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An Interview with The Kelly Song Collective

Updated on December 8, 2017
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Sunshine likes to make artists shine! Hence, her interview series was born. Contact her for your moment in Sunshine's Spotlight.

Who Are The Kelly Song Collective?

The Kelly Song Collective is a duo consisting of brothers Joe and John. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada these musicians are not only talented but quite witty too.

Read on to learn more about Joe and John...

We’re not exactly the head cases that are the Gallagher brothers, nor the self-important, smug navel gazers inhabiting the music business these days, more like Tupac and Biggie, no, actually...let me get back to you on that.

We are a bit goofy, yet for some reason we write serious songs, but are really regular people. Just recently I gave my butler a couple of days off this month, and John donated a stage worn, autographed John Deere ball cap to a charity auction. So...yeah... regular people.


Favorite Food / Drink / Dessert?

Joe: Pizza, Guinness, Crème Brulee.

John: Steak, Guinness, Black Forest cake.

Is There a Family History of Musicians?

Joe: Dad sang The Mills Brothers and Johnny Cash in the car. Mom loved Frank Sinatra. My father and her met Frank and Don Rickles in a restaurant in Pittsburgh. All time double date.

John: There’s got to be bagpipers in the family tree.

Ritual Before Performing?

Joe: Clear my throat.

John: Sacrifice one human. Failing that, a couple of pints and crack my knuckles.

Musician That Inspired You?

Joe: Okay, serious answer...Paul McCartney. I’m so ashamed.

John: Richard Starkey.

Who/What Inspired Your Love Of Music?

Joe: Not sure. AM radio? ‘Bat Out Of Hell’?

John: Love it? I just really, REALLY like it.

Record Deal or Indie?

Joe: Depends, I suppose. I subscribe to the hippie minstrel homegrown model, no suits maaaan! But then again...

John: Record deals hurt my bum. Indie.

Vocal Training?

Joe: Ha. No.

John: There’s such a thing?

Do You Play Any Instruments?

Joe: Sure. If it has strings and or frets I’m there. Although, there are some Chinese and Indian instruments that I have yet to grip.

John: Most people would say that I don’t.

Do You Write Your Own Songs?

Joe: Indeed. Round the clock...not a song title by the way.

John: Ditto.

Do You Write Songs For Other Musicians?

Joe: Does my brother count?

John: Unintentionally. I would do with intention if the right one asked nicely.


Who Is Your Muse?

Joe: The ether, life, love, Canada.

John: What he said.

Most Famous Musician That You Met?

Joe: Sting. Waited in line over night at a bookstore. It was during his rain forest kick. Then I stayed another night and met the guy who cleans the place.

John: Shane MacGowan. Looked forward to a long game of pool with him. He sewered early.

How Did You Get Started In The Music Business?

Joe: Strapped on a bass, my high school graduation present and played a wedding gig. Still the best paying gig I had ever had.

John: Traded in a hockey stick for a guitar. Play only about as well.

How Long Have You Been In The Music Industry?

Joe: In and out for twenty years.

John: Been trying to crack that nut for twenty years.

Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?

Joe: Same weight, same hairline, same house. Armful of Junos and Grammys.

John: Joe’s place, holding the Junos and Grammys he can’t.

Advice For An Artist Just Getting Started?

Joe: Handle rejection well.

John: Lube up. Grow a thick skin. And throw away the lube.

Favorite Inspirational Quote?

Joe: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

John: Do what you love, love what you do, and don’t hurt anyone along the way.

Favorite Song Lyric?

Joe: I can’t keep a truce, I get my juice from the flower that you wear on your lapel. John Kelly, Petawawa Blues

John: I don’t need your tributes. I don’t need your cheers. I don’t need you whoring out your soul. Joe Kelly, Scatter My Ashes

Favorite Song That Inspires You?

Joe: ‘Superstition’... Funky, or ‘Girl From The North Country’.

John: Beck’s ‘Loser’.

Favorite Musician?

Joe: Chris Bartos.

John: Jackie Rogers Jr.

Favorite Concert?

Joe: Rush. Maple Leaf Gardens. 1982. My first one. Amazing. A real rock concert.

John: Madonna. SkyDome. 1986. Drank beer in the mezzanine while a dozen of my friends rocked out.

Which Artist Would You Want To Collaborate With?

Joe: The late Bob Marley.

John: Mozart, before he was five.

Which Artist Would You Like To Open For?

Joe: The reanimated, reformed Beatles.

John: Open for?!

Most Memorable Moment So Far In Your Career?

Joe: Unless And Until album launch.

John: Ya, that one.

What Are Your Thoughts On The Direction Country Music Has Evolved?

Joe: I’m not a real country guy, but like any musician/music lover, I like what I like. There are some good country songs these days and some crap ones. If country music keeps fillin’ the spittoon with quality songs, I’m with it. If not... as it has seemed lately, I’m out.

John: Ditch the cowboy hat and shades and the ball cap while you’re at it. And loosen the jeans. Not enough ballroom. You don’t drive a jeep or a pick-up, you motherfucker. The best country music these days is by the women.

Share A Story About A Song You Are Working On?

Joe: I was driving through a beautiful part of Ontario called Hastings County. It just sounded like a song title to me.

John: Maiden Name. It’s going to be every daddy / daughter song at every wedding from here to eternity. Now, about the royalties…

Which Song That You Have Written Is Most Special To You?

Joe: ‘Josephine’, it’s about my wife. And she knows at least half of the words.

John: Sure. ‘If I Could Only’. It’s about my wife. Maybe a third (of the words).

Which Celebrity Would You Want To Portray You In A Movie About Your Life?

Joe: Axl Rose.

John: No brainer…Babs Streisand.

You Were Invited To Perform A 'One Night Only' Concert...Where?

Joe: In Egypt among the pyramids... or on the summit of Everest. Seriously.

John: Bass camp. No attitude sickness.

Music For Sale?

Ya, Unless And Until, our debut came out in August.

Favorite Toppings On Nachos?

Joe: Beef and cheese.

John: Beef and cheese.


In Conclusion...

This interview was by far my funnest! The witty personalities of Joe and John shine through their responses. I could only imagine how entertaining a concert would be!

Thank you to Joe and John Kelly!

You could connect with The Kelly Song Collective via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify and their website - TheKellySongCollective.Com

© 2017 Linda Bilyeu


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