We had the good fortune of connecting with Joey MacMahan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joey, what matters most to you?
Sincerity over perfection is one of the most important values I have. In music, this manifests in my writing and recording process, and in life it keeps me wanting to become better, without the constant and negative self judgement that plagues so many. I believe most people are doing the best with the information and resources they have, and I try to remember that about myself as well. My goal is always to evoke emotion in a listener, not simply impress them.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I first began making music under this project (Norman Lake) in 2020. It all began with a simple setup in my closet based around a 4 track cassette machine. I recorded and mixed my first single “Mother Mary” and my first EP “The Polaroid EP” on that little old machine instead of using a computer and recording software. These limitations forced me to learn recording and producing in a unique way that would lead to the successful opening of Structurally Sound Studios where myself and my partner Daniel record and produce other up and coming L.A. artists. For my own art, I’ve stayed clear of chasing perfection. I’ve consistently sought to write songs that help people understand emotions within themselves through stories, and prioritize the honesty of a performance over cleaning it up in post production.
This remained true in the album I recorded in July. Many of the songs on it are live performances and the entire thing was tracked in a month with ten or so players rotating in and out to add the layers that you’ll hear. The album concept had been on my mind for years and I’m beyond excited to put it out there early next year. Stay tuned for more details.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To me, the music scene in Eagle Rock, silverlake, and echo park is one of the coolest things about L.A. On tuesday we’d definitely check out the folk music Ryan Pollie puts on at The Fable in Eagle Rock, maybe catch a weekend show at Zebulon or Permanent Records, and grab grub at Summer buffalo or Nomoo near my place in Hollywood.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have had a lot of support through pursuing music from too many people to even mention. My recording partner at Structurally Sound Studios, Daniel Bermudez, certainly gets the biggest shoutout though along with my other friends and my loving family. Daniel is a talented multi-instrumentalist, producer, and engineer who is in several formidable projects. he is half of the indie folk duo Nolune, and plays drums in the post-hardcore trio Akila Fly. Having him in my corner for recording projects, as well as having him as a friend is one of the greatest gifts life has given me.