Interview with Joe Dibiase (4/29/2001)
by Daryl Mitchell of fateswarning.com
fateswarning.com: Joe, what were your early musical influences?
Joe D: What originally got me playing the bass was Kiss. Some kids in the neighborhood had a little band together playing mostly Kiss songs and the only thing left for me to play was the bass. As i started to really learn how to play, some of my influences became Steve Harris, Geddy Lee, and Geezer. But then and now my favorite bass player,song writer and band is and will always be Philip Lynott and Thin Lizzy
fateswarning.com: I’ve always liked Thin Lizzy also. Did you ever get into the work of Thin Lizzy alumni John Sykes (Whitesnake, Blue Murder) or Gary Moore?
Joe D: I’ve gotten into all of the ex-Lizzy members other projects, but especially Gary Moore’s. Most of his solo stuff was great. He’s still putting out stuff now that most people don’t even know is out. As far as Sykes goes I particularly liked the Tygers of Pan Tang which predated his Lizzy years
fateswarning.com: Did you play with any other bands before joining Fates Warning? (besides the Kiss cover band)
Joe D: I didn’t play with anybody of note. Fates was my first real band. I played in a few local bands in some area CT clubs but just doing your standard covers
fateswarning.com: Can you explain the course of events that lead to you joining FW?
Joe D: I met Steve Z, Jim and Victor Arduini while sleeping out for Black Sabbath tickets in New Haven. They were looking to buy tickets from me and we got talking about music and bands and stuff realized we liked a lot of the same bands that nobody else even heard of at the time, like Accept and Picture and bands like that. Turns out they needed a new bass player and I just happened to play. This was before they were called Fates Warning and had just a couple of originals written. I went up to jam a couple weeks later and we just clicked.
fateswarning.com: Looking back, how do you feel about the time you spent with FW?
Joe D: It was the greatest time of my life. I got to travel the world, meet lots of great people, many of which are still friends today, and basically live out my dream to a large extent. I wish we could have gotten as big as we thought we could have but no regrets.
fateswarning.com: What is your favorite FW recording and why? Album or song:
Joe D: I’d probably say Parallels. I think that was our peak as far as being a cohesive unit, musically and personally. For what ever reason after that album it started to become more like a job and not as much fun. I don’t know. Perhaps it was because we thought that the album was going to do better and that it just might put us over the edge and it didn’t but overall I thought it was our best and look upon it fondly.
fateswarning.com: What was your most memorable moment in FW?
Joe D: There really isn’t one thing that really stands out. What I’ll always remember is the friendships we formed within the band and all the great people we met through out our career
fateswarning.com: What would you most like to forget about your FW years?
Joe D: I’d most like to forget the business and political shit that was out of our hands. We always felt like we did our part in making the band successful and some one else always seemed to drop the ball or not do there part. Jim would write songs and come up with these great concepts and we would work so hard on the records and something would always seem to go awry somehow. It became very frustrating for all of us I think.
fateswarning.com: What kind of gear did you use in FW? (what brand basses, amps, effects, etc.)
Joe D: I used a wide variety over the years. Ampeg, G.K., and Mesa Boogie amps and Steinberger, Guild and Fender basses mainly. I used a borrowed Warrick bass for Parallels record that i really loved…too big for my little fingers though
fateswarning.com: How did your leaving of FW come about? What were the circumstances?
Joe D: Well, we just finished the inside out tour which was especially long and grueling and it seemed to take its toll on our relationships within the band. So we decided to take a bit of a break before the next recording or tour. In the meantime my wife got pregnant with our son and I had walked into a decent paying job. By the time we were ready to do something, I had the decision to make. Lose a chance of a decent job with a kid on the way for a month long tour or not. Plus, I really didn’t want to miss my kid growing up. It was a tough decision but one I thought I had to make.
fateswarning.com: Do you still maintain contact with John Arch, Ray Alder, Frank Aresti, Jim Matheos, Mark Zonder, Steve Zimmerman or Victor Arduini?
Joe D: I still keep in contact with the present Fates members and Frank. I run into the other guys at a show now and then but that’s about it
fateswarning.com: A little birdy told my you made a visit during the recording of FW’s Disconnected. Can you explain what that experience was like for you?
Joe D: Yeah Me and Frank spent the day at the studio and had a blast. It really made me miss the whole thing all over again but it was fun. Actually Frank and I just made a guest appearance with the band at their recent show in Hartford which was great fun for all of us I think.
fateswarning.com: What songs did you play with FW at the Hartford show?
Joe D: We played Eleventh Hour and Point of View
fateswarning.com: Have you heard A Pleasant Shade of Gray and Disconnected? If so what are your thoughts about them?
Joe D: I love the last two discs. I’ll always say it. Jim Matheos is one of the best song writers ever.
fateswarning.com: Did you do anything musically after departing FW?
Joe D: Not a fucking thing.
fateswarning.com: Any current musical endeavors?
Joe D: Aside from jamming with those guys in Hartford, no not really, although it felt good to play again. You never know.
fateswarning.com: I’d like to hear your comments about the music scene today? (Radio, club and underground)
Joe D: I’m kind of out of the loop on the present scene. The radio simply sucks, but then its always did in CT and there is no club scene here anymore.
fateswarning.com: What music do you find yourself listening to now? Bands?
Joe D: There are a few new bands I like. Perfect Circle, Filter and a brand new band called Stereomud I’ve been getting into. Chris Cornell’s solo album was great too. But I mostly stick to old shit. Lizzy, Maiden, Marillion and the stuff I grew up on.
fateswarning.com: What keeps you busy outside of music?
Joe D: Well I work 10-12 hours a day and have a five year old son and a 17 year old daughter. That’s pretty much a full day right there believe me. My son plays hockey and we’re both hockey junkies so we’re always going to one hockey rink or another to either play or watch. Plus I’ve been known to partake in a Guinness or two from time to time.
fateswarning.com: Hockey fans eh? Who’s your pick for the Stanley Cup this year? (2001)
Joe D: Well, we’re (New York) Ranger fans so we’re screwed again, but I can’t see anybody beating the Devils. I was kind of routing for San Jose but they’re out already
fateswarning.com: Considering the amount of hours you work now, I have to ask: Do you still play your bass?
Joe D: Until the Fates show I hadn’t really picked it up much at all but it felt really good to play again so maybe it will give me some ambition to start playing again.
fateswarning.com: Joe, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you and your family the best of luck. Thanks again.
Joe D: Thanks for listening to me. Take care.