The so-called ‘happiest band on earth’? That’s The 502s - the Orlando band who bring the Florida sunshine with them wherever they go.
The six-piece are known for their high-energy live shows, and their single 'Just A Little While' peaked as the #4 Folk Song worldwide on Spotify charts.
They play The Helix, Dublin on November 15th, so we caught up with the band’s saxophone player Joe Capati to learn more.
1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of everything. My parents loved changing the radio station in the car from song to song and they had a bunch of preset radio stations. Sometimes we’d listen to jazz, sometimes hip-hop, sometimes rock and roll, sometimes reggae. So naturally, when I got my first CD player at 12 years old, I had CDs like The Baha Men’s ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ next to Eminem’s ‘The Eminem Show’. Then I’d flip the CD book and we’d have Three Doors Down’s ‘The Better Life’ next to ‘4’ by Foreigner, with a blank CD ripped with a copy of Norah Jones’ ‘Come Away With Me’ tucked behind it. I’ve got a “Liked Songs” playlist on Spotify that’s been growing since 2016 and in the first 10 tracks saved I’ve got The Black Keys, Jack Johnson, TAUK, and Eric Clapton. So I’d say nothing’s changed.
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
3. How do you wind down after a gig?
Every gig's a little different, but I enjoy a little calmness - whether that calm's found in changing clothes and grabbing a drink, or taking a warm shower and going out for dinner.
4. What’s the one song (by another artist) you wish you’d written or recorded first?
Amy Winehouse does a cool version of a Grover Washington Jr. song called 'Mr. Magic'. I wish I could’ve either written/recorded either version first, hah.
5. What is your pet peeve?
Talking during a quiet song at a show, or during a performance/movie at a theatre!
6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
I think everyone should:
Listen to Ben Howard’s 'Every Kingdom' album. Lots of soul and depth in that album. It's on my list of complete albums where there isn’t a single song that doesn’t capture my attention or find a place that fits next to the others.
Read 'The 4 Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz, because it really pulled me out of a tough time in my life and I think that everyone could benefit from any part of it. Bonus points: it’s relatively short so anybody who’s not a frequent reader can be less deterred.
See 'Austin to Boston', described as: “5 old VW's. 4 bands. 3 thousand miles. 2 weeks. 1 gloriously backwards tour. Featuring Ben Howard, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliff and Bear's Den.” It gives a nice viewpoint of what it feels like to be an artist on the road.
7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
Martin Scorsese - I’d have Bruno Mars play me.
8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Dumplings. Always good.
9. Describe your perfect day off.
No alarm, slow wake. Homemade menemen (or shakshuka depending on the mood) over coffee with some light music in the background. Weather's rainy, stay in and watch a show on the couch - weather's sunny, go out to a farmer's market. Midday event trying something new or going somewhere new - an early dinner before drinks at a nice bar that’s not too crowded or loud - then a nightcap somewhere with great tacos.
10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig (whenever it may be.)
You’ll get to spend an evening in a crowd of strangers that accept you like friends and don’t judge you for singing bad or dancing weird.
BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
My girlfriend listens to The Ologies Podcast by Alie Ward. Informative, quirky, honest, and authentic.
The 502s play Dublin's Helix on November 15th. Tickets are on sale now.