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Little Joy - Joy To The World

Author: Nina Bertok
Monday, March 9, 2009

3D’s Nina Bertok speaks to Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti about his side project, Little Joy, whose debut album is out now.

Stepping out into the spotlight on his own was never going to be easy for The StrokesFabrizio Moretti but with some help from an up-and-coming singer/songwriter and a Brazilian guitar legend, the drummer’s new project Little Joy has taken off without a hitch.

And it’s all about the good summer vibes, as Moretti claims. “It’s one of those albums that people have said makes them think of warm weather. When it got cold in Europe, people were saying it was a good record to put on to remind them of hot days and make them forget about being freezing.”

Although Little Joy have had no problems attracting fans world-wide almost overnight, it took Moretti quite some time to become confident enough in his own material to showcase it to the public. That is, until he met the other two thirds of Little Joy – Binki Shapiro and Rodrigo Amarante.

“Usually I am really apprehensive to show anybody my songs, but when I presented them to Binki and Rodrigo I felt very comfortable because they seemed like the right people,” he says. “This band is Binki’s first time doing anything professionally, even though she was writing music on her own but never really thought about putting it out there. Kind of like me, until I let go of my inhibition and she did the same. She has some fantastic talent.”

Not ones to take on projects half-heartedly, Moretti, Shapiro and Amarante moved into a house together where they spent almost every hour of the day writing songs and generally getting to know one another.

“It was a communal situation,” Moretti recalls. “I barely knew Binki and Rodrigo when we first started this record but for every minute I got to know them I felt like it was an hour. In the end you wake up together, eat together, go to the movies together, read the newspaper together, and the music ended up being this conversation between the three of us as we got to know each other.”

The unique living arrangements also allowed for the trio to swap and share instruments and singing duties along the way.

“I’m known for the drums but I’ve been playing the guitar for some time, though never to this extent,” Moretti says. “We all got to jump around from instrument to instrument and get a taste of what the other was doing. I think it’s important to be able to play the part of another person. But Binki has done most of the singing. If the drums are the spine of a band, and if the guitars are the limbs, then the voice is the face.”

As for Amarante’s efforts in Little Joy, Moretti says the live show speaks for itself.

“Rodrigo is a fantastic musician. We just did some shows in Brazil and he is so respected there, he was like a hometown hero. We played sold-out shows to these crazy crowds that sang along to every word! At the moment The Strokes are just talking about getting back into doing something again and getting to know each other but I’d like to make it to Australia with this band before that. Maybe I’ll put a mannequin behind the drum set and try to slip out.”

WHO: Little Joy
WHAT: Little Joy through Rough Trade / Remote Control
WHEN: Out now