jellyfish) who (in a big way) help bring his finely-crafted songs to life.

"I just could not believe it when I realized that a longtime favorite band that had literally vanished (they were called Coward back in 1998 and released a fantastic CD that same year) now resurfaced through their guitarist Joey Sykes under the moniker New English. It is full of the kind of melodic power pop that brightens up your days but it is also remarkably varied. Such a pop gem cannot pass unnoticed! Whoever listens to it will love it and probably rate it very high among the power pop genre's all time best! - Philippe Thivillier

From the chiming intro of "Loveless Crowd" to the last choruses of the surprising Eagles cover "Try And Love Again", he has delivered another solid, memorable album.

"Just in time for the 4th of July weekend comes a record so full of pop fireworks that it shouldn't be legal (poor fireworks/illegality reference here)! But what else can I say except that he's done it again! He's offered up the most refreshing pop cocktail that beats the Summer heat!" - Max Humphries

Spot on, Max! Can't say enough about this one - a power pop gem that we're certainly again very "syked" about! GREAT!!!!

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