----> Joel finds inspiration musically through his passion for running. He has completed 3 marathons and runs at least 5 miles a day, even when the band is on tour. He seeks out routes for his runs to explore new cities on the road. As a runner I am sure you know how difficult it can be to find time to get your miles in for the day but it isn't the same if you don't get your fix.
Yes. I totally get it. It can be difficult. Particularly, when you're a rock star. But we do all need our fix. So, we somehow manage to make it work. But, enough small talk, let's hear more about Joel, a runner who rocks.
RUNNERS WHO ROCK: JOEL WREN
Joel (doing his own thing) off to the right.
Name: Joel Wren
Where you're from: Wichita, KS
Where you reside now: Nashville, TN
Occupation: Musician, Drummer
RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running?
I only started running because it was the easiest way to exercise, in that I could literally just walk out my door and go. That also makes it the most convenient way to exercise while touring. Wherever I am, I can easily just step outside and go. I also really enjoy it because it’s a huge stress reliever and NO ONE CAN GET AHOLD OF ME. It’s the only time of the day when I’m completely disconnected from my phone and computer, which makes it incredibly freeing.
What do you love most about music?
Music has been an incredibly influential part of my life for as long as I can remember. I love creating it, listening to it, and especially performing it. The most important aspect of music to me is the emotional aspect. When performing, I find it to be an incredible emotional release. I’m a drummer who plays pretty hard and there’s nothing better than being able to hit the last note of a song and know that you put everything you have out there.
As far as listening to music, I know exactly how certain records will make me feel and I love being able to pick and choose what to listen to by what mood I’m in or what mood I want to be in.
Peter Gabriel, circa 1986
Band: (current, all time or both) REALLY tough question. I’ll just say the first ones that I thought of. All time? I’ll say Peter Gabriel. Something more current? St. Vincent
Album: (current, all time or both) TOUGHER question. Again, the first things to come to mind. All time? I’ll say Nine Inch Nails “The Fragile.” More Current? I’ll say The National “Trouble Will Find Me.”
Race venue: Although I’ve never done it, I’ve heard great things about the Detroit Marathon. I think you go through the tunnel to Canada for a little bit? That sounds pretty cool to me. It’s also possible that I’m COMPLETELY wrong about that, so please don’t hate me if I’m way off.
Note: The course does go into Canada. (see map) And we could never hate you.
Music venue: My favorite place that I’ve seen a show is definitely the Ryman here in Nashville. There’s so much history there and between the sound and the atmosphere, you really can’t see a concert in a better room. As far as a venue where I’d like to see something, I’ll say the Lykavittos Theater in Athens, Greece. I recently acquired a Peter Gabriel concert shot there back in 1987 and the place looks absolutely magnificent. It’s an amphitheater cut out of a huge hill overlooking the entire capital city of Athens.
Lykavittos Theater, Athens, Greece
Race distance: Definitely the marathon. I’ve done a couple over the years and there’s just nothing like it. I admire anyone who makes the commitment to complete one. The amount of dedication that it requires is mind-blowing. It demands so much of you physically, mentally, and emotionally, that you’re literally a changed person after you’ve completed it. Although my touring schedule has made it difficult the past couple years, I really hope to do another one in the semi-near future.
Show you've seen live? Rage Against the Machine at Lollapalooza in 2008. It was one of maybe 2 shows that they performed in the US that year and it was absolutely amazing. They slaughtered that show.
Ice cream flavor: Easy, anything with chocolate and peanut butter.
THIS OR THAT:
Sweet or salty? sweet (big sweet tooth)
Live or recorded? I’ll say recorded. I love listening to classic, as well as new vinyl.
Coffee or tea? Coffee. For sure.
Summer or winter? I’ll say summer. I heard someone say once that it’s really hard to train during the summer in the south, but if you can, it makes you a beast. I like that.
MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? I’d love to see Father John Misty. In general, I’m kinda behind when it comes to new music and so I just recently got into his record, “Fear Fun,” but I absolutely love it.
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? I’ll say Fleetwood Mac, although they are doing a reunion tour later this year and I definitely plan on catching it.
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? I’ll say Neil Diamond. I just wanna hear his stories. I’m sure he’s got some incredible ones. I’ll also admit that he’s definitely one of my go-to karaoke artists.
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Definitely Phil Collins. Lemme hear them hits, Phil!!
Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both? (All running songs)
Bodysnatchers - Radiohead
Halfway Home - TV on the Radio
Vision of Division - The Strokes
Big Girl - Dr. Dog
Sussudio - Phil Collins
Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
Terrible Lie - Nine Inch Nails
Bedlam - Elvis Costello (and the Imposters)
Who - David Byrne and St. Vincent
Secondhand News - Fleetwood Mac
Release - Pearl Jam
Listen to this: